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Notes on Monetary Institutions in State and Class Formation Processes

Journal of Historical Sociology

Published online on

Abstract

["\nAbstract\nCharles Tilly emphasizes that state formation is a contingent and violent process: states develop as they extract resources, including currency, from a population. Neochartalist approaches to money challenge what I call the extractivist view of state formation because they see currencies as public institutions established by governments, not a resource to be seized from a population. At the same time, neochartalists rarely address how state institutions capable of establishing monetary institutions emerge. In this article, I propose a framework to analyze the entangled development of the institutions of money and state. I then showcase its usefulness by revisiting a series of crowd actions and militarized responses in eighteenth‐century Massachusetts and Pennsylvania today known as Shays’ Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion, focusing on the initially ad hoc and then routinized funding mechanism that enabled emerging state actors to deploy armed groups. In closing, I argue that despite the violence involved in the emergence of the institutions of state and money, citizens and inhabitants can begin to imagine democratic ways of institutionalizing money today.\n", "Journal of Historical Sociology, EarlyView. "]