Jackson vs. the Bank of the United States (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The president opposes rechartering the “hydra of corruption” and spurs a period of economic growth and spiraling inflation.
Summary of Event
If the importance of political events is measured by the intensity of feeling aroused and the vigorous debate engendered among contemporaries, then Andrew Jackson’s war against the Second Bank of the United States stands out as one of the critical issues of the antebellum period. It is a fairly simple task to describe the sequence of events that led to the destruction of the bank and to list the personnel on both sides of the struggle. It is extremely difficult, however, to answer the question as to motivation. Why did Jackson unleash such a violent attack? What were the motives of his supporters? Why did Nicholas Biddle, president of the bank, take up the challenge when he did? It is also necessary to consider the net effect of the struggle on the nation.
In 1828, it appeared that the bank had regained general favor throughout the nation. Opposition had not been entirely eliminated, but the success of the bank under Biddle, combined with the vitality of the economy, which was entering into a period of high prosperity, provided antibank elements with little ammunition with which to press their attack. Still, the resentment of interests such as the state bankers existed, awaiting only an opportunity to strike at the national bank. Nor had the...
(The entire section is 1283 words.)
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