Coin's Financial School

Coin's Financial School

Coin's Financial School

Coin's Financial School

Excerpt

Who today can understand without a strenuous effort of imagination the passions once aroused by the cry for free silver? Despite the pointless and long sustained policy of silver purchases into which the federal government was forced by silver interests in 1934, the once heated issue of the bimetallic standard has been rendered obsolete by modern devices of monetary management. Yet a whole generation of Americans was embroiled from the 1870's to the 1890's in the argument over silver. To the combatants of that era, silver and gold were not merely precious metals but precious symbols, the very substance of creeds and faiths which continued long afterward to have meaning for men living on the echoes of nineteenth-century orthodoxies. In 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt took the United States "off gold," Lewis W. Douglas said, at the end of a long and anxious night, "This is the end of Western civilization." From another point of view, Senator Ashurst of Arizona, pressed by Secretary Morgenthau about his persistence on silver, replied: "My boy, I was brought up from my mother's knee on silver and I can't discuss that with you any more than you can discuss your religion with me."

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