ADVANTAGES

The War of 1812 upended the long political split in the country regarding the bank. Now in power for 16 years, many Jeffersonians began to see the necessity of the bank that Federalists had long championed. Preparations were made for a successor institution. With support of Speaker Clay, President Madison, future President James Monroe, and future Vice President John Calhoun, the Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816 for 20 years. By 1816, noted financial historian Susan Hoffman, "Reformed Jeffersonians...had concluded that banking was with us and must be regulated to ensure its consistency with the Jeffersonian concept of the public interest, which emphasized protection of the freedom and equality of individuals. The key factional shift that allowed the second national bank's charter to pass was on the part of the state banking supporters. Whether they had opposed the central bank because they did not like any regulator or because they thought state regulation would be sufficient, this group concluded, in light of the economic chaos in the absence of the first national bank, that federal regulation was consistent with state banking."6" Historian Sean Wilentz observed that the new bank was designed to curb inflation and speculative frenzies: "Acting as a financial balance-wheel, the national bank would, in principle, keep currency values and capital markets stable, and prevent national economic expansion from turning into an orgy of overspeculation and runaway inflation." 7

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