In 1793, Revolutionary France forced its inflated paper money on all sellers. Revived by Napoleon, this law was transplanted all over the world, crossed legal families and still survives, because it has catered to more needs than the specific problem it was meant to address. As it forces sellers to accept the government’s money, it appealed to other nearly collapsing governments, with inflation or not. Since it forces everyone to respect a symbol of the state, it appealed to legislators favouring political authoritarianism. Since it is a component in management of the economy, it appealed to legislators favouring economic authoritarianism. The article traces one branch in the law’s family tree, going through various phases of the French Revolution to Napoleon, the Ottoman Empire, British Cyprus, British Palestine and Israel. It shows how this law survived and adapted again and again in vastly diverse, easily identifiable political and economic circumstances.
- criminal law