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History 2131B Notes February 5.docx

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History 2131A/B
Geoff Stewart

History 2131B Notes February 5, 2013 Jackson’s War on the Bank • 2nd National Bank – Jackson felt as if a National/Federal Bank could be to powerful for its own good. Also feared that it would dictate what state banks could/would be able to do o Very concerned (wary) over who would control the bank (wealthy private citizens who would put their interests over the nations, possibly) o Jackson hated the bank, was very suspicious of it and his opposition towards the bank was very well known • Henry Clay challenged Jackson on the issue of the bank, played on Jackson’s dislike of the bank during election year. o 1832 – Clay convinces president of the bank to renew the bank, which was passed by congress but ultimately vetoed by Jackson • The Bank Veto o The bank veto set a new precedence for future presidents, which put the president as part of congress when it came to making major decisions, like renewing the bank charter. Effect – congress would now have to consider the presidents opinions in passing future legislation o This issue was during the 1832 presidential election, which Jackson used as a public referendum to see if the people supported his ideas and platform on the national bank. The people agreed and congress, with fear of losing the support of the people, could not overturn Jacksons veto o At the end of the election period, Jackson destroyed Clay, and the bank veto was basically approved by the people of the USAwith his reelection o Great example of expanding presidential power outside of how it had previously been used. Exploited the people’s admiration and support for Jackson, who was one of the most popular presidents of his time, to get his ideas and platforms approved/instituted. • Basically the banks charter was to expire in 1936, but Jackson wanted to kill it in 1932. Attempted to do so by withdrawing all of the banks money and depositing the money into various state banks. o Congress disapproved, so Jackson told the secretary of the treasury to do so, who also refuses. Jackson fires him and replaces him. The replacement also said no to moving the funds, so Jackson fires him as well. The third secretary of the treasury eventually agreed and did as Jackson asked, moving the money out of the national bank into state banks o The senate reprimands Jackson, who was thoroughly pissed about that. o This raised the question of whether or not a president can fire a cabinet member, or other appointed official, who refuses to do what the president demands. o In the 1836 election, Jackson was not running, a pissed off Jackson tells the people that if they support him they should vote in a democratic senate. The people do, and the new democratic senate withdraws the reprimand, seen as a major personal victory forAndrew Jackson. • Significance of Jackson Presidency – Was viewed as the first popular president, used the bully pulpit, coined by T.R. who also favored it, to get the people to voice their opinions on national matters. o Was also the first “outsider” to become president. Was a war hero who was very popular with the people but was a common man as opposed to the previous presidents. o Expanded presidential powers, and made the government a more participatory democracy Abe Lincoln o Gave the “House Divided” speech in 1858 in the race for IL senate o Fought to keep the union together, not to end slavery, which he thought could be ended over time through changing public sentiments. Tried to make the issue of slavery a moral dispute, putting it on the people to decide o Did not like slavery, thought that liberty was the essence of American political life • April 12, 1861 – Civil War begins with attack on Fort Sumter o Issue – Congress was out of session for the next 3 months. This meant that every Union action was to be a presidential decision o Instead of calling congress back to session, which could take a while,
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