The simple way to look at it is, "It ain't worth a Continental." The US government spent Continentals like they were going-out-of-style... And they did. They were worthless. After it became obvious to even the shoe-shine boy, groups of paper-money faithful bought up and/or collected discarded Continentals. Then, folks like Hamilton, as I recall, prevailed upon Congress & the President to redeem the Continental which was known to be worthless. Redeeming the Continentals for something was argued as important to restore faith & confidence in the new fledgling US Government. To honor its debts. Hamilton worked diligently and Sheparded his proposal into a commitment. Redemption of the Continental was presented at full-face value... practicing the art-of-deception... into the new proposed US notes from the first US Bank.
Here is a summary of who some of the player were related to the Continental paper-money. http://www.factbites.com/topics/Michael-Hillegas I am not familiar with the site; it came up with names to help you if you wish to do further research as to who did what to whom.
It seems to me that you have learned recorded history pretty much as written. The preponderance of the evidence records it so. I do not value Treasuries as anything other than a promissory note issued bearing interest. Payable in said same. As it is denominated in paper dollars, it is worth paper dollars. Few folk actually redeemed their paper-dollars into silver, beyond what they conveniently spent in silver coin. Redemption in gold ended formally for US citizens in 1933. Silver & silver certificates ended in 1965... Roughly. Gold redemption for foreign central banks was more con than payment through 1934 till 1971. Yes, silver certificates were printed & US coin contained silver up till 1964. The gold window (aka: the Golden Window) was open to foreign central banks... so it was written [Wink], but few dared to show up. It was the French that called our bluff. Our Golden Fleece. It was Mitterrand, as I remember reading. That forced the President Nixon speech about a "temporary suspension of payment in gold." Nixon blamed "speculators." The gig was up. France called our bluff... Imagine that.
Please don't confuse yourself with my confusion... That would make two of us. It is hard enough that just one of us is confused. Be steady. And don't come a calling about my misreading. That is my way. And habits are hard to break [Wink].
Golden EO: April 20, 1933 Another Golden Rule 04/20/2011
April 5, 1933: A day that will live in infamy! Gold illegal! 04/05/2011
Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul ☑
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