The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren

By Martin Van Buren; John C. Fitzpatrick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLIV.

Of the details of the bank plan of campaign, as it stood at the close of the session of 1832,--I can of course only speak from inferences drawn--with such advantages of position for drawing them as I have before pointed out--from facts of undoubted authority. The reader will judge for himself of the correctness of my inferences and accord to them the credit to which he may think them entitled. Having for its leading and only avowed object the rechartering of the bank that plan was necessarily constructed with special reference to the actual condition of the several powers of the Federal Government. No direct action of the people, by which that condition might be seasonably varied, was allowable under the Constitution before the existing charter of the bank would have expired: it was only through new or changed views by which their minds could be impressed and unsettled, that they might be induced to exert an influence over the course of their representatives elect, and thus to promote or to retard the adoption of public measures bearing On the general subject. In the Executive branch no change had taken place. President Jackson had been re-elected for a term extending beyond the bank's charter, his opposition to it had been placed in his Veto-message on grounds that could not be moved and he had been made, if possible, still more absolute against it by the subsequent abuses of its power. The federal element in the Senate, altho' it had been somewhat reduced by the election, was greatly strengthened as against the administration by its more perfect union with the friends of Mr. Calhoun. The House of Representatives had undergone a great change in all respects and particularly on the question of the bank, a majority of friends of the administration having been returned which, tho' not half so large as in the previous Congress, was believed to be not only composed of better stuff in general but especially reliable on that question.

Further effort to obtain the passage of an act for the desired extension of the charter of the bank from a legislature composed of three separate branches, the consent of every one of which was necessary to the validity of the grant, in despite of the known and settled hostility of one branch and the all but certain opposition of another both of which held their offices by a tenure reaching beyond the limit of the existing charter) was an undertaking which most men would have looked upon as desperate. But Messrs. Biddle

-636-

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The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Prefatory Note. 3
  • Chapter I 7
  • Chapter II 21
  • Chapter III 36
  • Chapter IV 53
  • Chapter V 66
  • Chapter VI 84
  • Chapter VII 104
  • Chapter VIII 109
  • Chapter IX 113
  • Chapter, X. 119
  • Chapter XI 128
  • Chapter XII 142
  • Chapter XIII 149
  • Chapter XIV 157
  • Chapter XV 169
  • Chapter XVI 177
  • Chapter XVII 181
  • Chapter XVIII 203
  • Chapter, Xix. 211
  • Chapter XX 224
  • Chapter XXI 244
  • Chapter XXII 274
  • Chapter XXIII 297
  • Chapter XXIV 306
  • Chapter XXV 312
  • Chapter XXVI 339
  • Chapter XXVII 366
  • Chapter XXVIII 396
  • Chapter XXIX 401
  • Chapter XXX 409
  • Chapter XXXI 418
  • Chapter XXXII 445
  • Chapter XXXIII 480
  • Chapter XXXIV 501
  • Chapter XXXV 517
  • Chapter XXXVI 541
  • Chapter XXXVII 554
  • Chapter XXXVIII 566
  • Chapter XXXIX 581
  • Chapter XL 592
  • Chapter XLI 609
  • Chapter XLII 618
  • Chapter XLIII 625
  • Chapter XLIV 636
  • Chapter XLV 673
  • Chapter XLVI 712
  • Chapter XLVII 754
  • Chapter XLVIII 763
  • Index 783
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