USA Military Payment Certificate 1 dollar series 542


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Military Payment Certificate, 1 dollar, no date (1958), series 541, position 32, P-M39, F

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The MPCs were used from 1946 to 1973. Their purpose was supposed to be stabilizing, because US currency tended to have an inflationary effect on local currencies. It worked a little, maybe, sometimes, but not really, and they gave up on the concept after the Vietnam War.

The USA got into the paper money business during the Civil War. Everyone was hoarding coins, they had to do something. Once they started they found that they kind of liked what paper money did to the economy.

Aside from China, other governments started using circulating “banknotes” starting in the 17th century AD. The practice became general in the 19th century. In the 20th century value of paper money in circulation far surpassed the value of coinage. In the 21st century paper money is fading and credit transactions are growing.