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The first people not related to the monarchy in coins and bills

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“assignat de cinq livres”

It is throughout the Contemporary Age where we can finally begin to see people unrelated to the monarchy on coins and bills. In the United States, in 1893, Christopher Columbus became the first non-monarchical or ecclesiastical historical figure to be depicted on an American coin and in 1909, Abraham Lincoln became the first president to be portrayed on a coin (the mythical penny). In 1940, the Finn Johan Vilhelm Snellman became the first philosopher to be recorded on a bill, while in the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill became the first person outside the British monarchy to be commemorated on a coin.

At present, in countries with a monarchy, the tendency to portray the monarch of the country on the country’s currency is still in force, but historical figures, monuments, symbols are also included …

The way to choose who appears on the coins and bills is usually carried out by the Treasury or Finance department of each country through a commission of experts, but the process varies.

In the United States, for example, by law only people who have been deceased for more than two years can appear on coins and bills (although there have been exceptions throughout history). Presidents predominate although other relevant figures also appear, such as Benjamin Franklin, who appears on the $ 100 bills. In 2016, the then United States government announced that political activist Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $ 20 bills, becoming the first black person to appear in the country’s currency. This bill is expected to enter circulation in 2020, although with the arrival of the Trump administration the proposal continues without an official confirmation.

Andrew Jackson

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