- Jeff Berwick (26 April 2011). "The Federal Reserve Note is Dead, Long Live the U.S. Dollar". The Market Oracle.
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The thaler was a silver coin used throughout Europe for four hundred years. Its name lives on in the many currencies called dollar and the Samoan tālā, until also in the Slovenian tolar; the name thaler was used as an abbreviation of Joachimsthaler, a coin type from the town of Joachimsthal in the Kingdom of Bohemia, where there were silver mines and the first such coins were minted in 1518. This original Bohemian thaler carried a lion, from the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia, on its reverse side. Etymologically, Thal is German for "valley", a thaler is a person or a thing "from the valley"; the Czech spelling was tolar. In the 1902 spelling reform, the German spelling was changed from Thal and Thaler to Tal and Taler, which however did not affect the English spelling of thaler; the Dutch daalders carried the picture of a lion, which gave them the name leeuwendaalder. From an abbreviation of leeuwendaalder come the names of three present-day Balkan currencies, the Romanian and Moldovan Leu and the Bulgarian Lev.
The roots and development of the thaler-sized silver coin date back to the mid-15th century. As the 15th century drew to a close the state of much of Europe's coinage was quite poor because of repeated debasement induced by the costs of continual warfare, by the incessant centuries-long loss of silver and gold in indirect one-sided trades importing spices, porcelain and other fine cloths and exotic goods from India and the Far East; this continual debasement had reached a point that silver content in Groschen-type coins had dropped, in some cases, to less than five percent, making the coins of much less individual value than they had in the beginning. Countering this trend, with the discovery and mining of silver deposits in Europe, Italy began the first tentative steps toward a large silver coinage with the introduction in 1472 of the lira tron in excess of 6 grams, a substantial increase over the 4-gram gros tournois of France. In 1474 a 9-gram lira was issued but it was in 1484 that Archduke Sigismund of Tirol issued the first revolutionary silver coin, the half Guldengroschen of 15.5 grams.
This was a rare coin a trial piece, but it did circulate so that demand could not be met. With the silver deposits—being mined at Schwaz—to work with and his mint at Hall, Sigismund issued, in 1486, large numbers of the first true thaler-sized coin, the Guldengroschen; the Guldengroschen, nicknamed the guldiner, was unqualified success. Soon it was being copied by many states who had the necessary silver; the engravers, no less affected by the Renaissance than were other artists, began creating intricate and elaborate designs featuring the heraldic arms and standards of the minting state as well as brutally realistic, sometimes unflattering, depictions of the ruler. By 1518, guldiners were popping up everywhere in central Europe. In the Kingdom of Bohemia ruled together with Hungary by Louis II of the Jagiellonian dynasty, a guldiner was minted— of similar physical size but less fineness—that was named in German the Joachimsthaler, from the silver mined by the Counts of Schlick at a rich source near Joachimsthal where Thal means "valley" in German.
Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, was portrayed on the coin along with the Bohemian lion. Similar coins began to be minted in neighbouring valleys rich in silver deposits, each named after the particular'thal' or valley from which the silver was extracted. There were soon so many of them that these silver coins began to be known more as'thaler' in German and'tolar' in the Czech language. From these earliest'thaler' developed the new thaler – the coin that the Holy Roman Empire had been looking to create as a standard for trade between the regions of Europe; the original Joachimsthaler Guldengroschen was one ounce in weight. The Empire's Reichstaler was defined as containing 400.99 grains of silver and became the coin of account of the whole Empire. In the 17th century, some Joachimsthalers were in circulation in the Tsardom of Russia, where they were called yefimok – a distortion of the first half of the name; the zenith of thaler minting occurred in the late 16th and 17th centuries with the so-called "multiple thalers" called Lösers in Germany.
The first were minted in Brunswick, indeed the majority were struck there. Some of these coins reached as much as sixteen normal thalers; the original reason for minting these colossal coins, some of which exceeded a full pound of silver and being over 12 cm in diameter, is uncertain. The name "löser" most was derived from a large gold coin minted in Hamburg called the Portugalöser, worth 10 ducats; some of the silver löser reached this value, but not all. The term was applied to numerous similar coins worth more than a single thaler; these coins are rare, the larger ones costing tens of thousands of dollars, are sought after by serious collectors of thalers. Few circulated in any real sense so they remain in well-preserved condition. In the Holy Roman Empire, the thaler was used as the standard against which the various states' currencies could be valued. One standard adopted by Prussia was the Reichsthaler, which contained 1⁄14 of a Cologne mark of silver. In 1754, the Conventionsthaler was introduced.
In 1837, the Prussian thaler beca
Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings. Bohemia was a duchy of Great Moravia an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, subsequently a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Empire. After World War I and the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state, Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1938 and 1945, border regions with sizeable German-speaking minorities of all three Czech lands were joined to Nazi Germany as the Sudetenland; the remainder of Czech territory became the Second Czechoslovak Republic and was subsequently occupied as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, In 1969, the Czech lands were given autonomy within Czechoslovakia as the Czech Socialist Republic. In 1990, the name was changed to the Czech Republic, which became a separate state in 1993 with the split of Czechoslovakia.
Until 1948, Bohemia was an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia as one of its "lands". Since administrative reforms have replaced self-governing lands with a modified system of "regions" which do not follow the borders of the historical Czech lands. However, the three lands are mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution of the Czech Republic: "We, citizens of the Czech Republic in Bohemia and Silesia…"Bohemia had an area of 52,065 km2 and today is home to 6.5 million of the Czech Republic's 10.5 million inhabitants. Bohemia was bordered in the south by Upper and Lower Austria, in the west by Bavaria and in the north by Saxony and Lusatia, in the northeast by Silesia, in the east by Moravia. Bohemia's borders were marked by mountain ranges such as the Bohemian Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Krkonoše, a part of the Sudetes range. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy with various peoples including the Gauls-Celtic tribe Boii; the Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Mutina.
After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps. Much Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied as Boiohaemum; the earliest mention was by Tacitus' Germania 28, mentions of the same name are in Strabo and Velleius Paterculus. The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz "home"; this Boiohaemum was isolated to the area where King Marobod's kingdom was centred, within the Hercynian forest. Emperor Constantine VII in 10th century De Administrando Imperio mentioned the region as Boïki; the Czech name "Čechy" is derived from the name of the Slavic ethnic group, the Czechs, who settled in the area during the 6th or 7th century AD. Bohemia, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, one of the events leading to the interventions of Julius Caesar's Gaulish campaign of 58 BC.
The emigration of the Helvetii and Boii left southern Germany and Bohemia a inhabited "desert" into which Suebic peoples arrived, speaking Germanic languages, became dominant over remaining Celtic groups. To the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, to the southeast in present-day Hungary, were Dacian peoples. In the area of modern Bohemia the Marcomanni and other Suebic groups were led by their king Marobodus, after suffering defeat to Roman forces in Germany, he took advantage of the natural defenses provided by its forests. They were able to maintain a strong alliance with neighbouring tribes including the Lugii, Hermunduri and Buri, sometimes controlled by the Roman Empire, sometimes in conflict with it, for example in the second century when they fought Marcus Aurelius. In late classical times and the early Middle Ages, two new Suebic groupings appeared to the west of Bohemia in southern Germany, the Alemanni, the Bavarians. Many Suebic tribes from the Bohemian region took part in such movements westwards settling as far away as Spain and Portugal.
With them were tribes who had pushed from the east, such as the Vandals, Alans. Other groups pushed southwards towards Pannonia; the last known mention of the kingdom of the Marcomanni, concerning a queen named Fritigil is in the 4th century, she was thought to have lived in or near Pannonia. The Suebian Langobardi, who moved over many generations from the Baltic Sea, via the Elbe and Pannonia to Italy, recorded in a tribal history a time spent in "Bainaib". After this migration period, Bohemia was repopulated around the 6th century, Slavic tribes arrived from the east, their language began to replace the older Germanic and Sarmatian ones; these are precursors of today's Czechs, though the exact amount of Slavic immigration is a subject of debate. The Slavic influx was divided into three waves; the first wave came from the
Dollar is the name of more than 20 currencies, including those of Australia, Hong Kong, Liberia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. The U. S. dollar is the official currency of the Caribbean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Zimbabwe. One dollar is divided into 100 cents. On 15 January 1520, the Kingdom of Bohemia began minting coins from silver mined locally in Joachimsthal and marked on reverse with the Bohemian lion; the coins were called joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to taler. The German name "Joachimsthal" means "Joachim's valley" or "Joachim's dale"; this name found its way into other languages: Czech and Slovenian tolar, Hungarian tallér, Danish and Norwegian daler, Swedish daler, Icelandic dalur, Dutch daalder or daler, Ethiopian ታላሪ, Italian tallero, Greek τάλληρον, τάλιρο, tàlleron, tàliro, Polish talar, Persian dare, as well as – via Dutch – into English as dollar. A Dutch coin depicting a lion was called the leeuwendaler or leeuwendaalder, literally'lion daler'.
The Dutch Republic produced these coins to accommodate its booming international trade. The leeuwendaler circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities; this coin was popular in the Dutch East Indies and in the Dutch New Netherland Colony. It was in circulation throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries and was popularly known as "lion dollar"; the currencies of Romania and Bulgaria are, to this day,'lion'. The modern American-English pronunciation of dollar is still remarkably close to the 17th century Dutch pronunciation of daler; some well-worn examples circulating in the Colonies were known as "dog dollars". Spanish pesos – having the same weight and shape – came to be known as Spanish dollars. By the mid-18th century, the lion dollar had been replaced by Spanish dollar, the famous "pieces of eight", which were distributed in the Spanish colonies in the New World and in the Philippines; the sign is first attested in business correspondence in the 1770s as a scribal abbreviation "ps", referring to the Spanish American peso, that is, the "Spanish dollar" as it was known in British North America.
These late 18th- and early 19th-century manuscripts show that the s came to be written over the p developing a close equivalent to the "$" mark, this new symbol was retained to refer to the American dollar as well, once this currency was adopted in 1785 by the United States. By the time of the American Revolution, Spanish dollars gained significance because they backed paper money authorized by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress. Common in the Thirteen Colonies, Spanish dollars were legal tender in one colony, Virginia. On April 2, 1792, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton reported to Congress the precise amount of silver found in Spanish dollar coins in common use in the states; as a result, the United States dollar was defined as a unit of pure silver weighing 371 4/16th grains, or 416 grains of standard silver. It was specified that the "money of account" of the United States should be expressed in those same "dollars" or parts thereof. Additionally, all lesser-denomination coins were defined as percentages of the dollar coin, such that a half-dollar was to contain half as much silver as a dollar, quarter-dollars would contain one-fourth as much, so on.
In an act passed in January 1837, the dollar's alloy was set at 15%. Subsequent coins would contain the same amount of pure silver as but were reduced in overall weight. On February 21, 1853, the quantity of silver in the lesser coins was reduced, with the effect that their denominations no longer represented their silver content relative to dollar coins. Various acts have subsequently been passed affecting the amount and type of metal in U. S. coins, so that today there is no legal definition of the term "dollar" to be found in U. S. statute. The closest thing to a definition is found in United States Code Title 31, Section 5116, paragraph b, subsection 2: "The Secretary shall sell silver under conditions the Secretary considers appropriate for at least $1.292929292 a fine troy ounce." However, the dollar's constitutional meaning has remained unchanged through the years. Silver was removed from U. S. coinage by 1965 and the dollar became a free-floating fiat currency without a commodity backing defined in terms of real gold or silver.
The US Mint continues to make silver $1-denomination coins, but these are not intended for general circulation. The quantity of silver chosen in 1792 to correspond to one dollar, namely, 371.25 grains of pure silver, is close to the geometric mean of one troy pound and one pennyweight. In what follows, "dollar" will be used as a unit of mass. A troy pound being 5760 grains and a pennyweight being 240 times smaller, or 24 grains, the geometric mean is, to the nearest hundredth, 371.81 grains. This means that the ratio of a pound to a dollar equals the ratio of a dollar to a pennyweight; these ratios are very close to the ratio of a gram to a grain: 15.43. In the United States, the ratio of the value of gold to the value of silver in the period from 1792 to 1873 averaged to about 15.5, being 15 from 1792 to 1834 and around 16 from 1834 to 1873. This is nearly the value of the gold to silver ratio determined by Isaac Newton in 17