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American History

In this opinion, Jefferson declared, “The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution” (Jefferson 2). Jefferson was aware of the powers specially enumerated by the constitution with respect to finance and economics. These included a power to lay taxes, to borrow money, and to regulate commerce with foreign nation, the States, and Indian tribes. Regardless, Jefferson felt there was nothing in the constitution granting the government power to formulate a national bank. As he wrote elsewhere in his opinion, “To erect a bank, and to regulate commerce, are very different acts” (Jefferson 2).

In opposition to Jefferson’s views, men like Alexander Hamilton felt the creation of a national bank was, indeed, upheld by the constitution. He was not alone in his opinion sustaining the constitutionality of a national bank. Perhaps the staunchest advocate of a national bank was Andrew Jackson. Even though a second national bank had been chartered, from its inception it was unpopular in the newer states and territories and among poor people. Those against the bank felt it was a monopoly interest that unfairly favored the rich and powerful. Jackson had been elected mainly because of his opposition to the bank. He vetoed the bill to recharter the bank. In this veto, Jackson wrote that “our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits, but have beso


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