Bank war







Bank war











Bank war

The bank war was a period of great turmoil to the American people in 1833 in reference to the crusade started by President Andrew Jackson over the rechartering issue on account of the second bank of the United States of America during his reign. Nicholas Biddle, who was the president of the bank of the United States as of the time made a pact with the national Republicans which was controlled run by Senator Henry Clay and Senator Daniel Webster in which they had a bill which was to call for an early renewal of the second bank of the United States vetoed. Rechartering of the bank could still be achievable even after the expiration of the charter in 1836 after being in existence since 1816 for a term of 20 years. President Jackson’s core reason to reject the bill was that he feared the economic retaliation from Biddle and the Bank on his administration. The president also believed that Second Bank of the United States possessed too much control and all the while without accountability. Holding that much power and control without accountability was absurd and, therefore, thought of to be unconstitutional by the people. It was felt that the second bank was then a threat to the economy and the people within it.

The Republican Henry Clay had already envisioned the bank issue and depicted two events that were the likely scenarios in 1836 when the second national bank’s tenure expired. He depicted that either the bank would be dismissed or cease to exist, or the bank simply ceases to be a national bank. Either of the two scenarios did not auger well for the future as of Nicholas Biddle’s perspective, and thus, he jumped right at the suggestion that the bank could institute a rechartering legislation through the support of Congress and the then president, Andrew Jackson.

In his efforts to prevent the bill from passing, President Andrew Jackson used his power of veto to take down the Second Bank of the United States by denying them access to another twenty years non-accountability through vetoing their congressional recharter. In fact, President Jackson was so vigilant about the matter that at one point he was quoted in his speech condemning the second national bank of America, “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.” It is recorded that President Jackson actually went ahead and announced that the federal funds from the government would no longer be transacted at the second national bank of America but rather the funds would be deposited to the already existing state banks all over the country.

Despite the fact that Jackson had an extreme hate of the bank, the bank itself was caught between a rock and a hard place as the there were two other groups that had extreme hate for the bank on account of the flow of money supply. These two groups were categorized into two: hard and soft money groups each of which had their own issues with the bank regarding the diminishing of financial opportunities due to the bank withholding money supply or the fact that they believed that gold and silver were the only safe currencies. This was in compliment to the fact that the banks were given a position where they could issue bank notes, a sentiment that the president held dear. (Economy in the Jackson Era, 2016).

Nicholas Biddle, on foreseeing Jackson’s proceedings, he and his Bank supporters attempted to renew the bank’s charter through the Congress on numerous occasions. He even began presenting state bank notes so as to try and buy redemption while all the while calling in loans all in an attempt to speed up the country’s need for a central bank. He orchestrated all this in the hopes that the bank would be rechartered come 1836 after their twenty-year tenure was over so as to renew it. In the years leading to 1836, principally 1832, the second bank had used its Congress supporters to try and introduce the recharter legislation despite their contract scheduled to end four years later. The bank tried to play this move in order to manipulate President Jackson into signing the bill for the fear of losing popular vote for his second running. They were however disappointed when President Jackson retaliated and even fought them with a lot of zeal only to their misfortune.

President Jackson won the elections and due to the dismissal of the National Republican and the Anti-Masonic parties, Jackson had no opposition thus had more time to focus on more pressing matters; matters that concerned the financial security of the country and the upholding the constitution in the process. President Jackson had great plans regarding the financial sector of the market and had a lot to offer than just fighting the banks. He was more economically oriented and had plans to revolutionize the economy by trying to restore an older type of economy as well as curb the emerging practices in the market economy. Jackson also endeavored to do away with any banking related systems that threatened to hold itself solely accountable for its action and that it would be accountable to the government. It is so ironical that even when Jackson fought against the bank and managed to bring it down, the other state banks that he had very well entrusted to safeguard the federal funds did exactly what he opposed as to the system of handling the money. The era of the bank had been whipped out, but states chartered their own banks that also held lending policies that were held by the second national bank or in the very least, similar to those lending policy rates that were at the bank. (“The Bank War and Economic Boom.” Boundless U.S history, 2015).

Jackson had made a very controversial situation over the oversight of the federal funds that were now in the hands of the state banks. The state banks were now mostly independent with the decentralization of the banks and thus more money supply on account of the new lending policies that were instituted by the now independent state chartered banks. As much as President Andrew Jackson tried to implement a new kind of economically reformed nation, he failed at this task but enabled the country’s economic status to rise nonetheless thus considered to be one of the greatest and influential presidents in the country. Jackson had managed to push the country into self investment without the exact intent of doing so.


Economy in the Jackson Era. (2016). Retrieved on 20 March 2016, from

Bondless. “The Bank War and Economic Boom.” Boundless U.S history. (2015). Retrieved on 20 March 2016, from


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