Today Week Month

Lincoln's Greenbacks: Constitutional Moments and Monetary Reform.

Start/End Thursday, October 17, 2013 06:30 PM EDT -- 08:15 PM EDT
Location Name JG 103

This seminar will explore the political, economic, and legal innovations leading up to, during, and following the Lincoln Administration and the Civil War, as well as the interrelationship between ante- and post-bellum monetary and financial system innovation and the larger currents of constitutional and social transformation of the period.

Questions to be addressed include:

  • What impact did Abraham Lincoln's presidency have on the historical evolution of the legal architecture of the United States macroeconomy?
  • What were the most significant institutional and legal innovations concerning money that took place during this period?
  • How did these innovations come to be, and what legacy did they impose on subsequent monetary system developments?
  • What lessons can contemporary policymakers take from the Lincoln-era monetary debates?

Moderator: Gillian Metzger, Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law & Vice-Dean, Columbia Law School


  1. Richard Bensel, Associate Chair & Gary S. Davis Professor of Government, Cornell University
  2. David Weiman, Alena Wels Hirschorn Professor of Economics, Barnard College & Member, Columbia History Department 
  3. Tim Canova, Professor of Law and Public Finance, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center

 Contact: Raul Carrillo,