In the History of the US Currency, in the early days of the nation, before and just after the revolution, Americans used English, Spanish, and French money.
In 1690 The Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first paper money in the colonies, which would later form the United States.
In 1775 American colonists issued paper currency for the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War. The notes were backed by the “anticipation” of tax revenues.
To support the Revolutionary War, the continental Congress chartered the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the nation’s first “real” bank in 1791.
By 1785 The Continental Congress determined that the official monetary system would be based on the dollar for us in America.
After adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the First Bank of the United States until 1811.
The federal monetary system was established with the creation of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The first American coins were struck in 1793.
The standard second Bank of the United States was chartered for 20 years from 1816.
Starting in 1836, and with minimum regulation, a proliferation of 1,600 local state-chartered, private banks issued paper money. State bank notes, with over 30,000 varieties, were easily counterfeited.
On the brink of bankruptcy in 1861, and pressed to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized the United States Treasury to issue paper money for the first time.
In 1862 United States Notes replaced Demand Notes. Commonly called “Greenbacks,” they were last issued in 1971.
The design of U.S. currency incorporated a Treasury seal, the fine line engraving necessary for the difficult-to-counterfeit intaglio printing, intricate geometric lathe work patterns, and distinctive linen paper with embedded red and blue fibers in 1863.
Gold Certificates were issued by the Department of the Treasury against gold coin and bullion deposits and were circulated until 1933.
In 1865 the Department of the Treasury established the United States Secret Service to control counterfeits.
The next year National Bank Notes, backed by U.S. government securities, became predominant.
The Department of the Treasury’s bureau of Engraving and Printing started printing all U.S. currency in 1877.
The Department of the Treasury was authorized to issue Silver Certificates in 1878 in exchange for silver dollars. The last issue was in the Series of 1957.
The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumed all currency production functions in 1910.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed. It created the Federal Reserve System as the nation’s central bank. What is the Federal Reserve Bank?
As a next step, currency was reduced in size by 25 percent in 1929.
Paper currency was first issued with “In God We Trust” as required by Congress in 1955.
A security thread and Micro printing were introduced in 1990, first in $50 and $100 notes.
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