there were crashes and following recessions in 1873, 1884, 1890, 1893 (this one was particularly bad), and 1896.
If you look into them you see a typical pattern of government messing economic things around to accelerate growth beyond its natural curve or somehow trick debt away leading to a crash down the line. Fixed money cannot fix these issues, but neither can fiat money even though the later was specifically thought about as a means of fixing such problems. As the saying goes, there's no fixing stupid.
Additionally, gold is mostly fixed, but not as much as it should:
a) Now and then huge influxes happen causing all kinds of inflationary trouble. New World gold entering Europe in waves during the colonial period is a prime example.
b) It can be devalued by government-mandated restricting of coinage rights and obligatory mixing with less valuable metals, as happened in the late Roman Empire.
c) Banks can take advantage of the fact its heavy and the need of people for portability by first issuing paper money in the amount of the their reserves, and then issuing more paper than they had metal in reserve so as to lend more than they really could.
Bitcoin avoids these by making them simply impossible. In regards to "a", the rate of entry is fixed, predictable, and not a single "ounce" of Bitcoins will ever enter the universe after the pool is exhausted. About "b", there's no mixing of anything, a microBTC is a microBTC, no more and no less. And on "c", it's literally impossible for a bank to even pretend to have more than it really has, because the whole history of which BTCs entered and left it is public knowledge.
Then we'd be left with only governments basic stupidity to deal with, an overall net gain.