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more thoroughly and successfully than you,” in a book on Bimetalism," lately published by Longmans, has helped the discussion of the gold and silver question by clearly and authoritatively stating the case of monometallism against bimetallism, and by a brief analysis of the monetary writings of Oresme” and Copernicus, and a concise summary of some of the coinage views of Gresham, Petty, Locke, Harris, Bacon, Newton, Adam Smith, Lord Liverpool, Steuart, Pole, Herries, Hankinson, Peel, Mill, and other great authorities. - Macleod says: “All these illustrious writers, except those who declared for a single standard, pointed out that the law must regulate the value of the coins ac
* He spells thus “Bimetalism,” “Monometalism,” “Bimetalist,” “Bimetallic,” “Monometallic.”
* Roscher, in German, in 1862, and Wolowski, in French, in 1864, had published more important notes on Oresme's noble treatise, and Wolowski had published, in, 1864 very important notes on the great treatise of Copernicus.
That these works of Oresme and Copernicus have not been translated into English is most astonishing when we consider the wonderful originality and genius they display, and which no summary can adequately represent.
cording to the relative market value of
standard weight and the periods to be considered, are of course not essential.
Same Ratio for Coins and Bullion. 157
them felt the importance of the general coinage and circulation of both metals and at their relative market values, but that they failed to hit upon the plan of jointmetallism, which compels the use of both together, with ratios always based on their relative market values, without frequent recoinings, and prevents one precious metal from driving out the other. Of Oresme and Copernicus Macleod says : “Nicholas Oresme, afterwards Bishop of Lisieux, who wrote a Treatise on the Coinage, which may justly be said to stand at the head of modern economic literature. . . . But the doctrines maintained by these two great authorities are absolutely identical. They are . . . 5. That the coins of gold and silver must bear the same ratio to each other as the metals in bullion do in the market: . . . They quite perceived the impossibility of keeping gold and silver coins in circulation together in unlimited quantities, at a legal ratio differing from the market ratio of the metals. . . . It was left to the genius of Petty and Locke' to discover that the true remedy for the perpetual confusion
caused by attempting to keep gold and
silver coins in unlimited quantities in circulation together at a legal ratio differing from the market ratio, was to adopt one metal only as the standard, and to make coins of any other metal subsidiary to it, that the coins should be altered in their weights from time to time to meet the alterations in the market value of the metals. Such a plan is absolutely impracticable. It would possess no element of stability. Every change in the market value of the metals would require a fresh calling in and recoining of the coinage, at an expense and worry which no country could stand. All other remedies being exhausted, there is no resource but to adopt Petty and Locke's' plan of Monometalism.” To this I answer that the true remedy is to use the two metals on substantially equal terms according to the plan I have called joint-metallism. My book, 7 ozná-Mesa//ism, appears not A’oscher, Wolowski, and Cossa. 159
* See page 129.
to have been read by Macleod, whose work was published two months after mine. He certainly had no intention of favoring joint-metallism. Indeed he claims that very little metallic money is required for use in the world's trade and commerce. Macleod is the highest juridical authority on forms and uses of credit, and his very eminence in this department has led him, I think, to a dangerously exaggerated estimate of the position of credits as a basis for currency. An economist of commanding ability, he is more juridical than judgmatical, a great philosophical writer of history, with a purpose, and more an advocate than a judge. Macleod mentions, in a note, the edition of the treatises of Oresme and Copernicus published by Guillaumin et Cie., Paris, 1864. But he omits to mention the names of Roscher and Wolowski who had written so ably thirty years before him, regarding those grand old economists. Nor does he mention what Cossa had written in the Introduction to the Study of Politica/ Economy."
! See also Cunningham's Growth of English Industry and Commerce.