Chapter 17

John Law and his Experiment with France, 1715–1726

F.R. Velde

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA


The Beginnings

John Law (1671–1729) was born in Edinburgh in a family of goldsmiths. His early life remains fairly obscure; educated in Scotland, he was by his early 20s living a foppish life in London, where he killed a man in a duel in 1694. Sentenced to death, he was allowed to escape and fled England. He spent the next 20 years traveling throughout Europe, spending time in Paris and The Hague, making a living at the gambling tables. He returned to Scotland to publish Money and Trade Considered in 1705: the book was both a treatise on monetary ...

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