SOFT MONEY has two unrelated meanings. In the nineteenth century "soft money" denoted a monetary policy opposite that of "hard money," which is based on specie. The term originated about 1876 when the Greenback Party was formed by debtor farmers and others from the Republican and Democratic ranks who sought to raise agricultural prices by means of an inflated currency. Greenbackers opposed the resumption of specie payments on the paper notes circulating since the Civil War and called for the free coinage of silver on a par with gold. Later, the Populists held similar views.
In the late twentieth century, "soft money" referred to a popular strategy offinancing political campaigns. To elude the campaign finance laws limiting the amount of direct cash contributions, wealthy individuals, corporations, and unions instead wrote their checks to political parties or advocacy groups. Hundreds of millions of dollars, all unregulated, were put to blatantly partisan purposes, most notably, advertisements attacking the opposing candidate. By the closing years of the millennium the practice was coming under greater scrutiny, and calls for reform were growing louder. The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 attempted to address this problem.
Magleby, David B., ed. Outside Money: Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 1998 Congressional Elections. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.
James D.Magee/a. r.
"Soft Money." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/soft-money
"Soft Money." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved December 12, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/soft-money
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.