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Despite some misleading or intentionally vague statements on Jackson's part in his attacks against the Bank, some of his criticisms are considered justifiable by certain historians. It enjoyed enormous political and financial power, and there were no practical limits on what Biddle could do. It used loans and "retainer's fees", such as with Webster, to influence congressmen.

It assisted certain candidates for offices over others. This process violated the Bank's charter. Too late, Clay "realized the impasse into which he had maneuvered himself, and made every effort to override the veto". Immediately after Webster spoke, Clay arose and strongly criticized Jackson for his unprecedented expansion, or "perversion", of the veto power. The veto was intended to be used in extreme circumstances, he argued, which was why previous presidents had used it rarely if at all.

Jackson, however, routinely used the veto to allow the executive branch to interfere in the legislative process, an idea Clay thought "hardly reconcilable with the genius of representative government".

War Against the Federal Government!: War Against the People! War Against One Another!

Benton replied by criticizing the Bank for being corrupt and actively working to influence the election. Clay responded by sarcastically alluding to a brawl that had taken place between Thomas Benton and his brother Jesse against Andrew Jackson in Benton called the statement an "atrocious calumny". Clay demanded that he retract his statements. Benton refused and instead repeated them. A shouting match ensued in which it appeared the two men might come to blows. Order was eventually restored and both men apologized to the Senate, although not to each other, for their behaviors.

The pro-Bank interests failed to muster a supermajority — achieving only a simple majority of in the Senate [] — and on July 13, , the veto was sustained. Jackson's veto immediately made the Bank the main issue of the election. With four months remaining until the November general election, both parties launched massive political offensives with the Bank at the center of the fight. The National Republican press countered by characterizing the veto message as despotic and Jackson as a tyrant. Some of Biddle's aides brought this to his attention, but he chose not to take their advice.

Jackson's campaign benefited from superior organization skills. The first ever Democratic Party convention took place in May It did not officially nominate Jackson for president, but, as Jackson wished, nominated Martin Van Buren for vice president. Jackson typically chose not to attend these events, in keeping with the tradition that candidates not actively campaign for office.

Nevertheless, he often found himself swarmed by enthusiastic mobs. The National Republicans, meanwhile, developed popular political cartoons, some of the first to be employed in the nation. One such cartoon was entitled "King Andrew the First". It depicted Jackson in full regal dress, featuring a scepter, ermine robe, and crown. In his left hand he holds a document labelled "Veto" while standing on a tattered copy of the Constitution. In the end, Jackson won a major victory with The elections provided it with pro-Jackson members compared to anti-Jacksons.


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Jackson regarded his victory as a popular mandate [] to eliminate the B. Polk, issued a scathing dissent, but the House approved the majority findings in March , Kendall and Taney began to seek cooperative state banks which would receive the government deposits.

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That year, Kendall went on a "summer tour" in which he found seven institutions friendly to the administration in which it could place government funds. The list grew to 22 by the end of the year. Minister to France. Duane , a reliable opponent of the Bank from Pennsylvania. Duane's appointment, aside from continuing the war against the Second Bank, was intended to be a sign of the continuity between Jeffersonian ideals and Jacksonian democracy.

He sent a letter of acceptance to Jackson on January 13, , and was sworn in on June 1. By the time Duane was appointed, Jackson and his Kitchen Cabinet were well-advanced in their plan to remove the deposits. He and McLane had disagreed strongly on the issue, and his appointment would have been interpreted as an insult to McLane, who himself "vigorously opposed" the idea of Taney being appointed as his replacement.

Under the Bank charter terms of , the U. Secretary of the Treasury was empowered, with Congress, to make all decisions regarding the federal deposits. Jackson declined.

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To Van Buren, he wrote, "Therefore to prolong the deposits until after the meeting of Congress would be to do the very act [the B. Duane asked to have until the 21st, but Jackson, wishing to act immediately, sent Andrew Donelson to tell him that this was not good enough, and that he would announce his intention to summarily remove the deposits the next day in Blair's Globe, with or without Duane's consent..

Sure enough, the following day, a notice appeared in the Globe stating that the deposits would be removed starting on or before October 1. When questioned by Jackson about this earlier promise, he said, "I indescreetly said so, sir; but I am now compelled to take this course.

They eventually agreed to stay on the condition that they would attend to their own departments and not say anything publicly which would bolster the Bank's standing. Attorney General Taney was immediately made Secretary of the Treasury [] [] in order to authorize the transfers, and he designated Kendall as special agent in charge of removal.

With the help of Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury , they drafted an order dated September 25 declaring an official switch from national to deposit banking. Beginning on October 1, all future funds would be placed in selected state banks, and the government would draw on its remaining funds in the B. In case the B. These were to be used only to counteract any hostile behavior from the B.

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Taney, in his capacity as an interim treasury secretary, initiated the removal of the Bank's public deposits, spread out over four quarterly installments. Most of the state banks that were selected to receive the federal funds had political and financial connections with prominent members of the Jacksonian Party. Opponents referred to these banks derisively as " pet banks " since many of them financed pet projects conceived by members of the Jackson administration.

However, some of the deposit banks drew prematurely on B. Biddle and his Bank as quiet and harmless as a lamb". Biddle urged the Senate to pass joint resolutions for the restoration of the deposits. He planned to use "external pressure" to compel the House to adopt the resolutions.

War Against The Federal Government!: War Against The People! War Against One Another!

Clay demurred. Historian Ralph C. Catterall writes, "Just as in Biddle cared 'nothing for the campaign,' so in Henry Clay cared little or nothing for the bank. Calhoun, who was now a senator, broke away from Clay. Webster drafted a plan to charter the Bank for 12 years, which received support from Biddle, but Calhoun wanted a 6 year charter, and the men could not come to an agreement.

In the end, Biddle responded to the deposit removal controversy in ways that were both precautionary and vindictive.


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On October 7, , Biddle held a meeting with the Bank's board members in Philadelphia. There, he announced that the Bank would raise interest rates in the coming months in order to stockpile the Bank's monetary reserves. At least partially, this was a reasonable response to several factors that threatened the Bank's resources and continued profitability. Jackson's veto and the decreasing likelihood of obtaining a new federal charter meant that the Bank would soon have to wind up its affairs.

Then there was the removal of the public deposits, congressional testimony indicating that the Jacksonians had attempted to sabotage the Bank's public image and solvency by manufacturing bank runs at branch offices in Kentucky, the responsibility of maintaining a uniform currency, the administration's goal of retiring the public debt in a short period, bad harvests, and expectations that the Bank would continue to lend to commercial houses and return dividends to stockholders.

He is mistaken", Biddle declared. Yet there was also a more punitive motivation behind Biddle's policies.

He deliberately instigated a financial crisis to increase the chances of Congress and the President coming together in order to compromise on a new Bank charter, believing that this would convince the public of the Bank's necessity. Nothing but the evidence of suffering abroad will produce any effect in Congress I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to the restoration of the currency and the recharter of the Bank.

At first, Biddle's strategy was successful. As credit tightened across the country, businesses closed and men were thrown out of work. Business leaders began to think that deflation was the inevitable consequence of removing the deposits, and so they flooded Congress with petitions in favor of recharter. Jackson, however, believed that large majorities of American voters were behind him.

They would force Congress to side with him in the event that pro-Bank congressmen attempted to impeach him for removing the deposits. Jackson, like Congress, received petitions begging him to do something to relieve the financial strain. He responded by referring them to Biddle. Go to Nicholas Biddle. We have no money here, gentlemen. Biddle has all the money.

He has millions of specie in his vaults, at this moment, lying idle, and yet you come to me to save you from breaking. I tell you, gentlemen, it's all politics. The men took Jackson's advice and went to see Biddle, whom they discovered was "out of town". Some members of the Democratic Party questioned the wisdom and legality of Jackson's move to terminate the Bank through executive means before its expiration. But Jackson's strategy eventually paid off as public opinion turned against the Bank.

By the spring of , Jackson's political opponents—a loosely-knit coalition of National Republicans, anti-Masons, evangelical reformers, states' rights nullifiers, and some pro-B. Jacksonians—gathered in Rochester, New York to form a new political party. They called themselves Whigs after the British party of the same name. Just as British Whigs opposed the monarchy, American Whigs decried what they saw as executive tyranny from the president. The response of the Whig-controlled Senate was to try to express disapproval of Jackson by censuring him. Constitution by a vote of Jacksonian Democrats pointed to the fact that Senators were beholden to the state legislatures that selected them; the Whigs pointing out that the chief executive had been chosen by electors, and not by popular vote.

The House of Representatives, controlled by Jacksonian Democrats, took a different course of action. On April 4, it passed resolutions in favor of the removal of the public deposits. Polk , the House declared that the Bank "ought not to be rechartered" and that the deposits "ought not to be restored". It voted to continue allowing the deposit banks to serve as fiscal agents and to investigate whether the Bank had deliberately instigated the panic.

Jackson called the passage of these resolutions a "glorious triumph", for it had essentially sealed the Bank's destruction.