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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 The History Of U.S Currency By: Esmeralda Perez 1690 1739 1764 1775 1792 1791 1781 1785 Colonial Bills Massachusetts Bay Colony, one of the Thirteen Original Colonies, issued the first paper money to cover costs of military expeditions. The practice of issuing paper bills spread to the other Colonies. Franklin's Unique Counterfeit DeterrentBenjamin Franklin's printing firm in Philadelphia printed colonial bills with nature prints---unique raised impressions of patterns cast from actual leaves. This process added an innovative and effective counterfeit deterrent to bills, not completely understood until centuries later. British BanFollowing years of restrictions on colonial paper currency, Britain finally ordered a complete ban on the issuance of paper money by the Colonies. Continental Currency Continental Congress issued paper currency to finance the Revolutionary War. Continental currency was denominated in Spanish milled dollars. Without solid backing and easily counterfeited, the bills quickly lost their value, giving rise to the phrase "not worth a Continental." Congress chartered the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the first national bank, creating it to support the financial operations of the fledgling government. The Dollar Congress adopted the dollar as the money unit of the United States. First Central Bank Congress chartered the Bank of the United States for a 20-year period to serve as the U.S. Treasury's fiscal agent. The bank was the first to perform central bank functions for the government and operated until 1811, when Congress declined to renew the bank's charter. Recognizing that a central banking system was still necessary to meet the nation's financial needs, Congress chartered a second Bank of the United States in 1816 for another 20-year period. Monetary System Coinage Act of 1792 created the U.S. Mint and established a federal monetary system, set denominations for coins, and specified the value of each coin in gold, silver, or copper. 1861 Green Backs The first general circulation of paper money by the federal government occurred in 1861. Pressed to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue non-interest-bearing Demand Bills. These bills acquired the nickname "greenback" because of their color. Today all U.S. currency issued since 1861 remains valid and redeemable at full face value. 1861 First $10 BillsThe first $10 bills were Demand Bills, issued in 1861 by the Treasury Department. A portrait of President Abraham Lincoln appeared on the face of the bills.
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