Hamilton- The National Bank

Hamilton noted in 1790- Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.”  


“The tendency of a national bank is to increase public and private credit. The former gives power to the state for the protection of its rights and interests, and the latter facilitates and extends the operations of commerce amongst individuals.”

The prosperity of the young American state… depended on our ability to obtain credit around the world.  The great irony of a credit rating is that you need debt to obtain one.  Hamilton created the National Debt to build our credit, he proposed the First National Bank to solidify our investment markets.  The battle with Jefferson over the creation of the bank was ideological rather than financial.


Madison battled the creation of the… National Bank in the first Congress.  He supported Jefferson’s belief that the future of America was rural and agricultural- not urban, industrial, and commercial.  The Bank’s  charter expired in 1811- as war with England loomed.  Madison watched as the void left by the bank led to inflation and a collapsed currency- financial turmoil that nearly cost America the War of 1812.


The Second National Bank was chartered… in 1816 and signed into law by James Madison.  The wisdom of Hamilton’s proposal had come full circle.  The Bank’s most ardent opponent came to see its economic value.  These concerns clearly outweighed the ideological objections of the Jeffersonians.

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