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as part of the mere, bare, simple process of borrowing that Congress is to be said to have the power of giving to the government paper the quality of money. But it is as part of the borrowing power of a nation;[1] of a body which has other governmental powers, such as the power of establishing a paper currency, and so of annexing to it the legal-tender quality; the power and duty of raising armies and providing for their support, and so of raising money suddenly and in vast quantities; and the like. Such a body may borrow with its currency and with its legal-tender currency.

If there be any exigency, as, for example, that of war, in which the government may make its own notes, or any other, a legal tender, it seeems to be purely a legislative question when such an exigency has in point of fact arisen. This was the unanimous opinion of the Court in Juilliard v. Greenman.


James B. Thayer.


  1. Juilliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, 444–448. The pamphlet of Mr. Bancroft, called out by this case, proceeded upon singular misconceptions, and was unworthy of its author’s fame.