The Panic of 1873 and the "Long Depression" (B)
Supplement to case UV7525. 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.