Bimetallism: International Action

The chief problem with national attempts to prop up a bimetallic standard has been international trade. The government of France could insist on a ratio of exchange between gold and silver, and threaten its own citizens into compliance, but it has no power over other nations and the value of metals on the international market. As a consequence, when France insisted that people give more gold for silver than gold was worth, they stopped using gold in domestic trade and so much of it was smuggled out of the country that "nary a gold coin could be seen" in French marketplaces.

More historical detail is provided, the interesting part of which is that the European continent was largely drained of gold, which flowed to England and to America. (EN: Otherwise, it becomes a lot of fussy and trivial detail about the events of the late nineteenth century that seems to have little value other than as a historical curiosity, hence no further notes.)