Benjamin Franklin and monetary policy in colonial Pennsylvania
Last Updated: 01/05/81
The running argument between those who advocate expansionary monetary policies and rising prices, on the one hand, and those who favor stable or falling prices, on the other hand, is very old. American debate on this subject traces its origins to the 17th century. Deflation, accompanied by complaints of a scarcity of money, was present in both England and her colonies in America. British government policies prohibited exporting gold and silver to the colonies. The precious metals earned by Americans in trade with the Spanish colonies were sent to Britain in payment for British goods.