From Civil War Greenbacks to Gold Standard and Back To Greenbacks
Since money trade replaced barter trade, money has grown into something close to a
deity. Initially, people would exchange goods with goods or promises. Today everything has a
price and has to be in monetary terms. We have heard some people claiming to pay homage to
money. The reason is that, with enough money, one can own almost everything. People believe
that with money everything is possible. Little did they know the best things in life are free and
come in small packages like love kindness loyalty and peace.
In a capitalistic economy like the United States, although money has eased their way
people do business, its introduction brought with it economic disparity. The gap between the
poor and the super-rich has been widening. The rich are focusing on being richer while the poor
are becoming poorer. This is why the gap is becoming much wider. The society has now become
a man eat man society all because of money and selfish interest. Everybody wants to benefit at
the expense of another person. American economic history is punctuated by some very severe
economic depressions, most recent being the 2008/2009 great depression.
Big investment banks and investment players in the Wall Street have been blamed for
these economic disasters because of their greed characterized by their expectations of huge
profits from little investments. They will do just anything just to make money out of anything.
This is what the world has slowly come into; focusing on nothing else but money. Reminding
people of history is therefore essential based on the assumption that people can always learn
from past mistakes. This paper will, therefore, explore the transition from gold standard to paper
money and people who benefited from the transition and at whose expense.
Gold standard and paper money
Gold fever started in California “49ners” and ended with Klondike strike of 1898.
Although there were other metals which equally provoked rushes, gold was in a class of its own
since it had extraordinary political and economic value. Such terms as gold diggers and
California smile emanated. Gold miners were said to b...
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