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Past to Present

221 B.C. The first Emperor of a united China, Qin Shi Huang, implemented a single Chinese currency (and other unified measurement systems, too).  The currency unit was called the yuan, as it is today.
1582 Gasparo Scaruffi from Italy, proposed the “alitononfo” as a global currency, with every mint in Europe producing the same coins with the same characteristics, so as to create a standard currency.
1787 The 13 states of the newly formed United States gave Congress the right to coin money, but not to print currency – a step not taken until the U.S. Civil War in 1862
1867 International monetary conference in Paris where a global currency was proposed, but defeated.
1913 The U.S. created the Federal Reserve System, with the central bank called the Federal Reserve Bank.
1916 Edwin Kemmerer proposed a single currency for all the Americas, to be called the “oro”, Spanish for gold.
1944 Bretton Woods, John Maynard Keynes proposed a new global currency called the “Bancor”, but the proposal was deferred in favor of Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s).

Robert Mundell’s groundbreaking article, "Theory of Optimum Currency Areas" published in "The American Economic Review". From this work arose planning for the euro and other common currencies.

1984 Professor Richard Cooper of Harvard proposed a single global currency for the industrialized democracies in the Fall issue of Foreign Affairs.
1987 In his book, The Alchemy of Finance, the international financier, George Soros, called for the creation of a single global currency, together with an international central bank.
1989 The European Council approved the vision of the Delors committee, which proposed a three-stage transition in Europe to an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) with a single European currency.
1992 Signing of the Maastricht Treaty which committed Europe to a single European currency. All countries ratified the treaty in 1993.
1993 Herbert Grubel of Canada proposes a North American Monetary Union, with a currency called the "amero". [See SGC Links: Articles, 2000.]
1999 Twelve European countries begin the implementation of the euro by beginning to use the currencies as a measure, but not yet issuing currency. It was assigned an initial value of $1.15.
2000 11 September.  Ecuador "dollarizes", adopting the U.S. Dollar with the hope of reducing inflation and returning expatriated wealth.  See 8/4/03 San Antonio News article, Ecuador: Dollar As A National Money
2001 El Salvador adopted the U.S. dollar as "legal tender", thus "dollarizing" its currency.  See 9/26/02 article in the Economist, El Salvador Learns to Love the Greenback.

1 January.  The new Euro currency was issued to the public. Continued use of the old currencies was permitted for another two months and thereafter it could be exchanged for euros only in banks.


14 September.  Sweden voted 56% to 42% against the adoption of the euro.  Thus, the U.K., Denmark and Sweden remain the three EU countries which do not use the euro.