September 10 – Andrew Jackson shuts down the Second Bank of the U.S.
On September 10, 1833, Andrew Jackson shut down the Second National Bank of the United States. The National Bank had been an ongoing controversy since the Constitution was ratified in 1789. Alexander Hamilton, a prominent Federalist and the first Secretary of Treasury under George Washington, advocated for the formation of the National Bank, claiming it would help the country repay their war debts. However, strict-constructionists like Thomas Jefferson opposed the bank because the Constitution did not specifically give Congress the power the create a national bank.
Despite Jefferson’s objections, the First National Bank was created and helped to rid the country of its debt. After the charter for the First National Bank ended, the Second National Bank was founded in 1816. However, President Andrew Jackson opposed the Second National Bank. He claimed the bank was a monopoly, controlled by industry leaders (who showed bias to northern states) as well as foreign investors. To Jackson, this posed danger to the liberty and independence of the individual citizens of the United States. Additionally, President Jackson was the only president to actually pay the national debt in full. Jackson also held the belief that the bank was inherently unconstitutional (despite the Supreme Court’s decision) and a matter to be left up to the states. As a result of his displeasure, Jackson used his executive authority to close the bank in 1833.
While his intentions sound good, Jackson did not have a clean slate by any means. The Bank crisis and the Native American removal highlighted Jackson’s unrestrained use of power to advance an agenda based on his own personal prejudices and populist views.
- Did Jackson overreach his executive powers and the separation of powers in closing the Second National Bank? How much say should the president have in domestic economic concerns?
- Andrew Jackson was one of the first presidents to assert previously unseen executive power, whether it be with the closing of the Second National Bank or the Trail of Tears? Today, does the executive have too much, too little, or just the right amount of power?
- After Washington became president, the national debt was one of the biggest concerns. The United States is currently in trillions of dollars of debt. How big of a problem is this? What should we do to trim the deficit or should we keep adding to it?
5, Sept. 2018, Broken Piggy Bank . Retrieved from <google.com>.