Coin's Financial School William Harvey
The first pages of the pamphlet introduced the reader to Coin, a young financier who held a financial school in the Art Institute of Chicago. Coin started his first lecture by outlining the financial problems that plagued the nation at the time. Still suffering from the Panic of 1893, the nation's crime rate, government budget deficit and unemployment remained dangerously high. He then introduced his audience to the basics of coinage in the United States, where in 1792, Congress passed the first Coinage Act. The Coinage Act defined a dollar as 371.25 grains of pure silver, as well as 24.7 grains of pure gold. In this case, both silver and gold were accepted as legal tenders of the United States, with a silver to gold exchange ratio of 15 to 1. The ratio was later changed to 16 to 1. Coin states that the Founding Fathers chose silver as the principal money because it was very commonly used among the working class as well as business owners. Gold was seen as the money of the rich, since the working and middle class rarely owned it, let alone handled it.
Coin's financial school William Harvey
Even more people showed interest in Coin's financial school, and more bimetallists joined Coin's lessons every day. Coin started off the day's lecture by distinguishing between the two kinds of credit money: paper money, which include bank notes, and token money, which are forms of metal that do not enjoy free coinage. Credit money was used as promises that the government will redeem the owner with the primary money, which in this case was gold. Coin pointed out that by abolishing free coinage of silver, the government turned silver from one of the primary money to a token money, no longer redeemable by itself. This, in turn, reduced the nation's supply of primary money by half. By reducing the nation's primary money supply, the government effectively rendered many checks and greenback bank notes more volatile, since they were no longer backed by properties, but by speculation and federal government's credit.
The school continued to gain more attention and popularity as more newspapers began to cover the lessons, this time with more positive enthusiasm. It got to the point where Coin had to start charging the audience for admission, and donate the proceedings to charity. Among the first questions directed at Coin involved why the metals were chosen as money in the first place. Coin claimed out that silver in particular was considered more than valuable enough to be money because it can be used in many other settings. Therefore, it had enough intrinsic value that even if the financial system was to collapse, silver would still have value, and money backed by silver continues to retain some of its value should such a thing happen.
Coin's demonstration of the size of all the gold in the world gained attention throughout the city, and prominent newspapers confirmed his report as true. Before a crowd of thousands gathering in the Art Institute, Coin began a fiery speech on the ills brought upon by the abandonment of bimetallism, and lamented the role England has had regarding America's switch to the gold standard. From there, he called for a war with England over the issue, charging that America was forced to pay $200 million in interests to England every year, an amount that is becoming harder to pay off as a result of the Panic of 1893. He also criticized the proponents of the gold standard within the United States, who believe England will return to bimetallism on its own. That was despite the fact that England raked in major profits by forcing other nations to make transactions redeemable in gold only. In making these points, Coin called for a trade war with England, with promises of the backing of fellow silver nations such as France, most of South America, India and Mexico. In this trade war, Coin proposed that United States use its position as England's leading trade partner to raise tariffs and force England to switch back to bimetallism if they want American money back to its economy. Coin rallied the crowd to back a trade war with England, and lobby Congress for bimetallism for the good of the U.S. economy. With that, Coin concluded his financial school.
Coin Harvey was, during his lifetime, a school teacher; a lawyer; the owner of a large silver mine; a financial expert; a prolific writer and publisher; the developer of the Mineral Palace, a great exposition hall in Colorado; the developer of a major resort; and a politician who was a candidate for president of the United States. He has been described as a prophet, a great visionary, a genius, a promoter, a flim-flam man, a planner and a schemer. He had an ego that knew no limits and appeared to some as soft spoken, but cold and aloof, reads Coin Harvey, Prophet of Monte Ne by Lois Snelling. Harvey always aligned himself with the rich and powerful and had an incredible talent for convincing them to invest in his ventures.
The Winkies were not a brave people, but they had to do as they were told.L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 91.This article argues that recuperation is a fundamental characteristic of Asian American literature and culture. Asian American culture, as such, provides what Lisa Lowe calls "countersites to U.S. national memory and national culture" (4) by referencing the emergent discourse of U.S. imperialism in its struggle to gain currency in the turn-of-the-century era. The long-forgotten terms of that struggle find oblique expression in the cultural production of Asian Americans as well as in the ways in which culture produces Asian Americans. Interpretation of Asian American texts reveals the intersection of histories that U.S. national culture has willfully disremembered and those that Asian Americans cannot forget. That intersection marks moments of recuperation in Asian American literature. This essay traces one such recuperation in the awkward historical transition that defined the early imperial period at the turn-of-the-century: the shift from the question of monetary reform to the question of empire. In seeing the oddness of the connection between these historically contiguous political debates we can see how Asian American literature emerges to recuperate the emergence of United States imperialism. Towards this end, recontextualized interpretations of key speeches and writings by seminal figures of that era, such as McKinley, Bryan, William Hope Harvey, and L. Frank Baum, codified the now-obscured discourse that marked the transition from monetary reform to empire. As with so many political debates before and since, this one proved predictably ephemeral. Interest in both monetary reform and empire quickly waxed and waned, presumably as matters resolved by and for national culture. The rest, as they say, is history.Yet Asian American literature, with its history closely bound to the early imperial period, allows us to recuperate the curious emergence of American imperialism as well as, necessarily, the unique form that imperialism was to take: an empire-free imperialism. That is, U.S. imperialism incorporated and disciplined colonial subjects to an empire without territory, the new empire for the new modernity composed of imminently palatable expanded markets and republican ideals. With a new understanding of the meaning of American empire under the conditions of its emergence, we can see how Asian American literature draws the strategically forgotten specificities of the emergence of U.S. imperialism into visibility again. On November 21, 1899, President William McKinley explained what was to be done "about the Philippine business" by famously rehearsing four options to a delegation of Methodist clergymen who were visiting the White House:(1) that we could not give them back to Spain -- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France or Germany -- our commercial rivals in the Orient -- that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves - they were unfit for self-government -- and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.McKinley delivered this speech in 1899 but it was posthumously published in The Christian Advocate in 1903, just as the Philippine Insurrection had become virtually pacified. His narrative of divinely-sanctioned choice has since become the customary point of access for understanding the rationale of United States imperialism in the Philippines. His remarks offers a concise account of the ideals for which U.S. imperialism stood; it is courageous, honorable, good business, creditable, orderly, uplifting, civilizing, and Christian. While the speech had an immediate audience of Methodist clergymen, these remarks would have found wide acceptance in late nineteenth-century America as history has clearly demonstrated that the impulse to colonize eventually won out over the forces arrayed against it, both foreign and domestic.The arc of McKinley's narrative animates the rationale that U.S. imperialism quickly took: inevitability. By offering an interweaving of providence -- the Philippines as "a gift from the gods" -- with a reasoned elimination of counter arguments followed by the unavoidable course of action, McKinley's speech leads us to appreciate the inevitability of U.S. imperialism at that precise historical moment. In particular, the phrase, "there was nothing left for us to do," conveniently removes human agency from policy decisions and instead invokes nature, even progress. Yet his narrative also emphasizes the accidental beginnings of America's imperial venture: "The truth is I didn't