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Coinage Act of 1873 ~ the "Crime of '73"

Goldhedge

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#1
Coinage Act of 1792
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Coinage Act or the Mint Act, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, established the United States Mint and regulated the coinage of the United States.[1] The long title of the legislation is An act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. This act established the dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.[2]

By the Act, the Mint was to be situated at the seat of government of the United States. The five original officers of the U.S. Mint were a Director, an Assayer, a Chief Coiner, an Engraver, and a Treasurer (not the same as the Secretary of the Treasury). The Act allowed that one person could perform the functions of Chief Coiner and Engraver. The Assayer, Chief Coiner and Treasurer were required to post a $10,000 bond with the Secretary of the Treasury.

History

Although some of the provisions in the 1792 Coinage Act were adjusted as time went by, the majority of the rules specified in this Act remained in effect for many decades. Essentially, it provided the basic framework on which all subsequent coinage production was based. While the first draft of the Act stipulated that all coins would employ a portrait of the president on the obverse, the final version called for an image emblematic of liberty. The Act also authorized construction of a mint building in Philadelphia, the nation's capital. This was the first federal building erected under the United States Constitution. Mint director David Rittenhouse laid the building's cornerstone on July 31.

On May 8, 1792 An Act to Provide For a Copper Coinage was signed into law by President George Washington. This legislation resulted in the birth of the copper cent, from which descends today's one cent piece. The Act also stipulated that "the director of the mint... be authorized to contract for and purchase a quantity of copper, not exceeding one hundred and fifty tons... to be coined at the mint into cents and half-cents... and be paid into the treasury of the United States, thence to issue into circulation." Furthermore, "no copper coins or pieces whatsoever except the said cents and half-cents, shall pass current as money, or shall be paid, or offered to be paid or received in payment for any debt, demand, claims, matter or thing whatsoever."

Authorization

The Act authorized production of the following coins:

Eagles................$10.........247 4/8 grain (16.0 g) pure or 270 grain (17.5 g) standard gold
Half Eagles.........$5...........123 6/8 grain (8.02 g) pure or 135 grain (8.75 g) standard gold
Quarter Eagles...$2.50.........61 7/8 grain (4.01 g) pure or 67 4/8 grain (4.37 g) standard gold
Dollars or Units..$1............371 4/16 grain (24.1 g) pure or 416 grain (27.0 g) standard silver
Half Dollars........$0.50........185 10/16 grain (12.0 g) pure or 208 grain (13.5 g) standard silver
Quarter Dollars..$0.25.........92 13/16 grain (6.01 g) pure or 104 grains (6.74 g) standard silver
Dismes..............$0.10........37 2/16 grain (2.41 g) pure or 41 3/5 grain (2.70 g) standard silver
Half Dismes.......$0.05........18 9/16 grain (1.20 g) pure or 20 4/5 grain (1.35 g) standard silver
Cents................$0.01........11 pennyweights (17.1 g) of copper
Half Cents.........$0.005........5 1/2 pennyweights (8.55 g) of copper

The coins were to contain the following markings:

* One side was to have an impression emblematic of liberty, with the inscription "Liberty", and the year of the coinage.
* The reverse side of each of the gold and silver coins was to have the figure or representation of an eagle with the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
* The reverse of the copper coins was to have an inscription expressing the denomination.

The Act defined the proportional value of gold and silver as 15 units of pure silver to 1 unit of pure gold. Standard gold was defined as 11 parts pure gold to one part alloy composed of silver and copper. Standard silver was defined as 1485 parts pure silver to 179 parts copper alloy.

Any person could bring gold or silver bullion and have it coined free of charge or for a nominal fee exchange it immediately for equivalent value of coin.

Quality control measures were implemented in that from each separate mass of gold or silver used to produce coins, three coins were set aside by the treasurer. Each year on the last Monday in July, under the inspection of the Chief Justice, the Secretary and Comptroller of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General, the coins were to be assayed and if the coins did not meet established standards, the officers were disqualified from office. Further, the penalty for fraud or embezzlement by officers or employees of the mint was death.

The Act also specified the dollar as the "money of account" of the United States, and directed that all accounts of the federal government be kept in dollars, "dismes", cents, and "milles", a mille being one-tenth of a cent or one-thousandth of a dollar.

The silver content of a dollar under this act was almost exactly equal to 1/5 of the silver content of the contemporary British pound sterling, or 4 British shillings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coinage_Act_of_1792
 
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Goldhedge

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#2
Coinage Act of 1873 ~ the "Crime of '73"
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fourth Coinage Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 1873 and embraced the gold standard and de-monetized silver. Western mining interests and others who wanted silver in circulation years later labeled this measure the "Crime of '73". Gold became the only metallic standard in the United States, hence putting the United States 'de facto' onto the gold standard.

The USA did not actually adopt the gold standard 'de jure' until the year 1900, following a lengthy period of debate that was made famous by William Jennings Bryan's cross of gold speech at the 1896 Democratic convention. By this time, most major nations had moved to a gold standard. The only major nation that continued on the silver standard into the twentieth century was China. China and Hong Kong abandoned the silver standard in 1935.

The act (H. R. 2934) also placed the United States Mint within the United States Department of the Treasury, and specified four United States mints at Philadelphia, San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver, and two assay-offices at New York and Boise City, Idaho. These were very practical locations.

H. R. 2934 was a very lengthy bill written in 67 sections which filled 35 pages in the House Journal on May 27, 1872. When presented to President Grant, he promptly signed it into law on February 12, 1873.

Political results

As countries abandoned silver and bimetallic standards in favor of gold, the supply of silver not being used for coinage increased. Coupled with the fact that more silver was being discovered, this caused the world's silver-to-gold price ratio to rise (it would reach 40:1 by 1908).[citation needed]

The U.S. government finally caved to the pressure from the western mining states and agreed to the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, which forced the Treasury to purchase silver at a high price. It was replaced in 1890 by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. The Bland-Allison Act (named for Richard P. Bland, D–Mo., and William Allison, R–Iowa) required the U.S. Treasury to purchase at about double the market value between $2 million to $4 million of silver per month at a ratio of silver to gold of 16 to 1. President Grover Cleveland forced the repeal of the silver purchase laws in 1893, which ruined his popularity among many Democrats. After 1893 Western miners and wheat and cotton farmers rallied to the silver cause with the slogan the "Crime of '73", and the movement became known as Free Silver. The silverite movement took control of the Democratic party in 1896 under William Jennings Bryan. The 1896 and 1900 presidential elections focused on silver and gold, with victory going both times to the champion of gold, William McKinley. This period is best remembered by the famous cross of gold speech that was made by William Jennings Bryan at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 6, 1896, in which he expressed his hope that mankind would not be crucified upon a cross of gold.

Impact on exchange rates

Canada had already been on the gold standard since 1853, as had Newfoundland since 1865. The new coinage act of 1873 now put the USA 'de facto' unto the gold standard also, and as has already been stated above, the act had the effect of depressing the value of silver in relation to gold. As such, all the silver dollars in the world fell in value against the US dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Newfoundland dollar. This did not affect the Spanish dollar accounts that were being used in the British territories in the Eastern Caribbean because these were merely paper units that were being used in conjunction with sterling coinage at a fixed rate of $1 = 4s 2d. It did however have the effect of making silver dollar coins return to the West Indies. Silver dollars had very much disappeared in the West Indies following the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851. The return of silver dollars to the West Indies after 1873 threatened the gold standard there that had been in operation since 1704, and so by the year 1876, the British West Indies territories began to pass legislation to demonetize the silver dollars. In the Far East and in Latin America, the silver dollars dropped in value against the US unit, and by the year 1900 they had dropped to exactly one half of their pre-1873 gold value. The Mexican Peso, the Philippine Peso, and the Japanese Yen were now worth only 50 US cents. In the Philippines, this 2:1 exchange rate continued right up until November 1965 on the eve of the reign of President Ferdinand Marcos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coinage_Act_of_1873

... and ...


Major Acts of Congress > Coinage Acts


Lawrence H. Officer

The Coinage Act of 1873 (P.L. 42-131, 17 Stat. 424) comprehensively revised and rewrote
the existing laws regarding mint and coinage issues. The important sections of the act of
1873 concerned gold and silver coinage, the basis of the monetary standard of the United
States at the time. The act has a legislative history that dates to the Coinage Act of 1792,
and it led eventually to the enactment of the Gold Standard Act of 1900.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF GOLD AND SILVER COINS

For a country to be considered to be on metallic standard, whether gold, silver, or bimetallic—using
both gold and silver—the first principle is that its mint must issue coins. The Authority for Gold and
Silver Coinage, 1792–1875 table details laws that authorized U.S. coins between 1792 and 1875.
Two features are of note. First, the least valuable gold coin was worth one dollar, and the most
valuable silver coin also was worth one dollar. As gold was (and still is) much more valuable per
ounce than silver, a silver coin worth more than one dollar would have been too large for practical
use, and a gold coin worth less than a dollar would have been too small. Second, the Act of 1873
eliminated three existing coins made of silver, of which the silver dollar was the most important,
and created a "trade-dollar," a special silver dollar coin to be used in international trade.

more here:

http://www.enotes.com/major-acts-congress/coinage-acts
 
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Goldhedge

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#3
The Cross of Gold speech

Cross of Gold speech

The Cross of Gold speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896. The speech advocated bimetallism. Following the Coinage Act (1873), the United States abandoned its policy of bimetallism and began to operate a de facto gold standard. In 1896, the Democratic Party wanted to standardize the value of the dollar to silver and opposed a monometallic gold standard. The inflation that would result from the silver standard would make it easier for farmers and other debtors to pay off their debts by increasing their revenue dollars. It would also reverse the deflation which the U.S. experienced from 1873-1896.

Opposition

Backers of a monometallic gold standard felt that protection against inflation was of paramount importance, and they believed that a monometallic gold standard was the best way to achieve this end. Inflation is disadvantageous for creditors, and for people who like to save money. William Jennings Bryan secured the Democratic Party nomination at the convention, but was beaten in the presidential election by William McKinley. This situation was repeated in the year 1900 and the United States adopted the monometallic gold standard de jure in that year. By the first decade of the twentieth century, only China and Hong Kong remained on the silver standard.

The speech

The speech was given in the context of a wider debate about bimetallism at the Democratic convention, and so the greater part of Bryan's speech was devoted to responses to other speakers whose contributions have largely been forgotten. Bryan's speech places him in the camp of Western interests (largely farmers and other borrowers) against Eastern interests (moneylenders), in the camp of rural interests against urban interests, and in the camp of economic nationalists against internationalists who were concerned about the U.S. abandoning the gold standard. Bryan's speech cemented his role as a leading voice for economic populism.

Origin of the name

The speech, with its biblical allusions, gets its popular name from its closing phrase:

"Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

At the conclusion of the speech, Bryan stretched out his arms in a Christ-like manner for five seconds, while the crowd remained quiet. According to the New York World, at that point everyone seemed to go mad at once and shrieked and rushed the stage. The New York Times commented that "a wild, raging irresistible mob" had been unleashed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Gold_speech
 

789

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What a disgusting piece of party-line propaganda from Wikipedia !
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Act of 1792:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=369
establishing the unit of account in the united States:

"Dollars or Units--- each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain 371¼ grains of pure, or 416 grains of standard, silver. "

The law actually made silver the unit of account; but it also enabled the absurdity of two legal tenders ---grains of silver and grains of gold. A "legislative folly of attempting to establish by law what nature herself could not establish." "To attempt to fix by law what is not fixed by nature, is preposterous. Gold and silver vary in value when compared with one another, in the same manner as copper and iron vary."

The crime of 1873 changed the situation and made grains of gold "de jure" the one-and-only unit of value:
"Sec. 14. That the gold coins of the United States shall be a one-dollar piece, which, at the standard weight of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains, shall be the unit of value;"

Silver was removed from among money metals and was made a subsidiary coin (small change), legal tender to the amount of $5.

As result of Comstock and other lodes, there was a danger of the United States' returning to a genuine specie payment of silver coin alone for legal tender and currency. Not good for bondholders who like to lend credit in exchange for coin interest; or for printing-press money-corporations who flood the country with their paper for genuine articles.


Senator Dawes, a congressional mouth-piece for gold interests, in the Senate, on February 13, 1878, comited this freudian slip:
"There is no doubt when he ingrafted into that bill in the Senate the trade-dollar in the place of the dollar of 384 grains that he knew just what he was doing."
He said this of John Sherman, who in those days was Secretary of the Treasury, but on January 17, 1873, was the chairman of the Committee on Finance and god-father of the bill that demonetized silver and eliminated the $1 silver coin. On that day John Sherman in broad day-light, in front of a full Senate, managed to commit the crime of 1873 and insert into the bill a section 15 which was not read, was not acted on; which would have been opposed by a majority of Senators present.

John Sherman started life as an orphan boy and died with $2,000,000 to his name.

The elimination of silver as money metal, of course, increased the purchasing power of gold. Bonds that were purchsed with 60-cents on the dollar paper money became redeemable in gold at 100 cents; and now that 100 cents of gold increased in purchasing power to 150 cents. Plenty of money to pay for gold propaganda.
 

EO 11110

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i prefer to buy coins that meet the 1792 specs. in my mind they are american money, not commodity. imo all of the 99 pure stuff is commodity, thus subject to commodity laws/rules

some say that william jennings bryan was depicted in the wizard of oz -- he was the cowardly lion (he cucked out after the famous speech). and that the whole oz story is an allegory of that time period.
 
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