Dollars and “Change”

Dollars and “Change”

It was announced yesterday that the US Treasury department would be replacing Alexander Hamilton as the face of the 10$ bill. This change is much overdue, as it’s a little insulting that none of the significant women who have played a role in our nations history (Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, ect.) are given the honor of being represented on our currency. I’m glad this is finally happening but I do have one slight reservation, I don’t think Alexander Hamilton should be the person getting replaced.

I understand why Hamilton would be the first person singled out, since he is the only person besides Benjamin Franklin who appears on major currency but was never president and Hamilton isn’t nearly as iconic an American figure as Franklin. Hamilton, although not as well remembered today as his fellow founding fathers, is a significant historical figure. As the first US Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton is responsible for setting the system of currency we use today into motion and it seems fair to recognize this by having him on our currency. While I certainly won’t cry over Hamilton being taken off the $10, I think there’s another person who currently appears on our currency who’s much less worthy of such recognition; Andrew Jackson.

Along with being the least well-remembered president to appear on our currency (the $20), Jackson is probably best remembered today for his role in the forced removal of Native Americans from their lands through militaristic means. Jackson’s legacy is a shameful one, and I think we’ve evolved enough as a society that having someone with such a shameful legacy should have been taken off of our currency a long time ago. What does it say about our nation that we have a man responsible for the mass slaughter of Native Americans featured on our currency, but yet we have no women or african americans featured.

While I’m happy that some significant female figure from our nations history will finally be put on our currency, It’s still despicable that Jackson’s face remains well intact.