The devaluation controversy in eighteenth-century Italy
History of Economic Ideas p. 1- 31
Following the Succession Wars of the early eighteenth-century, political economists across Italy discussed a range of possible reforms. Among the issues drawing most attention was the complicated problem whether devaluation policies were appropriate means for boosting economic growth. Not only did the issue raise moral and juridical questions, it also triggered profound historical reflections on the evolution of ‘commercial societies’ out of feudal systems. This article places a number of Italian mid-eighteenth-century ideas of money in their original context of political and intellectual challenges and attempts to draw some of the main dividing lines in this debate.