A Short History of Paper-Money and Banking in the United by William M. Gouge

By William M. Gouge

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Extra info for A Short History of Paper-Money and Banking in the United States: Including an Account of Provincial and Continental Paper-Money. to Which Is Prefixed, an Inquiry Into the Principles of the System

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Mr. Boyd, Lord King, and other Economists, showed the incorrectness of this opinion, and ~Ir. Ricardo placed its erroneousness in a strong point of view, in a pamphlet pub. l\lr. " " The principles of this Committee, supported by a host of writers, became now," says the historian, " the received opinions upon the subject, aild they were as follows: " They entirely agreed with Smith in the general principle, that if Banks were obliged to pay their notes in specie on demand, the trade might, in all other respects, be left perfectly free.

But, as value and length are essentially different, we must expect to find the standard and measures of the one essentially different from those of the other. The causes of variation must also be different; and the extent of variation must be different. The analogy between the standards and measures of different things, cannot be greater than the analogy between the things themselves. Value and length agree only in this-that each admits of increase and decrease by homogeneous degrees, whence it is that each is mensurable by like quantities.

They grant credits on their books, and transfer the amount of credit from one merchant to another. They receive money on deposit. They buy and sell biHs of exchange. They discount mercantile notes. They buy and sell public stocks. All these are important functions, and if only one of them be ill performed, the community must suff~r inconvenience. 2 IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT. The Banks are scattered through nearly all the States and Territories which cornposp. our UnIOn; but they may all be embraced in one view, inasmuch as they all substilute paper for specie, and credit for cash, and are all endowed with privileges which individuals do not possess.

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