During the Coinage Crisis of 1695, John Locke successfully advocated a full recoinage without devaluation by insisting on silver money's “intrinsick value.” The Great Recoinage has ever since been seen as a crucial step toward the Financial Revolution and it was long regarded as Locke's most consequential achievement. This article places Locke's intervention in the context of the postrevolutionary English state at war and reads his monetary pamphlets as an integral, if largely neglected, part of his political philosophy. Instead of taking Locke's insistence on “intrinsick value” itself at face value, I argue that it was precisely money's fragile conventionality that threatened its role as a societal bond of trust. In response to this fragility and corruptibility, Locke tied money by fiat to an initially arbitrary but unalterable quantity of metal. While Locke's argument contributed to the modern naturalization of money, it arose from a paradoxical political act of monetary depoliticization.
1 Goldie, Mark, “Coinage and Commerce, 1695–1696,” in Locke, John, John Locke: Selected Correspondence, ed. Goldie, Mark (Oxford, 2002), 213–29, at 213.
2 The first was his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), the second his Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), which were initially published anonymously but carried his name by the third edition in 1695.
3 While the procedural implementation of the recoinage deviated in a number of ways from Locke's advice, his insistence on a recoinage without devaluation succeeded.
4 Locke's monetary thought, I argue below, thus constitutes an important exception to Duncan Bell's otherwise apt observation that Locke's political thought largely failed to excite prior to its mid-twentieth-century liberal refashioning.
5 As the historian Albert Feavearyear summarized in 1931, Locke's monetary opinion “has been looked back to ever since as a sterling example to be kept in mind at any time when there may be a temptation to alter the standard of the Mint.” Feavearyear, Albert, The Pound Sterling: A History of English Money (Oxford, 1931), 135.
6 King, Lord, The Life and Letters of John Locke, with extracts from his correspondence, journals and common-place books (London, 1829), 240–45.
7 Macaulay, Thomas Babington, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second [1849–55], vol. 2 (London, 1871), 547.
8 Marx, Karl, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Fowkes, Ben (London, 1976), 126 n. 4.
9 By 1824, in its twelfth edition, the fourth volume contained first the three coinage essays and only then the Two Treatises. Locke, John, Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, 12th edn (London, 1824).
10 Appleby, Joyce Oldham, “Locke, Liberalism and the Natural Law of Money,” Past & Present 71 (May 1976), 43–69; reprinted in Appleby, Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination (Cambridge, 1992), 58–89.
11 Appleby, Joyce Oldham, Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth Century England (Princeton, 1978), 203.
12 Appleby, “Locke, Liberalism and the Natural Law of Money,” 73.
13 For a powerful critique of Appleby's reading see Carey, Daniel, “John Locke, Money, and Credit,” in Carey, Daniel and Finlay, Christopher J., eds., The Empire of Credit: The Financial Revolution in the British Atlantic World, 1688–1815 (Dublin, 2011), 25–51.
14 Caffentzis, Constantine George, Clipped Coins, Abused Words, and Civil Government: John Locke's Philosophy of Money (New York, 1989); Dawson, Hannah, Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy (Cambridge, 2007); Carey, Daniel, “John Locke's Philosophy of Money,” in Carey, , ed., Money and Political Economy in the Enlightenment (Oxford, 2014), 57–81; Carey, “Locke's Species: Money and Philosophy in the 1690s,” Annals of Science 70/3 (2013), 357–80; Casson, Douglas John, “John Locke, Clipped Coins, and the Unstable Currency of Public Reason,” Etica & Politica 18/2 (2016), 153–80.
15 O'Brien, John, “John Locke, Desire, and the Epistemology of Money,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15/4 (2007), 685–708, at 686.
16 Polanyi, Karl, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston, 2001), 147.
17 To protect money against political meddling, Locke called on the state to enforce an arbitrary standard that would remain fixed and at least not nominally fluctuate with silver's world market price. As Appleby herself noted, “by insisting that gold and silver alone were money, Locke not only dismissed the power of civil authority to create value, he also avoided consideration of that value which came from utility and which fluctuated with demand.” Appleby, “Locke, Liberalism and the Natural Law of Money,” 66–7.
18 Dunn, John, “The Concept of ‘Trust’ in the Politics of John Locke,” in Rorty, Richard, Schneewind, Jerome B., and Skinner, Quentin, eds., Philosophy in History: Essays in the Historiography of Philosophy (Cambridge, 1984), 279–301; Nacol, Emily, “The Risks of Political Authority: Trust, Knowledge and Political Agency in Locke's Second Treatise,” Political Studies Review 59/3 (2011), 580–95; Schröder, Peter, “Fidem Observandam Esse: Trust and Fear in Hobbes and Locke,” in Kontler, Laszlo and Somos, Mark, eds., Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought (Leiden, 2017), 99–117.
19 Jeremy Waldron in particular has drawn attention to Locke's “paradoxical combination of legislative supremacy and legislative constraint.” Waldron, Jeremy, Political Political Theory (Cambridge, MA, 2016), 20.
20 Levy, Jonathan, “Capital as Process and the History of Capitalism,” Business History Review 91/3 (2017), 1–28; Levy, “Appreciating Assets: New Directions in the History of Political Economy,” American Historical Review 122/5 (2017), 1490–99; Desan, Christine, “The Market as a Matter of Money: Denaturalizing Economic Currency in American Constitutional History,” Law and Social Inquiry 30 (2005), 1–60.
21 Desan, Christine, Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (Oxford, 2015); Sklansky, Jeffrey, Sovereign of the Market: The Money Question in Early America (Chicago, 2017).
22 Hont, Istvan, Jealousy of Trade: International Competition and the Nation-State in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, MA, 2005); Sonenscher, Michael, Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality, and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution (Princeton, 2007); Foucault, Michel, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979, ed. Senellart, Michel (Basingstoke, 2008); Rothschild, Emma, Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment (Cambridge, MA, 2001); Tribe, Keith, The Economy of the Word: Language, History, and Economics (Oxford, 2015).
23 Sklansky, Jeffrey, “The Elusive Sovereign: New Intellectual and Social Histories of Capitalism,” Modern Intellectual History 9/1 (2012), 233–48, at 234.
24 Desmedt, Ludovic, “Les fondements monétaires de la ‘révolution financière’ anglaise: le tournant de 1696,” in Théret, Bruno, ed., La monnaie dévoilée par ses crises (Paris, 2007), 311–38, at 325. Carey, “Locke's Philosophy of Money,” 58; Mayhew, Nicholas, Sterling: The Rise and Fall of a Currency (London, 1999), 97; Ormazabal, Kepa, “Lowndes and Locke on the Value of Money,” History of Political Economy 44/1 (2012), 157–80, at 158.
25 The new milled coins were resistant to clipping thanks to their edges being inscribed with a motto (decus et tutamen, “an ornament and a safeguard”) taken from Virgil's Aeneid (Book V, line 262) that can still be found on one-pound coins to this day.
26 Locke himself adamantly refused to accept clipped coins, rejecting them as not “the lawfull coin” of England. Locke, John, The Correspondence of John Locke, ed. E. S. De Beer, 8 vols. (Oxford, 1979–89), 5: letter 1908, 381.
27 Dwyryd Jones goes as far as describing clipping as a “lucky circumstance” and “salvation that allowed England to hang on for longer it otherwise would have been able to.” Jones, Dwyryd W., War and Economy: In the Age of William III and Marlborough (New York, 1988), 247–8.
28 Macaulay, History of England, 545.
29 Pincus, Steven, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven, 2009), 438, 608 n. 3.
30 John Locke to William Molyneux, 30 March 1696, Correspondence of John Locke, 5: letter 2059, 594.
31 Evelyn, John, Numismata: A Discourse of Medals, Antient and Modern (London, 1697), 221–3.
32 Childs, John, The Nine Years’ War and the British Army, 1688–1697 (Manchester, 2013), 26.
33 Ibid., 1. See also Bowen, H. V., War and British Society 1688–1815 (Cambridge, 1998), as well as the excellent Jones, War and Economy.
34 Kelly, Patrick Hyde, “General Introduction,” in Kelly, , ed., Locke on Money, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1991), 1: 1–106, at 39.
35 Bowen, War and British Society, 13; Jones, War and Economy, 19.
36 As Childs puts it starkly, “William could not acquire enough hard cash to pay his British troops and the foreign contingents funded by the English Treasury, nor could he meet the demands of the various bread, waggon and forage contractors.” Childs, Nine Years’ War, 305–6.
37 Ibid., 268–9.
38 Ibid., 297. Li, Ming-Hsun, The Great Recoinage of 1696 to 1699 (London, 1963), 58. See also Levenson, Thomas, Newton and the Counterfeiter (London, 2010), 115.
39 “The King's Speech Reported” (26 Nov. 1695), in Journal of the House of Commons, vol. 11, 339. As partially quoted in Levenson, Newton and the Counterfeiter, 116.
40 “The King's Speech,” 339.
41 Ibid., 339.
42 For the historiography of the Coinage Crisis, see Feavearyear, The Pound Sterling; Horsefield, J. Keith, British Monetary Experiments, 1650–1710 (Cambridge, MA, 1960); Li, The Great Recoinage; Dickson, G. M., The Financial Revolution in England: A Study in the Development of Public Credit, 1688–1756 (London, 1967); Mara Caden, Mint Conditions: The Politics and Geography of Money in Britain and its Empire, 1690–1750 (forthcoming).
43 For a discussion of the different factions concerning the timing of recoinage see Li, The Great Recoinage, 65.
44 [Locke], Short Observations on a Printed Paper. Intituled, For Encouraging the Coining Silver Money in England, and after for keeping it here (London, 1695). Reprinted in Kelly, Locke on Money, 2: 345–59. John Freke and Edward Clarke to Locke, 28 Feb. 1695, Correspondence of John Locke, 5: letter 1853, 278; Woolhouse, Roger, Locke: A Biography (Cambridge, 2007), 322, 355.
45 John Locke, “Propositions Sent to the Lords Justices,” in Kelly, Locke on Money, 2: 374–80. While Locke was giving advice and writing pamphlets he still moved outside the public eye—pleading with his correspondents to keep his name out of it. “But, pray, whatever use you make of it, conceal my name.” Locke to William Molyneux, 20 November 1695, Correspondence of John Locke, 5: letter 1966, 464.
46 Lowndes, William, A Report Containing An Essay for the Amendment of the Silver Coins (London, 1695).
47 While Lowndes was right that raising the coin had been a widespread policy for hundreds of years across all of Europe, the English standard (as well as, interestingly, the Dutch one) had not been raised for decades, though at least in the English case largely due to political weakness and instability. Braudel, Fernand, Civilization and Capitalism, vol. 1 (Berkeley, 1992), 458.
48 Desan, Making Money, 267–74.
49 Lowndes, Report, 56.
50 In March 1695, this would have meant a devaluation of around 9 percent, but as the gap between the price of silver and the nominal value of coins widened the adjustment necessary to restore parity rose with it. By September 1695, Lowndes recommended a nominal raise of 20 percent. Lowndes, Essay for the Amendment of the Silver Coins, 123. Carey, “Locke's Philosophy of Money,” 58.
51 Locke, John, Further Considerations Concerning Raising the Value of Money. Wherein Mr. Lowndes's Argument for it in his late Report concerning An Essay for the Amendment of the Silver Coins, are particularly Examined (London, 1695). A second edition with corrections appeared already on 9 January 1696. Locke later added his two earlier anonymous pamphlets from 1692 and January 1695 and published the volume as Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c. Writ upon several occasions, and published at different times. By John Locke Esq (London, 1696).
52 Pincus, 1688, 460; Carey, “John Locke, Money, and Credit,” 45.
53 Barbon, Nicholas, A Discourse Concerning Coining the New Money Lighter. in answer to Mr. Lock's Considerations about raising the value of money (London, 1696), 1.
54 Ibid., 96.
55 Ibid., 92.
56 Usher, Abbott Payson, “Introduction,” in Usher, , ed., Two Manuscripts by Charles Davenant (Baltimore, 1942), iii–x, at vi.
57 Charles Davenant, “A Memorial Concerning the Coyn of England, November 1695,” in Usher, Two Manuscripts by Charles Davenant, 5–63, at 8.
58 Christopher Wren, “Proposal,” in Li, The Great Recoinage, 183–94, at 183.
59 Ibid., 183.
60 Charles Davenant, “A memoriall concerning Creditt” (1696), in Usher, Two Manuscripts by Charles Davenant, 67–108. Crucially, however, Davenant embraced the possibilities of credit money more fully than Locke ever did. See Carey, “John Locke, Money, and Credit,” 42–4; Li, The Great Recoinage, 63.
61 Isaac Newton, “Concerning the Amendment of English Coins,” in Li, The Great Recoinage, 217–23.
62 Ibid., 217.
63 Ibid., 222.
64 A collection of the monetary views of Locke's contemporaries can be found as an appendix to Li, The Great Recoinage, 182–239. See also McCulloch, John Ramsay, ed., A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money (London, 1856).
65 Locke's library included five works by Petty and in his papers can be found two further unpublished papers by Petty. Kelly, “General Introduction,” 97.
66 Petty, William, “Quantulumcunque concerning Money,” in The Economic Writings of William Petty, ed. Hull, Charles Henry, vol. 2 (Cambridge, 1899), 437–48.
67 Ibid., 440. Question 14 equally resembled Locke's position: “Why hath Money been raised, or retrencht, or imbased by many wise States, and so often? Answ. When any State doth these things, they are like Bankrupt Merchants.” Ibid., 443.
68 Li, The Great Recoinage, 81–2.
69 Ibid., 82.
70 John Locke, “Some of the Consequences that are likely to follow upon lessening of interest to 4 per cent,” in Kelly, Locke on Money, 1: 167–202.
71 Ibid., 202.
72 Ibid., 172.
73 Locke, John, “Second Tract,” in Locke, Political Essays, ed. Mark Goldie (Cambridge, 1997), 56–7.
74 On the sovereign right of coinage see also Grotius, Hugo, The Rights of War and Peace, ed. Tuck, Richard (Indianapolis, 2005), Book 2, chap. 4, section 13, 502.
75 At the same time as Locke made his first serious foray into questions of money he was tasked by Ashley with writing The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. Armitage, David, “John Locke, Carolina, and the Two Treatises of Government,” Political Theory 32/5 (2004), 602–27. Locke even prepared a new decimal currency for the colony based on the sterling penny. Kelly, “General Introduction,” 5.
76 Locke, “Some of the Consequences,” 195.
77 For the dating of Locke's encounter with Pufendorf see Marshall, John, John Locke: Resistance, Religion and Responsibility (Cambridge, 1994), 203. When later asked to compile a reading list on politics and the origin of society, Locke placed Pufendorf's De Jure on top of his list of recommended books. Locke, Political Essays, 377. In Some Thoughts concerning Education (§186), he similarly singled out Pufendorf.
78 Pufendorf, Samuel, On the Duty of Man and Citizen according to Natural Law (1673), ed. Tully, James, trans. Silverthorne, Michael (Cambridge, 1991), Book 1, chap. 14, 96.
79 Locke, John, “The Second Treatise of Government. An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government,” in Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. Laslett, Peter (Cambridge, 1988), 265–428, para. 34.
80 Ibid., para. 45.
81 Hont, Istvan, Politics in Commercial Society: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith (Cambridge, MA, 2015), 67. See also Hont, “Adam Smith's History of Laws and Government as Political Theory,” in Richard Bourke and Raymond Geuss, eds., Political Judgement (Cambridge, 2009), 131–71, at 143–4, esp. 144 n. 46.
82 Ince, Onur Ulas, “Enclosing in God's Name, Accumulating for Mankind: Money, Morality, and Accumulation in John Locke's Theory of Property,” Review of Politics 73/1 (2011), 29–54. The theological ambivalence of this productive deceit can be detected in Locke's tone when discussing the seductive power of money in his educational writings. Locke admonished parents, for example, to delay contact with money for as long as possible and to avoid monetary rewards. [Locke, John], Some Thoughts Concerning Education (London, 1693), 51–2.
83 Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, 167–81, esp. 175 where the point is made succinctly in passing; Tully, James, A Discourse on Property: John Locke and His Adversaries (Cambridge, 1980), 98; and Hont, Istvan and Ignatieff, Michael, “Needs and Justice in the Wealth of Nations: An Introductory Essay,” in Hont, and Ignatieff, , Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1983), 1–44, at 39.
84 Pufendorf, Samuel, De Jure Naturae et Gentium: Of the Law of Nature and Nations, with an Introduction by W. Simmons, trans. Oldfather, C. H. and Oldfather, W. A. (Oxford, 1934), Book 5, chap. 1, 467, 690.
85 Locke, Second Treatise, para. 36.
86 Ibid., para. 49. On this see also Tully, James, “Aboriginal Property and Western Theory: Recovering a Middle Ground,” Social Philosophy and Policy 11/2 (1994), 153–80; and Ince, Onur Ulas, Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism (Oxford, 2018), 38–73.
87 Richard Tuck, in particular, has emphasized the novelty of this argument. See Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, 175. Already Jean Barbeyrac perceived this to be the truly novel and provocative feature of the fifth chapter of the Second Treatise. Samuel Pufendorf, Le droit de la nature et des gens, 2 vols., translated and annotated by Jean Barbeyrac, 4th edn (1732; first published 1706), 4.4.3 n. 4, 4.4.4 n. 2, 4.4.9 n. 2, 4.6.2 n. 1.
88 Locke, Second Treatise, para. 35.
89 Arneil, Barbara, John Locke and America: The Defence of English Colonialism (Oxford, 1996), 145.
90 Ince, Colonial Capitalism, 57–60.
91 Locke, Second Treatise, para. 46.
92 Ibid., para. 184.
93 Locke, “Propositions Sent to the Lords Justices,” 374.
94 For this link between Locke's philosophies of money and his account of language in the Essay, I here draw on the work of Caffentzis, Clipped Coins, 77–123; and Carey, “Locke's Philosophy of Money,” 74–81. Both insist, rightly I think, on crucial parallels between Locke's discussion of language and money, though I diverge from them in the way I reconstruct Locke's drawing of a disanalogy between metal money and words.
95 Forde, Steven, Locke, Science, and Politics (Cambridge, 2013).
96 Locke, John, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. with an Introduction by Nidditch, Peter H. (Oxford, 1979), 3.9.7.
97 Ibid., 3.10.12.
98 Dawson, Hannah, “Locke on Language in (Civil) Society,” History of Political Thought 26/3 (2005), 397–425, at 402; See also Dawson, Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy, 286–9.
99 Dawson, Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy, 289.
100 Locke, Essay, 3.5.3.
101 Ibid., 3.9.11.
102 Caffentzis, Clipped Coins, 78.
103 Dawson, Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy, 289. The opacity of language and its constitutive reliance on the precarious semantic malleability of mixed modes could at best be contained by clarity and consistency. Locke, Essay, 3.9.8 and 3.11.8–9.
104 Locke, “Some of the Consequences,” 172–3.
105 Fool's gold could now be revealed as such in the laboratories that both Locke and Newton operated. Newman, William R., Atoms and Alchemy: Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution (Chicago, 2006); Anstey, Peter R., John Locke and Natural Philosophy (Oxford, 2011), 176–7.
106 Locke, John, Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money (London, 1692); reprinted as Locke, “Some Considerations,” in Kelly, Locke on Money, 1: 203–342.
107 Locke, “Some Considerations,” 213.
108 Ibid., 214.
109 Locke, “Further Considerations,” 416.
110 All creditors, Locke explained, would be “defrauded” by 20 percent of their loans. This was particularly tragic for those who had entrusted their savings to the postrevolutionary Whig state, for example by investing in the Million Lottery. Locke, “Further Considerations,” 417. That recoinage at the old rate would at the same time violate the property of debtors who had contracted their debt in clipped coins was initially not mentioned by Locke—though he added a minor concession in later printings. Locke, “Further Considerations,” 477.
111 Feavearyear, The Pound Sterling, 124.
112 Locke's pamphlet was “mightyly Commended at Courtt.” Martha Lockhart to Locke, 4 Jan. 1696, cited in Kelly, “General Introduction,” 37.
113 Newton was promoted from warden to master of the Mint in 1700, a post he held until the end of his life in 1727. For an account of the importance of capital punishment in defending the post-Recoinage monetary system, see Wennerlind, Carl, Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620–1720 (Cambridge, MA, 2011), 123–57. On Newton's initially reluctant but then meticulously earnest and devastatingly effective pursuit of counterfeiters see Levenson, Newton and the Counterfeiter, 107–44.
114 Carey, “Locke's philosophy of money,” 57 n. 3.
115 Reading Locke on coinage, Schumpeter remarked, a “sorry picture unfolds itself before the eyes.” Schumpeter, Joseph A., History of Economic Analysis, ed. Schumpeter, Elizabeth Boody (New York, 1954), 117. Sargent and Velde declare Locke's monetary advice an “embarrassment” to the discipline of economics. Sargent, Thomas J. and Velde, François R., The Big Problem of Small Change (Princeton, 2002), 288.
116 The standard view, with deep roots in British Whig historiography, has by contrast long been that his recommendations were straightforwardly “adopted as government policy.” Milton, J. R., “Locke's Life and Times,” in Chappell, Vere, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Locke (Cambridge, 1994), 5–25, at 20–21.
117 Jones, War and Economy, 245.
118 As quoted in ibid., 246.
119 Childs, Nine Years’ War, 306.
120 Li, The Great Recoinage, 67.
121 Laslett, Peter, “John Locke, the Great Recoinage and the Board of Trade,” William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series 14/3 (1957), 370–402.
122 Locke, “Further Considerations,” 415. Locke employed an almost identical phrasing in Locke, “Propositions Sent to the Lords Justices,” 375.
123 Locke, “Some Considerations,” 213, 231, 336; Locke, “Further Considerations,” 418, 463–7; Locke, Short Observations on a Printed Paper, 357; as well as Locke, “Paper given to Sir William Trumbull,” in Kelly, Locke on Money, 2: 365–73, at 368; and Locke, “Propositions Sent to the Lords Justices,” 376–7.
124 Locke, “Some Considerations,” 213. The circulation of clipped coins had to be stopped, Locke wrote, “or else we are undon.” “Its continuance will unevitably ruin the nation.” Locke to Cornelius Lyde, 24 April 1696, in Correspondence of John Locke, 5: letter 2072, 616.
125 Dunn, John, “Trust,” in Dunn, The History of Political Theory and other Essays (Cambridge, 1995), 91–9. Dunn, Locke: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2003), 64. On the broader significance of trust see also Dunn, “Toleration, Trust and the Travails of Living Together Globally,” in Laszlo Kontler and Mark Somos, eds., Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought (Leiden, 2017), 19–32, at 30-2.
126 “That Men should keep the Compacts, is certainly a great and undeniable Rule of Morality.” Locke, Essay, 1.3.5.
127 Locke, Second Treatise, para. 128.
128 Locke, John, Essays on the Law of Nature: The Latin Text with a Translation, Introduction and Notes, ed. Leyden, Wolfgang von (Oxford, 1954), 118–19; Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration: Latin and English Texts Revised and Edited with Variants and an Introduction, ed. Mario Montuori (The Hague, 1963), 92. Locke thus reinterpreted the concept of the vinculum of the Church in terms of civic trust. See Bejan, Teresa, Mere Civility (Cambridge, MA, 2017), 112–43; Bejan, Teresa, “John Locke on Toleration, (In)civility, and the Quest for Concord,” History of Political Thought 37/3 (2016), 556–87. This meant in turn that the untrustworthy had to be excluded from religious toleration. In particular atheists posed a profound danger according to Locke. See Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, 52–3.
129 Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, 12.
130 Locke, “Some Considerations,” 329.
131 Locke, “Further Considerations,” 415.
132 Locke, “Some Considerations,” 312.
133 Laski, Harold J., Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham (New York and London, 1920); Macpherson, Crawford Brough, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke (Oxford, 1964); Appleby, “Locke, Liberalism and the Natural Law of Money.”
134 Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, 206.
135 Desan, Making Money, 345, 73. Felix Martin has similarly credited—or rather charged—Locke with having effected “a complete reversal of perspective” that single-handedly displaced more than a millennium of monetary wisdom. Martin, Felix, Money: The Unauthorised Biography (London, 2014), 129–30. See also Sartori, Andrew, Liberalism in Empire: An Alternative History (Oakland, 2014), 7–11.
136 On the significance of public debt for eighteenth-century political thought see Sonenscher, Before the Deluge, 1–21.
137 This ambivalence toward credit is well captured by his attitude toward the Bank of England. When the bank was founded in 1694, Locke's response betrayed a characteristic double play. While he became one of its founding investors in June 1694 by investing five hundred pounds, he refused to lend the bank his voice. Bank of England Archive, 10A20/1.
138 James Hodges to Locke, 8 Feb. 1697, Correspondence of John Locke, 5: letter 2194, 777.
139 Locke, “Further Considerations,” 403–4.
140 Smith, Adam, “Early Draft of the Wealth of Nations,” in Smith, , Lectures on Jurisprudence, ed. Meek, R. L., Raphael, D. D., and Stein, P. G. (Oxford, 1978), 502 [LJ (B) 242]; 101 [LJ(A)81]; Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed. R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner (Oxford, 1976), 43–4 [I.iv.11] and 929–32 [V.iii.59–64].
141 Smith, “Early Draft of the Wealth of Nations,” 370 [LJ (A) vi, 106].
*For helpful comments on earlier drafts, I thank Teresa Bejan, Seyla Benhabib, David Blaazer, Christine Desan, Andrew Edwards, Bryan Garsten, Alex Gourevitch, David Grewal, Robert Hockett, Onur Ulas Ince, Desmond Jagmohan, Steven Kelts, Daniel Lee, Karuna Mantena, Emily Nacol, Isaac Nakhimovsky, Andrew Sartori, Mark Somos, and Adam Tooze. I am particularly grateful to the anonymous reviewers and Duncan Kelly for their advice.
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