“Practically all the discussion on the relative merits of a centralised monopolistic banking system and a system of competitive banks all possessing equal rights to trade, took a place in a period of some forty to fifty years in the nineteenth century, since when it has never been reopened. In that period, however, the subject was one of the most keenly debated of its time. This is especially true of France, and indeed the period of about twenty years during which French thinkers occupied themselves with this problem is perhaps the most productive of any in French economic literature, both from the point of view of output and from the standpoint of its quality in comparison with that of other countries in the same years.”

Smith, Vera C. (1936) 1990. The Rationale of Central Banking and the Free Banking Alternative. Reprint, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.