The Coinage Act of 1792 – the USA

The Coinage Act of 1792

The Coinage Act of 1792 - the USA
The Coinage Act of 1792 – the USA

Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755–1804),

George Washington (1732–1799)

The Coinage Act of 1792, often known as the Mint Act or the Coinage Act, was an act of Congress passed on April 2, 1792, that founded the United States Mint in Philadelphia. The legislation established rules for coin design and manufacture, establishing the groundwork for contemporary U.S. money. The Coinage Act of 1792 defined the five mint officers’ responsibilities and designated the dollar as the nation’s primary unit of currency.

Requirements of the 1792 Coinage Act

The statute made US eagles, dollars, cents, and sub-denominations of each legal tender at face value or in proportion to their weight for partial coins. The legislation stated the metallic content and weight of each coin, whether pure or of a regulated fineness, in copper, silver, or gold. The worth of each of these coins was determined by the substance used to produce them (gold, silver, or copper).

TAKEAWAYS IMPORTANT

  • The Coinage Act of 1792 established the United States dollar as the country’s currency and established a mint to produce national coins.
  • Both Congress and the states had the authority to coin money and issue debt to support their military operations during the Revolutionary War.
  • As a result, there was an overabundance of debt certificates and Continental dollars, which soon lost value since they were not backed by tangible assets like silver or gold.
  • The US Constitution solved the currency problem by granting sole authority to mint money to Congress.
  • The Coinage Act of 1792 mandated that the United States mint produce gold, silver, and copper coins in various denominations.

SEE ALSO:

The Triple Assessment (Income Tax) (1798);

Congressional Right to Income Tax (1909);

The Federal Reserve Act (1913).

Sources:

The Coinage Act of 1792 – the USA

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)

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