Gold Standard Act

The Gold Standard Act of the United States was passed in 1900 (approved on March 14) and established gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money, stopping bimetallism (which had allowed silver in exchange for gold). It was signed by President William McKinley.

The Act made the de facto gold standard in place since the Coinage Act of 1873 (whereby debt holders could demand reimbursement in whatever metal was preferred—usually gold) a de jure gold standard alongside other major European powers at the time.

The Act fixed the value of the dollar at ​25 810 grains of gold at "nine-tenths fine" (90% purity), equivalent to 23.22 grains (1.5046 grams) of pure gold.

The Gold Standard Act confirmed the United States' commitment to the gold standard by assigning gold a specific dollar value (just over $20.67 per Troy ounce). This took place after McKinley sent a team to Europe to try to make a silver agreement with France and Great Britain.

On April 19, 1933, the United States domestically abandoned the gold standard, whereafter independent states would remain assured of their US dollar holdings by an implied guarantee on their convertibility on demand: the Bretton Woods system formalized this international arrangement at the conclusion of World War II, before the Nixon shock unilaterally cancelled direct international convertibility of the US dollar to gold in 1971. [1]

Gold Standard Act
Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
Long titleAn Act to define and fix the standard of value, to maintain the parity of all forms of money issued or coined by the United States, to refund the public debt, and for other purposes.
NicknamesGold Standard Act of 1900
Enacted bythe 56th United States Congress
EffectiveMarch 14, 1900
Citations
Public law56-41
Statutes at Large31 Stat. 45
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 1
  • Passed the House on December 18, 1899 (192-152)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on March 6, 1900; agreed to by the Senate on March 6, 1900 (44-26) and by the House on March 13, 1900 (172-127)
  • Signed into law by President William McKinley on March 14, 1900

See also

References

  1. ^ James Stuart Olson. Historical Dictionary of the Great Depression, 1929-1940. p. 131.

External links

1900

1900 (MCM)

was an exceptional common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1900th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 900th year of the 2nd millennium, the 100th and last year of the 19th century, and the 1st year of the 1900s decade. As of the start of 1900, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. As of March 1 (O.S. February 17), when the Julian calendar acknowledged a leap day and the Gregorian calendar did not, the Julian calendar fell one day further behind, bringing the difference to 13 days until February 28 (O.S. February 15), 2100.

1900 in the United States

Events from the year 1900 in the United States.

56th United States Congress

The Fifty-sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1899, to March 4, 1901, during the third and fourth years of William McKinley's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Eleventh Census of the United States in 1890. Both chambers had a Republican majority. There was one African-American member, George Henry White of North Carolina, who served his second and final term as a Representative in this Congress, and would be the last black member of Congress until 1928, and the last black member of Congress from the South until 1972.

Currency Act

The Currency Act is one of many several Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain that regulated paper money issued by the colonies of British America. The Acts sought to protect British merchants and creditors from being paid in depreciated colonial currency. The policy created tension between the colonies and Great Britain, and was cited as a grievance by colonists early in the American Revolution. However, the consensus view among modern economic historians and economists is that the debts owed by colonists to British merchants was not a major cause of the Revolution. In 1995, a random survey of 178 members of the Economic History Association found that 92 percent of economists and 74 percent of historians disagreed with the statement, "The debts owed by colonists to British merchants and other private citizens constituted one of the most powerful causes leading to the Revolution."

Gold standard

A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. Three types can be distinguished: specie, bullion, and exchange.

In the gold specie standard the monetary unit is associated with the value of circulating gold coins, or the monetary unit has the value of a certain circulating gold coin, but other coins may be made of less valuable metal.

The gold bullion standard is a system in which gold coins do not circulate, but the authorities agree to sell gold bullion on demand at a fixed price in exchange for the circulating currency.

The gold exchange standard usually does not involve the circulation of gold coins. The main feature of the gold exchange standard is that the government guarantees a fixed exchange rate to the currency of another country that uses a gold standard (specie or bullion), regardless of what type of notes or coins are used as a means of exchange. This creates a de facto gold standard, where the value of the means of exchange has a fixed external value in terms of gold that is independent of the inherent value of the means of exchange itself.Most nations abandoned the gold standard as the basis of their monetary systems at some point in the 20th century, although many hold substantial gold reserves. A 2012 survey of leading American economists showed that they unanimously reject that a return to the gold standard would benefit the average American.

H.R. 1

The identifier H.R. 1 (short for House of Representatives 1) may refer to any of several pieces of legislation considered by the United States House of Representatives. The numbering system restarts every two years with each new meeting of the Congress. While bills are usually numbered in order, low numbers are often reserved for major pieces of legislation.

Acts bearing the designation H.R. 1 include:

Gold Standard Act of 1900, H.R. 1 of the 56th Congress

Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929, H.R. 1 of the 71th Congress

Ethics in Government Act of 1978, H.R. 1 of the 95th Congress

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, H.R. 1 of 103rd Congress

Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, H.R. 1 of the 104th Congress

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, H.R. 1 of the 107th Congress

Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, H.R. 1 of the 108th Congress

Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, H.R. 1 of the 110th Congress

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1 of the 111th Congress

Office of Compliance Administrative and Technical Corrections Act of 2015, H.R. 1 of the 114th Congress

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, H.R. 1 of the 115th Congress

For The People Act of 2019, H.R. 1 of the 116th Congress

History of the United States dollar

The history of the United States Dollar refers to more than 240 years since the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of Continental Currency in 1775. On April 2, 1792, the United States Congress created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money. The term dollar had already been in common usage since the colonial period when it referred to eight-real coin (Spanish dollar) used by the Spanish throughout New Spain.

Jesse Overstreet

Jesse E. Overstreet (December 14, 1859 – May 27, 1910) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana. In 1900, Overstreet introduced the legislation that was ultimately passed as the Gold Standard Act.

Born in Franklin, Indiana, Overstreet attended the schools of his native city.

He was graduated from the Franklin High School in 1877 and from Franklin College in 1882.

He studied law.

He was admitted to the bar in 1886 and commenced practice in Franklin.

He served as member of the Republican State central committee of Indiana in 1892.

Overstreet was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1895 - March 3, 1909).

He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice (Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Congresses), Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Fifty-eighth through Sixtieth Congresses).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1908 to the Sixty-first Congress.

He resumed the practice of his profession.

He died in Indianapolis, Indiana, May 27, 1910.

He was interred in the Columbus City Cemetery, Columbus, Indiana.

Limping bimetallism

Limping bimetallism was a monetary system in the United States that was partially dependent on silver but primarily dependent on gold. It was developed after the abandonment of bimetallism and the adoption of the gold standard in 1873. The Bland–Allison Act of 1878 allowed the coining of new silver dollars, thus creating this system. Contrary to popular belief, the limping standard was not abandoned upon enactment of the Gold Standard Act of 1900.

Lyman J. Gage

Lyman Judson Gage (June 28, 1836 – January 26, 1927) was an American financier and Presidential Cabinet officer.

March 14

March 14 is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 292 days remaining until the end of the year.

Panic of 1896

The Panic of 1896 was an acute economic depression in the United States that was less serious than other panics of the era, precipitated by a drop in silver reserves, and market concerns on the effects it would have on the gold standard. Deflation of commodities' prices drove the stock market to new lows in a trend that began to reverse only after the 1896 election of William McKinley. The failure of the National Bank of Illinois in Chicago is remembered as one of the motivating factors in the sensational Adolph Luetgert murder case. During the panic, call money would reach 125 percent, the highest level since the Civil War.

Presidency of William McKinley

The presidency of William McKinley began on March 4, 1897, when William McKinley was inaugurated and ended with his death on September 14, 1901. He is best known for leading the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, taking ownership of Hawaii, purchasing the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico, restoring prosperity, and promoting pluralism among all groups. It includes the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition, and the Gold Standard Act of 1900 that rejected free silver inflationary proposals. Rapid economic growth and a decline in labor conflict also marked the presidency.

The 25th United States president, McKinley took office following the 1896 presidential election, in which he defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan. In the campaign, McKinley advocated "sound money", promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity, and denounced Bryan as a radical who promoted class warfare. He defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election, in a campaign focused on imperialism in the Philippines, high tariffs, and free silver. McKinley's presidency marked the beginning of an era in American political history, called the "Fourth Party System" or "Progressive Era," which lasted from the mid–1890s to the early 1930s. On the national level, this period was generally dominated by the Republican Party.

In 1897–98, the most pressing issue was an insurrection in Cuba against repressive Spanish colonial rule which had been worsening for years. Americans sympathized with the rebels and demanded action to resolve the crisis. The administration tried to persuade Spain to liberalize its rule but when negotiations failed, both sides wanted war. American victory in the Spanish–American War was quick and decisive. During the war the United States took temporary possession of Cuba; it was promised independence but it remained under the control of the U.S. Army throughout McKinley's presidency. The status of the Philippines was heavily debated, and became an issue in the 1900 election, with Democrats opposed to American ownership. McKinley decided it needed American protection and it remained under U.S. control until the 1940s. As a result of the war, the United States also took permanent possession of Guam and Puerto Rico. Under Mckinley's leadership, the United States also annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898. Unlike the other new possessions, citizens of Hawaii became American citizens and Hawaii became a territory with an appointed governor. McKinley's foreign policy created an overseas empire and put the U.S. on the world's list of major powers.

In 1897 the economy rapidly recovered from the severe depression, called the Panic of 1893. McKinley's supporters in 1900 argued that the new high tariff and the commitment to the gold standard were responsible. Historians looking at his domestic and foreign policies typically rank McKinley as an "above average" president. Historian Lewis L. Gould argues that McKinley was "the first modern president":

He was a political leader who confirmed the Republicans as the nation's majority party; he was the architect of important departures in foreign policy; and he was a significant contributor to the evolution of the modern presidency. On these achievements rest his substantial claims as an important figure in history of the United States.

Reserve currency

A reserve currency (or anchor currency) is a currency that is held in significant quantities by governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves. The reserve currency is commonly used in international transactions, international investments and all aspects of the global economy. It is often considered a hard currency or safe-haven currency. People who live in a country that issues a reserve currency can purchase imports and borrow across borders more cheaply than people in other nations because they do not need to exchange their currency to do so.

By the end of the 20th century, the United States dollar was considered the world's most dominant reserve currency. The world's need for dollars has allowed the United States government as well as Americans to borrow at lower costs, granting them an advantage in excess of $100 billion per year.

United States dollar

The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar) is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars (12 U.S.C. § 418).

Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U.S. currency into any precious metal, the U.S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is also used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or also accept U.S. dollar coins (such as the Sacagawea or presidential dollar). As of June 27, 2018, there are approximately $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes (the remaining $50 billion is in the form of coins).

William B. Allison

William Boyd Allison (March 2, 1829 – August 4, 1908) was an early leader of the Iowa Republican Party, who represented northeastern Iowa in the United States House of Representatives before representing his state in the United States Senate. By the 1890s, Allison had become one of the "big four" key Republicans who largely controlled the Senate, along with Orville H. Platt of Connecticut, John Coit Spooner of Wisconsin and Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island.

Born in Perry, Ohio, Allison established a legal practice in Dubuque, Iowa and became a prominent member of the nascent Iowa Republican Party. He was a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention and won election to the House of Representatives in 1862. He served four terms in the House and won election to the Senate in 1872. He became chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, serving for all but two years between 1881 and 1908. Three different Republican presidents asked Allison to join their Cabinet, but Allison declined each offer. A significant number of delegates supported his presidential nomination at the 1888 and 1896 Republican National Conventions.

Allison emerged as a centrist and pragmatic leader in the Senate, and he helped pass several important bills. The Bland–Allison Act of 1878 restored bimetallism, but in a less inflationary manner than had been sought by Congressman Richard P. Bland. A prominent advocate of higher tariffs, Allison played a major role in the passage of the McKinley Tariff and the Dingley Act. He also helped pass the Hepburn Act by offering the Allison amendment, which granted courts the power to review the Interstate Commerce Commission's railroad rate-setting. Allison sought a record seventh term in the 1908, but died shortly after winning the Republican primary against progressive leader Albert B. Cummins.

William McKinley

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).

McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted soldier, beginning as a private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial, which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896 amid a deep economic depression. He defeated his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan after a front porch campaign in which he advocated "sound money" (the gold standard unless altered by international agreement) and promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity.

Rapid economic growth marked McKinley's presidency. He promoted the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition and in 1900 secured the passage of the Gold Standard Act. McKinley hoped to persuade Spain to grant independence to rebellious Cuba without conflict, but when negotiation failed he led the nation into the Spanish–American War of 1898—the United States victory was quick and decisive. As part of the peace settlement, Spain turned over to the United States its main overseas colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines while Cuba was promised independence, but at that time remained under the control of the United States Army. The United States annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898 and it became a United States territory.

Historians regard McKinley's 1896 victory as a realigning election in which the political stalemate of the post-Civil War era gave way to the Republican-dominated Fourth Party System, which began with the Progressive Era. McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election in a campaign focused on imperialism, protectionism and free silver. His legacy was suddenly cut short when he was shot on September 6, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a second-generation Polish-American with anarchist leanings. McKinley died eight days later and was succeeded by his Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. As an innovator of American interventionism and pro-business sentiment, McKinley's presidency is generally considered above average, though his highly positive public perception was soon overshadowed by Roosevelt.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.