50 years since Nixon ended the "Gold Standard"
On August 15, 1971, about 50 years ago. Richard Nixon, president of the United States at the time, decided to end the the "Gold Standard." A monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was the basis for the international monetary system from the 1870s to the early 1920s, and from the late 1920s to 1932 as well as from 1944 until 1971 when the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the US dollar to gold foreign central banks, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. Many states still hold substantial gold reserves. (wikipedia)
Historically, the validity of the gold standard began during the 19th century as the basis of the international financial system. It ended as a result of the First World War, since the belligerent governments needed to print a lot of money to finance the war effort without having the ability to back that money with precious metals.