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Archive for March 28th, 2008

national-bank.jpg

Andrew Jackson hated the very idea of a national bank.  Of this there is no doubt.  He called the Bank of the United States “a monster” and said that it “corrupted” and “threatened” our liberty.  He instructed the Treasury Secretary to withdraw the country’s deposits from the bank in order to cripple it.  And then when that guy refused, Jackson fired him and found someone who would proceed.  It was like Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre – except it was a Monday…

All this caused the Senate to pass a vote on March 28, 1834 censuring Jackson – the first and only time a President has been successfully censured.

Jackson argued that the Senate didn’t even have the power to censure:

The resolution of the Senate is wholly unauthorized by the Constitution, and in derogation of its entire spirit. It assumes that a single branch of the legislative department may for the purposes of a public censure, and without any view to legislation or impeachment, take up, consider, and decide upon the official acts of the Executive.

His argument was compelling enough that the censure was overturned 3 years later (although his party gaining the majority in the next election might’ve also helped a wee bit) and similar attempts have been unsuccessful since.

Recommended reading: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

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