Bland-Allison Act, 1878, passed by the U.S. Congress to provide for freer coinage of silver. The original bill offered by Representative Richard P. Bland incorporated the demands of the Western radicals for free and unlimited coinage of silver. This was passed by the House but was unacceptable to the conservative Senate. Senator William B. Allison then offered an amended version. The act as adopted required the U.S. Treasury to purchase between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver bullion each month at market prices; this was to be coined into silver dollars, which were made legal tender for all debts. Attempts of the free-silver forces to replace the act with provision for unlimited coinage were defeated, as were attempts of the gold-standard forces to repeal it altogether. President Hayes and his successors weakened the act's effect by purchasing only the minimum amount of bullion. It remained law until replaced by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.