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Gold Standard Act:: Putting the United States on the Gold Standard in 1890

The Gold Standard Act of 1890, following the monetary difficulties connected with the bimetallic controversy and the silver legislation of 1878, 1890 and 1893, enacted into statute what had been the de facto reality since 1879. The gold dollar was declared to be the standard unit of value. The Gold Standard Act was the pinnacle of Republican monetary conservatism, making gold the standard for all of the nation’s currency. The Treasury was required to maintain a minimum of $150 million in gold reserves and the price of gold was set at $20.67 per ounce. The measure was actually anticlimactic. The agitation for silver had dropped sharply as the depression of the 1890s had waned and as new discoveries of gold had been made in the Klondike, South Africa and Australia.