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POLITICAL ECONOMY

INCLUDING STRICTURES ON

THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CURRENCY

AND THE FINANCES SINCE 1861

WITH A CHART SHOWING THE FLUCTUATIONS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD

BY

FRANCIS BOWEN

ALFORD PROFESSOR OF NATURAL RELIGION, MORAL PHILOSOPHY, AND

CIVIL POLITY IN LARVARD COLLEGE

NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

1890

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in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

PREFACE.

DURING the last eight years, the United States have been trying experiments in the management of the Currency, in Banking, Finance, and Taxation, on a larger scale than the world had ever witnessed. The trial has cost the country much; we have not yet recovered from its consequences, and probably it will yet be long before we shall cease to feel them. But the experience thus gained has been valuable for the interests both of science and of practical legislation. It has thrown much light on the theories of Currency and Finance, which are the most interesting, because the most practically important, portions of the science of Political Economy. It has demonstrated by the logic of facts some of the main doctrines in these theories, disclosed some important qualifications of maxims formerly received, and raised questions of broad scope for further inquiry. I have here endeavored to bring together the results of these experiments, and to read the lessons which they teach. The book is to be regarded more as a new work, than as a new edition of the volume which I published, fourteen years ago, under the title of “ Principles of Political Economy.” Several chapters have been added, others suppressed or rewritten, and the remainder much condensed and modified.

The title under which the book now appears may seem to require defence or explanation. I hold, with Mr. Samuel Laing, that "every country has a Political Economy of its own, suitable to its own physical circumstances of position on the globe," and to the character, habits, and institutions of its people. Unquestionably there is a universal science of

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