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Development of the US monetary union

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2006

RONALD MICHENER
Affiliation:
University of Virginia and Stern School of Business, New York University
ROBERT E. WRIGHT
Affiliation:
University of Virginia and Stern School of Business, New York University

Abstract

The US monetary union has undergone four distinct phases of development. From the early colonial period through the Revolution and Confederation, the unit of account differed in each region of British North America. Soon after the Constitution went into effect in 1789, the country shared a single specie-based unit of account and standard of deferred payment, but exchange media were numerous. After the Civil War, the trend was towards the use of fewer media of exchange. Over the course of the twentieth century, the current system, characterised by a common medium of exchange denominated in a single unit of account divorced from specie, evolved.

L'union monétaire des Etats-Unis a subi quatre phases distinctes de développement. Du début de la période coloniale à travers la Révolution et la Confédération, l'unité de compte différa dans chaque région de l'Amérique du nord britannique. Peu de temps après que la constitution fut entrée en vigueur en 1789, le pays partagea une unité de compte unique en espèces et un standard de paiement déféré, mais les moyens de change étaient nombreux. Après la Guerre Civile, la tendance fut à l'utilisation de moins de moyens de change. Le système actuel, caractérisé par un moyen de change commun dénommé en une unité de compte unique séparée des espèces, a évolué durant le vingtième siècle.

Die US-amerikanische Währungsunion hat vier klar zu unterscheidende Entwicklungsphasen durchlaufen. Von der frühen Kolonialzeit angefangen über Revolution und Konföderation gab es für jede Region in Britisch-Nordamerika unterschiedliche Rechnungseinheiten. Unmittelbar nach dem Inkrafttreten der Verfassung im Jahre 1789 war im ganzen Land eine einheitliche auf Hartgeld basierte Rechnungseinheit nebst Ratenzahlungsstandard gültig – es gab jedoch zahlreiche Umtauschmedien. Nach dem Bürgerkrieg entwickelte sich die Tendenz dazu, weniger Umtauschmedien zu verwenden. Im Laufe des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts bildete sich das heute verwendete System heraus, dem ein gemeinsames Umtauschmedium zugrunde liegt, das durch eine völlig vom Hartgeld getrennte Rechnungseinheit charakterisiert ist.

La unión monetaria de los E.U. ha pasado por cuatro etapas de desarrollo diferentes. Desde el periodo colonial temprano hasta la Revolución y la Confederación, la unidad de cuenta variaba en cada región de la Norteamérica británica. Poco después de que la Consittución entrara en efecto en 1789, el país compartía una unidad de cuenta en metálico y un estándar de pago a plazos, pero los medios de intercambio eran numerosos. Despues de la Guerra Civil, la tendencia fluctuó hacia el uso de menos medios de intercambio. A lo largo del siglo veinte, se desarrolló el sistema actual, caracterizado por un medio de intercambio común denominado en una sola unidad de cuenta independiente del metálico.

Type
Article
Copyright
European Association for Banking and Financial History, 2006

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