Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming.
2400 B.C.: The king of Lagash, part of ancient Sumerian civilization in what is now Iraq, declares a general cancellation of debts. Peasants have come under great economic pressure with the rise of agriculturally based empires. It is the peasants who panic and the monarch who gives them relief, showing that debt hasn't yet become the source of an indelible moral stain, unlike our own time. Debt happens and if it becomes too heavy, the government simply cancels it.