Bryan did not think it was necessary for the United States to hold in reserve an amount of gold equal in value to all the paper money in circulation. Bryan wanted the United States to use silver to back the dollar at a value that would inflate the prices farmers received for their crops, easing their debt burden.
Also asked, why did farmers favor coining silver money?
Farmers and debtors in the Free Silver Movement had long advocated a bimetallic (gold and silver) standard for the nation's currency in the belief that an increase in the amount of money in circulation would raise crop prices and allow for easier debt repayment.…
What is the Free Silver movement?
The Free Silver Movement was a political coalition of Western silver miners and Midwestern and Southern farmers who supported an inflationary monetary policy by using the free coinage of silver for a bimetallic standard for U.S. currency.
Why did so many farmers support the Populist Party?
Banks could charge high interest rates and could set harsh terms for their loans. Because farmers were being harmed by these forces in the economy, they came to want the government to intervene and help them. The Populist Party's platform promised such help. For this reason, it became very popular among farmers.
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