Expediency also forced the colony of Massachusetts Bay to take the concept of "bearer" promissory notes a step further. In 1690 the legislature found itself faced with an immediate need to pay expenses relating to a military action against Canada during King William's War. On December 10, 1690 the Massachusetts General Court authorized the issuing of £7,000 in public paper currency. This novel solution seemed the only way to immediately satisfy the soldiers and creditors of the otherwise bankrupt colony. At the time no one realized this was the first public paper money issued in the history of Western civilization.