Certain historical cases of inflation have become sufficiently notorious to become textbook examples of government printing presses run riot. In the twentieth century the classic episode was the German hyperinflation of 1923.
The eighteenth century affords us the cases of the American and French Revolutions, and the monetary debasement for which those countries’ governments were responsible. In the American case, the continental currency lost so much of its value that it became common to describe something as worthless by saying it was “not worth a Continental.”
Financing for the American War for Independence included loans and subsidies from the French government as well as the modest sums Congress received as a result of its requisitions upon the states. But paper money played a central role in Revolutionary War finance.