These days, the dollar is joined by the euro and the yen as accepted currencies. No longer dominant, the dollar is losing its global position. Can it survive?
Early in the 20th century, the US was the most powerful nation on earth, and the dollar reflected that power. Our gold reserves were larger than those of any other country, thus setting the standard worldwide. The US dollar was, indeed, good as gold.
By the late 1940's, the Federal Reserve started to print money that wasn't back by gold. Rising inflation only encouraged the government to print more money without the gold reserves to back it. Gold prices rose to such new heights, all US currency stopped being back by any gold. The powerful US dollar began to turn into monopoly money. Gold price tripled as the dollar continued to lose value.
That's how the Petrodollar was born, a political move more than a smart currency move. With the US importing more oil than anyone else from Saudi Arabia, then Secretary of State Kissinger arranged to have the price of oil based on the US dollar. All countries were to pay for oil with dollars.