How Did President Jackson View the Second National Bank?

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By the time Andrew Jackson was sworn into office as President of the United States, the Second National Bank handled an estimated 20 percent of the nation's loans and one-third of all deposits. Fearing that such a powerful bank would be unable to remain independent of the electoral process, Jackson set out to destroy it with no chance of reform.

On Sept. 10, 1833, Jackson announced that the government was no longer using the Second National Bank and withdrew all federal funds, effectively ending what had come to be known as the Bank War. He had come to believe that the bank represented how a few privileged businessmen could oppress the common people, and he repeatedly challenged the constitutionality of the Bank. Although Congress largely agreed that the Bank was constitutional, Jackson in turn vetoed Congress' attempts to create a new charter for the Bank.

The Second National Bank was largely blamed for the Panic of 1819. Southerners and Westerners believed that the Bank operated in the interests of the Northerners rather than the total population. Supporters of the Bank, in particular its director Nicholas Biddle, began to curry political favor and seek out businessmen who might be persuaded to support its cause. Although Jackson won the Bank War, Congress later censured him for his abuse of power.