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POLI 354 (26)

Monetary Populism in 19th Century - Jeff Frieden

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Political Science
POLI 354
Mark Brawley

thMonetary Populism in 19 Century America An Open Economy InterpretationFrieden 1 Intro a Populismpassionate hostility to the gold standard often an agrarian factoragrarian populists were burdened by farm debt i Thus populists wanted off the gold standard to allow inflation that would lightened their nominally denominated debt b Argumentmonetary populism aimed at a dollar devaluation i By going off gold exporters could get a higher relative price for heavily exported tradable goods c Populism favoured open economy real exchange rate over closed economy nominal price levels 2 Monetary populism politics and policies a After the Civil war attempts to appreciate the dollar in order to resume gold convertibility known as the greenback at the prewar rate put the most pressure on manufacturers and farmers i This cross section wanted to maintain the old 16 to 1 ration of silver to gold but this would force the government to subsidize silver mining keep the country off gold and create a de facto silver rate b 1879 the country went back on the gold standard this was supported by commercial and financial proponents This cross section had
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