After the end of the Napoleonic War, few issues of public policy dominated discussions in England as fervently as the issue of currency and the national debt. A time of civil unrest and social radicalisation, the circulation of ideas and pamphlets was prolific. The difficulties of post-war reconstruction sparked a long debate on issues of monetary reform and repayment of the national debt. The growth of national debt increased the size of the financial market and had important consequences for a changing class dynamic in domestic political affairs. The distributional aspects of the conflict were present, as was the satirical mockery of mishandling of public affairs. In much of the subsequent scholarship the organisation of taxation and expenditure, and the financial system and the issue of currency have been analysed as separate. This chapter brings them together. In particular, it focuses on Ricardo’s monetary thought and his views on public finance and contextualises them in light of his contemporaries.
This chapter has benefited from helpful comments from two anonymous referees, participants at the workshop ‘Economic Thought on Public Finance in Europe’ held at the University of Barcelona in 2017, the session at the 2018 Annual Conference of ESHET, from Mihalis Psalidopoulos, James Forder and Cléo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche.
Laskaridis, C. (2020), "Ricardo and His Contemporaries on Monetary Reform and the National Debt", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 38A), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 33-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542020000038A006Download as .RIS
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