-Discuss the silver vs. gold argument, listing at least one argument for silver and one argument for gold.
In the time between the Civil War and World War I, there was a great economic instability. Men wanted their money to be backed by precious metals, although, they were not in agreement on what precious metal that would be. For the most part, men of high status, who owned large companies, desired their dollar to be insured with gold and only gold. Men of humble institutions, factory workers, and laborers from small farms wanted their dollar to be backed by silver and gold. Both sides have sufficient reasons for their desire of silver, gold, or both to back their money.
Men of large businesses or large farms, who had given out loans to less wealthy people, wanted their money to be backed with gold. One argument for gold backing was, if the money were backed with only gold, then their money would be safe from the harms of inflation. To be clear, inflation is an increase in the amount of money that eventually leads to an increase in prices because the value of money has gone down. In the end, their money’s value was determined by the U.S.’ gold supply. If silver, which was being mined at record rates, were added to the gold, then the value of the dollar would go down. Obviously, the wealthy men wanted their money to retain its value, instead of going down, therefore, they advocated for gold.
Men with small businesses, small farms, and factory workers, who had outstanding loans not yet fully paid back, wanted their money to be backed by silver and gold or even by silver itself. This would allow easier access to credit. If the money were backed by silver and gold, then it would actually cause a deflation, causing a de...
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...ed quickly from declining business that an increase in prices was not always going to make more money. Ford lowered its prices and began to sell Model T’s at record rates. Other businesses took note and began to follow suit. The major reforms and changes led this age to be known as the Progressive era.
While much good happened, there was also much bad. African-Americans were almost shut out of this growing age. They were basically forced to remain poor farmers
and sharecroppers instead of middle class men like almost everyone else. Those who made this progression in the industry, predominantly male employees with some immigrants, women, and children alongside, were not treated very well either. Wages were low, their work places were unsafe, and injuries along with occasional death occurred. Although much good came out of this time, the good came at a cost.
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