Andrew Jackson was one of the most determined people around. He took his bank war extremely serious, rejecting any opposition from congress, his cabinet, and even firing a couple secretary’s of treasury. Jackson saw the bank as his greatest enemy, exclaiming “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, I will rout you out.” Nicholas Biddle, the president of the Bank, was not going to roll over, making his own statement “This worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians and imprisoned Judges, he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken.” Biddle, preparing for Jackson’s attacks, decided to disrupt the economy, causing a financial crisis through loans, and debt. This move was counterproductive, highlighting Jackson’s fears of a central bank being too powerful. The President enacted his plans on October 1st, 1833. Behind congress’ back, he began to place federal funds in 23 “pet banks” instead of the Federal Reserve. Jackson lived up to his famous quote, “The Bank, Mr. Van Burren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.”, by ending the reign of the all powerful central bank in the following years.
Andrew Jackson, when asked about his greatest achievement, simply replied, “I Killed the Bank”
Nearing the end of Jackson’s first term, he was informed of an alliance between his opponent, Henry Clay, and the president of the United States bank, Nicholas Biddle. They threatened to destroy Jackson’s attempt at re-election if he did not sign the renewal of the national banks charter. The idea that the bank was influencing elections, and appeared so powerful, was a major concern to the President. He began to view the bank as a “hydra headed monster’, and not only his enemy, but an enemy to the people. Jackson vetoed the bill, and ran on a premise that he was for the people; and that Henry Clay and the bank were against them. His campaign slogan was simply “Jackson and no Bank”. Jackson won the election, and began to make moves against the bank.
Andrew Jackson, one of the most controversial presidents in United States history, is also one of the most interesting. Jackson’s greatest enemy was the United States Bank. This “Bank War” began when congress, lead by Jackson’s future opponent Henry Clay, tried to renew the Bank’s charter in 1832, 4 years earlier than the date it was set to expire. Andrew Jackson refused to let this happen, sparking a huge conflict with the all powerful bank. He faced threats from Clay, and his friends at the bank, claiming that if Jackson continued to reject the bill, they would crush his hopes of re-election. This is where Andrew Jackson’s Crusade Against the “hydra headed monster” begins.
This blog will offer an unbiased insight into one of the largest parts of United States history, the federal reserve. Information from several sides and sources will be reviewed, and researched to fully cover the national banks history. It will dive into the recessions and booms, the speeches, the conspiracies and the overall growth of the bank starting from Andrew Jackson’s presidency, all the way to the modern era.