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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 514

On February 25, 1863, the nation saw a major reorganization of its financial system, when Congress passed and President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act.  At this time, the nation had no uniform currency. 

The act established federal banks that issued legal tender backed by the US Treasury.  The act also authorized the federal government to tax notes issued by state banks, which had the effect of driving them out of circulation. 

Finance had been a major problem for both sides fighting the most expensive war yet in the nation’s history.  For its part, the Union had previously attempted to pay for the war by issuing paper “greenbacks,” which were guaranteed only by a government promise.  Until the passage of the National Currency Act, however, few took the nation’s money seriously.