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ERIC Number: ED480601
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Revolutionary Money. Part One.
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
The monetary system in the U.S. colonies was notable because it was based on thin air. The earliest forms of U.S. money were commodities, items that were not just tokens of wealth but had some intrinsic value. In addition to adopting the Indians' use of wampum and furs, the colonists used crops and European-made items such as nails. In 1775, the Continental Congress issued the colonies' first uniform currency, the bills that came to be called "Continental." The colonies, soon to call themselves states, issued their own bills. Like the Continentals, this money served to finance and to promote the Revolutionary War. This booklet from the Smithsonian contains two lesson plans on the money of the period. Lesson (1) "Money Talks," students move from fact finding to interpretations as they examine paper money from the time of the Revolutionary War; and Lesson (2) "Pictures Telling Stories," shows not only the importance of primary sources in the study of U.S. history but also the limitations of relying only on primary sources of taking the money on face value. Both lessons address materials and preparation and provides a step-by-step procedure for classroom implementation. Contains photos of the paper money and a glossary of Latin inscriptions. (BT)
Smithsonian Information, P.O. Box 23293, Washington, DC 20026-3293. Tel: 202-357-2700; e-mail:; Web site: For full text: lesson_plan/revolutionary_money/pdf/si_revolutionary_money.pdf.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.