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0. History of the Canadian Dollar

Principles of Macroeconomics (with Xtra!)

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A History of the C ANADIAN D OLLAR by James Powell B ANK OF C ANADA
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This publication is also available in French. Cette publication est aussi disponible en français. ISBN 0–662–28123–3 Cat. No. FB2–141 1999E Printed in Canada on recycled paper.
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A History of the Canadian Dollar Table of Contents Acknowledgements .................................... iv The Early Years (pre-1841) ....................... 1 The Halifax and York ratings .......................... 2 Dollars and cents or pounds, shillings, and pence ? ................................................... 3 Currency Reforms (1841–71) ................... 6 Introduction of a decimal-based currency ...................................................... 7 The first government note issue ........................ 9 Paper currency outside the Province of Canada ....................................................... 11 Confederation ................................................ 12 The Canadian Dollar under the Gold Standard (1854–1914) .................... 14 Operation of the gold standard ........................ 14 The Canadian dollar and the U.S. greenback (1862–79) ................................... 15 Canada off the Gold Standard (1914–26) .................................................. 18 World War I .................................................. 18 Setting the stage for a return to the gold standard ...................................................... 20 Back on the Gold Standard— Temporarily (1926–31) ........................... 23 The Depression Years (1930–39) ............. 26 Establishment of a central bank ...................... 27 Canada under Exchange Controls (1939–51) ................................................. 32 The war years (1939–45) .............................. 32 The revaluation of 1946 ................................. 35 The devaluation of 1949 ................................ 36 The decision to float, 1950 ............................. 37 The unofficial exchange market ...................... 39 The relevance of the unofficial rate ................. 40 A Floating Canadian Dollar (1950–62) ................................................. 42 Return to a Fixed Exchange Rate (1962–70) ................................................. 44 Return to a Floating Rate (June 1970–present) ................................ 48 The dollar in the 1970s .................................. 50 The dollar in the 1980s .................................. 51 The dollar in the 1990s .................................. 52 Concluding Remarks ................................. 56 Bibliography ............................................... 57 Subject Index ............................................. 61
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iv A History of the Canadian Dollar Acknowledgements The writing and preparation of a work of this nature is the product of many hands. I would like to thank John Murray for providing the inspiration as well as his encouragement and sage advice. I would also like to thank colleagues and friends for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts, especially John Crow, Pierre Duguay, David Laidler, and Larry Schembri. Additional thanks go to Corrinne Miller, the Bank of Canada’s Archivist; Lisette Lacroix, Reference Librarian; and Judy Jones, Debi Kirwan, and Joan Teske for their invaluable research and technical assistance. I would also like to thank Graham Esler and Paul Berry of the National Currency Collection for their helpful comments and for locating appropriate pieces to supplement the story, and Jim Zagon for the photo- graphs. Joane LeVoguer and Lynn Lepage of Graphics Services scanned the photographs used as illustra- tions in the book. The excellent French translation was done by Eddy Cavé of Editorial Services and Guy Drapeau of Translation Services, with assistance from Lyse Brousseau, Denyse Simard-Ebert, Andrée- Anne St-Arnaud, and Shirley-Anne Dulmage, of Translation Services. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Edi- torial Services: Jill Moxley and Lea-Anne Solomonian for meticulously editing the manuscript and pulling everything together; Tom Vradenburg for his creative layout; and Patricia Buchanan for her helpful and comprehensive index.
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