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Jeffery Frieden - Monetary Populism in the 19th century

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 354
Mark Brawley

1Jeffry A Frieden Monetary Populism in Nineteenth Century America An Open Economy Interpretation Journal of Economic History 57 2 1997Defining characteristic of populism passionate hostility to the gold standard 367Main contention of the articleMonetary populism aimed to engineer a dollar devaluation consequences would have been increased relative prices of exports wheat cotton minerals Populism could alleviate domestic closed economy effects of debt but would render international debt contracts more difficult to resolveMONETARY POPULISM POLITICS AND POLICIESAttempts to regain preCivil War rates of dollar to gold convertibility rates put pressure of manufacturers and farmers the Greenback populist movement was a response to such attemptsOriginal supporters of the Greenback movement manufacturers and railroad men joined by farmers and miners in the early 1870s1873 silver was demonetized with its price declining relative to gold the government was obliged to buy silver at exorbitant prices to subsidize silver minersnonetheless there was general support by individuals and in Congress for the movement1875 President Ulysses Grant passed the Resumption Act in a lameduck Congress stwhich would reinstate the gold standard on January 1 1879The Act was repealed without themajority needed to ove
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