Paper currency in the United States is born, issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to fund military expeditions. Other colonies quickly take up the practice of issuing paper notes.
The phrase “not worth a Continental” is coined after the Continental Congress issues paper currency to finance the Revolutionary War, currency that quickly loses its value because of a lack of solid backing and the rise of counterfeiting.
Certain designs of Continental Currency feature illustrations inspired by the thirteen colonies fighting and defeating Great Britain in the American Revolution. These illustrations signify the colonies’ values and virtues .
The United States officially adopts the dollar sign in 1785. The symbol evolves from the Spanish American figure for pesos. From colonial to modern times, the United States has issued several types of banknotes with unique purposes, like paying taxes, earning interest on an investment, or buying goods.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 establishes the Federal Reserve as the nation’s central bank and provides for a national banking system that is more responsive to the fluctuating financial needs of the country. The Federal Reserve Board issues new currency called Federal Reserve notes
Following a 1955 law requiring “In God We Trust” on all currency, the motto first appears on banknotes on series 1957 $1 silver certificates, then on 1963 series Federal Reserve notes.
Historically, "God" refers to the Creator of mankind as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. It is not meant to support a particular religion.
“Nothing can be more certain than that our country was founded in a spiritual atmosphere and with a firm trust in God.”
Congressman Charles Bennett - 1955
(source: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1968)
Government under King's Rule & History of Articles of Confederation & U.S. Constitution
Learn About the Events Which Led to the Colonies Fight for Independent Self-Rule
Learn the Facts & Read the Document that Declared Independence from the King and England
Read America's Social Contract