The Journal of Libertarian Studies
Monetary History of America to 1789: A Historiographical Essay
In no other field is the crucial importance of theory to history more obvious than in the field of economic history. One's knowledge of the concrete historical events may remain unchanged, but if the economic theory applied to those events is altered, then one's entire historical interpretation will of necessity be modified. A historical account can be factually accurate and yet, if the informing economic theory is faulty, give a totally false interpretation. Furthermore, the validity of the theory, in economics at least, is often decided a priori to history, on some other basis. This procedure is not objectionable if the historian's theoretical paradigm is explicit. However, it makes the task of historiography more complex. One must not only consider the overt interpretations and explanations offered by different historians; one must also determine each historian's theoretical framework, whether explicit or implicit, and subject it to theoretical criticism.
Volume 2, Number 4 (1978)
Cite This Article
Hummel, Jeffrey R. "Monetary History of America to 1789: A Historiographical Essay." Journal of Libertarian Studies 2, No.4 (1978): 373-389.