Legislative History of Money in the United States

The following table documents the legislative history of money in the United States.

Table 1: Summary of Major Monetary Events

# Year Date Reference. Act Title Description
1 1792 04/2/1792 1 Stat. 246 United States of America Money Act The first definition of money.  This is where a “dollar” is defined by law relationship to gold and silver.  It was based on the Spanish milled dollar popular in the colonies at that time.  See:


2 1900 03/14/1900 31 Stat. 45 Gold Standard Act The Gold Standard Act fixes the value of the dollar against gold and the United States goes off the bimetallism standard.
3 1908 05/18/1908 35 Stat. 164   Congressional legislation adds the motto “In God We Trust” to all gold and silver coins.  H.R. 17296
4 1913 12/23/1913 38 Stat. 251-275 Federal Reserve Act Establishes the Federal Reserve
5 1933 03/09/1933 48 Stat. 1 Emergency Banking Relief Act All "U.S. citizens" must turn in gold
6 1933 04/05/1933 E.O. 6102 Executive Order 6102 All "U.S. citizens" must turn in gold
7 1933 03/12/1933 48 Stat. 31, 41 Emergency Farm Mortgage Act Amended Gold Reserve Act to devalue dollar, Jan 31, 1934.
8 1933 06/03/1933 48 Stat. 112 House Joint Resolution 192 U.S. Bankrupt, so don't have to pay in Gold
9 1934 01/30/1934 48 Stat. 337 Gold Reserve Act Delegated to president power to define Gold and silver dollars.  Made illegal to own gold bullion, and enforced by IRS  Withdraws gold coins from circulation, provides for the devaluation of the dollar’s gold content, and creates the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
10 1934 01/31/1934   Presidential Proclamation 2072 Devalued dollar from $20.67/ounce to $35/ounce
11 1945 07/31/1945 59 Stat. 512 Bretton Woods Agreement Act Plan to make U.S. dollar central currency of world.  Established IMF, World Bank, etc.
12 1955 07/11/1955   Public Law 140 (H.R. 619) Public Law 140 (H.R. 619) provides that all United States currency shall bear the inscription In God We Trust.
13 1963 06/07/1963 28 F.R. 5605 Executive Order 11110 President Kennedy prepared to issue non-debt silver-based certificates. Was assassinated probably because of this
14 1965 07/23/1965 79 Stat. 254 Coinage Act of 1965 First change in coinage in 173 years.  President Johnson approves the Coinage Act of 1965, which removes silver from circulating coins and authorizes that clad coins be used instead for the half dollar, quarter dollar, and dimes. (Third piece of major legislation since the establishment of the Mint in 1792)
15 1967 06/24/1967 81 Stat. 77 Silver Certificate Act One year after passing act, U.S. government would end its pledge to redeem silver certificates in silver coin or bullion, thus ending the silver constitutional dollar standard that prevailed since 1704.
16 1968 03/18/1968 82 Stat. 50 Gold Reserve Requirements Elimination Act, Public Law 90-269 Congressional legislation eliminates the requirement that 25% of U.S. currency be backed in gold freeing $10.4 billion in gold reserves to meet international demands.
17 1970 12/31/1970 84 Stat. 1760 Bank Holding Company Act Amendment Congress changed all coinage into unconstitutional clad coins consisting of layers of copper and cladding
18 1971 08/17/1971 36 F.R. 15724 Presidential Proclamation No. 4074 U.S. went off silver standard.  International can still redeem dollars for gold.
19 1972 03/31/1972 86 Stat. 116 Par Value Modification Act Congress altered international exchange rates.
20 1973 09/21/1973 87 Stat. 352 Par Value Modification Act Amendment Congress again altered international exchange rates
21 1977 10/28/1977 91 Stat. 1227, 1229   HJR-192 amended so that it would not apply to obligations after October 28, 1977.  See Trostel v. American Life & Cas. Ins. Co., 168 F.3d 1105 (C.A.8 (Iowa), 1999). Codified as amended at 31 U.S.C. 5118(d)(2).  Also known as Pub.L. No. 95-147, 4(c).
22 1982 09/13/1982 96 Stat. 877 Enactment of Title 31 of U.S. Code Into Law This law had a list of repealed laws at the end.  The United States of America Money Act was not included.
23 1985 07/09/1985 99 Stat. 113-117 Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Commemorative Coin Act First authorized the minting of the current American Liberty Silver Dollar 1 ounce coins.
24 1985 12/17/1985 99 Stat. 1177 Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 Put the mint in the business of manufacturing gold coins again.

If you would like a history of the U.S. Mint specifically, you can find it at the link below.  Their "Timeline" contains some of the legislative history of the mint above, but it is incomplete and what they do provide also contains errors as far as the Statutes at Large references they make:

History of the Mint


If you would like to read a more thorough and exhaustive treatment of all the corruption that has occurred within our government since its founding, of which corruption of our money system is only a part, please see the following resource on our website:

Highlights of American Legal and Political History CD, Form #11.003