"Monetary Sovereignty": Code Words for "Domestic Keynesianism"

One of the most perverse phrases that we hear today in conservative, free market circles is this one: “monetary sovereignty.” Whenever you read or hear the words “monetary sovereignty,” think “Federal Reserve System.”

Every defense of monetary sovereignty today is a defense of either the Federal Reserve System or else a pure fiat money system run by the federal government: greenbacks. It’s either Janet Yellen or Ellen Brown. Either way, it’s Keynesianism.

Where Keynes Went Wron... Hunter Lewis Best Price: $2.13 Buy New $8.00 (as of 05:30 EST - Details) I see no reason for ever proclaiming your commitment to monetary sovereignty, unless you are very specific in stating that monetary sovereignty means exclusive free market sovereignty, meaning no state licensing of banks — local, state, national, or international. This is not what most people mean by monetary sovereignty, nor is it what most people hear when they hear the words “monetary sovereignty.”


There was a time in the history of this nation when there was no monetary sovereignty. This was prior to the American Revolution. Under the monopoly of the Bank of England, the colonial governments were not allowed to issue their own fiat currencies. Benjamin Franklin was a big promoter of fiat money, but he was never able to get his plan adopted, because in terms of the British Empire, this sovereignty was not transferred to colonial governments. This was a tremendous benefit for people living under British rule in North America. No state government could shove paper money down their throats. There was no legal tender at all in the British colonies.

The monetary system was completely in the hands of tiny local banks and the government of Spain. The primary currency in North America was the Spanish silver dollar. The article in Wikipedia is very good, and I recommend it. We have forgotten what monetary freedom was.

The real de a ocho, also known as the Spanish dollar, the eight-real coin, or the piece of eight (Spanish peso de ocho), is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler.The Spanish dollar was widely used by many countries as international currency because of its uniformity in standard and milling characteristics. Some countries countersigned the Spanish dollar so it could be used as their local currency.

Against the State: An ... Rockwell Jr., Llewelly... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details) The Spanish dollar was the coin upon which the original United States dollar was based, and it remained legal tender in the United States until the Coinage Act of 1857. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century. Aside from the U.S. dollar, several other existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, the Philippine peso, as well as several currencies in Latin America, were initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-real coins. Diverse theories link the origin of the “$” symbol to the columns and stripes that appear on one side of the Spanish dollar. . . .

Millions of Spanish dollars were minted over the course of several centuries. They were among the most widely circulating coins of the colonial period in the Americas, and were still in use in North America and in South-East Asia in the 19th century.

We also learn this: “The Coinage Act of 1792 created the United States Mint, but the first U.S. dollars were not as popular as the Spanish dollars, which were heavier and were made of finer silver.” The Fed Flunks: My Spe... Wenzel, Robert Best Price: $10.02 Buy New $10.96 (as of 05:09 EDT - Details)

In other words, the economic foundation of this nation was based primarily on a foreign currency. There was no monetary sovereignty in North America until the Congress started printing money in 1777, which led to the first and only hyperinflation in American history. When Congress claimed monetary sovereignty in 1777, it was the preliminary step in destroying the currency system. It was the classic example of federal monetary sovereignty.

Almost immediately after the second Constitution was ratified — the first was ratified in 1781 — Alexander Hamilton promoted the Bank of the United States as a central bank with control from a national level. This was the second great experiment in monetary sovereignty in the history of the United States. The first was the fiat money system of the revolution. It lasted for 20 years: 1791-1811. The charter was not renewed in 1811. In 1816, the third experiment began, the Second Bank of the United States. That lasted until 1836, when President Jackson saw to it that the federal transfer of monetary sovereignty to a private banking organization ended. This great fight politically had taken place in 1832, and Jackson defeated the forces of Henry Clay when he vetoed the premature re-chartering of the second Bank of the United States. Not until 1913, when a German immigrant named Paul Warburg joined with the banking forces of the Morgan interests and the Rockefeller interests to get the Federal Reserve chartered did this country suffer from national monetary sovereignty. It was the greatest period of economic growth in American history. It was the greatest period of economic liberty in history. The heart, mind, and soul of this liberty were tied to this central fact:there was no national monetary sovereignty in the United States. There were banks. There was no central bank. There were gold and silver coins issued by the mint, but other coins could be used in exchange. Theory of Money and Cr... Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $2.46 Buy New $8.54 (as of 06:40 EST - Details)

This was the era of the international gold standard. There was no international monetary sovereignty.

There was state monetary sovereignty, which was a huge mistake. If there had been no state monetary sovereignty, then we would have had a true free market in money, which is what Ludwig von Mises recommended in 1912 in his classic book, The Theory of Money and Credit. His great opponent was Irving Fisher, economist at Yale, who favored a fiat national currency. Fisher was a great defender of central banking. He won the debate, but he never got his stated goal: 100% reserve commercial banking. He was the academic shill for Warburg, the Rockefellers, and Morgan.

In 1913, in late December, the United States had federal monetary sovereignty shoved down its throat: the Federal Reserve System. Americans have never had liberty again in the field of money. The reason why is clear: federal monetary sovereignty.

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