War and Inflation in the United States from the Revolution to the Persian Gulf War

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The institutional arrangements governing the creation of new money in the United States have changed dramatically since the Revolution. Yet beneath the surface the story of wartime money creation has remained much the same. During wars against minor powers, the government was able to fund the war by borrowing and levying taxes. During wars against major powers, however, the story was very different. In major wars there came a point when further increases in taxes could not be undertaken for administrative or political reasons, and further increases in borrowing could not be undertaken except at higher interest rates, rates that exceeded what was considered fair based on prewar norms. At those moments governments turned to the printing press. The result was substantial inflation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Economic History
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameStudies in Economic History
ISSN (Print)2364-1797
ISSN (Electronic)2364-1800

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


  • (American) Civil War
  • Adam Smith
  • Anna Schwartz
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Bonds
  • Borrowing
  • Charles Lee
  • Congress
  • Continental Congress
  • Continental dollar
  • Daniel Morgan
  • Debt
  • Farley Grubb
  • Federal Reserve
  • First Gulf War
  • French and Indian War
  • Greenback
  • Homestead Act
  • Inflation
  • Interest
  • Jay Cooke
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • John Sherman
  • John Stuart Mill
  • Korean War
  • Korean War Accord
  • Lyndon B Johson
  • Mexican War
  • Milton Friedman
  • Nathaniel Greene
  • National Banking Act
  • Philippine-American War
  • Robert Barro
  • Spanish-American War
  • Supreme Court
  • Thaddeus Stevens
  • U.S. Treasury
  • Vietnam War
  • Virginia dollar
  • War of 1812
  • William McChesney Martin
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • [American] Revolution


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