MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR May 6 – 12

MAY 7

1873 – DEATH OF SALMON P. CHASE, US TREASURY SECRETARY
“My agency, in procuring the passage, of the National Bank Act, was the greatest financial mistake of my life.  It has built up a monopoly that affects every interest in the country. It should be repealed.  But before this can be accomplished, the people will be arrayed on one side and the banks on the other in a contest such as we have never seen in this country.”

Note: The National Bank Acts of 1863 was known originally as the National Currency Act and was updated the following year. The Act established chartered national banks that could issue bank notes which were backed by the United States Treasury. These notes existed side by side to public “Greenbacks” (directly issued by the government). Bankers supported the Bank Acts as a means to eventually supplant Greenbacks and once more gain full control of the US money system.

MAY 10

1729 – PENNSYLVANIA PASSES A PAPER CURRENCY ACT
Pennsylvania was one of the first colonies to issue their own paper money to facilitate exchange to offset the lack of British pounds in circulation. By 1755, all 13 colonies had issued some form of colonial currency.
On colonial issued currency, Benjamin Franklin said,
“This effect of paper currency is not understood in England. And indeed the whole is a mystery to the politicians how we have been able to continue a war for four years without money and how we could pay with paper that had no previously fixed fund appropriated specifically to redeem it.  This currency…is a wonderful machine.  It performs its office when we issue it and when we are obliged to issue a quantity excessive, it pays itself off by depreciation.”

1775 – CONTINENTAL CONGRESS ISSUES “CONTINENTALS”
The Continental Congress voted to issue $200 million in paper money, “continental currency” or “continentals”, to finance the American Revolution. The money was essential since British pounds were in short supply. The currency lost much of their value during the war due to the flooding of British counterfeit “continentals” as a means to destroy the colonial economy. Inflation was also due to continentals being used to fund war purchases rather than socially and economically useful goods and services. Nevertheless, the colonial currency served its purpose in allowing the colonies to economically and militarily resist and defeat the most powerful nation on earth.

1837 – US FINANCIAL PANIC
Banks limited credit and starting calling on debtors to repay. This ignited the Financial Panic of 1837.  Urban worker faced rising unemployement and food prices. A prolonged economic depression followed, including hundreds of bank failures. The economic depression that followed lasted nearly five years. This is the inevitable result of a debt-based money system – the lessons of which we never seem to learn.

1915 – BIRTH OF ROBERT HEMPHILL, CREDIT MANAGER, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA
If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.

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