Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Money Plurality in the Early Modern Colonial Context : The Mascarene Islands’ Case

Sep 12, 2022, 11:40 AM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Juliette Francoise (University of Geneva ; University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne )


The Mascarene Islands (Mauritius and Réunion), a French overseas territory during the 18th century, are an interesting case for examining the complexity of money in a colonial context. The specificity of the Mascarene monetary system is largely linked to the insular and colonial context that shapes the means of currency provision and monetary practices.
I wish to explain the diversity of means of payment instruments that circulate in this micro-territory: French colonial coins, foreign coins such as the Spanish dollar or pieces of eight, paper money issued by the French colonial administration, letters of exchange and payment receipts that change hands.
Using numismatics and French archives, this paper has three objectives: first, to present the monetary plurality and its causes; second, to highlight the conversion mechanisms that enable the Mascarene monetary system to function as a whole; third, to examine the consequence of this monetary configuration on money credibility and on economic activity.

Primary author

Juliette Francoise (University of Geneva ; University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne )

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