It seems fitting to share some interesting tidbits of what I’ve read and learned about paper, and paper money in the United States in particular. It also seems fitting as this coming week we would normally be submitting our federal and state taxes.
George Washington was president from 1789-1797. One of his jobs as president was working with Alexander Hamilton to stabilize the nation’s economy and to consolidate the money crisis in the United States. The United States was the first country in the world to issue paper money. Paper money was first printed and used to pay for the military expenses of the American Revolution. The Philadelphia mint was the first official building built in the United States. In 1792, Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury) decided to divide a dollar into hundredths, thus introducing decimals–another world first in terms of money. Hamilton, in an effort at cohesion among the newly united states, decided the federal government should to take on all individual state debt incurred from the Revolutionary War. However, several states had small wartime debts or had already made substantial payments toward their debt and did not want to help pay for other states’ debts. The state of Virginia was one of the states that had minimal debt remaining and was displeased. Hamilton worked with their state government leaders and came to a compromise: if Virginia would join the others in paying the debt, they could have the lasting privilege and notoriety of having the national capitol within the state’s borders.