Another Twist on the Jacksonian Bank War – Part 3

©1997 by Gerry Rough ©1997 by Gerry Rough <politico8@maplenet.net>

This is the last of a three part series on the second Bank of the United
States. In this essay we will take an analytical look at President Andrew
Jackson’s veto message.

The message is one of the most cited documents
in conspiracy theory circles. After Congress passed the recharter bill,
it was given to President Jackson to either sign or veto at his discretion.
This move was planned by the pro-bank forces to discredit President Jackson.
If he should sign the bill, he would abandon everything that he had said
earlier on the recharter question. If he didn”t sign the bill, he would
be taking a concrete stand on an issue that was sure to electrify the voters.
Up until this point in the election, Jackson’s popularity was never in
doubt. But by taking the recharter issue, Jackson was taking a risk that
would shriek the modern political operative. The Bank of the United States
was a popular institution even at this point in the election. Surely, his
opponents thought, it was political suicide to dare destroy one of the
most popular institutions in America.

But before we get to the message itself, lets take a short digression
to what other historians have said of the message. Below are several opinions
of the recharter veto message.

      Despite Blair’s encomiums, the veto was weak in its reasoning. Its

 

      argument that a national bank in the eighteen-thirties needed no more capital

 

      than one that had existed thirty years before betrayed that reluctance

 

      to face realistically the problems of a rapidly developing economy that

 

      was so characteristic of the Jacksonians. The veto repeatedly stated that

 

      the bank was a monopoly, which was true only if monopoly were defined in

 

      such fashion as to divest the word of its real meaning. It ignored the

 

      Bank’s enormous services to the national economy. Neither then nor later

 

      did the President or his party offer an effective substitute for the Bank,

 

      and in the years that followed the veto, despite the fact that there were

 

      some painfully slow local improvements in banking practice, the United

 

      States sank from a leading to a backward nation in the development of banking

 

      techniques.

1

    [1]

It was the singular fortune of the bank-veto message to delight equally
the friends and the foes of the bank. The opposition circulated it as a
campaign document! Duff Green published it in his extra Telegraph,
calling upon all the opponents of the administration to give it the widest
publicity, since it would damn the administration wherever it was read.
The New York American characterized it thus: “It is indeed and verily
beneath contempt. It is an appeal of ignorance to ignorance, of the most
unblushing partisan hostility to the obsequiousness of partisan servility.
No man in the cabinet proper will be willing to share the ignominy of preparing
or approving such a paper.” Nicholas Biddle himself was enchanted with
it, for he thought it had saved the bank by destroying the bank’s great
enemy. “You ask,” he wrote to Henry Clay, “what is the effect of the veto?
My impression is, that it is working as well as the friends of the bank
and of the country could desire. I have always deplored making the bank
a party question, but since the President will have it so, he must pay
the penalty of his own rashness. As to the veto message, I am delighted
with it. It has all the fury of a chained panther, biting the bars of his
cage. It is really a manifesto of anarchy, such as Marat or Robespierre
might have issued to the mob of the Faubourg St. Antoine; and my hope is,
that it will contribute to relieve the country from the dominion of these
miserable people.2 [2]

The message accompanying the veto is a famous state paper. It is legalistic,
demagogic, and full of sham. Its economic reasoning was said by Professor
Catterall, over fifty years ago, to be beneath contempt. Its level is now
no higher….It ignored the public nature of the Bank and repudiated its
regulatory responsibilities: all that monetary regulation required was
a mint and an occasional act of Congress. The message rested heavily on
an identification of the Bank with the rich, by whom it was used to oppress
the poor. [4]

On July 10, 1832, the president sent Congress a veto message….The
words belonged to Amos Kendall and Roger B. Taney, the self-righteous indignation
to Andrew Jackson. Instead of reciting the Bank’s political sins, this
triumvirate cast the entire message in the language of social apocalypse.
The Bank was an engine of aristocracy, the symbol of special privilege,
and the cause of the nation’s discontent. Worse still, it was not even
an indigenous monster, but rather the bastard offspring of American and
European capitalism, ever susceptible to foreign influence. No matter that
the Supreme Court had declared the Bank both national and constitutional.
The president reserved for himself the right to interpret such matters….In
issuing this veto and making himself equal to two-thirds of Congress, Jackson
did not strengthen the presidency, nor did he intend to. He justified his
veto on the ground of state rights and limited government, forswearing
any desire to augment executive prerogative….far from being a prescription
for enlarged executive authority, the Bank veto was a clever campaign document
designed to simplify the issues. Democrats asked voters to choose between
the forces of entrenched aristocracy and simple government, between a foreign
dictatorship and a native American hero, between corruption and innocence-between
the Bank and Andrew Jackson. [5]

Conspiracy theorists believe there are three reasons why President Jackson
vetoed the recharter bill that was passed by Congress. G. Edward Griffin,
author of the tome, The Creature From Jekyll Island, states the
best case:

      Jackson devoted most of his veto message to three general topics: (1)

 

      the injustice that is inherent in granting a government-sponsored monopoly

 

      to the Bank; (2) the unconstitutionality of the Bank even if it were not

 

      unjust; and (3) the danger to the country in having the Bank heavily dominated

 

    by foreign investors. [6]

The second reason, the Constitutional question, will be dealt with in a
later essay. Here we will deal with the first and third charges against
the Bank. To this end, let’s now take a closer look at the most controversial
Presidential veto in our nations history. The entire message is not contained
here, but all of the sections dealing with Griffin’s analysis. Almost all
of the remaining sections deal with the Constitutional question. As reference,
all of the following quotations of the message itself are taken from Documentary
History of Banking and Currency in the United States
, Volume 2, p.
816-832.

VETO MESSAGE
To The Senate:
Washington, July 10, 1832

      The bill “to modify and continue” the act entitled “An act to incorporate

 

      the subscribers to the Bank of the United States” was presented to me on

 

      the 4th July instant. Having considered it with that solemn regard to the

 

      principles of the Constitution which the day was calculated to inspire,

 

      and come to the conclusion that it not to become a law, I herewith return

 

      it to the Senate, in which it originated, with my objections.
      The present corporate body, denominated the president, directors, and

 

      company of the Bank of the United States, will have existed at the time

 

      this act is intended to take effect twenty years. It enjoys an exclusive

 

      privilege of banking under the authority of the General Government, a monopoly

 

      of its favor and support, and, as a necessary consequence, almost a monopoly

 

      of the foreign and domestic exchange. The powers, privileges, and favors

 

      bestowed upon it in the original charter, by increasing the value of the

 

      stock far above its par value, operated as a gratuity of many millions

 

    to the stockholders.

The gratuity mentioned is endemic to all stockholders of any kind. Jackson
is here bemoaning the fact that those who hold stock in any corporation
will receive a reward for doing so. As to the issue of the stock price
rising above its par value, the alternative plan for a new bank that is
mentioned later in the message would have done so as well. For Jackson
to mention this as an evil endemic only to the Bank of the United States
is patently absurd.

      It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our

 

      Government. More than eight millions of the stock of this bank are held

 

      by foreigners. By this act the American Republic proposes virtually to

 

      make them a present of some millions of dollars. For these gratuities to

 

      foreigners and to some of our own opulent citizens the act secures no equivalent

 

    whatever.

The above is a famous conspiracy quote. It is quoted to show that the bank
was somehow controlled by foreigners and by the rich. Somehow there is
something evil about receiving a dividend from a private corporation. Even
worse still, some went to foreign investors. On this note, Hammond’s analysis
is most instructive:

      It was frequently implied in the message that foreign investments in

 

      America were objectionable. The Jacksonians, however, did not discourage

 

      foreign borrowing as a matter of general policy. With the possible exception

 

      of Jackson himself, they knew as well as anyone that a new country eagerly

 

      bent on a rapid exploitation of its resources procures abroad all the capital

 

      it can. Their objecting to the Bank’s foreign shareholders could only have

 

    been to impress the ignorant, who were numerous. [7]

It is appropriate here to digress to the issue of foreign control of the
Bank of the United States. This issue is one of the most cited in conspiracy
theory writings. It is also important because the famous Rothschild family
enters the picture. It is really more accurate to say “Rothschild control”
of the Bank than it is to say “foreign control” of the bank since that
is always the implicit message. On this issue, Griffin writes the following:

      Another important continuity between the old [first Bank of the United

 

      States] and the new Bank was the concentration of foreign investment. In

 

      fact, the largest single block of stock in the new Bank, about one third

 

      in all, was held by this group. It certainly is no exaggeration to say

 

      that the Second Bank of the United States was rooted as deeply in Britain

 

    as it was in America. [8]

It most certainly is! Griffin is deliberately distorting the facts in order
to prove his point. Notice that he states that the “new” bank was one-third
owned by foreigners. This is the distortion. The largest block of stock
owned by foreigners was 84,055 in 1832, a full 15 years after the
“new” Bank went into operation. As of 1820, foreigners only owned 29,288
(8.3%) of the outstanding shares, destroying Griffin’s argument regarding
foreign concentration at the beginning. [9] Total outstanding shares in
the Bank were 350,000, which makes 84,055 shares calculate to 24.01%.
Again, not the “one third,” as Griffin points out. Further, the largest
single block of stock was not the stock owned by foreigners at all. This
honor belongs to none other than one Steven Girard, one of the richest
men in America at the time. The charter said that no one could own more
than 3,000 shares unless the initial stock offering was not fully subscribed.
[10] As it turned out, there were 30,383 shares unsubscribed at the end
of the initial stock offering, so Girard subscribed the entire amount himself.
[11] As we have seen, Griffin has deliberately distorted all of his facts
to prove his conspiracy.

Griffin states again:

      Even though foreign investors technically were not allowed to

 

      vote their shares, their financial power was so great that the American

 

      investors were clearly beholden to them and would likely follow their instructions.

 

    [12]

As is usually the case, neither Griffin nor any other conspiracy theorist
has done any serious research to substantiate the claim. This same claim
is recycled many times over in conspiracy writings on the New World Order.
On February 27th, 1832, Representative Augustin Clayton proposed a Resolution
before the House of Representatives to investigate the Bank. Almost all
of the charges were without foundation and refuted the next day by
Representative George McDuffie. One of the charges was, you guessed it,
foreigners controlling the Bank. McDuffie’s refutation is most emphatic:

      The seventh charge: “Foreigners voting for directors through their

 

      trustees.” I know nothing of this charge. But the fact can be easily ascertained

 

      from the bank itself. I have no doubt that, so far as it is a charge at

 

      all, it will turn out to be wholly without foundation. It may be that stock

 

      has been owned by a foreigner, and yet held in the name of some citizen

 

      of the United States. But how, I ask, can the bank prevent an American

 

      stockholder from voting on stock held by him, on the ground of a secret

 

      trust? This is no abuse for which the bank is answerable, unless the bank

 

      has been cognizant of the fact, and had the power of correcting the abuse.

 

      This charge may be answered from the books and records of the bank, in

 

    five minutes. [13]

How appropriate it is to hear the conspiracy theorists repeat almost verbatim
the charge that never had even the thinnest of foundation. So completely
absurd is the charge, in fact, that the anti-bank forces themselves did
not give credibility to such foolishness. Walter Buckingham Smith would
later write of the obvious error of this line of attack:

      Jackson went further and suggested that foreign ownership would invite

 

      “political involvements.” Other critics suggested that it would lead to

 

      paralysis of the Bank in the event of war. However, this line of thought

 

      was given little prominence, perhaps because even the Bank’s enemies regarded

 

      it as absurd. They were undoubtedly so sincere in their belief that the

 

      Bank was a public enemy that they did not stoop to this politically powerful,

 

    though erroneous, line of attack. [14]

Jackson continues:

      Every monopoly and all exclusive privileges are granted at the expense

 

      of the public, which ought to receive a fair equivalent. The many millions

 

      which this act proposes to bestow on the stockholders of the existing bank

 

      must come directly or indirectly out of the earnings of the American people.

 

      It is due to them, therefore, if their Government sell monopolies and exclusive

 

      privileges, that they should at least exact for them as much as they are

 

    worth in open market.

Jackson’s travesty of truth continues. There was no expense to the public
whatsoever. The expense was from the Bank itself and its profits. Jackson”s
travesty continues further by stating that “many millions”.must come directly
or indirectly” from the American people. Patently untrue again, the dividends
and expenses would come only from the operations of the bank.

      But this act does not permit competition in the purchase of this monopoly.

 

      It seems to be predicated on the erroneous idea that the present stockholders

 

      have a prescriptive right not only to the favor but to the bounty of Government.

 

      It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners

 

      and the residue is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of

 

      the richest class. For their benefit does this act exclude the whole American

 

      people from competition in the purchase of this monopoly and dispose of

 

    it for many millions less than it is worth.

Another widely circulated conspiracy quote, the above strikes at the heart
of two of the main arguments of the message simultaneously. It serves to
draw a contrast between the rich and the poor on the one hand, and vilifies
the foreign stockholders on the other. As to the first statement, Hammond”s
analysis mentions that the President had months before raised the issue
himself of furnishing a plan of his own, then, contradicting himself later
in the message, states that had he been called upon to do so, “the duty
would have been cheerfully performed.” His second statement is erroneous
as well since it assumes an act of Congress would ascribe to the stockholders
the “bounty of the Government;” an obviously ridiculous charge since the
Bank was a private institution.

      In another of its bearings this provision is fraught with danger. Of

 

      the twenty-five directors of this bank five are chosen by the Government

 

      and twenty by the citizen stockholders. From all voice in these elections

 

      the foreign stockholders are excluded by the charter. In proportion, therefore,

 

      as the stock is transferred to foreign holders the extent of suffrage in

 

      the choice of directors is curtailed. Already is almost a third of the

 

      stock in foreign hands and not represented in elections. It is constantly

 

      passing out of the country, and this act will accelerate its departure

 

      The entire control of the institution would necessarily fall into the hands

 

      of a few citizen stockholders, and the ease with which the object would

 

      be accomplished would be a temptation to designing men to secure that control

 

      in their own hands by monopolizing the remaining stock. There is danger

 

      that a president and directors would then be able to elect themselves from

 

      year to year, and without responsibility or control manage the whole concerns

 

      of the bank during the existence of its charter. It is easy to conceive

 

      that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such

 

      a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the

 

    people.

Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in
its nature has so little to bind it to our country?”.Will there not be
cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace and for the independence
or our country in war?”.Of the course which would be pursued by a bank
almost wholly owned by the subjects of a foreign power, and managed by
those whose interests, if not affections, would run in the same direction
there can be no doubt. All its operations within would be in aid of the
hostile fleets and armies without. Controlling our currency, receiving
our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence,
it would be more formidable and dangerous than the naval and military power
of the enemy.

The second paragraph above is often quoted in the conspiracy press. It
is quoted to prove how dangerous foreign stockholders are to the economy
and our personal freedom. Fraught with deliberate fabrication, both paragraphs
taken together are the core argument against foreign investors. It is “delightfully
Jacksonian” in its absurdity, as Catterall once said. Note that in an earlier
quote, it was stated by Jackson himself that “it appears that more than
a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners.” Then Jackson states
that somehow through some sort of magical means “almost a third of the
stock is in foreign hands,” then he completes the absurdity by stating,
“a bank almost wholly owned by the subjects of a foreign power.” Bray Hammond
continues the analysis regarding foreign control of the Bank:

      To this end, the message made its way solemnly into the absurd. If

 

      the Bank came to be mainly owned abroad, it was said, and if the owners

 

      were of a country with which war arose, what would be the condition of

 

      the United States?”.The Bank, that is, though situated across the ocean

 

      from its “owners” and in the jurisdiction of a government possessing police

 

      powers of its own, was pictured as able nevertheless to defy that government.

 

      Yet it was recognized that the charter denied foreign shareholders any

 

      part in control of the Bank; for paragraphs earlier in the message,

 

      the argument had been that since foreign shareholders had no vote, any

 

      increase in their holdings would have the effect of throwing control of

 

      the Bank into the laps of a diminishing proportion of domestic shareholders.

 

      The message had things both ways. The foreign stockholders were on the

 

      one hand a menace because they might control the Bank; they were also a

 

    menace because they could not. [15]

Jackson contiues again:

      So abundant is domestic capital that competition in subscribing for

 

      the stock of local banks has recently led almost to riots. To a bank exclusively

 

      of American stockholders, possessing the powers and privileges granted

 

    by this act, subscriptions for $200,000,000 could be readily obtained.

Hammond’s analysis again continues:

      [On the substance of the above,] He was doubtless right; but they could

 

      be obtained only in the fictitious capital that in other paragraphs incensed

 

      him. By the hard-money standards he really cherished, not one-tenth of

 

    the $200,000,000 existed in the country altogether. [16]

Jackson continues again:

      The Congress, the executive, and the Court must each for itself be

 

      guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer who

 

      takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it

 

      as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much

 

      the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President

 

      to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may

 

      be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges

 

    when it may be brought before them for judicial decision.

The words of the Bank’s President, Nicholas Biddle, are not so hollow and
politically motivated as one might imagine whence said he, “It is really
a manifesto of anarchy.” For President Jackson to make such a statement
belies the foolishness of the message. According to Jackson himself, “Each
public officer”. swears that he will support it [the Constitution] as he
understands it, and not as it is understood by others.” Forget the history
of the Constitution, forget what the founding fathers wanted, forget the
great men who forged our great republic into the United States of America.
Forget all that. History and its wisdom are irrelevant. Interpret the
Constitution as you alone understand it
. If the conspiracy theorists
want to be taken seriously, they can start here with an unconditional condemnation
of Jackson’s apparent contempt for the Constitution and those who framed
it.

Jackson continues:

      The old Bank of the United States possessed capital of only $11,000,000,

 

      which was found fully sufficient to enable it with dispatch and safety

 

      to perform all the functions required of it by the Government. The capital

 

      of the present bank is 35,000,000 – at least twenty-four more than experience

 

      has proved to be necessary to enable a bank to perform its public functions.

 

      The public debt which existed during the period of the old bank and on

 

      the establishment of the new has been nearly paid off, and our revenue

 

      will soon be reduced. This increase of capital is therefore not for public

 

    but private purposes.

Another travesty of hypocrisy, recall that earlier Jackson had himself
had advocated a bank with a startup capital of $200,000,000. The capital
of an institution of this size would surpass the existing institution”s
capital many times over. As well, the proposed bank that Jackson is here
advocating would be just as private, in fact more so since the proposed
bank would be completely private, with no government owned stock. Here
again, the conspiracy theorists have clung to the wrong hero for their
New World Order conspiracy; Andrew Jackson himself, the dragon slayer who
promoted an even larger dragon.

      It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the

 

      acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will

 

      always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of

 

      education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. 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. There are no necessary

 

      evils in government. Its evils only exist in its abuses. If it would

 

      confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower

 

      its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would

 

      be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide

 

    and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

Another widely circulated conspiracy quote, Jackson is here again playing
the class warfare card, the ignorant to impress. If Andrew Jackson was
really the champion of the poor and oppressed, he would have signed the
recharter bill without giving a second look at another institution, or
of killing the bank outright. The flagrant misrepresentation of the Bank
as the eternal grinch who would steal from the poor was clearly out of
the bounds of democratic discourse. The charges of the Bank oppressing
the poor and the rich being the only benefactors of its charter and operations
were eloquently refuted a full two years before in the report of the committee
of 1830. It is sad that President Jackson’s undying hatred of banks blinded
him to the truth that surrounded his Presidency. The same could just as
easily be said of the modern conspiracy theorists. As a conclusion to this
essay, it is worthy of note that many of the issues that the conspiracy
theorists argue are dealt with in the following from the McDuffie report.
The McDuffie Report of 1830 concludes:

      It is also worthy of remark, that a very considerable portion of the

 

      stock, very nearly six millions, is held by trustees and guardians, for

 

      the use of females and orphan children, and charitable and other institutions.

 

      Of the twenty-eight millions of the stock which is owned by individuals,

 

      only three millions four hundred and fifty thousand is now held by the

 

      original subscribers. All the rest has been purchased at the market prices-a

 

      large portion of it, probably, when those prices were higher than at present.

 

      Most of the investments made by wills, and deeds, and decrees in equity,

 

      for the use of females and minors, are believed to have been made when

 

      the stock was greatly above par [face value]. From this brief analysis,

 

      it will appear that there is nothing in the character or situation of the

 

      stockholders, which should make it desirable to deprive them of the advantage

 

      which they have fairly gained, by an application of their capital to purposes

 

      highly beneficial, as the committee have attempted to show, to the Government

 

      and People of the United States. If foreigners own seven millions of the

 

      stock of the bank, our own government owns as much; if wealthy men own

 

      more than two millions, men in moderate circumstances own between seven

 

      and eight millions; and widows, orphans, and institutions devoted to charitable

 

      and other purposes, own nearly six millions.
      But, the objection that the stock is owned by men of large capital,

 

      would apply with equal, if not greater force, to any bank that could be

 

      organized. In the very nature of things, men who have large surplus capitals

 

      are the principal subscribers at the first organizing of a bank. Farmers

 

      and planters, merchants and manufacturers, having an active employment

 

      for their capitals, do not choose to be the first adventurers in a bank

 

      project. Accordingly, when the present bank went into operation, it is

 

      believed that most of the capital was owned by large capitalists, and under

 

      a much more unequal distribution than exists at present. The large amount

 

      of stock now held in trust for females and minors, has been principally,

 

      if not entirely, purchased since the bank went into operation; and the

 

      same remark is generally applicable to the stock in the hands of small

 

      holders. It is only when the character of a bank is fully established,

 

      and when its stock assumes a steady value, that these descriptions of persons

 

      make investments in it.
      It is morally certain, therefore, that, if another distinct institution

 

      were created, on the expiration of the present charter, there would be

 

      a much greater portion of its capital subscribed by men of large fortunes,

 

      than is now owned by persons of this description, of the stock of the United

 

      States” Bank. Indeed, it might be confidently predicted, that the large

 

      capitalists who now hold stock in that bank, would, from their local position

 

      and other advantages, be the first to forestall the subscriptions to the

 

      new bank, while the small stockholders, scattered over the country, would

 

      be probably excluded, and the females and minors, and others interested

 

      in trust investments made by decrees in equity, would be almost necessarily

 

      excluded, as the sanction of a court could scarcely be obtained, after

 

      the passage of the new act of incorporation, in time to authorize a subscription.
      To destroy the existing bank, therefore, after it has rendered such

 

      signal services to the country, merely with a view to incorporate another,

 

      would be an act of cruelty and caprice, than of justice and wisdom, as

 

      it regards the present stockholders. It is no light matter to depreciate

 

      the property of individuals, honestly obtained, and usefully employed,

 

      to the extent of five millions six hundred thousand dollars, and the property

 

      of the Government, to the extent of one million four hundred thousand dollars,

 

      purely for the sake of change. It would indicate a fondness for experiment,

 

    which a wise Government will not indulge upon slight considerations. [17]

In view of the evidence, and without regard to partisan political gain,
I hereby lend my full and unconditional support to the candidacy of Henry
Clay and John Sergeant for the next President and Vice President of the
United States. For if these two men of renown are elected, I have no doubt
whatsoever that they will lead our great nation to the greatness that is
indeed our future destiny as Americans. Future generations will regard
this great era of the 1830’s as the era of the greatest of our Presidents,
Henry Clay.

Footnotes
1 The operative term here is “effective.” Van Deusen
is well aware that the veto message did mention an alternative to the Bank
of the United States. All serious economic historians eschew Jackson”s
alternative as ill-advised and unworthy of serious consideration. The alternative
was that the proposed bank would become the instrument of the party in
power. Hardly an alternative considering that the Bank of the United States
was already independent, yet ended its career as a victim of politics.

2 The paragraph just prior to the aforementioned citation
is priceless in view of the subject matter being discussed. Parton opines:
“Concerning the financial and legal principles laid down in this important
document, financiers and lawyers differ in opinion. The humbler office
of the present chronicler is to state that the bank-veto message of President
Jackson came with convincing power upon a majority of the people of the
United States. It settled the question. And it may be safely predicted
that while that message endures, and the Union, as it is now constituted,
endures, a bank of the United States can never exist. If ever it should
be seriously proposed to establish one again, that message will rise from
its grave in the volume of presidential messages, where it sleeps forgotten,
to crush the proposition.” [3]

References
1) G.G. Van Deusen, The Jacksonian Era (Prospect Heights,
IL: Waveland Press, 1959; reprinted, HarperCollins, 1992) 67

2) J. Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson (New York: Mason
Brothers, 1861) Volume III, p. 411

3) Parton, p. 410

4) B. Hammond, Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution
to the Civil War
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957) 405
5) J.C. Curtis, Andrew Jackson and the Search for Vindication
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1976) 130, 131

6) G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island
(Appleton: American Opinion Publishing, Inc., 1995) 348-349

7) Hammond, p. 407

8) Griffin, p. 342-343

9) J.T. Holdsworth and D.R. Dewey, The First and Second Banks
of the United States
(Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, National Monetary Commission,
vol. IV, 1910) 204

10) A. B. Hepburn, A History of Currency in the United States

(New York: The Macmillan Co., 1903; reprinted, August M. Kelly Publishers,
1967) 94

11) Hepburn, p. 95

12) Griffin, p. 350

13) H. E. Krooss, ed., Documentary History of Banking and Currency
in the United States
(New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1969) Volume
2, p. 780

14) W. B. Smith, Economic Aspects of the Second Bank of the
United States
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953) 248-249

15) Hammond, p. 407

16) Hammond, p. 407-408

17) M. St. Clair Clarke and D.A. Hall, Legislative and Documentary
History of the Bank of the United States
(Washington: Gales & Seaton,
1832; reprinted August M. Kelley, Publishers, 1967) 753

Additional sources
A. M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Jackson (New York: Book Find
Club, 1946)

H. E. Krooss, ed., Documentary History of Banking and Currency in
the United States
(New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1969) Volume 1

R. C. H. Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States (Chicago:
The University of Chicago Press, 1903)

John Jay Knox, A History of Banking in the United States (New
York: Bradford Rhodes & Company, 1903)
R.E. Shaw, ed., Andrew Jackson: 1767-1845 (Dobbs Ferry,
NY: Oceana Publications, 1969)

George Rogers Taylor, Jackson versus Biddle: The struggle over the
second Bank of the United States
(Boston: D.C. Heath and Co., 1949)

G. Dangerfield, The Awakening of American Nationalism: 1815-1828
(New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1965)

J. R. Sharp, The Jacksonians Versus the Banks (New York: Columbia
University Press, 1970)
H.L. Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1990)

L.W. Mints, A History of Banking Theory: In Great Britain and the
United States
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945)

C.A. Conant, A History of Modern Banks of Issue (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927)

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