Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
What is Money?
How Money Evolved
Money Timeline
Money Timeline
Click the dates below to see the expanded view of each historical highlight.
Colonial Money (1600 - 1775) Continental Bills of Credit (1775 - 1782) The Beginnings of Banking in the U.S. (1780 - 1791) Money and Banks in the Constitution (1788) First Bank of the United States Founded (1791) Coinage Act Defines the Dollar (1792) National Mint Opens (1794) First Bank of the United States Closes (1811) Second Bank of the United States Founded (1816) Second Bank of the United States Closes (1836) Legal Tender Act (1862) and National Bank Act (1864) Free Banking and Wildcat Banks (1838 - 1864) The Civil War and Greenbacks (1862 - 1869) Resumption of Convertibility (1869 - 1879) Silver Demonetized (1874) The Gold Standard (1879 - 1914) The Panic of October 1907 The Aldrich Commission (1908 - 1912) Founding of the Federal Reserve System (1913) The Great Contraction (1929 - 1933) Suspension of Gold Convertibility and Devaluation (1933 - 1934) The Bretton Woods System (1948 - 1971) The End of Gold Convertibility (1971) A World of Unbacked Currencies (1971 - present)