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An American Monetary History Timeline

Preface

Written by Darrell Anderson.

In this short documentary effort I outline significant American monetary events. While various authors have documented such significant events, I have not found any modern books that compiled a reasonably complete but straightforward chronology. Most of the books I have read and researched contained bits and pieces of the overall timeline, but understandably only within a narrow application to satisfy the author’s needs and focus. I also noticed that many authors exercise poor scholarship when describing history because often they fail to cite the actual statutes at large. Then there are the conspiracy theorists, most of whom seem unable or unwilling to exercise basic research skills with their citations. The result is a frustrating effort for many people to verify and validate facts and interpretations, which leads to black holes when readers try to authenticate the information — leaving readers wondering about the scholarly accuracy of the authors.

I wanted to see at least one book that could serve as a reference for people with respect to studying monetary history. Of course, what defines a “complete” record is subjective. Although I intend the document to be exhaustive with respect to a simple timeline, I make no claim that the information is complete nor do I provide a detailed analysis of that history. I welcome reasonable additions and suggestions.

I have tried to avoid personal opinion and commentary while concurrently providing some basic background explanations. I have addressed my perspective and opinions in other books in addition to a detailed analysis of monetary theory. Monetary theory is one of the more contentious topics to discuss and study. Ask 10 people for an opinion about the topic and you might receive 11 answers. Yet, after compiling this timeline history, as well as years of studying history and monetary theory, I believe I am entitled to some observations and conclusions.

One observation derived from years of study is that monetary theory was and remains a contentious topic, understood by few people. I include most of the ivory-towered academians with numerous letters posted after their names. Most of them never question their premises and presumptions and build their theories on false foundations. The result is continuing chaos and violence in the human social structure. A bold statement from a rural outsider who reads a lot and possesses no standing to paste numerous letters after his own name, but an observation in which I stand firm.

Another observation is that when people operate under the color of law and the illusion of political systems, most who are empowered through these processes will manipulate the monetary system to their advantage. Monetary systems always have been political toys and little else. A similar reflection is that no monetary system can be entrusted to politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers — ever.

I offer some straightforward conclusions. First, bimetallism always fails because one metal always becomes more popular than the other with respect to a circulating medium of exchange. Second, legal tender laws always fail. Third, politicians at all levels should never be allowed to borrow money and should be required to use only the currency already in circulation. Fourth, for people who fail to conceive of a social system outside the context of modern statism, in addition to not borrowing, politicians must be limited to establishing only basic standards and definitions and must not be allowed to create new currency. Fifth, for people who fail to grasp that concept, even if allowed to issue currency, politicians should be limited to issuing an interest-free currency, which is far more sane and far less socially destructive than an interest-bearing currency. Sixth, without a total prohibition against borrowing, legislators merely raise the debt limit each session and void any concept of budget restraints. Seventh, manipulating a currency system based upon precious metals is just as easy as manipulating a paper currency and is not a viable long-term solution.

As I have written elsewhere, I believe that no meaningful social reform is possible until there is meaningful monetary reform. I believe that no meaningful monetary reform is possible until the monetary system is removed from the control of the politically privileged. I believe that no such effort is possible until a significant number of people understand monetary theory, which includes the devastating social effects of compound interest. Using token symbols to represent exchange is another contributing problem to this long-standing dilemma. Significant paradigm shifts are necessary for meaningful reform. I hope that this straightforward documentary history helps people toward achieving that goal.

Please know that I do not condone any statute, act, resolution, order, proclamation, etc., referenced in this document. I am merely providing a timeline. I personally do not embrace any political system nor do I embrace any theory of statism. I find the entire concept of statism destructive to human existence, parasitical, and illusionary. I believe that politicians, bureaucrats, and judges will uphold their charades with whatever tap dancing and intellectual ivory-towered pomposity they deem necessary. Humans would dramatically reduce the amount of violence and disorder they witness if they simply stopped paying attention to these charlatans standing behind the curtain.

I appreciate your interest in this book. Of course, all errors found in this book are mine.

Finis.

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