President Andrew Jackson (despite his faults) did deliver the most important veto in U.S. history when he squashed the central bank at the time, the Second Bank of The United States.
For those who are new to learning about the evils of central banking, it’s important to understand that The Federal Reserve was not the first central bank in the U.S. It’s just the one that stuck and was not weeded out early enough. The Fed was able to dig its roots in at a ripest moment imaginable (i.e., the early 1900’s, when American public opinion tipped into the desire for statism).
We are now 100 years later, and the weed has grown into a full-fledged monster.The early attempts at central banking in the U.S. were stopped:
- The First Bank of The United States was ended by Thomas Jefferson.
- The Second Bank of The United States was ended by Andrew Jackson.
- Lincoln’s National Banking System during the War to Prevent Southern Independence was also put to an end.
In this article, we’ll focus on Andrew Jackson’s veto of the charter renewal of The Second Bank.
At the time, there were hard money voices that provided opposition to the central bank. Take Sen. Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who said:
“I object to the renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States because I look upon the bank as an institution too great and powerful to be tolerated in a Government of free and equal laws. Its power is that of a purse; a power more potent than the sword.”
The understanding was there amongst enough of the elites, and as can be expected, the propaganda from the Bankers was reminiscent of the garbage that we hear today.
Here is Andrew Jackson standing up to the sob stories about how closing the Second Bank would ruin the economy:
“You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”
What a novel idea! And something that is completely missing today: If the evil is not put to an end right now, it will only grow and make the pain much worse in the future. As I write this (for future readers) the U.S. government just raised the debt ceiling for the 95th time. In the year 2013, politicians are complete sadists.
When the Federal Reserve inevitably comes into the public discussion in the U.S., you can bet your last golden ounce that the media will be littered with how the Earth will come to an end if the central bank is ever closed. The recent hysteria about the 17% shutdown and federal workers getting a paid vacation is nothing!!
Jackson understood what granting an exclusive monopoly over money would lead to. As you read the following, keep in mind how our current Federal Reserve is literally destroying the middle class (my emphasis):
“Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when they undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society – the farmers, merchants, and laborers – who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.”
Someday, the Federal Reserve will be on trial. It’s going to take much more than a few educated politicians to put an end to it. It’s going to take a critical mass of American citizens (as well as foreign citizens all over the world) to have a sharp understanding of central banking and the destruction that it produces.
In Jackson’s time, the Internet obviously did not exist. So there’s a big advantage that we have. Let’s hope that whenever the Federal Reserve is finally shuttered and turned into a museum, the public is educated enough to make it the very last central bank to take root in the United States of America.
If the above caught your interest, and you want know more about U.S. banking history, you’re in great luck! Murray Rothbard gave the very best play-by-play in his magnificent work: History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II.
You can download the eBook absolutely FREE from The Mises Institute right here. (No sign-ups or registrations, just a straight download link). There is much more even to Andrew Jackson story above. The bankers fought Jackson tooth and nail and used every nefarious angle they could think of….Don’t miss it!