General Jackson Would Want Off the Twenty Dollar Note

OR: Women on 20s Seek Removal of Andrew Jackson from $20 Bill

A close-up of Andrew Jackson on a $20 bill pictured on May 21, 2015. A group known as ‘Women on 20s’ wants Harriet Tubman to replace Jackson due to his support for the Indian Removal Act of 1830, and the year 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy) 

Having read every biography extant written about General Jackson, I am as close to certain as I can possibly be that Old Hickory would have been vexed if he had been informed of the dubious honor of having been placed on the United States 20 Dollar Note. Patrick Buchanan and every other critic of this move are wrong. Painfully so.

Andrew Jackson was a great opponent of the First US Bank. He fought Nicholas. Biddle over the US Bank until, in victory, Jackson shuttered the damnable operation.

Jackson would not be quite so angry at having been removed or placed on the reverse of the the 20 Dollar Bill. I posit that Jackson would have demanded to be removed altogether.

No, Conservatives, you do no justice to President Andrew Jackson in fighting this. You, in fact, are doing the opposite of the actual wishes of the man who lived and died as General Jackson did. You would be correct in championing Hamilton’s inclusion on US currency. He created the system and was a champion of the Banks. He was a great supporter of fractional banking whilst Jackson thought it equivalent to the anti-Christ.

A bit of history for those of you who can’t be bothered with actual facts and the research thereof.

Under its director, Nicholas Biddle, the Bank applied for Congressional re-charter in 1832, four years before its current charter was due to expire. President Jackson, already wary of the concentration of power represented by the Bank, revitalized old Jeffersonian arguments against its continuation. The “Monster Bank,” as he called it, gave too much influence to a select group of wealthy financiers. Lost in the path of its destruction lay the downtrodden farmers and planters whom the Bank victimized by calling in loans and foreclosing on property. Jackson regarded himself as the spokesman for America’s virtuous independent farmers, threatened by an impersonal institution with undue control over their daily lives.

Jackson vetoed the Bank’s re-charter in 1832, and then won a decisive presidential victory over Henry Clay in a campaign largely focused on the Bank. But Jackson thought his veto insufficient, so in mid-1833 he began withdrawing government deposits from the Bank and placing them in various state banks loyal to the Democratic Party. Biddle, in response, called in loans and tightened the currency as a way of demonstrating his power and putting pressure on the chief executive. Despite Biddle’s best efforts, the Second Bank went out of existence as its charter expired in 1836.

Jackson hated the Banks. He, rightly, blamed them for ruining the economy of the US and the concentration of power in the hands of a moneyed elite.

Does 2008 and Too Big To Fail ring a bell for anyone of you Conservative Champions of the Legacy of Andrew Jackson and the 20 Dollar Bill?

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