In the 1840s, several states that defaulted on their debt payments eventually reconciled with creditors, but Mississippi outright repudiated its debt and took steps that encouraged private debtors to do the same. Public and private debtors got away with stiffing their creditors because the popular election of judges to relatively short terms made the courts vulnerable to political pressures.

Clifford F. Thies is the Eldon R. Lindsay Professor of Economics and Finance at Shenandoah University.
Business and EntrepreneurshipEconomic History and DevelopmentEconomistsEconomyFiscal Policy/DebtGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPhilosophy and ReligionPolitical Theory
Other Independent Review articles by Clifford F. Thies
Spring 2023 Unintended Consequences: A Critical Review of Child Support Enforcement
Spring 2023 The Myth of American Inequality
Summer 2016 Reputation Overrides Record: How Warren G. Harding Mistakenly Became the “Worst” President of the United States
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