ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India's Failed Transition to a Gold Currency in the 1860s

Recent historical research on the emergence of the classical gold standard tends to omit India's failed attempt at moving to a gold currency in the 1860s. Though this was extensively deliberated upon in contemporary studies and in the works of the late 19th and early 20th century economists and historians, it finds almost no mention in the more recent debate. Revisiting this episode from history, this paper aims to draw attention anew to the important role India played in the evolution of the world monetary system.

The original version of this paper was presented at the Annual Economic History Society Conference held at the University of York in April 2013. I benefi ted greatly from the questions raised there and the discussion that followed. The comments of the EPW referee were also very useful. I am, however, solely responsible for the contents of the paper.

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