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Open Interpretation To The Constitution Leads To First National Bank

1345 words - 6 pages

Open Interpretation to the Constitution Leads to First National Bank

A National Bank is an essential part of this nation's economy. We know that it can further strengthen the ties between Americans and the federal government. The National Bank has allowed America to grow its economy, unit as country, and improve trade between the colonies. But when the first National Bank plan entered into Congress there was much controversy over it. Two men, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, held two very different and opposing views on the Bank plan. This led to much controversy over the plan and how they believed it would impact the nation. At the root of the controversy was wether or not ...view middle of the document...

” (Elkins) Hamilton wanted to put in place a Bank to show the strengths of America’s industry and economy by providing “a large, stable, but flexible national money supply for the financing of ordinary business and general economic development.”
(McDonald) Hamilton also wanted a National Bank to unite a nation rather than have separate confederacy of states. Although the support in Congress behind the Bank had an advantage, the opposing side was strong as well. Thomas Jefferson questioned if the plan was constitutional. Jefferson believed that Congress did not have the power to incorporate a bank based on a strict reading of the Constitution. Through despite the objections the Bank plan passed through Congress. Jefferson then in turn had to relay on President Washington's veto power.
Once the plan reached the Presidents desk Jefferson submitted his report in opposition to the plan in hopes to persuade Washington. Jefferson believed the creation of the bank could not be based off of the elastic clause. Jefferson stated that “The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.” (Avalon Project - Jefferson) Jefferson argues against the creation of a National Bank on the grounds that it is not one of the delegated powers given to Congress under the Constitution. Jefferson stated that “To give [the bank] the sole and exclusive right of banking under the national authority; and so far is against the laws of Monopoly.” (Avalon Project - Jefferson) he rejects Hamilton’s claims by stating the the ratified Constitution created a federal government and that it is limited in its political in financial power. His last argument was that the he believed that the Bank would violate the common law of states. “To communicate to them a power to make laws paramount to the laws of the States; for so they must be construed, to protect the institution from the control of the State legislatures, and so, probably, they will be construed.” (Avalon Project - Jefferson) Jefferson strongly believed in states rights and he was attempting to prove that the Bank plan was destroy them. But despite Jeffersons best efforts Hamilton had the upper hand of being able to review his opposition prior to making his case to Washington. In Hamilton’s submitted opinion on the bank plan he proved that the plan was constitutional. He also proved how a bank would strengthen the government. He stated that “A bank has a direct relation to the power of borrowing money, because it is an usual, and in sudden emergencies an essential, instrument in the obtaining of loans to government.” (Avalon Project - Hamilton) Hamilton also rejected Jefferson’s narrow interpretation of the “necessary and proper” clause and proceeded to prove through his plan how the relationship between the Bank and Congress would work and was constitutional. Despite Jeffersons tough opposition the National Bank plan was...

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