The Second Bank of the United States

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The south side of the bank.

Background and Chartering


After the end of the 20 year charter of the very sucessful First Bank of the United States and the War of 1812, plans were made to have another 20 year charter for another national bank. Due to wanting more economic stability after the War of 1812 which caused a lack of fiscal order and other disarray as well as the political status being in the Era of Good Feelings, plans for this bank were met favorably. The revival of this bank system was assured and welcomed, resulting in James Madison signing the bank's charter into effect on April 10, 1816.

Opposition to the Second Bank


Opposition rose to the second bank as soon as the idea was initialized. Many involved in Southern businesses wished to see it gone, as they felt it was not only constitutionally illegitimate, but also detrimental to their business and the institution of slavery. These concerns were enhanced by Jackson's personal issues with the bank, as Jackson felt it was corrupt, unconstitutional, and all around a bad idea. Acting on the concerns of his fellow Americans, Jackson made it his mission to ensure that the bank was not renewed and ended as soon as possible. The main issue that all opposers could agree on was federal control of the bank. This gave far too much power to the federal government and Jackson felt threatened by the numerous issue that could have arisen from this. Andrew Jackson's policies led to a lack of renewal and the Bank's end in January of 1836.
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A political cartoon based on Jackson telling Martin Van Buren that he would "kill the bank".


Nationalistic importance of the Second Bank


The Second Bank of the United States's creation and support was a very Nationalistic process. It had both economic benefits to those in power and the federally controlled aspects of the Bank allowed them to have power over the economic structure of America, as well as sort of "unifying" America with the Bank as well. The Bank did have issues that could be used against the common worker which made this an issue to individuals, as the federals had way too much control over the economy when compared to the milder policies of the First Bank. Overall, the Second Banks is a lesson that taught us about how federal banks were bad ideas, leading to the banking system we have today.