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Circulating Interest-Bearing Currency: An Arkansan Experiment, 1861-1863


  • Richard C.K. Burdekin

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Marc D. Weidenmier

    (Claremont McKenna College)


During the Civil War the Arkansas legislature funded their expenditures primarily through interest-bearing warrants and war bonds. After these issues were made legal tender in November 1861, the discount attributed to them disappeared immediately and they began to circulate widely. In mid-1862 they were being accepted on par with specie even when Confederate notes - which were also made legal tender in November 1861 - were taken only at a substantial discount. This dominance of legal tender interest-bearing currency is consistent with legal restrictions theory. Confederate notes supplanted the Arkansas issues only after the legislature suspended interest payments in November 1862.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard C.K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, "undated". "Circulating Interest-Bearing Currency: An Arkansan Experiment, 1861-1863," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2003-04, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2003-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gherity, James A, 1993. "Interest-Bearing Currency: Evidence from the Civil War Experience: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 125-131, February.
    2. Makinen, Gail E & Woodward, G Thomas, 1999. "Use of Interest-Bearing Currency in the Civil War: The Experience below the Mason-Dixon Line," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 121-129, February.
    3. Makinen, Gail E & Woodward, G Thomas, 1986. "Some Anecdotal Evidence Relating to the Legal Restrictions Theory of the Demand for Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 260-265, April.
    4. Richard C. K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2001. "Inflation Is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1621-1630, December.
    5. Richard C.K.Burdekin & Marc D.Weidenmier, 2002. "Interest-Bearing Currency and Legal Restrictions Theory:Lessons from the Southern Confederacy," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(2), pages 199-209, Fall.
    6. Cowen, Tyler & Kroszner, Randall, 1989. "Scottish Banking before 1845: A Model for Laissez-Faire?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 221-231, May.
    7. Gorton, Gary, 1996. "Reputation Formation in Early Bank Note Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 346-397, April.
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    More about this item


    Legal restrictions; interest-bearing currency; state finance;

    JEL classification:

    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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