Baum was an amazing figure. I want to suggest that Baum is neither simply advocating bimetal standard or critiquing the bimetal standard. He was an entrepreneur. The Good Witch of the North, Glinda appears in an ever growing bubble and quickly advises Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, which is the only way to return to her home in Kansas. The Tin Man represents factory workers who experienced high unemployment during the depression of the 1890s. Several scholars have posited The Wizard of Oz as an allegory for the politics of bimetallism during this period. To combat the depression, a number of Democrats began the free silver movement which favored giving banks the permission to also print money by purchasing silver, a metal found in abundance in the western American states.

He wanted to return America to the paper money standard. He had a string of theatres.

Rather than playing a specific person, the Wizard is symbolic of the presidency itself – and just like a politician, the Wizard says, "I never grant favors without some return.". ... not ruby. The paper money that had been printed to pay for the wars, rapidly became worthless. The yellow brick road, according to this interpretation, is meant to represent the "gold standard," while Dorothy's shoes (originally silver in Baum's books) were meant to represent silver. University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business. ShareTweetEmailWith its memorable story and its cast of colorful characters, the Wizard of Oz quickly became an American classic. And the people that he took with him on his march– the unemployed workers and the unemployed farmers– have seemed to have their historical counterparts in Dorothy’s rusted Tin Man, who’s no longer able to move, and Dorothy’s Scarecrow, who is stuck in a field and no longer able to farm. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. Like the Cowardly Lion, Populist hero William Jennings Bryan was known for his "roaring." And he had the concession to sell candies and drinks in the World Fair. When he barks at the scarecrow, Dorothy tries to ignore him: “Don’t be silly, Toto. Watch Professor Nicky Marsh explain why. Category: Career Development, Job Market, Teaching, Category: General, Learner Stories, Learning. And they are silver, economic historians have suggested, because they represent half of the bimetal standard, and that when they walk on the road, The Yellow Brick Road, to Oz, they unify silver and gold. Her march to the Emerald City has been compared to Jacob Coxey’s march to Washington.

If we think about the story of Dorothy, not simply as marching to Washington to ask for paper money, but as marching to Chicago to the World Fair to ask for consumerism, to ask for the kinds of paper money, the forms of credit, that made consumerism possible in America at the turn of the century. It was funded by Congress. By Dr. Hassan Shirvani — Since the Chicago journalist L. Frank Baum published his The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, the book has become one of the most beloved American tales of adventure. NICKY MARSH: So we’ve looked at some of the material histories of money, the different kinds of forms it’s taken. And being on the gold standard meant always a restricted form of money. He wrote Wizard of Oz. Baum started The Association of Window Dressers. Get vital skills and training in everything from Parkinson’s disease to nutrition, with our online healthcare courses. In the last scene, Toto chases after a cat, causing Dorothy to chase after him and hence miss her balloon ride. There was the Populist movement, who wanted to return to the bimetal standard and have a combination of gold and silver currencies. Professor Cullen Foundation Chair in Economics, ← Don’t Just Dream About Success: Stack the Odds in Your Favor, The Best Lesson I Have Ever Learned From A Wise Man: The Significance of Intellectual Humility →. And while he was writing The Wizard of Oz, Baum went with Walter Denslow, his illustrator, and visited the World Fair, apparently, every day. Sign up to our newsletter and we'll send fresh new courses and special offers direct to your inbox, once a week. Anxious to find her way back home, Dorothy sets out to seek the advice of the Great Wizard of Oz who resides in the Emerald City. In 1964 Henry Littlefield – a teacher – published an article explaining the close correspondence between The Wizard of Oz and the frames of this debate – and successive writers (notably Hugh Rockoff) added to it. America paid for its war against the British, the Revolutionary War, by printing paper money. Mystery Schools have always taught their students that one must rely on oneself to obtain salvation. Millions of both children and adults have taken great pleasure in reading about Dorothy, a little girl living in the midst of the Kansas prairies with her aunt, who is “carried away” by a tornado to the Land of Oz, a magical place populated by the little Munchkins and a host of other wonderful characters. It is he who realizes the Wizard is a fraud. And he was also, in the same year that he published Wizard of Oz, he wrote the book called The Art of Dry Goods and Decorating.

And we can see this history in one of the odd little stories that the history of the World Fair has uncovered. Dorothy is childlike and naive. As Littlefield explains, the Wizard is "a little bumbling old man, hiding behind a facade of papier mache and noise," making him "any President from Grant to McKinley." Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information. And now, I want to turn to an example from literary history, to Frank L. Baum’s novella from 1900, The Wizard of Oz, to look at the ways in which literary texts have imagined this history of money’s production. The silver cord is considered to be the link between our material and spiritual selves. The Wizard is, in fact, a stand-in for the personal God of the Christians and the Jews, the oppressive figure used by conventional religions to keep the masses in spiritual darkness: Jehova or Yahwe. But one of the major and interesting questions about The Wizard of Oz, if we read it as an allegory for American monetary debates, is what is Baum telling us about that money. Few, however, recognize that, under its deceptive simplicity, the story of the Wizard of Oz […] Indeed, during the 1896 presidential election, the Democrats led by their nominee, William Jennings Bryan, called for an end to “crucifying mankind upon a cross of gold.”. Scarecrows don’t talk.” But scarecrows do talk in Oz. And for Baum, this money is money that can feed the consumer economy that he is so enchanted by. This is what leads to Dorothy’s ultimate transformation, to the discovery of her inner powers. He clothed an entire football team on credit, for example. Books of this character are eagerly bought and read by the people, both in Europe and America. Dorothy’s adventure starts at the beginning of an ever expanding spiral on the Yellow Brick Road to Oz. In the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s shoes are red. Although the Wizard claims to be great and powerful, he's actually a charlatan. Explore tech trends, learn to code or develop your programming skills with our online IT courses from top universities. During her journey, she meets and is joined by three friends including the Scarecrow, Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion, each lacking the three components to an actualized individual (a brain, a heart and courage), or illumination. And the restrictions on the money supply exacerbated the depressions that America experienced in the 1870s and, particularly, in the 1890s. Under this system, banks could only print new dollar bills when purchasing gold, as opposed to earlier times when they could also print money by purchasing US government bonds.

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