It can be downloaded only by joining scribd, which is a painless and harmless procedure,
and one which then allows access to millions of documents that can be downloaded. Membership produces no junk e-mails or other invasions that I know of.There are students of the Constitution alive and well in today’s law schools that are
proposing and publishing in major law journals doctrines of what the Constitution allows thatdiametrically oppose Vieira’s work. For example, see Natelson’s articleon paper money andcoinage. He advances the unbelievable claim that “ascribing a purely metallic meaning to ‘coin’creates serious textual difficulties.”
The U.S. Constitution and Money: 1789-1860
by Michael S. Rozeff
This article continues to summarize Edwin Vieira, Jr.’s major work,
Pieces of Eight The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the U.S. Constitution.
here. This article covers pp.179-259 of the book,which is part of the material he provides on the years 1789-1860. All page references shown in parentheses are to Vieira’s book.This article, somewhat more than Part 1, freely translates, summarizes, and augments Vieira’swork as opposed to outlining it rigidly. In order to clarify and support the exposition, Iincorporate a certain amount of integrative and explanatory material, while making every effortto be faithful to the substance of Vieira’s work. Certainly most of what appears is extracted inone way or another from the pages of
Pieces of Eight.
In pp. 1-177 of his 1,722 page book, Vieira makes a detailed case that the Constitution allowsonly a hard money (specie, silver, gold) system and disallows government issues of paper moneyat either the state or federal levels. The strength of his case is that it logically integrates andmakes understandable a wide variety of evidence by showing the consistency of each piece of evidence with other pieces and with the provisions in the Constitution, the latter necessarily being terse but powerful statements.Vieira doesn’t let the matter rest at the year 1789, because for such a critical issue as the nation’smonetary system, it is important (p. 181) “to eradicate any even colorable dispute or doubt as tothe meaning of these constitutional provisions.” The evidence that Vieira brings to bear for the
years 1789-1860 is critical in bolstering and confirming the hard money case and rebutting themodern misinterpretations that aim to justify a system of state money, state paper money,irredeemable money, and state power that finds no support in the original meaning of the U.S.Constitution.The areas addressed in this article are the Coinage Acts of the 1790s and mid-1800s and thegovernment’s issues of Treasury Notes. I do not cover the incorporation of the First and Second