Beginnings of the U.S. Gold Standard

America’s money — what America uses for money, and the impact of that on our lives — has a long, dramatic, profound — and too often overlooked — history. The Gold Standard Now will be publishing a series of historical vignettes bringing to the fore important events in our history.
lehrman-video-play
In the video above, Lewis E. Lehrman, Chairman of The Gold Standard Now discusses the early years of money in the United States, including the founders' opinions of paper currency.
 
These historical vignettes will lead you from the very beginnings — the American Revolution, where the paper Continental Dollar depreciated in value by 1000 – 1; to the Constitutional debates where the founders thought they had stripped the federal government of the power to print money; to the work of Alexander Hamilton putting America onto a sound monetary footing leading to an American golden age; into the 19th century and the First and Second Banks of the United States, the precursors of the Federal Reserve System; to the Civil War greenbacks, the resumption of gold convertibility, the prairie populists and the “free silver” movement culminating in the most famous speech in political history, William Jennings Bryan’s “cross of gold” speech; to a 20th century defined by an erosion and then repudiation of the gold standard, and also by world wars and crises; to the history that is being made today.
We submit this series for your interest … to shine light on the only truly Constitutional monetary policy — a dollar defined by and convertible into a fixed weight of precious metal (in practice, gold) … and to help you, dear Reader, exercise your power and duties as a Citizen to guide the footsteps of our elected representatives and other officials back onto the paths of righteousness envisioned by America’s very Founders.
  1. Not Worth A Continental
  2. At the Constitutional Convention
  3. Ratification of the Constitution
  4. George Washington
  5. The Alexander Hamilton Era
    • America’s financial and monetary foundations
    • First and Second Reports on the Public Credit
    • Report on the Establishment of a Mint
    • Report on Manufactures
    • The Coinage Act of 1792
  6. Thomas Jefferson
  7. The Albert Gallatin Era
  8. The First Bank of the United States
  9. The War of 1812
  10. The Second Bank of the United States
  11. Andrew Jackson
    • The Panic of 1837
  12. The Civil War and Greenbacks
  13. Reconstruction
  14. The Legal Tender Cases
  15. Resumption
  16. The Free Silver Movement
  17. William Jennings Bryan and the Cross of Gold
  18. William McKinley
  19. The Panic of 1907
  20. Woodrow Wilson
  21. The Creation of the Fed
  22. World War I
  23. Genoa
  24. The Great Depression, Part I
  25. How FDR Ended the Great Depression
  26. The Great Depression, Part II
  27. The Gold Clause Cases
  28. World War II
  29. Bretton Woods
  30. The Post-War era
  31. The Lyndon B. Johnson-Richard Nixon Era
  32. The Gerald Ford-Jimmy Carter Era
  33. The Ronald Reagan-George H. W. Bush-Bill Clinton Era
    • The United States Gold Commission
    • Chairman Paul Volcker
    • Chairman Alan Greenspan
    • The Great Moderation
  34. The George W. Bush-Barack Obama Era
  35. Chairman Ben Bernanke
  36. The Gold Standard Now