Selling Scrip to America: Ideology, Self-help and the experiments of the Great Depression

Although there was no single pattern to the use of alternative currency in America during the Great Depression, the arguments used by supporters of scrip often played on common themes.  Support for scrip reflected the belief that local resources could be marshaled to combat the economic situation.  Although the Depression was a national (and international) crisis, many scrip advocates believed that they would be able to focus improvement within one particular community.  Scrip appealed to American notions of self-help and individualism.  Even faced with the challenges of the Depression, few Americans were willing to embrace radical change.  Advocates of alternative currency had to walk a fine line between emphasizing the innovative possibilities of scrip and reassuring the public that these plans were simply a means to “prime the pump” of an essentially sound economic system.

Sarah Elvins

To cite this article: Elvins, S. (2012) ‘Selling Scrip To America: Ideology, Self-help and the Experiments of the Great Depression’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 14-21  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.008

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