Then we went on the ‘Silver Standard’, and the government issued Silver Certificates, assuring the bearer that they could exchange their currency for silver specie should they want to haul it around. It had the benefit of assuring value to US Currency.
In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon took the US off the precious metal standard. Today whoever can print the most money rules the world (Republicans, Democrats – leaders of other nations). The US is able to compel foreign countries to produce and subsidize the America with military superiority and control over the monetary printing presses.
We get away with it because the issuer of the international currency must always be the country with the military might to guarantee control over the system. And our military is the best on the planet. America makes the very best war machines. (we don’t make much else, but we do make those)