Describe Andrew Jackson’s war with the Second Bank of the United States.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Andrew Jackson saw himself as the representative and protector of the common people.  That is what motivated his fight against the Second Bank of the United States.  Jackson felt that the bank was made by, and worked for, the elites of the country.  He fought against it because he felt that it hurt the common person.

In 1832, Henry Clay, whom Jackson hated, tried to renew the charter of the bank.  Clay felt that this would cause Jackson political problems.  If he vetoed the charter, it would anger important people in the East.  If he allowed it, he would make his Western base angry.  This made Jackson very angry.  When the bill came before him, Jackson vetoed it.  He said that the bank was harmful to common people and that it was actually controlled by foreigners, making it anti-American.  He also said that the bank was corrupt and that Nicholas Biddle (its president) was running it in an autocratic way that was meant to help Biddle gain political influence.

After Jackson won the 1832 election, he attacked the bank.  The most important thing that he did was to take federal deposits out of the bank.  By doing this, Jackson essentially killed off the bank.  He took the money and put it into “pet banks” that were controlled by his political allies and that would be willing to lend money out in ways that Jackson thought right.

Thus, Jackson killed the Second Bank of the US because he believed that it was harmful to the common people.

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