The history of the United States dollar
covers more than 200 years.
The history of the dollar
in North America pre-dates US independence. It began with the issuance of Early American currency
called the colonial script
, whereby the issuance of currency was equal to the goods and services in the economy. Even before the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress had authorized the issuance of dollar denominated coins and currency, since the term 'dollar' was in common usage referring to Spanish colonial eight-real coin or Spanish dollar
. Though several monetary systems were proposed for the early republic, the dollar was approved by Congress in a largely symbolic resolution on August 8, 1786. After passage of the Constitution was secured, the government turned its attention to monetary issues again in the early 1790s under the leadership of Alexander Hamilton
, the secretary of the treasury at the time. Congress acted on Hamilton's recommendations in the Coinage Act of 1792
, which established the dollar as the basic unit of account for the United States. The word "dollar" is derived from Low Saxon
", an abbreviation of "Joachimsthaler
" – (coin) from Joachimsthal
(St. Joachim's Valley, now Jáchymov, Bohemia
, then part of the Holy Roman Empire
, now part of the Czech Republic
; for further history of the name, see dollar.
) – so called because it was minted from 1519 onwards using silver... Read More