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LOCAL MONEY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION

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Abstract:

The Great Depression in the United States produced a great outpouring of local currencies as responses to various aspects of the economic crisis. This article describes the basic types of scrip in use, assesses their legality and theoretical justification, and ventures some generalizations as to what sorts of scrip worked best. It argues that the widespread use of local scrip was not motivated by any systematic analysis of the shortcomings of the national economy, or of its monetary system. Rather, the scrip movement represented eclectic responses to specific economic problems created by the Depression.

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