The Paper Moneys of Europe
That, even as a desperate last resort for financing war, a flood of paper money defeats its own object was conclusively proved a few years later during the French Revolution. The French assignats "have taken their place in history as the classical example of paper money made worthless by over-issue. After their final collapse in 1796, French finance reverted perforce to a metallic basis." So Mr. Hawtrey, a British Treasury official, who has given us recently a lucid and sufficiently detailed account of this extraordinary incident--extraordinary but no longer singular, for the same course with the same results has been pursued during and since the war of 1914-1918 by Russia and Poland, and in a greater or less degree by most of the European belligerents.
The issue of French assignats began in 1789 because the assem