You are here

United States Congress Resolution, Payment of Foreign and Domestic Debt, September 27, 1785

US Congress resolution for payment of foreign and domestic debt

US Congress resolution for payment of foreign and domestic debt

New York State Archives, NYSA_A0142-77_0007a
 
Document Description
United States Congress resolution for payment of foreign and domestic debt, September 27, 1785.
 
Questions
How much money must be deposited in the Treasury by May 1786? How will this money be distributed and why?
To which nations does the United States owe money?
What responsibility do the states have in this transaction?
Which state has the greatest burden? Which the least?
In what forms of currency can the sums be paid?
By what date must the payments be made?
What incentives does each state have to pay their share of the monies on time?
What other way does the federal government have the ability to raise revenues?
 
Historical Challenges
Research the way in which the US government raises revenue today.
 
 
 

Historical Context
The American Revolution created a large national debt with millions owed to the French and Dutch governments. Individual states were also heavily in debt. Individual investors who purchased war bonds worried that they would never be able to reclaim their investment.
Each state created its own currency which was rejected by other countries in favor of gold and silver. The financial security of the new nation was threatened by a lack of hard currency backed by gold or silver. Congress took steps to repay the debt and stabilize the new American economy.
 
 
Essential Question
How did the American Revolution change the way Americans attempted to satisfy their basic needs and want?
 
Check for Understanding
What economic situation did the United States find itself in after the Revolutionary War and what steps did the Congress take to alleviate this problem?