Paper money was introduced in different countries during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in efforts to help solve economic and liquidity crises. Its use was met with widespread debate and it failed to gain confidence as rapidly as expected. Critics feared the ease with which bills could be counterfeited, the ephemerality of the paper on which this money was printed, and the dangers of excessive inflation that its use entailed. They also pointed to the Mississippi Bubble of 1719 as an example of the disastrous consequences of artificial speculation.

Different forms of printed objects could also be used as money. In New France, for example, the Governor General Jacques De Meulle transformed playing cards into money by writing values on them and affixing a seal onto them. This practice was repeated in Revolutionary France.