The Kipper und Wipper Inflation, 1619-23 An Economic History with Contemporary German Broadsheets Martha White Paas, John Roger Paas, George C. Schoolfield

Yale Series in Economic and Financial History
Publication date:
26 Jun 2012
Yale University Press
192 pages: 279 x 216 x 17mm
27 b-w plates, one map
Sales territories:


This book is an economic analysis of the Kipper und Wipper inflation of 1619–23, the most serious German inflation before the hyperinflation following World War I, with a particular focus on how it affected people’s lives and behavior. The volume features full-page reproductions of rare contemporary broadsheets—early forerunners of the modern newspaper—with striking illustrations and engaging texts. Published here in their entirety and for the first time in superb English translation, they are a unique window on society at the time and give a voice to the people who were actually devastated by the inflation.

Martha White Paas is Wadsworth A. Williams Professor of Economics and John Roger Paas is professor of German at Carleton College. George C. Schoolfield is professor emeritus of Scandinavian and Germanic languages and literatures at Yale University.

"A brilliant documentary history of the devastating inflation at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War. With 27 illustrated broadsheets, expertly introduced and translated, we can almost feel the prejudices of 400 years ago. Never before has monetary history seemed so human."—H. C. Erik Midelfort, author of A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany

"A fascinating historical tale of debasers and devils, of minters and monetary malfeasance.  The anguished laments of these satirical prints and rhymed condemnations of human greed seem unsettlingly universal." —Jeffrey Chipps Smith, author of Sensuous Worship: Jesuits and the Art of the Early Catholic Reformation

"Could there be a more topical book? As fiscal contagion spreads through Europe, and newspaper headlines and images threatened retribution, we learn it’s happened before—except that in 1619-23 Germany spread the fiscal contagion while broadsheets provided both images and threats."—Geoffrey Parker, author of Europe in Crisis, 1598-1648