|Printed Black & White Copy
Set in 1870, the case describes the situation of Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, who must render an opinion in Hepburn v. Griswold, which challenges the constitutionality of the creation of a national fiat currency, so-called greenbacks. In 1862, Chase was Secretary of the Treasury in Abraham Lincoln's administration and reluctantly endorsed creating the greenbacks. Now, eight years later, he still harbors misgivings. The task for the student in this case is to recommend a decision. The larger consideration is to assess the massive pivot in US government financial policy that occurred in the 1860s.
(a) Review one of the most significant pivots in US monetary policy, which created a national fiat currency and national bank charters. (b) Illustrate the impact of inflation on the interests of debtors and creditors. (c) Explore the pricing of greenbacks in response to news (military, political, and financial).