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The Panic of 1873 and the "Long Depression" (B)
Bruner, Robert F. Case F-1825 / Published July 27, 2018 / 3 pages.
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Product Overview

In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes must decide whether to sign the Bland-Allison Act and commit the United States to minting silver coins and thus return to a bimetal standard of currency. At issue is whether to grow the nation's money supply to sustain its galloping rate of economic development, or to constrain the money supply growth to enable the country to return to the international gold standard at the pre-Civil War parity to the British pound. National sentiment immediately after the war had been on the side of currency deflation, but the Panic of 1873 marked a turn in sentiment toward inflation. These cases focus on how and why that turn occurred, and its consequences. The B case provides an epilogue.


Learning Objectives

Explore the causes and consequences of banking panics. Consider the meaning and economic indicators of a depression. Survey the economic and social implications of inflation and deflation as government policy. Review the civic reaction to the government's deflationary policy, as reflected in the greenback movement, the Granger movement, the silverites, and widespread labor unrest. Explore ways in which the Panic of 1873 and resumption are relevant to the monetary dilemmas of the United States and other developed economies in the early 21st century.

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  • Overview

    In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes must decide whether to sign the Bland-Allison Act and commit the United States to minting silver coins and thus return to a bimetal standard of currency. At issue is whether to grow the nation's money supply to sustain its galloping rate of economic development, or to constrain the money supply growth to enable the country to return to the international gold standard at the pre-Civil War parity to the British pound. National sentiment immediately after the war had been on the side of currency deflation, but the Panic of 1873 marked a turn in sentiment toward inflation. These cases focus on how and why that turn occurred, and its consequences. The B case provides an epilogue.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Explore the causes and consequences of banking panics. Consider the meaning and economic indicators of a depression. Survey the economic and social implications of inflation and deflation as government policy. Review the civic reaction to the government's deflationary policy, as reflected in the greenback movement, the Granger movement, the silverites, and widespread labor unrest. Explore ways in which the Panic of 1873 and resumption are relevant to the monetary dilemmas of the United States and other developed economies in the early 21st century.