It has been noted that in the feudal regime the expenditures of the state were the expenditures of the ruler. This was largely true in all governments before constitutionalism began to grow. An important factor which marked the growth of the constitutional form of government was the increasing control which the public gained over the purse strings. Gradually the expenditures of the ruler were curtailed.

These had been primarily for his own desires, and were for the good of the state only if his desires coincided with the welfare of the state. Expenditures now became justified only when they were primarily for the welfare of the public. This change in the nature of the control of expenditures has taken definite form in the constitutions of many democratic countries. In the United States, for example, bills for raising revenue must originate in the House of Representatives - that branch of the legislature which was directly elected by the people at the adoption of the Constitution.

Growth of Public Credit - The growth of public control over revenues has also done much to strengthen public credit. In the earlier states it was an ordinary occurrence for the ruler to pile up heavy debts; and repudiation, in whole or in part, was just as common. It was the regular practice for a new ruler to repudiate the debts of his predecessor. Under such conditions the institution of public credit was indeed weak. As soon as the citizens began to gain control they began to strengthen the credit system. Since the citizens were the lenders, repudiation was their loss, and it is easily understood why repudiation of state debts has not been a practice under constitutional government.