According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.15% per year. Prices in 2017 are 2717.3% higher than prices in 1860.
In other words, $1.50 in the year 1860 is equivalent to $42.26 in 2017, a difference of $40.76 over 157 years.
Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.
Inflation Data Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.