What Happened To Currency Printed By Congress And State Governments In The 1770s And 1780s?
Currency printed by the Continental Congress and the state governments of America during the 1770s and 1780s went ‘Worthless’ by the end of the Revolutionary War.
But why it became worthless?
Its first reason is the Continental Government started printing vast amounts of currencies to fulfil the Revolutionary War’s monetary needs.
Secondly, Continental Congress and States had no coordination over one particular monetary policy.
And thirdly, Britain’s counterfeit gangs also contributed to making it worthless.
These are the three primary reasons why continentals’ (or money) value significantly reduced.
These things broadly ruined the economy of American after the war.
At that time, regarding its currency, a phase went very popular.
The phase was – Not worth a continental.
As per some sources of US history, Congress issued a total of $241,552,780 continental currencies.
Important Facts About The American Currency
1. During the American Revolutionary War, Continental Congress started printing currencies from the denomination 1/6 to 80 dollars.
2. In 1751, 1764, and 1773, the Parliament of Great Britain passed some Paper Bills of Credit Acts to regulate the paper money in the 13 colonies.
Although, once the Revolutionary War began, colonists no longer followed the regulations imposed by the British Parliament.
3. Though the 13 colonies were a part of the British Empire and Spain was an enemy of Britain, but Spanish dollars widely circulated in the 13 colonies.
4. During the Revolutionary War, British counterfeit gangs, contributed to devaluing colonial currencies; when such people were caught, they were given the death penalty.
5. Before independence, American currencies had three denominations. They were paper currency, specie, and commodity currency.
Commodity currencies were skins of Beaver, toxic raw items mainly tobacco and wampum.
6. Did you know? Before the Revolutionary War, pounds, shillings, and pence were the main denominations of American currency, but not the dollar.
The 13 colonies began adopting the dollar denomination once after the Revolutionary War began.
7. Did you know? The colony of Massachusetts Bay was the first initiative taker in the Western World who started using the paper currency in 1690.
Following Massachusetts, other colonies also began doing the same.