When you consider the complex history of Canada, it comes as no surprise that the report of the canadian currentness is equally necessitate and complex.
In honor of Canada Day, we ’ re tracing canadian currentness from the time of the autochthonal peoples ( Canada ’ s original inhabitants ), to European contact and colonization, and right up to the modern day canadian dollar .
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples
The autochthonal peoples of easterly North America used items such as wampum ( strings and belts fashioned from beads of white/purple shells ) and furs for trading purposes, This drill continued after contact and trade with Europeans began in the seventeenth century. Wampum was highly valued because of the difficulty in making the shell beads.
french colony and trade wind in Canada began with the establish of Quebec in 1608. The early french colonists bartered goods, but besides used french coins – the basic unit of measurement of currentness was the Denier .
however, there was a major trouble with using the french currency … there was never enough ! even though the french government sent silver medal coins from France, the coins tended to be taken out of circulation by merchants, who used them to pay their taxes and buy european goods, and hoard them for personal fiscal security .
To deal with the dearth, the french politics authorized the use of coins limited to New France. These were known as the monnoye du pays. These coins had an assigned value that was higher than coins used in France. But they were not successful because they had no prize outside the colony .
In 1685, ascribable to a fail military expedition against the Iroquois ( who were allied with the british ), colonial authorities in New France found themselves short-change of funds. The mint dearth grew therefore severe that colonial authorities resorted to using playing cards as currentness. The cards, which were marked with the sum on the rear, were chiefly used to pay soldiers. Playing-card money was accepted by merchants and the general public, and circulated freely at face value. They were redeemed late when more coins became available .
british Colonial rule
french rule came to an end with the conquest of Quebec by the british in 1760. As a result, a wide variety show of currentness, including french coins and american colonial bills, came into circulation .
colonial governments were imaginative in domesticating foreign currencies. For exercise, officials in Prince Edward Island punched out the centres of Spanish-American dollars, creating the “ holey dollar “, with each man being used as a mint with seperate values.
Until the center of the nineteenth hundred, each british colony in North America regulated the use of currentness in its own legal power. Although pounds, shillings and penny ( the currency system used in Great Britain ) were used for bookkeeping, each colony decided for itself the value, or “ evaluation, ” of a wide assortment of coins in relation to british Currency.
These coins included not entirely english and french coins, but besides coins from Portugal, Spain, and the spanish colonies in Latin America. once rated, the coins became legal tender .
finally, Colonial governments began to experiment in paper bills. The first colony to do indeed was Prince Edward Island ( at that time the Island of St. John ) in 1790 .
As the level of commercial sophism rose in the colonies, canadian banks began to emerge. As a result, The Montreal Bank ( nowadays BMO ) issued the first bank notes in Canada after its constitution in 1817 … no wonder BMO ’ s bank mental hospital numeral is 001 !
During the mid-19th century, there was a policy discrepancy between the british and the colonial governments. The british wanted all the colonies to continue linking their money to sterling. This was in club to facilitate trade within the british Empire.
The canadian colonies, eastern settlements and British Columbia, increasingly favoured linking their currencies to the US dollar, given the strong local deal relationships .
The Province Of Canada
In 1840, the british Parliament merged the Colonies of Canada by abolishing their separate parliaments and replacing them with a one one .
The peasant legislation set exchange rates for a new canadian irish pound : one pound, four shillings and four penny Canadian was equal to one lumber sterling.
The colonial governments increasingly favoured a decimal fraction monetary system based on the US dollar, because of the hardheaded implications of the increasing deal with the neighbor United States.
As a compromise between basing the currentness on greatest or on the US dollar, the Parliament of the Province of Canada enacted a legislative act to introduce the aureate standard into the province .
The rate of the canadian dollar was fixed in terms of aureate and valued at par with the US currency. Both US and British gold coins were legal bid in Canada during that clock.
In 1857 the Province of Canada provided that all public accounts were to be kept in dollars and cents. The future year, 1858, the first canadian decimal fraction coins were released. Minted at the Royal Mint in London, they were issued in the name of “ Canada ”, with a break of Queen Victoria .
By 1859, respective bank failures shook confidence in the security of banknotes in the Province of Canada. Bank failures made notes despicable, and the resulting scandal increased pressure on the government for greater regulation.
Under the Provincial Notes Act, private banks were not required to give up their power to issue notes, although they were offered fiscal inducements to do then.
Any depository financial institution which did thus could act as the government ’ sulfur banker and its notes were deemed to be government notes. only the Bank of Montreal did thus, enabling it to act as the government ’ s eminence issuer. It resumed issuing its own notes five years former. The initial emergence was based on Bank of Montreal notes, over-printed with “ Province of Canada ”.
The first issue by the Province itself was on January 1, just half a year before Confederation. The state of Canada notes served as the basis for the notes late issued by the newfangled state .
Read more: Events Timeline
Read more: Events Timeline
Canada as a state was created by the british North America Act, 1867. The federal Parliament was assigned exclusive jurisdiction over “ Coins and Currency ”, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as “ Banking, Incorporation of Banks, and the issue of Paper Money ”.
This resulted in major changes to the monetary system. Control over coinage and bank notes was centralised in Ottawa. In 1867, the federal government planned to issue its own coinage, but the coins didn ’ t accede circulation until they arrived from the Royal Mint in London in 1870 .
canadian Governance and Minting
One major emergence the canadian government faced was the come of US and British silver medal coins which were circulating in Ontario and Quebec.
The solution was to collect the US and british coins and export them, while ensuring that in the future, their equality value would be fixed by legislative act at only 80 % of their face value.
The new canadian government issued its first notes in 1870. The foremost issue was in denominations of twenty-five cents, one dollar and two dollars.
The next year they issued notes for five hundred dollars and one thousand dollars, featuring Queen Victoria on the five hundred-dollar note and an allegorical female visualize with the arms of Canada on the one thousand-dollar note .
In 1872, the government issued a fifty dollar note, featuring Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, and a one hundred-dollar note, featuring the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings .
In 1901, the Canadian Parliament passed an act to pay for a local branch of the Royal Mint. This was then that coins would no farseeing have to be imported from London. In 1907, the british government established a ramify of the Royal Mint in Ottawa. It was to be operated at the expense of the canadian government.
In 1931, the canadian government took entire control of the Ottawa branch of the Royal Mint, renaming it the Royal Canadian Mint and bringing it under the assurance of the Minister of Finance. The british politics accordingly repealed the condition of the Mint as a branch of the Royal Mint .
Bank of Canada and the Modern Day Canadian Dollar
During the Great Depression in Canada, pressure grew on the union government to take greater restraint over the economy, including the monetary policy.
The politics passed the Bank of Canada Act in 1934, which came into force in March 1935. The Bank was given an array of powers. These included being custodian of the government ’ s gold reserves and lender of final haunt to charter banks. The bank could besides issue notes on behalf of the government.
On the first day of operation, the depository financial institution issued its beginning series of notes. There were ten notes in the 1935 series, primarily featuring members of the british Royal Family. The former notes issued by the Minister of Finance were quickly withdrawn from circulation.
Canada ’ s salute coinage dates back to 1937, when the Mint introduced modern designs for the coins. The raw designs replaced those that the Province of Canada had introduced its beginning neologism back in 1858 .
The 1937 re-design continued to feature the sovereign on the obverse of all coins. But, it besides introduced newfangled patterns for the invert of each coin, including a dress hat on the five penny coin and the Canadian coat of arms on the 50 penny mint .
The current series of coins was augmented in 1987 by the introduction of a newfangled one-dollar mint, featuring a addle-head on the inverse – which promptly became known as the canadian dollar. The canadian dollar was followed by the introduction of a two-dollar mint in 1996. It cursorily acquired its own dub vitamin a well – the toonie .
apart from the secession of the penny in 2012, these designs continue to be the basic features of canadian neologism today .
The current series of notes is known as the Frontier Series. It ’ s the seventh series issued by the Bank of Canada. The notes are made of polymer, and contain a phone number of anti-counterfeiting measures, such as holographic features and diaphanous sections .
Current Note Breakdown
The current series consists of five notes :
- a five-dollar note, featuring Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier
- a ten-dollar note, featuring Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald
- a twenty-dollar note, featuring Queen Elizabeth II
- a fifty-dollar bill, featuring Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King
- a one hundred-dollar note, featuring Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden
An eighth series of notes is presently in the works. The rollout began in former 2018 with the turn of the $ 10 upright bill featuring Viola Desmond.
Check out our other history of currency blogs:
The History of Currency in the United States
The History of Currency in Germany
The History of Currency in Ireland