HISTORY Of The COINAGE ACT Of 1873. Being a Complete Record of All Documents Issued and the Legislative Proceedings Concerning the Act.; House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. 1900.
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1900. 1st Edition. 323, [3 (blank)] pp. 8vo. 9-1/4" x 5-3/4". Original publisher's black cloth binding with gilt stamped spine lettering. General wear & soiling to cloth. A couple small holes to cloth in both joints. Age-toning to paper. Period pos of one "H. N. Haynes" to front paste-down. Withal, a VG copy. Item #50880
"The Coinage Act of 1873, or Mint Act of 1873, was a general revision of laws relating to the Mint of the United States. By ending the right of holders of silver bullion to have it coined into standard silver dollars, while allowing holders of gold to continue to have their bullion made into money, the act created a gold standard by default. It also authorized a Trade dollar, with limited legal tender, intended for export, mainly to Asia, and abolished three small-denomination coins. The act led to controversial results and was denounced by critics as the 'Crime of '73'.
By 1869, the Mint Act of 1837, enacted before the California gold rush or the American Civil War affected the monetary system of the United States, was deemed outdated. Treasury Secretary George Boutwell had Deputy Comptroller of the Currency John Jay Knox draft a revised law, introduced into Congress by Ohio Senator John Sherman. Silver's market price then exceeded the value at which the Mint would purchase the metal, suppressing the demand for bullion to be struck into silver dollars. However, Knox and others correctly forecast that development of the Comstock Lode and other rich silver mines would lower silver's market price, making the option of having bullion struck into legal-tender coins attractive. Congress considered the bill for almost three years before passage. During its consideration, it was rarely publicly mentioned, but also was not concealed, that the bill would establish a gold standard by ending bimetallism. The bill became the Act of February 12, 1873, with the signature of President Ulysses S. Grant, and became effective on April 1 of that year.
In 1876, when silver's market price indeed dropped as forecast, producers brought silver bullion to the Mint only to learn that the Mint no longer was authorized to coin it. The matter became a major political controversy that lasted the remainder of the century, pitting those who valued the deflationary gold standard against those who believed free coinage of silver, an inflationary policy, to be necessary for economic prosperity. Despite contemporary accusations, scant evidence exists that the 1873 act had a corrupt motivation. The political dispute was settled when the gold standard was explicitly enacted into law in 1900. Beginning in March 1933, the United States rapidly abandoned the gold standard in favor of fiat currency for almost all purposes. The United States abandoned the dollar's final formal link to gold in 1971, leaving gold and silver as commodities." [Wiki].