The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XXI. Political Writing Since 1850

§ 27. Bimetallism

Parallel with the agrarian movement was the demand for bimetallism; indeed Senator Peffer in his Farmers’ Side urged free silver as a remedy for the grievances of the farmers. The “battle of the standards” became the all absorbing political issue between 1888 and 1896. Most of the economists favoured the gold standard, notably Professor J. Laurence Laughlin of the University of Chicago. His History of Bimetallism in the United States was more than a history; it was also a defence of monometallism, and was widely quoted throughout the silver agitation. The minority of the economists, who defended bimetallism, was best represented by E. Benjamin Andrews, President of Brown University, in his An Honest Dollar. So strongly was the monometallic theory favoured among the conservative classes of the East that President Andrews’s contrary views were one cause of his resignation from Brown in 1897. But the piece de resistance in the whole agitation was W. H. Harvey’s Coin’s Financial School (1894), a little book, simple in style, graphic in illustration, which, reprinted during the campaign of 1896, enjoyed a circulation similar to that of the Impending Crisis in 1860. A reply to his arguments, in imitative style, was made by Horace White in Coin’s Financial Fool.