Andrew Jackson and the Bank I

Lead: In 1832 President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill renewing the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. His act was driven by principle and by pride.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the great dividing issues in United States history has been the proper role of the federal government in national financial affairs. It is difficult to imagine in the twenty-first century, when the Federal Reserve System is considered such a natural and essential part of the economic life of America, that there was a time when central banks, such as the Reserve, were the subject of violent opposition.

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Andrew Jackson and the Bank II

Lead: When Andrew Jackson vetoed the charter renewal for the Bank of the United States in 1832, he did so in part to confound the power of the likes of Nicholas Biddle.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born an aristocratic Philadelphian in 1786, Nicholas Biddle was graduated with honors at the age of 15 from the College of New Jersey in Princeton. He was a diplomat and literary editor before entering the complicated world of national finance. Probably as much as any man in his generation he understood the principles of banking and currency. Biddle was elected to the board of the Second Bank of the United States in 1819 and became its president four years later. A conservative banker under whose stewardship the Bank helped the United States weather the turbulent economy of the 1820s, he also represented everything Andy Jackson despised. He was Eastern, rich, educated and, aristocratic, and many thought he and his bank had too much power.

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Andrew Jackson and the Bank III

Lead: With his veto of the charter renewal of the Bank of the United States in 1832, Andrew Jackson delayed the establishment of a U.S. central bank until the early 20th century.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The battle over the bank was emotional, constitutional, but above all, political. Jackson’s political enemies, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, thought the Bank’s survival was a winning issue in their attempt to defeat Jackson in the election of 1932, but he outfoxed them. The bank was popular with many businessmen, North and South, but among a majority of Jackson’s supporters it represented an assault on the old Jeffersonian idea of states’ rights. Also, the bank issued bank notes or paper money which was considered fake when compared to gold and silver, but most of all the Bank, headed by blue-blood Philadelphian Nicholas Biddle, was thought to concentrate too much power in the hands of rich, aristocratic, big city easterners.

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