This chapter states that the congressional tinkering with finances consisted chiefly of running the paper money presses at full speed, the usual practice of popular and, in Morris's opinion, short-sighted governments facing a financial crisis. The revolutionary governments had issued a staggering four to five hundred million dollars during the course of the war. Morris's standards for the other departments were also notched up to an equally high level but came closer to traditional republican ideals. Impeccable leadership in these key administrative posts and their removal from the vagaries of popular politics was the only way the upstart republic could defy its critics and skeptics or possibly even survive. For Morris, the late eighteenth century that engaged his adventurous imagination was a watershed, a historically unprecedented environment involving new experiences, new relationships, and new institutions.
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