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dc.contributor.authorDesan, Christine
dc.date.accessioned2010-02-21T17:16:30Z
dc.date.issued2010
dc.identifier.citationChristine Desan, Coin Reconsidered: The Political Alchemy of Commodity Money, 11 Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Article 13 (2010).en_US
dc.identifier.issn1565-1509en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3685820
dc.description.abstractMedieval coin plays an essential role in the imagined history of money: it figures as the primal "commodity money" — a natural medium, spontaneously adopted by parties in exchange who converge upon a metal like silver to represent the value of other goods. As a natural medium with a price objectively established through trade, commodity money appears to offer an independent means of measure in the market. But as the history offered here reveals, medieval money was nothing like its imagined alternative. England’s early coin became a medium when the government began to spend and tax in that unit of account, took coin as a mode of payment, and allowed it to be transferred between people in the meantime. Individuals participated in the arrangement, paying for coin in exchange for the unique quality — liquidity — that set money apart from a commodity. That quality was orchestrated by the very channels that brought public and private together in the project of making a medium. In fact, insofar as the English equated money with the commodity it contained, they engineered instability into the heart of their medium. Depreciating coin — diluting its commodity content — offered a cure. It also confirmed that coin had never been the "commodity money" imagined in later accounts. Coin was, instead, a constitutional medium, one that related the government to its participants and thus helped to configure the world it appeared merely to measure.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherBerkeley Electronic Pressen_US
dc.relation.isversionofdoi:10.2202/1565-3404.1245en_US
dash.licenseOAP
dc.titleCoin Reconsidered: The Political Alchemy of Commodity Moneyen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.description.versionVersion of Recorden_US
dc.relation.journalTheoretical Inquiries in Lawen_US
dash.depositing.authorDesan, Christine
dc.date.available2010-02-21T17:16:30Z
dc.identifier.doi10.2202/1565-3404.1245*
dash.contributor.affiliatedDesan, Christine


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