"Not worth a Continental": that was the (US Continental) dollar. It took many years after 1776 before the US dollar found its feet (Sterling continued to be used in parallel). One of the big discussions was whether the USA was a nation, or a federation of independent states (see the 'Federal Papers' for the contemporary discussion. The arguments continue ("States' Rights"), but at least the fundamentals are now clear, even if it took a civil war. I just hope it doesn't come to that in Europe!