Where does the word “dollar” come from? Well, the word has a very curious and traveling history. It all seems to have started in a place called Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic, where there were some very rich silver mines. Over there some large and heavy coins were minted that were called taleros. These coins became so famous that they spread throughout Europe and beyond. The Italians called them talleri, the Dutch daalders, the Danes and Swedes daler, the Hawaiians dala, the Samoans tala, and the Ethiopians talari. They were also given names similar to the Swedish riksdaler and the Danish rigsdaler. The Germans went crazy with thaleros and produced over a thousand different types. It seems they liked to collect them.
But the word “dollar” did not come to English from German, but from Scots. It turns out that the Scots also minted their own silver coins and called them dollars to differentiate themselves from the English, who used pounds. The Scots did not get along very well with the English and wanted to have their own identity. So the dollar was a way of saying: “We are different and better than you.” Many Scots went to live in America and other parts of the world and took their dollars with them. So the dollar became popular in the British colonies.
Money is not just paper or metal. Money is an expression of who we are and what we want. Money has a symbolic and political value that identifies us with one group or differentiates us from another. Therefore, choosing one currency or another can be a declaration of principles or a provocation.
The American colonists did not use only Scots dollars. They also used the Spanish pesos, which were very nice silver coins that had two columns with a flag on the front. The columns represented the Strait of Gibraltar, which was the limit of the world known to the ancients. The flag read plus ultra, which means “there is beyond.” The Spanish wanted to boast that they had discovered America, which was the afterlife. Some say that the dollar sign ($) comes from these coins, because the columns are the two stripes and the flag is the S. We don’t know if it’s true, but of the different versions about the origin of the dollar sign ($) this is the one I like the most. Now, what we do know is that these coins were the first American dollars.
When the American colonists rebelled against the English, they had to create their own national currency. The one who took care of that was a gentleman named Alexander Hamilton, who was the Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton proposed that the coin be called the dollar, like the talero, and that it be divided into 100 cents. Hamilton also wanted to create a central bank that would control money and back it with gold or silver. But not everyone agreed with him. Another gentleman named Thomas Jefferson and his friends preferred a freer system based on silver.
In the end, the dollar prevailed as the national currency after a very bloody civil war. The United States adopted the gold standard and created the Federal Reserve, which is the central bank. ANDhe dollar also became the most important international currency, especially after two very destructive world wars. The countries agreed to fix the value of the dollar in relation to gold and use it as a reference for trade. The dollar was the king of money.
However, despite its great success, the dollar was not always so strong and stable. Throughout history, the dollar has undergone various crises and changes that have affected its value and role in the world.
For example, in 1933, President Roosevelt prohibited citizens from owning gold and devalued the dollar by 40%. This was to combat the Great Depression, which had caused a dramatic drop in the economy and employment.
In 1971, President Nixon broke the link between the dollar and gold, which caused high inflation and a loss of confidence in the dollar. This was to deal with the trade deficit and military spending from the Vietnam War.
In 2008, the dollar was hit by the global financial crisis, which led to a recession and massive intervention by the Federal Reserve. This was to prevent the collapse of the banking system and stimulate economic recovery.
As you can see, the dollar has had a very interesting and complex history. The dollar has witnessed and been the protagonist of many historical events that have shaped the world today. The dollar remains the most widely used and powerful currency in the world, but it also faces many challenges and competitors. The future of the dollar will depend on many political, economic and social factors that are yet to be defined.
The dollar is not only a currency, but also a symbol of the United States. The dollar represents the economic, political and military power of this country, which has been the world leader for decades. That’s why, many groups that oppose or compete with the United States want to weaken or replace the dollar.
For example, China and Russia, which are two emerging powers with interests contrary to those of the United States, are trying to create alternative monetary systems that reduce dependence on the dollar. These systems may be based on other currencies, such as the yuan or ruble, or on natural resources, such as oil or gas.
In the internal sphere, many libertarians and conservatives oppose the dollar because they see it as a tool of the state to control the economy and society. These groups prefer to use other forms of money that are more free and secure, such as gold or Bitcoin. These are currencies that cannot be manipulated or inflated by any government or central bank.
Thus, the dollar has many enemies and rivals who want to end its hegemony. The dollar will have to face these challenges and adapt to changes in the world. The dollar will have to show that it is still a reliable, efficient and convenient currency for everyone. The future of the dollar is at stake and no one knows what will happen. However, Today we remember a little of its history.
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