When did the US make the dollar our national currency?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,051
#31
That's interesting - a futures contract.

The Confederacy choosing to use Spanish dollars over US dollars during the CW would be an exception rather than the rule post 1857.
They were betting more on the Confederacy being in existence in 1868 than what the price of cotton would be.

Yes, I agree. Spanish money was not the standard by the 1860s, but was used by the Confederacy and Confederate states rather than US money for political and image reasons.


As interesting as this discussion is about Spanish dollars, my OP was about British pounds. Does anyone have any similar info on how pounds were used in the US post 1800?
Post 1800? Is there information on how pounds were used in what became the US pre 1775? As I explained the standard currency was Spanish dollars, which was eventually replaced by US dollars. Crowns were almost exactly one Spanish dollar, and pounds 4 Spanish dollars, so they probably were converted. There are five shillings in a crown, which is 8 reales, so it might not have worked so well for smaller amounts.

The colonies did produce their own money and pounds of different colonies had different values. That is a question how much colonial money, British money, and Spanish money were used in colonial times. Obviously, having different currencies created problems we don't have now.

I don't know if there is a way to get statistics on how much each sort of money was used at different times.


Another side note, counterfeiting was not uncommon in those days with both paper money and coins. The Spanish were very harsh of counterfeiters and tracked them down whenever possible.
The value of coins was in their silver or gold content. There was a crime in England called coining, which involved chipping off pieces of coins and melting them down. Convictions for coining almost always resulted in execution in Britain, by burning for women, so I don't see how the Spanish could have dealt for harshly for it. I would think that might have been a problem with Spanish coins in the US, China, or Iran, as there couldn't be prosecutions under Spanish law for coining.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,051
#32
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Counterfeiting coins meant silver plating them and/or making them with a low silver content.There would be know point in making a fake coin with the correct metalic value. The chop marks were the name of the appraiser indicating the coin had the correct silver value. China had a much higher GDP than the US then, so there were many times as many Spanish coins in China than theUS.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,535
#33
The Union victory in the Civil war established the U.S. federally bakes notes as redeemable at face value in gold while simultaneously putting taxes on state and city banks not chartered by the Federal government. Most non federally backed issued tender quickly disappeared as it cost more to use and was not as trustworthy as the Federally backed dollars though it was not until after several panics, and monetary crises that the Federal Reserve system and FDIC in the 1930s really cemented U.S. dollars in the form related to what is used currently.

Even after 1900 many cities issued their own tender payable for taxes or interest-bearing notes (instead of the bonds we see nowadays).
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,051
#34
The larger coins are in half and quarter dollars, corresponding to 4 reales and 2 reales. A crown was one dollar and also 5 shillings, so a dime was exactly a 6-pence piece and a 5-cent US coin corresponded exactly to a 3-pence piece. It is likely the the larger coins used in the 18th century were mostly Spanish, but the smaller ones were British. It probably wouldn't make sense to obtain small denomination Spanish coins through trade. It also may have been easier to not worry about conversions and just use British money for small amounts.

A worker's wage might be a dollar a day or less, so a quarter was a significant amount of money.

It used to be and probably still is true in Canada, that they would take US dollars and give you a percent discount. I am not sure if they will do that anywhere in the US with foreign currency. The store or restaurant gives less of a discount than the exchange rate, so it make money. I would assume that similar approaches were used in dealing with different currencies.

Part of the purpose of chop marks in China was to show that the coin wasn't silver plate or something as well as the appraiser stamping his approval. This indicates that there was a problem with fake Spanish silver coins.
 
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