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A Crisis Misunderstood: The Political Economy of the Government Debt Market in Sweden, 1715-1720
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

From 1715 to 1718 there was an unparalleled expansion of liquidity in Sweden. Behind the new financial system stood the absolute king Charles XII, who needed resources to continue Swedish participation in the Great Northern War (1700–21). Heading the administration of the system was Baron Georg Heinrich von Görtz from the Duchy of Holstein. The French experiments with paper money as well as John Law’s monetary ideas were clear inspirations for Görtz, and he actually met the Scot in Paris in 1716. The Swedish financial system entailed the issuing of bonds and salary notes, but above all token coins and bills. The great volume of coins reached all parts of the country and all social classes, and the coins largely retained their value. They were, however, fundamentally associated with Charles XII and with the death of the king in late 1718, confidence in the coins and bills were lost. The new parliamentary regime decided to dismantle the system and to commit a partial default. All holders of the token money had to exchange them for so-called insurance bills that circulated on a secondary market. This development has been unknown to international research and in Swedish historiography it has been interpreted as a last attempt of an autocratic regime, depleted of resources, to continue a futile war. This paper will explore the political economy of the market for government debt that emerged as a result of the process, and demonstrate that both the expansion and the retraction of liquidity were results of rational political decisions along the lines of the policies of the major European powers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357203OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357203DiVA, id: diva2:1238482
Conference
XVIII World Economic History Congress, July 29 – August 3, 2018, Boston, USA
Available from: 2018-08-13 Created: 2018-08-13 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Winton, PatrikEricsson, Peter

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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