13. Death of the First Bank

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Length: {2:10 minutes}

In 1811, a bill to renew the charter of the First Bank of the United States faced intense debate in Congress. Both Pennsylvania and Virginia legislatures passed resolutions urging Congress to terminate the bank, and the press heavily criticized it, labeling it a “great swindle” and “vulture.”

Congressman P.B. Porter warned that renewing the bank’s charter would embed a dangerous entity within the Constitution. Despite alleged threats from Nathan Rothschild predicting a disastrous war if the charter wasn’t renewed, the bill was narrowly defeated in the House and deadlocked in the Senate. Vice President George Clinton cast the tie-breaking vote, ending the bank’s charter.

Within five months, the War of 1812 began, but due to Britain’s ongoing conflict with Napoleon, the war ended in a stalemate in 1814. Although the bank was temporarily defeated, it was reestablished two years later, stronger than before.

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