best way to describe bimetallism is a red herring concept over a one-metal standard.
It really dosen't matter either way, since the market price ratio of the two metals will not stay exactly what the gov't declares it to be. So what u have left is a de facto standard of only one of the two. US was founded with a bi-mettalic standard but was defacto silver standard. Gold was actually worth far more than the gov't offered for it at the mints, so nobody handed in their gold for gov't issued currency.
The rule was that the gov't will accept either metal on according to it's standard but will issue YOU whatever form it wanted to. So it was never motivated to ever issue gold. Hence, de-facto silver standard.
The controversy came later in the 1800s when the gov't policy was altered. This changed the country into a de-facto gold standard. During a time like this fortunes can rise and fall depending on the assets one holds.
Once u are on a metal standard, bi-metallic or uni-metallic the most honest thing to do is stay on it and not give in to the lobbyists who intend to profit from your policy change.
Grover Cleveland inherited a nation on the gold standard already. Many Free Silverites (holders of silver-related assets) wanted silver remonetized. This would have introduced a fiat element, so one could hand in a set amount of silver and receive a gov't issued amount higher than it's market value.
Cleveland said we're not going to issue you money that is worth higher than your silver, you have to buy it on the free market like everyone else.
Some say that this was already unjustly done in favor of the gold holders previously. That may be true but from Cleveland's perspective the damage was already done. By that point in history the rules were known and gov't action would have only redistributed wealth unfairly, from his perspective.
Hope this helps.
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