The Nature and the History of Money

I have a bachelors degree in history.  But, after doing some research I realized that I was not taught anything about the history of money and, to be quite honest, I didn’t even really know what it was fundamentally. Money is literally the lifeblood of civilization.  When it is disrupted or tampered with, misery results.  Although money is so important to our daily lives, we often think little of it.  After all, it is always there and it can always buy stuff, right?  Monetary history is probably the most important history of the United States.  Nothing today has shaped our country more than money has.  It has been the topic of almost every presidential debate from George Washington until World War II. Each political party and philosophy had its own opinion on the nature of money. Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan all discussed money during their presidential campaigns or while they were in office. This history is almost completely lost on the American people, though it was not too long ago when it was regularly discussed by the public. Only in the last 50 years has it become taboo to talk about the nature of money itself.  But this social norm is changing.  Here are some good resources to start your study of money’s history.


All of Rothbard’s books are excellent at describing the nature of money.

A History of Money and Banking in the United States


Money Banking and the Federal Reserve (this is a good video from the Mises Institute)




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