Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Andrew Jackson and the Banks

The book, "Magnificent Destiny," by Paul I. Wellman, profiled the relationships of President Andrew Jackson, including his wife, Rachel and other relatives, Sam Houston, and his Cabinet among others. This source described some of the important issues that defined Andrew Jackson's era.

With the current debate over banks and monetary policy, it was interesting to read about the bank controversies in the 1830's and some comparisons to the present day.

Andrew Jackson campaigned in the election of 1832 against the Second Bank of the United States (and won):

"He (Andrew Jackson) mentioned Chief Justice John Marshall. 'A bigoted hypocrite,' he said, 'with his doctrine of "implied powers." Implied by whom? by Marshall! And for whom? The monied powers. As, for example, the authorization of the Bank of the United States." He stared broodingly into the fire. 'And speaking of the Bank of the United States brings up the name of another in the category of Clay, Adams, and Marshall--that smug moneylender in the temple, Nicholas Biddle. The Bank and Biddle, who take orders from Clay and Adams, to create hard times or alleviate them for political effect, are the head and forefront of the money octopus that would throttle this nation. I'll meet them, sir--head to head! It may stun the monied powers, the plan that I'll submit. The government, sir, not private financiers, should control the finances of America. They'll howl, but that's what they'll have to swallow!' [From Magnificent Destiny]

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