What Happened To Currency Printed By Congress And State Governments In The 1770s And 1780s?

The 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 huge amounts of currencies to fulfill the Revolutionary War’s monetary needs.

What Happened To Currency Printed By Congress And State Governments In The 1770s And 1780s

Secondly, Continental Congress and States had no co-ordination over one particular monetary policy.

And thirdly, Britain’s counterfeit gangs also contributed to making it worthless.

These are the three major 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.

Currency Printed By Congress
20 Dollars

Important Facts About The American Currency

1. During the period of the American Revolutionary War, Continental Congress started printing currencies from the denomination 1/6 to 80 dollars.

2. In the years 1751, 1764, and 1773, the Parliament of Great Britain passed some Paper Bills of Credit Acts for regulating 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 penalties.

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 mostly tobacco, and wampum. 

6. Do 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. Do you know, the colony of Massachusetts Bay was the first initiative taker in the Western World, who started the use of paper currency in 1690?

Following Massachusetts, other colonies also began doing the same.


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