~-===================================================================-~ PEOPLES PRESS INTERNATIONAL (PPI) - a public service of CADRE (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance) - http://cyberjournal.org republication permission given for non-commercial and small-press use http://cyberjournal.org/cadre/PPI-archives ~-===================================================================-~ 007-politics-vs-finance.txt * HISTORICAL REFLECTION * "THE POWER OF THE PURSE STRINGS" (C) Wade B. Ward, 1998 CADRE, 2 April 1998 Wade B. Ward <•••@••.•••> Sr. Editor, CADRE The President was reviled as a southern hick -- a "bubba." His wife was harrassed and condemned by "right-thinking" Americans. The powerful elite, controllers of "big money" worked for his downfall, but the common people loved him and supported him through two terms of office. No, this isn't the story of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Look back in American History 150 years to the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The industrial age caused an increase in the number of factory workers by 125% from 1820 to 1840. The industrialists were under no governmental control. "Old Hickory", as Jackson was popularly known, swept into the White House and swept out the moneyed class who governed the country. Before the Federal Reserve, the U.S. had the Bank of the United States, which operated under government charter, but unlike anything we have today. All government reserves were deposited there, though it was a private bank. Jackson was alarmed at the power of this bank. "The Bank of the United States is in itself a Government. The question between it and the people has become one of power," Jackson said. The president of the bank, Nicholas Biddle, was understandably protective of his power base. Biddle was an impressive fellow, although not popular with the masses. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania at age ten, then matriculated at Princeton. Not only a financier, he was a man of letters, editor of Lewis and Clark's account of their Louisiana Purchase expedition, and Port Folio, the leading literary periodical in America. The showdown was between two of the most powerful men in the country -- the politician and the financier. Biddle rallied his substantial and powerful forces in an effort to defeat Jackson's bid for a second term. The big money controlled the press, the Sunday sermons in a very Christian country, and a majority of the senators. In their version, Jackson was the Antichrist, the destroyer of business, the defiler of the Constitution. But the common people were not convinced. They came to the support of Old Hickory and his election for a second term was assured. But the election didn't make the problem go away. A Biddle-controlled congress voted to recharter the Bank of the United States. Jackson, predictably, vetoed. Jackson ordered government deposits removed from the bank, but his secretary of Treasury refused. Jackson dismissed the secretary. A replacement Treasury Secretary also refused to follow the president's order, and he was dismissed. Third time was a charm, and Roger Taney pulled the government deposit from Biddle's bank. Jackson later made Taney Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Biddle retaliated by turning the very people who supported Jackson into a frightened mob. He called all loans and created a nation-wide panic. The mob descended on the White House, but Jackson stood firm. "Go to Biddle for your redress," Old Hickory said. The withdrawal of government funds killed the Bank of the United States. When it withered away, the power of the big money interests died, and the financiers who once ruled the government were banished forever. Sorry -- that might be wishful thinking. Although the Bank of the United States was vanquished, many of the problems faced by Andrew Jackson still exist. And it may be that we have no Andrew Jackson to stand up to the moneyed interests today. THE END SOURCES: 1.) Donald Culross Peattie, Reader's Diogest Great Lives, Great Deeds, c. 1964 The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 2.) http://orion.jscc.cc.tn.us/~lgundy/us1ppt2/tsld224.htm 3.) http://www.cib.org.uk/eng/r000013/r012284.htm 4.) Author : GOVAN, Thomas Payne. Title : Nicholas Biddle : nationalist and public banker, 1786-1844. Publisher : Place not known : University of Chicago Press, 1960. Description : xii, 429p., illus. Notes : (Bibliography pp. 415-420). Subjects : BIOGRAPHY. : BIOGRAPHY - BANKERS. : BIOGRAPHY - BANKERS 92:333.1. : MONETARY SYSTEMS - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Call Numbers : 92 BIDDLE. : 92:333.1. : 332.21(73). 5.) Microform Collections - Nicholas Biddle Papers University of Maryland at College Park Libraries http://www.lib.umd.edu/UMCP/MICROFORMS/nicholas_biddle.html ~-===================================================================-~ * Non-commercial republication authorized - include headers & sig * ~================================================~ Restore democratic sovereignty Create a sane and livable world Bring corporate globalization under control. * CITIZENS FOR A DEMOCRATIC RENAISSANCE (CADRE) * http://cyberjournal.org mailto:•••@••.••• ~================================================~ ..