The Economic History of the United States
9. The American Revolution: Part 3
The Americans successfully used the different tactic guerilla warfare against the staid and rigid British soldiers. War caused a large increase in the paper money supply - the Continental - triggering hyperinflation and loss of purchasing power. The phrase was that something was not worth a Continental.
The French were helpful to the Americans because they were against the world power of Britain. Privateering allowed Americans to transform their ships into private Navy vessels encouraged to steal ships from the other side.
The Articles of Confederation was our first form of government. Falsely considered inadequate, the Articles were overthrown in a coup d'etat. Why did we go from the Articles to the U.S. Constitution? The main justification given by proponents was that the economy could not return to normalcy without a new constitution, but it could have.
The economy after the Revolutionary War, as expected, sank into a depression. There was a pent up demand for British goods. Americans had been hoarding gold and silver. The currency had hyper inflated. The war industries were out of business. Manufacturers now had to compete against British goods. Americans were no longer part of the British empire.
Lecture 9 of 9 from Mark Thornton's The Economic History of the United States.