8 Aug: I Need A Dollar

The dollar emerged as the official currency of the United States at a meeting of the Continental Congress on 8th August, 1786. During the American Revolution, various international coins had remained in circulation – alongside commodities like tobacco and cod.

The transition to paper money faced challenges due to counterfeiting concerns, which persisted until the Civil War. The green colour was chosen to prevent easy replication using black and white photography. The value of the dollar was linked to gold until as recently as 1971.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly applaud Benjamin Franklin’s far-sighted interest in creating a new currency; marvel at the extraordinary success the dollar has achieved as the world’s reserve; and reveal the country’s first experiments with a decimal system: Nova Constellatio coins…

Further Reading:

• ‘History of U.S. Currency’ (U.S. Currency Education Program): https://www.uscurrency.gov/history

• ‘Why Is the U.S. Dollar the World’s Currency?’ (HowStuffWorks): https://money.howstuffworks.com/us-dollar-worlds-currency.htm

• ‘The Continental Dollar: How the American Revolution Was Financed with Paper Money’ (US National Archives, 2023):

#Economics #US #Empire #1700s