|File size:||337 KB|
Read an Excerpt
CHAPTER II. OF THE MEANING OF THE WORD STANDARD.THE METAL- STANDARD IS THAT FROM WHICH IS DERIVED THE MONETARY UNIT.THE TWO IDEAS STANDARD AND MONETARY UNIT IMPLY EACH THE OTHER. In the preceding chapter the reader may have remarked the expression the matter, or the substance of which money is made. Nevertheless, in most countries, it is not of one material that money is made; but pieces of gold and silver circulate together indiscriminately. Yet it must not from that be assumed that the two metals, gold and silver, figure in the monetary system with the same prerogatives. We are about to call attention to a word of which it is important to fix the meaning,I mean the term, standard. On this subject it is necessary to guard ourselves against a certain confusion of language. Some persons apply the name of monetary standard to pieces of a metal to indicate that they cannot be refused in payment. That is not the way in which the word standard will be employed in the course of this work, nor is it its legitimate meaning. When it is the privilege of a metal that the coins of which it is made cannot be refused in payment, it is because it is endowed with the attribute of legal tender, which is very different from that of the standard. When it is said that such or such a metal is the standard, it means that the monetary unit is a certain weight, settled once for all, of this metal, which is, however, quite recon- cileable with a state of things where coins of another metal might be equally a legal tender. Thus in France, at the present time, gold is a legal tender, although silver alone is the standard, and constitutes the sole monetary unit. In a word, standard and monetary unit are termsallied in the closest manner to each other, and they are synonymous the one with t...