Ohio Idea

Proposal to redeem American Civil War bonds in paper money instead of gold.

The plan, part of the debate between hard-money advocates and soft-money or Greenback movement supporters after the Civil War, was sponsored by George Pendleton and was especially popular in the Midwest. Endorsed by the Democratic Party in 1868, it died with the election of Ulysses S. Grant and passage of the Public Credit Act (1869), which provided for payment of government obligations in gold.

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▪ United States history
      in U.S. history, proposal first presented in the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1867 and later sponsored by Senator George H. Pendleton (Pendleton, George) of Ohio to redeem American Civil War bonds in paper money instead of gold.

      The Ohio Idea was part of the struggle between hard-money (specie) and soft-money (greenback) advocates during the post-Civil War era. Backers of the Ohio Idea were people who would benefit from inflation, and the proposal was endorsed in the Democratic platform of 1868. It was especially popular in the Midwest.

      Once Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated as president, however, the Ohio Idea quickly died. The Public Credit Act of March 18, 1869, provided for payment of government obligations in gold.

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Universalium. 2010.

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