In history, we're learning about the free silver movement (and populism) that sprang up in the late 19th century. I understand why farmers and western miners wanted silver to be minted: more silver in addition to the treasury's existing gold would make the dollar worth more, which would 1) help farmers out of debt and 2) increase the miners' profit.
In his famous "Cross of Gold" speech, Democratic (populist) presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan suggested that the Republicans were trying to crucify working-class Americans on a "cross of gold". Most Republicans at the time supported the "gold standard".
What (if anything) was so bad about only having gold to back the dollar, and why did the Republicans oppose bimetallism?