Glitter of Gold France, Bimetallism, and the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1848-1873


Relying on new statistical and archival material, this book tells the story of the operation of the international monetary system of the mid-nineteenth century. It seeks to explain how this system was able to weather the impact of the California and Australia gold discoveries. It shows how France contributed to global financial stability by standing ready to exchange silver from gold at a fixed rate - a consequence of its bimetallic system. This book also shows how France's decision to change its domestic monetary rules caused the emergence of the gold standard in 1873, and thus offers a new interpretation of the global monetary history of the nineteenth century.

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