Nicholas Biddle

Nicholas Biddle

Political Cartoon depicting Jackson "slaying" the National Bank. Biddle was seen by many as a leader of the many headed "serpent" of the Bank of the US.

Biddle's History

5th president James Monroe appointed Nicholas Biddle to be president of the 2nd National Bank of the US. Biddle was a strong supporter of the Whig party, and soon a plan was created between Biddle and his associates to perpetuate the Bank and Whig party at the expense of the current president, Andrew Jackson. The bank was renewed periodically through a charter, and Biddle was encouraged to renew the carter early to force Andrew Jackson to approve it or face the threat of losing reelection. Jackson vetoed the bank and was, to Biddle's great surprise, still reelected. Jackson believed that the bank was corrupt and supported class division and elitism, and absolutely refused to sign the renewal charter. This demise of the bank and Whig party led to "Biddle's financial crisis" and the creation of state or pet and wildcat banks. These small unruly banks printed money, causing it to be devalued and another economic slump. In an attempt to improve national credit the specie circular was enacted. This claimed that all public lands must be bought with cash, not credit, to try to stabilize the speculation boom caused by the excessive buying of land with credit. The long term affects of Biddle's attempted renewal of the bank charter are that the schisms between political parties further deepened. Previously cordial relations became tense as each party now suspected the other for having alterior motives to seemingly innocent requests. Also, years of financial hardships were endured after the fall of the US bank. It had printed money, and now state banks were rampantly printing money, severely devaluing it. Another era of financial insecurity in the minds of the people ensued.

A historian's take on Nicholas Biddle(bottom half of page.) Biddle was noted to be one of the most influential and important man of his time

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