This chapter discusses how the mainland colonies of British North America underwent profound economic, social, and political changes during the 18th century. The American Revolution was as much a monetary phenomenon as a fiscal (tax) one. In addition to shaking off those pesky little taxes, the colonists rebelled to gain control over the domestic money supply and interest rates and hence the market value of their property. Ironically, the financial stress of the Revolutionary War created monetary chaos, rampant inflation, extremely high interest rates, and large property value fluctuations. Out of those difficulties, however, emerged a modern financial sector that laid the basis for America's ultimate political unification and economic development. The American Revolution did more than give the thirteen mainland colonies their political independence. That new government laid the foundation for the financial revolution that funded the transportation, market, and industrial revolutions of the 19th century.
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