Silver And Gold

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For many observers of international politics, the classical gold standard is the premier example of successful international monetary cooperation. Curiously, most studies portray this 19th century system as a spontaneous development. Reti, after a thorough investigation of diplomatic records, argues that the gold standard grew out of several years of international negotiation. At the Conference of 1867, delegates for 20 states debated the monetary standard and agreed to adopt gold as soon as possible. In response to worldwide deflation from 1873 to 1896, the Conferences of 1878, 1881, and 1892 reconsidered the merits of gold, and the leading states reaffirmed their adherence to the gold standard. Reti uses theories of international regimes to explain the roles of hegemonic power, domestic politics, and causal beliefs on conference diplomacy. He asserts that the classical gold standard can best be understood as a coordination game in which negotiations informed nations about how to cooperate.

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Editorial Reviews

An account of the monetary diplomacy surrounding the origins and maintenance of the classical gold standard. The author provides a case-study analysis of the International Monetary Conferences of 1867, 1878, 1881, and 1892, tracing the developments from the initial selection of gold as the standard to the international negotiations that followed. The author is concerned with how the study of the gold standard can shed light on current international cooperation, domestic requirements for international agreements, and the role of ideas in these debates. Appends information about the commercial ratio of silver to gold from 1792 to 1914, and the world production and monetary value of these two precious metals. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

STEVEN P. RETI is a visiting research scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The Question of Monetary Cooperation 9
3 Choosing Gold: The Conference of 1867 33
4 The Battle of the Standards Begins: The Conference of 1878 61
5 The Battle of the Standards Continues: The Conference of 1881 99
6 The Culmination of the Battle of the Standards: The Conference of 1892 115
7 The Politics of the International Monetary Conferences 157
8 Conclusion 181
App. A Monetary Tables 185
App. B States Attending the Monetary Conferences 195
References 197
Index 211
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2003


    I worship the feet of steven reti.

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