Signs of Inflation

An Area of Limited Inflation: The United States
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An Area of Limited Inflation: The United States

Early Federal America
In 1792, the young United States of America defined its standard unit of value as a dollar worth 24.057 g of pure silver. Theoretically convertible banknotes were issued by about 1,600 local state-chartered banks. Gold was only sporadically minted. Its unit of value was called the eagle, worth ten silver dollars. Usually, half eagle coins of 5 dollars were minted at a standard of 135 grains of 91.67% fineness, equivalent to 8.01 g or 1.6038 g of pure gold per dollar. As foreign coins still enjoyed legal tender status, the incentive for private citizens to have their gold minted was effectively…

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Times of Hyperinflation
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Times of Hyperinflation

Hyperinflation
Coins always had a degree of intrinsic value. With paper banknotes, this constraint disappeared. These virtually free-of-costs monetary signs that…

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Scattered Inflations
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Scattered Inflations

Italy
The lira was the official currency of Italy from its unification in 1861 until 2002, when it was physically replaced by the…

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France: From the Franc to the Euro
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France: From the Franc to the Euro

From Napoleon to the Latin Monetary Union
From 1803 until 1914, France kept a stable monetary system based on convertibility into…

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France: Inflation and Revolution
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France: Inflation and Revolution

Coins of the Revolution
The French monetary system under the monarchy, like most of the European systems of that period and…

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Rome: A Thousand Years of Monetary History
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Rome: A Thousand Years of Monetary History

From Republic to Empire
Starting in the late 4th century B.C., the Roman Republic based a bronze (aesin Latin) coinage upon…

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The Matter of Inflation
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The Matter of Inflation

Metallic Objects
We are used to considering money as a stamped object, whether minted or printed, where often a number displayed…

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What Is Inflation?
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What Is Inflation?

Money
Money, as a medium of exchange, progressively replaced self-sufficiency and barter.

Money provides a common scale against which all kinds of…

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