The gold standard:

allowed widely fluctuating exchange rates.
discouraged foreign trade and therefore defeated comparative advantage.
provided no means to deal with a balance of payments problem.
was inconsistent with discretionary domestic monetary policy.
worked only with rigorous exchange rate controls.

William Jennings Bryan was one of the most colorful characters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His rise to national fame was largely due to his:

strong defense of the gold standard in opposition to those who wanted inflation.
support for silver in addition to gold as backing for U.S. money.
discovery of gold in Alaska at the end of the nineteenth century.
support for the establishment of the Federal Reserve System.

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