During the free banking era in 1837 to 1862, there was no federal bank, and America's states, territories and private institutions freely printed and circulated their own currencies. In this era of uncontrolled "wildcat" banking, many banks closed, and the bills that some banks and businesses issued became worthless.Continue Reading
When Andrew Jackson became President of the United States in 1829, the Second Bank of the United States, modeled on Alexander Hamilton's First Bank of the United States, was in the midst of its
20-year charter. The U.S. Supreme Court had deemed it constitutional. However, Andrew Jackson opposed the concept of a central bank, claiming it was dangerous to American liberty. He vetoed the recharter bill and withdrew all federal deposits from the bank. This negated the bank's regulatory power, and it dissolved soon afterwards. The government's funds passed into the hands of private banks, which issued banknotes, supposedly based upon gold and silver reserves.
In 1836, Jackson issued a treasury circular ordering that people could pay for public lands only with gold and silver. This caused a bank run on specie and brought on a recession. Banks began to hoard gold and silver. The states passed free banking acts, which allowed banks to incorporate like businesses, without having to be approved by state legislatures. Any such business could issue its own currency, and many did, causing a free-for-all of banknotes. In response, some states banned banks completely. The situation only stabilized with the outbreak of the Civil War. Facing the need for a common currency with which to pay for munitions and other war needs, the government passed the National Banking Act of 1863 and created the federal currency which became known as the "greenback."Learn more about US History
Stephen Douglas' most prominent belief was that popular sovereignty should determine the status of slavery in new U.S. territories. Before Douglas, Congress determined an area's designation as slave or free based on geography.Full Answer >
Abraham Lincoln wanted to become president because he was opposed to slavery and wanted to limit the expansion of slave states into the newly acquired Western territories. Lincoln also had a history as a politician, entering the Illinois state legislature as early as the 1830s.Full Answer >
The tribe called the Jumano Indians broke down into three groups that formed around 1500 and continued living in the American Southwest through the year 1700, establishing hunting territories and interacting with other tribes and traders throughout their brief history. The Jumano Indian tribes lived in areas of modern-day Texas and New Mexico. The group included a large, interconnected network of nomadic and settled families who spoke multiple languages and had distinct lifestyles.Full Answer >
The Iroquois were a native confederacy whose territories were originally within the boundaries of modern-day New York state between the Adirondack mountains and Niagara Falls. They conquered lands that eventually extended along the eastern seaboard of North America and into the interior, from modern Kentucky to southern Ontario down through the Delaware River Valley.Full Answer >