Free Banking in Britain - Theory, Experience and Debate 1800-1845

This classic text has recently been bought back into print

First published in the 1984, this classic title was republished in 1996 but has been out-of-print for a number of years. Recently reprinted, the book is available to buy and as a free PDF download (13 MB).

Free banking, generically speaking, denotes a monetary system without a central bank, under which the issuing of currency is left to private banks. This book explores how this could work in practice by examining how this has worked historically, specifically in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century. After building a theory of free banking, its central chapters explore the history of Scotland’s experience of free banking and the contemporary policy debate over the question of whether Parliament should allow free banking in England.

The final chapters bring the debate forward and examine how free banking could work in modern times. The result is a significantly revised and update edition of a book about privately issued currency.

‘Larry White’s ‘Free Banking in Britain’ is one of those books that alter forever one’s view of the history of monetary p