Did taxes, decrees or credibility drive money? Early nineteenth century Finland from a chartalist perspective
Scandinavian Economic History Review, 2018, vol. 66, issue 1, 73-90
Chartalist theories assume the government determines the currency used by the public. Finland’s experience following the Russo-Swedish war in 1808–1809 would seem to contradict the chartalist view. Having become a Grand Duchy under Russia, the Finnish Government sought to replace Swedish riksdalers in circulation with roubles. However, due to a resilient trade surplus with Sweden and the resulting flood of Swedish money into Finland, bans on the riksdaler were largely ineffective. Taxation proved a particularly clumsy tool for leveraging the switch to roubles. Taxpayers almost forced the government to accept payments in a foreign currency. Even the government had to use Swedish money. Issuing roubles was of limited use. As a result, the rouble failed to establish itself as Finland’s main currency until the introduction of a silver standard in 1840–1842.
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