The plan to represent a woman on US currency, announced earlier this month by the treasury department, is generally seen as a positive move. Last summer, a grassroots movement to change the face of the $20 dollar bill gained a lot of traction. When it was announced that the replacement wouldn’t be Jackson on the $20, but rather Hamilton on the $10, some people were pretty surprised. Here are a few things you should know about the decision.
(Photo Credit: _J_D_R/Flickr)
1. The $10 was up next for redesign.
Actually, there is a good reason that the $10 was chosen instead of the $20, but that doesn’t mean that the folks who made the decision shouldn’t expect some push-back. Apparently, the $10 was up for redesign anyway. The treasury department posted an FAQ on the matter, which reads:
“A number of interesting currency ideas exist. Currency is redesigned to stay ahead of counterfeiting. The ACD Steering Committee recommended a redesign of the $10 note next. The ACD will make its next recommendation based on current and potential security threats to currency notes.”
2. Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10.
Some people were really upset when they found out the bill would be redesigned because they didn’t want Hamilton removed. As a beloved founding father, and the very first secretary of the treasury, many felt passionately that he should retain his position on the bill.
In fact, he will – sort of.
In response to the query, “What will happen to Alexander Hamilton?” The treasury department responded, “While the design process is complex and much work remains to be done, Secretary Lew has made clear that the image of Alexander Hamilton will remain part of the $10 note. There are many options for continuing to honor Hamilton. While one option is producing two bills, we are exploring a variety of possibilities. However, security requirements are the driving consideration behind any new design.”
3. Still, removing Jackson from the $20 note should be considered.
The movement that started the conversation about removing Andrew Jackson and replacing him with a prominent woman from American history, Women On 20s, is disappointed that Jackson will retain his venerated position:
“We targeted the $20 because it is a ubiquitous bill bearing the image of Andrew Jackson, known more today for his mistreatment of Native Americans, involvement in the slave trade and hatred of paper currency than any other aspect of his legacy. We had no desire to unseat the exemplary Alexander Hamilton, a visionary founding father who designed our monetary system.”
Regardless of the future of the $10, removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 ought to be considered. His legacy of instilling fear through horrific violence arguably makes him the worst “great” president in history. What message are we sending by keeping him on the $20 note?
4. No matter how you cut it, featuring a woman on US currency is a positive thing.
The decision to feature a woman on the new $10 bill is good news. For the first time in 100 years, a female face will grace an American note. And, the new bill is scheduled to enter circulation in time for the 100th anniversary of woman securing the right to vote, in 2020.
“While it might not be the twenty dollar bill, make no mistake, this is a historic announcement and a big step forward,” said New Hampshire democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen who introduced legislation in April related to this matter. “Young girls across this country will soon be able to see an inspiring woman on the ten dollar bill who helped shape our country into what it is today and know that they too can grow up and do something great for their country.”
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