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Colonial Currency Paper Money

The system of currency in colonial America was not a uniform one. Many foreign coins circulated as viable currency, especially Spanish dollars. The colonies officially used the pound system, but even between individual colonies, the value of the pound was not fixed.

These problems were exacerbated by Great Britain's policies concerning paper currency printed in the colonies. Although allowed until 1751, Britain eventually revoked colonial currency's ability to be used as legal tender for private merchants in New England. Britain also forbade New England colonies from printing more bills, but further legislation in 1773 allowed the colonies to print paper currency once again. With the advent of the Revolutionary War, the colonies issued temporary fiat... Read more

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