The Bank War

With his usual furious vigor, Andrew Jackson posed a question that continues to trouble us to this day

The alarm bells are ringing for Social Security again. That’s not exactly news— predictions of the exhaustion of its trust fund have been made before. Earlier this year some members of yet another panel of experts proposed a new remedy: to wit, the investment of a part of those reserved billions in private securities instead of lesser-yielding but safer government bonds. That, of course, would make the United States of America a direct player in the market.Read more »

From The Greek

In its majesty and in its simplicity, the Greek Revival house seemed to echo America’s belief in the past and hopes for the future

The two great truths in the world are the Bible and Grecian architecture.” This is what Nicholas Biddle believed and what he published in his magazine, Portfolio , in 1814. Although we remember him today as the director of the Second Bank of the United States who fought with President Andrew Jackson over the role of a central bank, Biddle deserves to be best known as the evangelist for Greek Revival architecture in America.Read more »

Jackson’s Fight With The ‘Money Power’

The third in a series on TIMES OF TRIAL IN AMERICAN STATECRAFT 

Old Hickory's attack on Biddle's bank had some unexpected consequences

Editor's Note: Bray Hammond wrote this essay for American Heritage in 1956 and developed it into Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1958.


“Relief, sir!” interrupted the President. “Come not to me, sir! Go to the monster. It is folly, sir, to talk to Andrew Jackson. The government will not bow to the monster. … Andrew Jackson yet lives to put his foot upon the head of the monster and crush him to the dust.”  Read more »