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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157791 Find in a Library
Title: Illegal Tender: Counterfeiting and the Secret Service in Nineteenth-Century America
Author(s): D R Johnson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 233
Sponsoring Agency: Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20024
Publication Number: ISBN 1-56098-359-0
Sale Source: Smithsonian Institution
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20024
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book discusses how the widespread 19th-Century practice of counterfeiting threatened the national economy of the U.S. and the Federal Government's authority to control the flow of currency, and how the creation of the Secret Service during the Civil War comprised a successful law enforcement operation that, over time, virtually eliminated counterfeiting.
Abstract: The suppression of counterfeiting illustrates the point that the Civil War had permanently enhanced the power of the central government in American federalism. The first two chapters examine the social and economic structure of counterfeiting during this period in order to describe the problems faced by the newly established Secret Service. The author analyzes how government officials organized the Secret Service into a bureaucracy that rose above local and party interests to serve the Federal Government. The Secret Service's campaign against counterfeiting penetrated local communities and helped to set national standards in law enforcement.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Counterfeiting; History of policing; US Secret Service
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