South Carolina’s “Golden” Legacy

Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution, by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856.
Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution, by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856.

The Federal Reserve, and its management of its one-and-only product, Federal Reserve Notes (a.k.a. money), has turned into a really significant issue in the 2016 presidential race.  The GOP South Carolina primary happens on February 20th. The outcome will have a major impact both on our money and our ability to earn more: the economy. This matters.

In 2012, South Carolina gave its vote to Newt Gingrich who was campaigning, in part, on a Gold Commission. (Thereafter Gingrich strayed to moon colonies and, for that and other reasons, sank like a stone.)

This year, Sen. Ted Cruz has outright endorsed the gold standard. Less prominently, but truly, Donald Trump and Ben Carson have spoken sympathetically of it. Gold is in the air and, thanks to Cruz, in the debates.

Whether you love or hate the gold standard it’s a matter of historical record that South Carolina’s delegates to the original Constitutional Convention were strongly anti-paper money.  They were pro a “noble metal” monetary base, meaning, in contemporary terms, gold.

In the Constitutional Convention of 1787 South Carolina delegate Pierce Butler seconded the motion to strip the federal government of the power to issue paper money.  James Madison, in his almost verbatim Notes of Debates, recorded:

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Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.