The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics - Vol. 1

By William Ernest Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE GENESIS OF THE WAR ON THE BANK

It is not for the benefit of the Country that the "New Coalition" [ Clay, Webster, Calhoun] has been formed; nor is any improvement in the public prosperity expected from its success. The struggle is for power, for place, for the public treasure. Men who want foreign missions, judgeships and other valuable offices, unable to swerve the stern integrity of Andrew Jackson and sell to him their influence and support, have united with other aspirants to the Presidency in all sorts of combinations to destroy his popularity and defeat his re-election, that his place may be occupied by one with whom they may bargain for promotion.-- THE GLOBE, April 10, 1832.


1

WHEN the political opponents of Jackson decided to make the recharter of the United States Bank an issue to test the popularity of the President, they found his influence weighing heavily in the balance. His opponents thought he was a tyrant drunk with power. They decided to put him to the test in 1831-32. It is not necessary to review the history of the second Bank of the United States, for that has been well done by writers who have looked at it from various angles.

Jackson had opposed banks for constitutional reasons long before the Globe was established.1 He was one of many who believed the second Bank of the United States was unconstitutional.2 State-rights men of the South and West believed the Bank was detrimental to the welfare of the states. State banking institutions were in arms against the National Bank because the latter had forced them to restrict loans, pay notes in specie, and lose coveted profits. The Democracy, which prided itself upon its devotion to the principle of equality, resented a monetary monopoly. And it must not be forgotten that "inextricably linked with the Demo-

____________________
1
Bassett, op. cit., II, 689-90.
2
Ralph Charles Henry Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States ( Chicago, 1903), 184.

-82-

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