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Silver legislation.

The silver bill, which was adopted by act of Congress and approved July 14, 1890, provided that silver bullion to the amount of 4,500,000 ounces might be purchased monthly, or as much thereof as should be offered, and that silver notes should be issued on deposit of silver bullion, the same to be redeemed, upon demand, in gold or silver coin at the discretion of the secretary. The bill also declared it to be the settled policy of the United States to maintain a parity between the two metals, gold and silver, at such ratio as the law should determine; and it required the monthly coinage into dollars of 2,000,000 ounces of the bullion purchased until July 1, 1891.

The purchasing clause of the silver bill of 1890 was repealed in 1893. The Republican party pledged itself to secure international recognition of silver if possible, and on that issue won the general election of 1896. In the fall of 1897 Congress was expected to take action appointing commissioners to visit European countries, with power to act. Several commissioners were sent by the President during the early part of 1897, but none of these had power to do more than examine into financial conditions abroad and report. See Banks, National; bimetallism; coinage; currency.

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