Silent Cal, William Jennings Bryan, and the Gold Standard

"When I was home that summer I took part in a small neighborhood debate in which I supported the gold standard. The study I put on this subject well repaid me."  -- Calvin Coolidge

The Wikipedia entry on Calvin Coolidge observes that he:



"restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. As a Coolidge biographer put it, "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength." Coolidge praised the achievement of widespread prosperity in 1928, saying: "The requirements of existence have passed beyond the standard of necessity into the region of luxury." Some later criticized Coolidge as part of a general criticism of laissez-faire government. His reputation underwent a renaissance during the Ronald Reagan Administration, but the ultimate assessment of his presidency is still divided between those who approve of his reduction of the size of government programs and those who believe the federal government should be more involved in regulating and controlling the economy."

As for Coolidge and the gold standard, economist and economic historian Dr. Kurt Schuler notes, in a private communication, Calvin Coolidge's autobiography, page 77:

The first summer I was in Northampton [Massachusetts] came the famous
free silver campaign of 1896. When Mr. [William Jennings] Bryan was
nominated [for president] he had the support of most of the local
Democrats of the city, but he lost much of it before November. One of
them sent a long communication to a county paper indorsing him. This I
answered in one of the city papers. When I was home [in New Hampshire]
that summer I took part in a small neighborhood debate in which I
supported the gold standard. The study I put on this subject well
repaid me.

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