Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

A Desire for Monetary Sovereignty: The Circulation of Foreign Coinage in the United States in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Sep 12, 2022, 2:00 PM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Jesse Kraft (American Numismatic Society)


Until the middle of the 19th century, the United States did not have the means to provide its population with a steady supply of domestic coinage. Prior to this, as the Founding Fathers attempted to define a national coinage, concerns of monetary sovereignty permeated their discussions. They understood that a national coinage was an important part of exhibiting sovereignty, but had little resources to achieve these goals. While successful in defining the United States monetary system, implementing one proved even more difficult. As Spanish-American coinage (and others) continued to dominate the channels of circulation, people who wished for monetary sovereignty called for an “American coin” to replace those of other realms. Despite various attempts to fulfill these wishes, generations of Americans continued to use non-domestic coins as a means of circulation.

Primary author

Jesse Kraft (American Numismatic Society)

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