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[426] and fifty cents before the war. A suit of clothing which before the war would have cost thirty dollars, could now be obtained for ten or fifteen in gold. In short, gold had greatly appreciated in the Confederacy, and the gold dollar no longer represented the old dollar's worth. The extraordinary demand for it produced by blockade running, and the smuggling trade, and the small supply of it which the war had found in the Confederacy, rendered still smaller by the process of hoarding, had imparted to it an extraordinary value. It had thus ceased to be a standard of value, and had become a very scarce commodity of commerce. The real value of Confederate money is not to be estimated by the quantity of gold which it commanded at the brokers' shops.

The case of gold was different at the North, from that which we have just described. There commerce was unaffected by a blockade; the usual supplies of gold continued to be received; no extraordinary demands of specie for exportation were experienced, and it remained, throughout the period of war, as accurate and reliable a standard of value as ever. The depreciation of Federal currency can therefore be measured with absolute certainty by comparing it with gold. In the Confederacy, however, the case was not the same. As we have seen, gold bore an abnormal value; and conclusions in regard to the depreciation of Confederate money founded merely upon its relation to gold, would be erroneous. The old dollar's worth, if it could be definitely ascertained, in such commodities as were not affected by the condition of war, would be the true standard of value. Until the final six or eight months of the Confederacy, the general transactions of the interiour country proceeded on a basis of value for Confederate money measured by the old dollar's worth, which was much higher than the values furnished by the brokers' quotations in Richmond.

It is interesting to observe the similarity of career which is presented in the cases of the money of the Southern Confederacy, and of the Congress of the first American Confederation. We have already stated the gradual depreciation of the one. The progress of the depreciation in the old Continental money, though somewhat more tardy, was in the same degree. In May, 1777, the Continental paper dollar was worth at the rate of two and two-thirds for one in specie. In December it was worth four for one. In March, 1778, it was worth five for one; in December, six for one. In February, 1779, it was worth ten for one; in June, twenty; in September, twenty-four; in December, thirty-nine. After the year 1779 it seemed to have no value. The total amount of this old Continental money that was issued, was two hundred millions of dollars; and it was worth to those who received it, at the period when paid out by the Government, only thirty-six and a half millions of dollars. A similar scaling of the money of the Confederate Treasury would reduce the cost of the war on the Southern side to less than a thousand millions of dollars. The difference

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