I left off in my previous "Real History" post in the year 1804. Arron Burr shot and fatally wounded Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton’s death did nothing to stem the vicious power of the “First Bank”. James Monroe had allowed the First Bank’s charter to lapse in 1811. However massive pressure was placed on the government to re-charter the bank, when the English started the War of 1812 against America. The full intention of this war was to force America into needing a central bank to pay for the costs of the new war, thus increasing it’s interest payments, and thereby it’s debt. It was the hope of the English bankers to force America into rechartering the First Bank or creating a new central bank under a different name. Their main “allies” in this endeavor were Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, who were early, vocal supporters of not only the war, but also of the creation of a new central bank under the name of The Second Bank of the United States. The war of 1812 was extremely expensive. It raised the national debt from $45 Million to $127 Million. Some perceptive people, like the then President of Harvard University, Joseph Willard, saw the war as a conspiracy, backed by none other than the Illuminati. In his famous speech, on July 4, 1812, he declared: “There is sufficient evidence that a number of societies of the Illuminati have been established in this land. They are doubtless striving to undermine all our ancient institutions, civil and sacred. These societies are clearly leagued with those of the same order in Europe. The enemies of all order, seeking our ruin. Should infidelity generally prevail, our independence would fall of course. Our republican government would be annihilated…” The pressure to find a way to fund the war of 1812 through the rechartering of the central bank continued. In 1816, The Second Bank of the United States was chartered with a 20 year charter. This bank was given the ability to loan the government $60 Million. That money was created out of nothing, created as bonds, and loaned to the Federal Government. The bank now had the power to control the entire fiscal structure of the country. It did not take long for the bank to start exerting it’s power over the economy. Banks had spread fairly far and wide through the country, most notably into Kentucky, Tennessee, and other western states. Currency flowed out into the economy, the money supply and inflation were high. Then in 1819, the Bank reversed it’s policies and began contracting the money supply creating a depression. Money flowed out of the west, leaving in it;s wake a large population of debtors unable to meet their obligations. The bank was using it’s powers to inflate and deflate the currency benefited the bankers, who were able to repossess large tracts of land for a mere fraction of it’s value. The debt of the War of 1812 was paid up by 1834. This most certainly did not please the Second Bank. What did happen that set the stage for where we are today is that in 1819, the bank was declared Constitutional by the Supreme Court, in the case of McCulloch vs. Maryland. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall decreed that Congress had the implied power to create the Bank. There was no specific power granted to the Congress by the Constitution, so the Constitution was stretched a bit to fit the needs of the Bank by the courts by giving the Congress some mysterious implied power. All of Thomas Jefferson’s arguments against the bank went completely unheeded. Alexander Hamilton had won, even in death. Andrew Jackson, who had been elected President in 1828, mostly because of his opposition to the bank, is on record as stating: “I was one of those who do not believe the national bank to be a blessing, but rather a curse, to a republic; insasmuch it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.” Jackson had no love for the bank, or what it was doing, and the election of 1832 was a critical one. It was the year the charter for the bank was to be renewed. Andrew Jackson was running for office again in 1832. He promised the American people: “The Federal Constitution must be obeyed, state rights preserved, our national debt must be paid, direct taxes and liens avoided, and the Federal Union preserved.” It is extremely revealing how, at this early date, Andrew Jackson was so concerned about the preservation of the Union, which was the supposed cause of the Civil War years later. The next Real History article will cover Andrew Jackson and his fight against the bank.