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Gold Act


GOLD ACT. During the Civil War the federal government issued paper money called greenbacks to help fund the war effort. In 1864 the depreciation of green-backs was measured by the premium on gold, and speculators were blamed for the fluctuations in the premiums. Congress responded by passing the Gold Act in June 1864. The act made it unlawful to buy or sell gold for future delivery or to buy or sell foreign exchange to be delivered after ten days. The result was such an aggravation in the fluctuation of the price of gold that the act was repealed on 2 July 1864.


Friedman, Milton. Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

Hammond, Bray. Sovereignty and an Empty Purse: Banks and Politics in the Civil War. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970.

James D.Magee/a. g.

See alsoExchange, Bills of ; Gold Exchange ; Gold Standard ; National Bank Notes .

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