Sherman Silver Purchase Act


Sherman Silver Purchase Act

The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was enacted in 1890 as a United States federal law. While not authorizing the free and unlimited coinage of silver that the Free Silver supporters wanted, it increased the amount of silver the government was required to purchase every month. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act had been passed in response to the growing complaints of farmers. Farmers had immense debts that could not be paid off due to a series of droughts, and they urged the government to pass the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in order to boost the economy. However, this eventually led to inflation and contributed to the Panic of 1893. In addition to the $2-4 million dollars that had been required by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, the US government was now required to purchase an additional 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion every month. The law required the Treasury to buy the silver with notes that could be redeemed for either silver or gold. That plan backfired, as people (mostly investors) turned in their silver Treasury notes for gold dollars, thus depleting the government's gold reserves. After the Panic of 1893 broke, President Grover Cleveland oversaw the repeal of the Act in 1893 to prevent the depletion of the country's gold reserves.

External links

* [http://www.usa-presidents.info/speeches/sherman.html President Cleveland Message on the Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act]


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