It was not until 1840 that the Independent Treasury system was finally approved. The Panic of 1837 was one such incident involving an unstable currency and financial system resulting in a lack of confidence in both government and the banks. He went on to argue that if such an institution was truly necessary for the United States, its charter should be revised to avoid constitutional objections. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. Its headquarters was established in Philadelphia, but it could create branches anywhere.  As president, Adams pursued an unpopular course by attempting to strengthen the powers of the federal government by undertaking large infrastructure projects and other ventures which were alleged to infringe on state sovereignty and go beyond the proper role of the central government. Jackson called their disagreements an "honest difference of opinion" and appreciated McLane's "frankness". of this essay is to discuss the Andrew Jackson Administration. He eventually began to call in loans, but nonetheless was removed by the Bank's directors. The Second Bank of the United States. Just as British Whigs opposed the monarchy, American Whigs decried what they saw as executive tyranny from the president. The Bank War was a bitter and personal dispute between Jackson and his enemies. Finally, Lawrence told his interrogators that he was a deposed English king—specifically, Richard III, dead since 1485—and that Jackson was his clerk. branch bank in Nashville. "By way of metempsychosis," Blair jeered, "ancient Tories now call themselves Whigs.  Congressmen were encouraged to write pro-Bank articles, which Biddle printed and distributed nationally. Jackson's veto and the decreasing likelihood of obtaining a new federal charter meant that the Bank would soon have to wind up its affairs. By vetoing the recharter bill and basing most of his reasoning on the grounds that he was acting in the best interests of the American people, Jackson greatly expanded the power and influence of the president. If a violation of charter was alleged, the specific allegation must be stated. It was not as successful as Jackson hoped. The roots for the resurrection of the Bank of the United States lay fundamentally in the transformation of America from a simple agrarian economy to one that was becoming interdependent with finance and industry. Benton replied by criticizing the Bank for being corrupt and actively working to influence the 1832 election. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. retaliated, the administration decided to secretly equip a number of the state banks with transfer warrants, allowing money to be moved to them from the B.U.S. Catterall writes, "Just as in 1832 Biddle cared 'nothing for the campaign,' so in 1833 Henry Clay cared little or nothing for the bank." A delay would obviate these risks. Corrections? Jackson concluded from his victory in that election that he had a mandate not only to refuse the bank a new charter but to destroy as soon as possible what he called a “hydra of corruption.” (Many of his political enemies had loans from the bank or were on its payroll.)  To that end, Clay helped introduce recharter bills in both the House and Senate. When questioned by Jackson about this earlier promise, he said, "I indescreetly said so, sir; but I am now compelled to take this course." When Jackson was leaving through the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter from England, tried to shoot Jackson with two pistols, both of which misfired. The directors had grown alarmed that their specie reserves had dwindled to four million pounds, which they blamed on the purchase of American securities and poor harvests that forced England to import much of its food (if food imports created a trade deficit, this could lead to specie exports).  On September 18, Lewis asked Jackson what he would do in the event that Congress passed a joint resolution to restore the deposits, Jackson replied, "Why, I would veto it."  This managed to keep the Philadelphia branch operating at a price of nearly $6 million. By expanding the veto, Jackson claimed for the president the right to participate in the legislative process. It enjoyed enormous political and financial power, and there were no practical limits on what Biddle could do. Saying “The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it,” Jackson issued a potent veto message. He planned to use "external pressure" to compel the House to adopt the resolutions.  Southern planters bought large amounts of public land and produced more cotton to try to pay off their debts.  The Coinage Act of 1834 passed Congress on June 28, 1834. , In presenting his economic vision, Jackson was compelled to obscure the fundamental incompatibility of the hard-money and easy credit wings of his party. The purpose of the act was to eliminate the devaluation of gold in order for gold coins to keep pace with market value and not be driven out of circulation.  Jackson assembled an array of talented and capable men as allies. Candidates were called at national nominating coventions for the first time too. , In the end, Biddle responded to the deposit removal controversy in ways that were both precautionary and vindictive. Hamilton supported the Bank because he believed that it would increase the authority and influence of the federal government, effectively manage trade and commerce, strengthen the national defense, and pay the debt.  They felt secure that the B.U.S. The mission of the Abbeville Institute is to preserve what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition.  When a New York delegation visited him to complain about problems being faced by the state's merchants, Jackson responded saying: Go to Nicholas Biddle. , In Biddle's view, Jackson had violated the Bank's charter by removing the public deposits, meaning that the institution effectively ceased functioning as a central bank tasked with upholding the public interest and regulating the national economy. In his left hand he holds a document labelled "Veto" while standing on a tattered copy of the Constitution. forces in Congress and the executive branch. Jackson, as a war hero, was popular with the masses. Banks making too many loans would print an excess of paper money and deflate the currency.  Quite a few historians over the years have proven to be either extremely celebratory or extremely critical of Jackson's war on the Bank. Enjoy the best Andrew Jackson Quotes at BrainyQuote. , Jackson acceded to McLane's pleas for the upcoming annual address to Congress in December, assuming that any efforts to recharter the Bank would not begin until after the election. It was hoped that the disappearance of the Federalist Party would mark the end of party politics.  Supporters of soft money tended to want easy credit. He sent a letter of acceptance to Jackson on January 13, 1833, and was sworn in on June 1. , Attorney General Taney was immediately made Secretary of the Treasury in order to authorize the transfers, and he designated Kendall as special agent in charge of removal.  The practical implications of the veto were enormous.  This echoed the arguments of Calhoun during the charter debates in 1816. , The Bank War has proven to be a controversial subject in the scholarly community long after it took place. Many state banks collapsed as a result. Then there was the removal of the public deposits, congressional testimony indicating that the Jacksonians had attempted to sabotage the Bank's public image and solvency by manufacturing bank runs at branch offices in Kentucky, the responsibility of maintaining a uniform currency, the administration's goal of retiring the public debt in a short period, bad harvests, and expectations that the Bank would continue to lend to commercial houses and return dividends to stockholders. Nonetheless, he agreed to the overall plan. On their advice, Biddle applied for a new charter even though the old charter did not expire until 1836. Democrat Nathaniel Macon remarked, "If Congress can make banks, roads and canals under the Constitution, they can free any slave in the United States. The recharter bill easily passed both houses of Congress in 1832.  Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, and Lawrence was restrained and disarmed. The veto message was "a brilliant political manifesto" that called for the end of monied power in the financial sector and a leveling of opportunity under the protection of the executive branch. Hofstadter criticizes Schlesinger's contention that Jackson's program was a forerunner to the New Deal, arguing that the two were distinct because Jackson wanted less government involvement in finance and infrastructure, while Roosevelt wanted more. At that time, bank notes could be exchanged for a fixed value of gold or silver.  He also had tens of thousands of Jackson's veto messages circulated throughout the country, believing that those who read it would concur in his assessment that it was in essence "a manifesto of anarchy" addressed directly to a "mob". A March 1830 report authored by Senator Samuel Smith of Maryland served this purpose.  A coalition of Whigs and conservative Democrats refused to pass the bill.  Nevertheless, this episode caused an even greater decline in public opinion regarding the Bank, with many believing that Biddle had deliberately evaded a congressional mandate.  On one side were Old Republican idealists who took a principled stand against all paper credit in favor of metallic money. Biddle had orchestrated the maneuver in a desperate effort to keep the institution alive rather than allowing it to dissolve. In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), the Supreme Court ruled that the Bank was both constitutional and that, as an agent of the federal government, it could not be taxed. , Jackson's veto immediately made the Bank the main issue of the 1832 election.  The objective had been reached in part through Jackson's reforms aimed at eliminating the misuse of funds, and through the veto of legislation he deemed extravagant. Senator George Poindexter of Mississippi received a $10,000 loan from the Bank after supporting recharter. This picture represents the  The administration was temporarily distracted by the Nullification Crisis, which reached its peak intensity from the fall of 1832 through the winter of 1833.  One of the first orders of business was to work with pro-B.U.S. Commercial rates tended towards about 15.5-1.  Jackson's statements against the Bank were politically potent in that they served to "discharge the aggressions of citizens who felt injured by economic privilege, whether derived from banks or not". The veto message was crafted primarily by members of the Kitchen Cabinet, specifically Taney, Kendall, and Jackson's nephew and aide Andrew Jackson Donelson. survived Jackson’s presidency, even in a diminished condition. "Party formation through petitions: The Whigs and the Bank War of 1832–1834. The first Coinage Act was passed in 1792 and established a 15 to 1 ratio for gold to silver coins.  Calhoun denounced the removal of funds as an unconstitutional expansion of executive power. The following day, Jackson sent a messenger to learn whether Duane had come to a decision. The Whigs attacked Jackson's specie circular and demanded recharter of the Bank. , When House committee members, as dictated by Congress, arrived in Philadelphia to investigate the Bank, they were treated by the Bank's directors as distinguished guests.  Jackson remained unconvinced of the Bank's constitutionality.  Banks have to lend more money than they take in. Business leaders began to think that deflation was the inevitable consequence of removing the deposits, and so they flooded Congress with petitions in favor of recharter. Some members of the Democratic Party questioned the wisdom and legality of Jackson's move to terminate the Bank through executive means before its 1836 expiration. The circular, he claimed, was necessary to prevent excessive speculation.  According to historian Bray Hammond, "Jacksonians had to recognize that the Bank's standing in public esteem was high. He is mistaken", Biddle declared.. , National Republicans continued to organize in favor of recharter. "By destroying Biddle's Bank Jackson had taken away the only effective restraint on the wildcatters ... he had strangled a potential threat to democratic government, but at an unnecessarily high cost. , The rise of Jacksonian democracy was achieved through harnessing the widespread social resentments and political unrest persisting since the Panic of 1819 and the Missouri Crisis of 1820.  More states and localities began to charter their own banks. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Bank-War, The White House Historical Association - The Bank War. A panic ensued (1837). , The end of the War of 1812 was accompanied by an increase in white male suffrage. officers, but Biddle insisted that only one's qualifications for the job and knowledge in the affairs of business, rather than partisan considerations, should determine hiring practices. , The Jacksonian coalition had to contend with a fundamental incompatibility between its hard money and paper money factions, for which reason Jackson’s associates never offered a platform on banking and finance reform, because to do so "might upset Jackson's delicately balanced coalition". Although the Bank provided significant financial assistance to Clay and pro-B.U.S.  The Democrats launched a spirited and sophisticated campaign.  The House also stood solidly for Jackson. Biddle was eventually forced to relax the bank’s credit policies, and in 1837 the Senate expunged the censure resolution from its record.  Among these policies and developments were the passage of the Coinage Act of 1834, actions pursued by Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and a financial partnership between Biddle and Baring Brothers, a major British merchant banking house. On October 7, 1833, Biddle held a meeting with the Bank's board members in Philadelphia. until December 1829. & S. Joseph & Company, to do the same.  In fact, Biddle voted for Jackson in the election. The treasury secretary could no longer regulate lending requirements in the deposit banks as a result of this legislation. We have no money here, gentlemen. Economic problems which reverberated through the economy eventually led to major depression in the Panic of 1837 (which occurred during the term of Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren ).  Van Buren had cautiously supported McLane's proposal to delay the matter until January 1, 1834. Clay demurred. Jackson warned strongly that the principles of the bill contravened the principles of Republican equality.  In a speech to the Senate, Webster rebuked Jackson for maintaining that the president could declare a law unconstitutional that had passed Congress and been approved by the Supreme Court.  Clay and Webster secretly intended to provoke a veto, which they hoped would damage Jackson and lead to his defeat.  Jackson’s criticisms were shared by "anti-bank, hard money agrarians" as well as eastern financial interests, especially in New York City, who resented the central bank's restrictions on easy credit.  Jackson himself, though naturally averse to the Bank, had recommended the establishment of a branch in Pensacola. Both of these measures diverted precious metals from the Atlantic Coast to western regions, leaving the nation’s financial centers vulnerable to external shocks. " Support for this "national system of money and finance" grew with the post-war economy and land boom, uniting the interests of eastern financiers with southern and western Republican nationalists.  "Hickory Clubs" organized mass rallies, while the pro-Jackson press "virtually wrapped the country in anti-Bank propaganda". In 1823, he was unanimously elected its president. However, Jackson won by a landslide. under Bank President William Jones through fraud and the rapid emission of paper money. , Jackson's campaign benefited from superior organization skills.  The Treasury Secretary's goal was to ensure that the B.U.S. administrators, including Biddle, and Jackson continued to do business with the B.U.S.  In December 1835, Polk defeated Bell and was elected Speaker of the House.  The push for the creation of a new national bank occurred during the post-war period of American history known as the Era of Good Feelings. , In spite of Jackson's address, no clear policy towards the Bank emerged from the White House.  The Globe, which was vigorously anti-B.U.S., published Benton's speech, earning Jackson's praise. Jackson ordered that no more government funds be deposited in the bank. The affair resulted in the shutdown of the Bank and its replacement by state banks. Jackson also felt that the bank was too powerful, both politically and economically. However, Harrison died after only a month in office, and his successor, John Tyler, vetoed two bills to reestablish the Bank. With the help of Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury, they drafted an order dated September 25 declaring an official switch from national to deposit banking. president in the legislative process as evidence of the Bank’s corrupting influence on free government. He believed it concentrated too much economic power in the hands of a small monied elite beyond the public’s control.  In 1836, President Jackson signed the Deposit and Distribution Act, which transferred funds from the Treasury Department’s budget surplus into various deposit banks located in the interior of the country. The Jacksonians depicted their war on the second Bank of the United States as a struggle against an alleged aristocratic monster that oppressed the West, debtor farmers, and poor people generally. , The executive branch, Jackson averred, when acting in the interests of the American people, was not bound to defer to the decisions of the Supreme Court, nor to comply with legislation passed by Congress.  On February 23, 1832, Jacksonian Representative Augustin Smith Clayton of Georgia introduced a resolution to investigate allegations that the Bank had violated its charter.  By diverting both groups in a campaign against the central bank in Philadelphia, Jackson cloaked his own hard-money predilections, which, if adopted, would be as fatal to the inflation favoring Jacksonians as the B.U.S. McLane and Lewis, however, told Biddle that the chances of recharter would be greater if he waited until after the election of 1832. Jacksonians—gathered in Rochester, New York to form a new political party.  British investment in the stocks and bonds that capitalized American transportation companies, municipal governments, and state governments added to this phenomenon. This number increased to about $5 million in 1834, $15 million in 1835, and $25 million in 1836.  Jackson won decisive pluralities in both the Electoral College and the popular vote. The Second Bank of the United States was established as a private organization with a 20-year charter, having the exclusive right to conduct banking on a national scale. The Bank War for kids , The men took Jackson's advice and went to see Biddle, whom they discovered was "out of town". All were members of the Republican Party, which was still the only political party in the country. To Van Buren, he wrote, "Therefore to prolong the deposits until after the meeting of Congress would be to do the very act [the B.U.S.] Van Buren capitulated. Bank of the U.S. failed, cotton prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and there was widespread unemployment and distress. ", One such example was in Kentucky, where in 1817 the state legislature chartered forty banks, with notes redeemable to the Bank of Kentucky.  In response, the Democratic-controlled House conducted an inquiry, submitting a divided committee report (4–3) that declared the deposits perfectly safe. This was followed in April by a similar report written by Representative George McDuffie of South Carolina.  Jackson’s supporters benefited in sustaining these attacks on the Bank even as Benton and Polk warned Jackson that the struggle was "a losing fight" and that the recharter bill would certainly pass. The National Republicans, meanwhile, developed popular political cartoons, some of the first to be employed in the nation. Jackson had to submit all three nominations at once, and so he delayed submitting them until the last week of the Senate session on June 23.  Jackson, without consulting McLane, subsequently edited the language in the final draft after considering Taney’s objections.  He characterized the B.U.S. was to stabilize the American economy by establishing a uniform currency and strengthening the federal government. , The Democrats did suffer some setbacks. One such cartoon was entitled "King Andrew the First".  According to historian Robert V. Remini, the Bank exercised "full control of credit and currency facilities of the nation and adding to their strength and soundness".  The United States would never have another central banking system again until the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Jackson set out to destroy … It was subject to attacks from agrarians and constructionists led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Jackson issued the Specie Circular to force the payment for federal lands with gold or silver.  He called for a substitute national bank that would be wholly public with no private stockholders. Another part of McLane's reform package involved selling government lands and distributing the funds to states, a measure consistent with Jackson's overall belief in reducing the operations of the central government. Jackson’s Bank War was in phase two. "Under such circumstances," he said, standing up, "then, sir, I would resign the presidency and return to the Hermitage." Jackson viewed the issue as a political liability—recharter would easily pass both Houses with simple majorities—and as such, would confront him with the dilemma of approving or disapproving the legislation ahead of his reelection.  194 of the 729 banks with charters closed their doors. Clay responded by sarcastically alluding to a brawl that had taken place between Thomas Benton and his brother Jesse against Andrew Jackson in 1813. Supporters of Jackson became known as Jacksonians and, eventually, Democrats. Biddle has all the money. Quotations by Andrew Jackson, American President, Born March 15, 1767.  The national economy following the withdrawal of the remaining funds from the Bank was booming and the federal government through duty revenues and sale of public lands was able to pay all bills. Annual address to Congress, December 1829, Annual address to Congress, December 1830, Post-Eaton cabinet and compromise efforts, Annual address to Congress, December 1831, Renewal of war and 1832 address to Congress, Removal of the deposits and panic of 1833–34, Origins of the Whig Party and censure of President Jackson, National Archives and Records Administration, "When the U.S. paid off the entire national debt (and why it didn't last)", "Jackson escapes assassination attempt Jan. 30, 1835", "Rediscovering the Journal Clause: The Lost History of Legislative Constitutional Interpretation", "The Market for American State Government Bonds in Britain and the United States, 1830–43", "The Jacksonian Persuasion: Politics and Belief", "Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, and the Panic of 1837", Federal Reserve v. Investment Co. Institute, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bank_War&oldid=991184827, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Carpenter, Daniel, and Benjamin Schneer. This is an excellent book on Andrew Jackson's battle against the Second Bank of the United States. This led to the failure of state banks and the collapse of businesses, turning what could have been a brief recession into a prolonged depression. Lewis then asked what he would do if Congress overrode his veto. , At first, Biddle's strategy was successful.  Economic planning at the federal level was deemed necessary by Republican nationalists to promote expansion and encourage private enterprise. Jackson insisted that the circular was necessary because allowing land to be purchased with paper would only fuel speculator greed more, thereby worsening the crisis. as merely an agent of the executive branch, acting through the Department of the Treasury. The situation was exacerbated by the B.U.S. Finally, a vote was taken, and it was decided 25–19 to expunge the censure. War is a blessing compared with national degradation. In case the B.U.S.  Biddle no longer believed that Jackson would compromise on the Bank question, but some of his correspondents who were in contact with the administration, including McDuffie, convinced the Bank president that Jackson would not veto a recharter bill. Once … As credit tightened across the country, businesses closed and men were thrown out of work. It was undervalued and thus rarely circulated.  Farmers and planters suffered from price deflation and debt-default spirals. It is a pity because we do need a national bank, but it requires control." It tried to ensure steady growth by forcing state-chartered banks to keep specie reserves. Financial writer William Gouge wrote that "the Bank was saved and the people were ruined". Jackson vetoed the bill, beginning the long struggle which has become known as "The Bank War." Jacksonians from pursuing their attack on the B.U.S. This process violated the Bank's charter. is believed by some to have helped set in motion a series of events that would eventually culminate in a major financial crisis known as the Panic of 1837. , Richard Hofstadter accepts that the Bank had too much power to interfere in politics but excoriates Jackson for making war on it. Clay in 1834 pushed a resolution through the Senate censuring Jackson for removing the deposits.