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The Financial Crises of the 1890s and the High Tide of Populism (B)
Bruner, Robert F. Case F-1832 / Published July 27, 2018 / 10 pages.
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Product Overview

The A case describes the views of the two leading candidates for US President, William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley, along with those of three other figures: J. P. Morgan, Mary Elizabeth Lease, and Eugene Debs. The task for the student is to assess the role of money and financial crises in the evolving political landscape?these five people reflect policy positions across the political spectrum. The main controversy in the case is whether only gold, or both gold and silver, should back the dollar, an issue that has been simmering for about a quarter-century and that is resolved in the election of 1896. The B case serves as an epilogue, describing the results of the election of 1896 and its effects on US financial policy, as well as the later history of the Populist Party and the main figures in the case.


Learning Objectives

Consider the meaning and economic implications of currency standards based on gold compared to bimetallism (i.e., a standard based on gold and silver, pegged at a fixed exchange rate between the two metals). Explore the causes and consequences of financial crises. Review the civic reaction to the crises of the 1890s, as reflected in labor violence, the criticism by protest groups, and the rise of political movements based on farmers, laborers, silver interests, and generally, the Populist Party. Elicit comparisons of the monetary dilemmas of the 1890s and those of the early 21st century.

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  • Overview

    The A case describes the views of the two leading candidates for US President, William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley, along with those of three other figures: J. P. Morgan, Mary Elizabeth Lease, and Eugene Debs. The task for the student is to assess the role of money and financial crises in the evolving political landscape?these five people reflect policy positions across the political spectrum. The main controversy in the case is whether only gold, or both gold and silver, should back the dollar, an issue that has been simmering for about a quarter-century and that is resolved in the election of 1896. The B case serves as an epilogue, describing the results of the election of 1896 and its effects on US financial policy, as well as the later history of the Populist Party and the main figures in the case.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Consider the meaning and economic implications of currency standards based on gold compared to bimetallism (i.e., a standard based on gold and silver, pegged at a fixed exchange rate between the two metals). Explore the causes and consequences of financial crises. Review the civic reaction to the crises of the 1890s, as reflected in labor violence, the criticism by protest groups, and the rise of political movements based on farmers, laborers, silver interests, and generally, the Populist Party. Elicit comparisons of the monetary dilemmas of the 1890s and those of the early 21st century.