U.S. Overcomes Bretton Woods

During the summer of 1944, representatives from forty-four nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to hash out the global finances for the remaining half of the twentieth century. The three-week conference was a striking display of the United States' swelling political and fiscal might. For one, the U.S. used Bretton Woods as a stage to promote the dollar as the standard currency for international transactions. Though some European leaders initially disliked the idea, American officials stood their ground and the dollar eventually won the day. By the time the conference closed on July 22, the delegates had voted to create both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), institutions which sealed America's role as the leader of the post-war economic order.