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THE BLAND-ALLISON SILVER ACT.
table by the House.* The free silver
The free silver lion dollars worth per month, nor issue was now vigorously pushed more than four million dollars worth
. Congressman R. P. Bland, of Mis- per month and cause the same to be souri, on July 25, 1876, had intro- coined monthly, as fast as so purduced a bill in the House providing chased, into such dollars." President. for a free and unlimited coinage of Hayes vetoed the bill on February gold and silver at the ratio of 16 to 1.1 28* but on the same day it was passed The House passed the bill after vari
over his veto by both Houses (in the ous amendments November 5, 1877, by House by a vote of 196 to 73 and in a vote of 164 to 34.1 The Senate, how
the Senate by a vote of 46 to 19). It ever, defeated this bill in its original then became law and continued in form and a compromise was offered
force until 1890.1 by Senator Allison. The bill was
To further embarrass and humilifinally passed February 15, 1878, by a
ate the treasury a resolution was invote of 48 to 21 in the Senate and February 21 in the House by a vote of troduced by Stanley Matthews on De203 to 72, being known as the Bland- cember 6, 1877, while the coinage bill Allison Act. It provided that there
was under discussion, declaring that should be " coined at the several all the bonds of the United States mints of the United States silver dol
" issued or authorized to be issued ” lars of the weight of four hundred and were payable in the silver dollars twelve and one-half grains troy of standard silver as provided in the Act * Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. vii., of January 18, 1837, * * * which coins pp. 486–488; Globe, pp. 1418-19, 45th Congress,
2d session; Watson, American Coinage, pp. 151together with all silver dollars heretofore coined by the United States of
† Statutes-at-Large, vol. XX., p. 25; Dewey, like weight and fineness, shall be a Financial History, pp. 405-408; Bolles, Financial
History, vol. iii., p. 390 et seq.; Noyes, American legal tender, at their nominal value,
Finance, pp. 38, 41-42; Laughlin, Bimetallism, for all debts and dues, public and pp. 183–186; Hepburn, Contest for Sound Money, private, except where otherwise ex- pp. 286–290, 503–565; Taussig, The Silver Situa
tion, pp.1-17; Watson, American Coinage, pp. pressly stipulated in the contract.'
146–150; Sherman, vol. ii., pp. 603–623; Dunbar, This law also provided that “ the Sec- Currency, Finance and Banking Laws, pp. 246– retary of the Treasury is authorized 248; Upton, Money in Politics, pp. 212–219;
Blaine, vol. ii., pp. 602-610; Crawford's Blaine, and directed to purchase from time to
“Substantially what this law of time, silver bullion, at the market
1878 did was to make a token coin of the old price thereof, not less than two mil- standard silver dollar. It restored it, but it
limited the amount which could be coined, and it * McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1878, p. 143 went over to the principle of coining on govern. et seq.; Hepburn, The Contest for Sound Money, ment account.". Sherwood, Theory of Money, pp. 233, 235, 237–238.
p. 167. See also J. F. Johnson, Money and Cur. † Congressional Globe, p. 5186, 44th Congress, rency, pp. 347–353. For the votes taken at variIst session.
ous times see McPherson, Handbook of Politics, | Laughlin, Bimetallism, pp. 181-183.
1878, pp. 127-135.
SPECIE PAYMENTS RESUMED; INDUSTRIAL PROSPERITY.
provided by the Bland Law.* “ The higher.* Upon resumption " the
wheat crop was ruined by snow, and As the time for carrying the law Austria, Germany and Russia yielded into effect drew near the opponents the smallest wheat crops in years. On became louder prophets of evil. They the other hand the crops in this counpredicted that business would be ut
try were huge, the wheat crop alone terly prostrated and that it would be exceeding by 28,000,000 bushels that of impossible to meet the enormous de
any previous year. The crop of Inmands for coin. The premium on
dian corn was the largest recorded up gold, however, continually diminished,
to that time; coincident with these and paper money was at par on De
records also came the completion of cember 17, 1878.
the tide-water pipe-lines from the Sherman, however, went steadily Pennsylvania oil-fields, and the partial forward perfecting his plans but took
failure of the cotton crop of India. the extra precaution to employ an in- Consequently the wheat shipments creased clerical force to assist in pay
which in 1878 did not average beyond ing out the coin. These clerks were
2,000,000 bushels weekly, now avernot needed, for Sherman's readiness
aged 1,000,000 bushels daily; the exto pay had allayed all fears. At the closing hour the banks had more gold port of cotton was the largest yet rein their vaults than at the opening. ports of oil rose nearly 2,000,000 bar
corded for a single season; the exResumption had been effected without ports of oil rose nearly 2,000,000 barthe slightest trouble and its salutaryrels over the highest previous record; influence was immediately felt. Busi
and the shipments of cattle increased
in such proportions as to force the ness now began to revive, and the tide of prosperity throughout the whole * Bolles, Financial History, vol. iii., p. 301 country continued to rise higher and
et seq.; Dewey, Financial History, pp. 374–378;
Noyes, American Finance, pp. 48–60; Sherman, * Passed the Senate January 25, 1878 (43 to vol. ii., pp. 623–672, 686–702; Burton's Sherman, 22) and the House January 29 (189 to 79). pp. 257-279. See also President Hayes's annual Laughlin, Bimetallism, p. 201 et seq.; McPherson, message of December 1, 1879, Richardson, Mes. Handbook of Politics, 1878, pp. 136–139; Bur- sages and Papers, vol. vii., p. 558. ton's Sherman, pp. 267–269; Hepburn, Contest † Taussig, The Silver Situation in the United for Sound Money, p. 291.
States, p. 3 (G. P. Putnam's Sons). † Noyes, American Finance, p. 38.
† Annual Reports of the Department of Agri. I Ibid, p. 47.
INCREASE IN COMMERCE; PARTY CONVENTIONS.
British graziers out of their own whereas in the early months of 1879 market. *
customs payments were made in legalWith an increasing export trade tenders, in November and December came a revival in the general indus- more than 60 per cent. of these were tries of the country. The iron trade made in gold. was flushed with orders far beyond With the influx of gold, the bumper capacity; the manufacture of cotton- crops, the awakening of industry and spinning machinery revived with the the general prosperity came specularise in the price of raw cotton; prices tion and inflation of prices, such as in the dry-goods trade rose 50 per
the rises in the wheat and iron marcent., with mills running under full kets and of corporation shares on the pressure and large orders unfilled; stock markets, but after these buband every branch of industry felt the bles had collapsed “ the underlying stimulus. As the balance of trade was strength and healthfulness of the marnow in our favor gold began to come kets was asserted.” The tide of imfrom Europe, within three months migration set this way, increasing $60,000,000 being shipped from Eng- each month until, in 1882, 788,992 land, France and Germany. “As the came into the country, nearly onespecial need of the American bankers third of whom were Germans. was currency suitable for use in in
The political situation changed with terior trade, a large part of this specie the industrial improvement. Those went directly into the treasury in who had previously been foremost in exchange for legal-tender notes their predictions of disaster upon another wholly new phenomenon, im- specie resumption gradually swung possible except under resumption.”+ into line when that event was success
The gold reserve in the treasury fully consummated. The fall elections which had been very low gradually of 1879 were largely in favor of the rose until at the beginning of Novem- Republicans, Maine, Ohio, New York,
, ber, 1879, it stood at $157,140,114; and Michigan, and Iowa giving large Re
* See the Annual Reports of the New York publican majorities. The situation Chamber of Commerce and the New York Produce
was not much changed when the presiExchange for 1879, and the files of the New York
dential election of 1880 came on. Commercial and Financial Chronicle. David A. Wells, in his Recent Economic Changes (D. Ap- The parties held their nominating pleton & Co.), pp. 6–7, says that the exports of
conventions in the spring and early wheat rose
“ from 40,000,000 bushels in 1877 to 122,000,000 bushels in 1879, 153,000,000 bushels in summer and selected the following 1880 and 150,000,000 bushels in 1881, while the
candidates: corresponding values of the amount exported rose from $47,000,000 in 1877 to $130,000,000
Vice-President in 1879, $190,000,000 in 1880, and $167,000,000 in 1881. There was also a corresponding increase in
Republican.... James A. Garfield, Ohio... Chester A. Arthur. N. Y. the quantity and value of the American exports
William H. English, Ind. of other cereals, and also of most meat products
Benj. J. Chambers. Texas.
H. A. Thompson, Ohio. and provisions."
John W. Phelps. Vermont. S. C. Pomeroy, Kansas, † Noyes, American Finance, p. 58.
Democratic Winfield S. Hancock, Pa
back. James B. Weaver, Iowa
GARFIELD AND ARTHUR ELECTED; FINANCIAL MEASURES.
In the history of their party's ac
and Arthur. Garfield received an complishments the Republicans said electoral vote of 214 against an elecin their platform:
toral vote of 155 for General Han“Without resorting to loans it has, since the cock. At this election the Republicans war closed, defrayed the ordinary expenses of
secured a majority in the House of Government, besides the accruing interest on the public debt, and disbursed annually over $30,
Representatives, and also gained con000,000 for soldiers' and sailors' pensions. It has trol of the Senate. The result gave a paid $888,000,000 of the public debt, and by re
wonderful forward impulse to busifunding the balance at lower rates has reduced the annual interest from nearly $151,000,000 to ness of every kind.* less than $89,000,000. All the industries of the
Beside passing the usual appropriacountry have revived, labor is in demand, wages have increased, and throughout the entire country
tion bills the last session of the Fortythere is evidence of a coming prosperity greater sixth Congress, which expired March than we have ever enjoyed.”
4, 1881, also discussed some other imThe platform also declared for gov- portant legislation.
portant legislation. The most imernment aid to educational projects; portant measures under consideration for a national law against the appro- were bills for refunding the public priation of public funds to sectarian debt and for making a new apportionschools; for the levying of revenue ment of Representatives in Congress duties so as to favor American labor; under the census of 1880. for the abolishment of polygamy; for The bill for facilitating the refundthe restriction of Chinese immigra- ing of the national debt had been tion; for the reform of civil service; pending during the preceding session etc. The Democrats demanded that and was again taken up in the third Church and State should be kept session. The original bill provided
. apart; that common schools be fos- that “in lieu of the bonds authorized tered and protected; that the civil ser- to be issued by the act of July 14, 1870, vice be thoroughly reformed; that a
and the acts amendatory tariff be enacted for revenue purposes thereto and the certificates authorized only; that the election laws be re- by the act of February 26, 1879 [bearformed; that the treaty with China be ing five, four and a half, and four per revised, etc. They concluded by say. ing:
Stanwood, History of Presidential Elections,
pp. 345–374 and History of the Presidency, pp. “We congratulate the country upon the honesty
394-418; McClure, Our Presidents and How We and thrift of a Democratic Congress, which has
Make Them, pp. 270-286; McPherson, Handbook reduced the public expenditures $10,000,000 a
of Politics, 1880, pp. 188–198; Andrews, Last year; upon the continuation of prosperity at
Quarter-Century, vol. i., pp. 307–318; Blaine, home and the National honor abroad; and above
vol. ii., pp. 657–672; Sherman, vol. ii., pp. 766– all, upon the promise of such a change in the
783; Hoar, vol. i., pp. 384-404; A. R. Hancock, administration of the Government as shall insure
Reminiscences of W. 8. Hancock, pp. 170-176 ; a genuine and lasting reform in every department
Conkling, Life of Conkling, pp. 588–632; Con. of the public service.”
well's Garfield, pp. 327–334; Burton's Sherman, After an exciting canvass, the elec
pp. 298–306; and lives of Blaine by Crawford,
pp. 477–482, Hamilton, pp. 479-490, Stanwood, tion resulted in the choice of Garfield
pp. 223–232, and Ridpath, pp. 140-141.
REFUNDING BILL VETOED; APPORTIONMENT BILL.
bonds in the serious embarrassment and disaster amount of not exceeding $500,000,000 to the business of the country
" that which shall bear interest at the rate of on March 3, 1881, President Hayes 31%, per cent. per annum, redeemable, vetoed the bill, in his message saying: at the pleasure of the United States, “ To prevent the further organization of banks after twenty years and payable forty is to put in jeopardy the whole system, by taking
from it that feature which makes it, as it now years after the date of issue, and also
is, a banking system free upon the same terms notes in the amount of $200,000,000 to all who wish to engage in it. Even the exbearing interest at the rate of 342 per
isting banks will be in danger of being driven
from business by the additional disadvantages to cent. per annum, redeemable, at the
which they will be subjected by this bill. In pleasure of the United States, after short, I cannot but regard the fifth section of the
bill as a step in the direction of the destruction two years and payable in ten years,''
of the national banking system.” should be issued. Debate was opened
No further action was taken on the bill in the House on March 4, 1880, but no vote was reached.* The passage of and it failed to become a law.* this bill would have saved the country
The new apportionment bill inenormous sums of money.
creased the ratio of representation When the bill was called upon for
from 131,425 under the census of 1870 action in the House December 14, 1880,
to 151,911 under the census of 1880.
When first introduced the ratio under the rate of interest was reduced to three per cent., and a provision made
the 1880 census was much higher and that bonds should be taken as se
the increase in representation was
from 293 to 319. But the bill carrying curity for bank circulation except the
the representation at the 319 figure three per cent. bonds provided for by that bill." Other amendments were
failed to pass at this session and went made and it passed the House January
over to the first session of the Forty
seventh Congress. At that time the 19, 1881. After amendments by the
ratio was decreased and the number Senate which were concurred in by
of Representatives placed at 325, and the House the bill was passed and sent
in this form President Garfield apto the President March 1.1
proved the bill February 25, 18821 Section 5 of the bill was regarded as so hostile to the interests of the na
Sherman, Recollections, vol. ii., pp. 796–801;
Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. vii., pp. tional banks and so likely to “bring 637-639; Bolles, Financial History, vol. iii., pp.
328–329; McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1882, * McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1880, pp. 148–49, 1882, pp. 13-14.
† McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1882, pp. † Ibid, 1882, pp. 10–11, 14-25.
39–44, 192-193. Vol. X