The Crime of 1873

  title={The Crime of 1873},
  author={Milton Friedman},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={1159 - 1194}
  • M. Friedman
  • Published 1990
  • Economics
  • Journal of Political Economy
The U.S. Coinage Act of 1873 eliminated provision for the free coinage of silver. That act cast the die for a gold standard. The conventional view is that "the act of 1873 was a piece of good fortune." This paper indicates that it was the opposite--a mistake that had highly adverse consequences. This is a judgment about 1873, not 1896. By 1896, when William Jennings Bryan ran for president on a "free-silver ticket," it was too late to undo the damage. Bryan was trying to close the barn door… Expand
The Crime of 1873: Back to the Scene
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  • Political Science
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  • 2014
Abstract In the 1890s, questions about whether to base the American currency upon gold or silver dominated public discourse and eventually forced a realignment of the political parties. The matterExpand
The French Crime of 1873: An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870–1880
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May the worst monetary standard be the best ? A re-enactment of “ the crimes of 1873 ”
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Populism, Paranoia, and the Politics of Free Silver
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  • Political Science
  • Studies in American Political Development
  • 2011
This essay defends the Populists against charges that they espoused an irrationally conspiratorial view of American history. Focusing on monetary policy, and the free silver issue in particular, IExpand
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  • Economics, Environmental Science
  • 2002
The United States, with some difficulty, adopted the gold standard in the late nineteenth century, thus pegging the dollar to the pound sterling and other currencies. Some have argued it was mistake,Expand
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In 1871-73, newly unified Germany adopted the gold standard, replacing the silver-based currencies that had been prevalent in most German states until then. The reform sparked a series of steps inExpand


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THE problem of the country's monetary standard and controversies arising from efforts to deal with it appear persistently and recurrently in American history. From the land-bank episodes of the lateExpand
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  • Economics
  • Journal of Political Economy
  • 1990
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, perhaps America's favorite children's story, is also an informed comment on the battle over free silver in the 1890s. The characters in the story represent real figuresExpand
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This paper presents a new annual series for United Kingdom gross national product, at current and constant prices, calculated from the expenditure side. These results differ significantly fromExpand
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Give us 5 minutes and we will show you the best book to read today. This is it, the the history of bimetallism in the united states that will be your best choice for better reading book. Your fiveExpand
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