The History of Bimetallism in the United States
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1886 edition. Excerpt: ...main part of the circulation in France consisted, of silver.' Note: When imports exceed exports the line moves above the base-line at 0; when exports exceed Imports, the line moves below the base-line. The discoveries of gold exactly reversed this situation. Gold fell in value; its relation to silver changed so that the ratio remained below 15 until 1867 (see Chart XIII). Under these conditions, consequently, a revolution took place in the French currency between 1853 and 1865. As things then stood, the ratio at the Mint was still 1:15, while in the market it was lower than that, or somewhat nearer 1:15. As a consequence of this, money-changers quickly saw that an ounce of gold exchanged for 15 ounces of silver in the shape of coin, but for less than 15 ounces of silver in the shape of bullion. That is, gold was now overvalued by the legal ratio (as silver had been before); and in the form of bullion silver bought more of gold than it did in the form of coin. Consequently, as long as this state of affairs continued, and since "free coinage" existed, there was a stream of gold flowing to the French Mint for coinage, while the silver rapidly disappeared from circulation, and even left the country. How this process went on may be seen by the following table (accompanying Chart XI), which gives in millions of dollars the excess of exports and imports from and into Francel after 1849: 1 Report to H. C. on " Depreciation of Silver," 1876, Appendix, pp. 86, 87, continued since 1875 from the " British Statistical Abstract." During the years from 1852 to 1864 France absorbed through direct imports about $680,000,000 of gold, and ejected about $345,000,000 of silver. The French mints were actively engaged in...
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