[WORLDKINGS] On this day - April 2, 2023 – The 231st anniversary of the dollar’s establishment as the US currency (1792)


(Worldkings.org) The Mint Act of 1792 established the Dollar as the currency of the United States. About two-thirds of global trade today is based on the US Dollar.

Before 1792, most Americans had money troubles. Goods and services could be exchanged for pieces of gold or silver if people had them. Some would use British or Spanish coins. Tobacco leaves, shells and pieces of land were other options. Colonies issued their own type of paper currency, but it wasn’t reliable to use when trading and traveling. But on April 2, 1792, Congress established what is now one of the most widely recognized symbols in the world: the dollar.


The Coinage Act of 1792 passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, established the United States Mint, and regulated the coinage of the United States. This act established the silver dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.

On May 8, 1792, An Act to Provide For a Copper Coinage was signed into law by President George Washington. It followed the precedent of the Fugio cent of 1787 in establishing the copper cent, from which descends today's one-cent piece.


While the act was meant to simplify purchases, buying things was still complicated. It was rare for people to find these silver coins, because not many were produced. So local banks made their own currency that could be exchanged for gold or silver.

In 1861, Congress needed to find a practical way — a currency that didn’t rely on gold or silver — to pay for the Civil War and its soldiers. So the United States was introduced to the first government-regulated paper bills, also called “demand notes.” The first bills were $5, $10, and $20.

As photographic technology of the day could not reproduce color, it was decided the back of the bills would be printed in a color other than black. Because the color green was seen as a symbol of stability, it was selected. These were known as "greenbacks" for their color and started a tradition of the United States' printing the back of its money in green.

Today, US dollar banknotes are issued in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.


According to Wikipedia & washingtonpost.com

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