Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

N10 E42

Key Words

American Economic History, Gold Standard, John Maynard Keynes, Monetary Policy, Oil


This inquiry seeks to establish that the character of the United States dollar fundamentally changed over the course of the 20th century as it moved away from its being rooted in the gold standard. As the global economy transitioned into the 20th century and the United States began establishing itself as a cornerstone of global trade, the dollar evolved into the standard currency of the world economy, changing significantly along the way as it moved from a gold-backed standard to the reserve currency of the international petroleum trade. These changes are reflected in U.S. foreign and monetary policy throughout this timeframe.


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