Assignats, the paper currency of the French revolution, first issued in the spring of 1790, to be redeemed by the sale of the confiscated property of the clergy and the emigrants. The assignats kept their value above 90 per cent. till 1792, but from that time they began to droop. The original issue of 1,200,000,000 francs was increased to 45,578,000,000, besides which there were in circulation a great number of counterfeit notes manufactured abroad. Great efforts were made to prop the market, and stringent laws were enacted to fix prices and force the people to accept the notes at their nominal value; but they soon fell to 60 per cent., and in 1795 were worth only 18 per cent. In 1796 they were redeemed at 1/30 of their face in mandats, entitling the holder to enter at once upon possession of the public lands at an estimated price. The mandats soon fell to 1/70 of their nominal value, and in July, 1796, a law was passed authorizing the circulation of mandats at their current value, which resulted in the speedy disappearance of the notes.

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