President Andrew Jackson, Peter Cooper on monetary reform

This is my paper for The Center of Process Studies’ conference, Money-Creation in a Finite World (free and open to the public, April 10-12, 2012; Claremont Colleges, CA):

Money and credit as public services for full-employment, optimal infrastructure, ending debt slavery: Epic proponents, related history of US government and corporate media, partnership for Occupy victory

It’s divided into these 11 parts for articles (links added with each new section):

Monetary and credit reform: full-employment, end of debt slavery

Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson on monetary reform

President Andrew Jackson, Peter Cooper on monetary reform

NYC Mayor John Hylan, House Banking Committee Chairs on monetary reform

Benjamin Franklin, William Jennings Bryan on monetary reform

Charles Lindbergh Sr., 86% of Great Depression economists on monetary reform

What should the average citizen know about US War Crimes?

What should the average citizen know about US war history?

What is the leverage point for Occupy’s victory?

What does monetary and credit freedom look like?

My personal history of the 1% choosing to kill a million children each month

Summary:

Monetary and credit reform is a policy objective to end transfer of trillions of the “99%’s wealth to an oligarchic “1%.” The US banking collusion only and always co-exists within a larger oligarchy with government for legal protection, and media for public propaganda. This paper presents histories in monetary reform and US government crimes in war suppressed by today’s US corporate media’s history texts and news journalism. When the oligarchy’s voice is professionally exposed as obviously and egregiously lying in omission and commission in claims of central importance of the past and present, government and corporate media loses credibility in an “emperor has no clothes” transformation. Refutation of the oligarchy’s voice with objective and independently verifiable facts, especially in light of current War Crimes and Constitutional destruction, supports our policy goal for monetary and credit reform because the public will seek alternative voices to build a brighter future. To support our goal of upgraded economic policies, we should be open to synergy with ecological and resource-based economic models, and network with Occupy. 

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Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is the last US President to pay-off the national debt. He did so only after ending the Federal Reserve of his day, the privately-owned Second Bank of the United States. As did Thomas Jefferson, Jackson understood the subversive act and perpetual national debt with banks creating money to lend to the government. He did not understand the positive policy response of the government creating money directly for the payment of public goods and services. Jackson critics would respond that he was proficient in killing, and indeed less than capable with constructive policy. In 1836 President Jackson issued an Executive Order called the Specie Circular that required payment to the government for land to be only in gold or silver. This increased demand and emptied the banks of the day of the fractional gold and silver backing their bank notes, causing bank runs. Jackson and Congress could have issued money directly, and then accepted this fiat currency for all payments:

“The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.” (referring to the Second Bank of the US) . – Said to Martin Van Buren (July 8, 1832), quoted in The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, published in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918, vol. II (1920), ed. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ch. XLIII (p. 625)

“I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the Bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out and, by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out.”   – From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson, February 1834, according to Stan V. Henkels, Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States, 1928

The following two paragraphs are President Andrew Jackson in his veto message for the renewal of the privately-owned Bank of the United States, which would have continued their private monopoly of creating US money. July 10, 1832.

“It is maintained by some that the bank is a means of executing the constitutional power ‘to coin money and regulate the value thereof.’ Congress have established a mint to coin money and passed laws to regulate the value thereof. The money so coined, with its value so regulated, and such foreign coins as Congress may adopt are the only currency known to the Constitution. But if they have other power to regulate the currency, it was conferred to be exercised by themselves, and not to be transferred to a corporation. If the bank be established for that purpose, with a charter unalterable without its consent, Congress have parted with their power for a term of years, during which the Constitution is a dead letter. It is neither necessary nor proper to transfer its legislative power to such a bank, and therefore unconstitutional…

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.”

“I have no hesitation to say if they can re-charter the bank (2nd Bank of the US – a privately-owned central bank) with this hydra of corruption they will rule the nation and its charter will be perpetual and its corrupting influence destroy the liberty of our country. When I came into this administration…I had a majority of 75. Since then it is now believed it (the bank) has bought over by loans, discounts, etc until…there were 2/3 for re-chartering it.” – President Andrew Jackson, April 7, 1833 letter to R. H. M. Cryer referring to votes in Congress. Ralph Catterall, The 2nd Bank of the U.S., Univ. of Chicago Press, 1902.

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.” – Farewell Address, March 4, 1837.

After President Jackson vetoed Congress’ re-charter the 2nd Bank of the US and paid-off the national debt, President Van Buren (elected 1836) and Jackson’s Vice President, was confident the goal of defending the US from a privately-owned central bank was won:

“The practice of funding the public debt…has long been discontinued…A National Bank has become a completely ‘obsolete idea’ among us, as thoroughly condemned in public opinion as a national debt.” – Catterall, p. 431.

Peter Cooper (1791-1883) was one of America’s leading inventors and businessmen. He designed and built the first US locomotive in 1830, the “Tom Thumb.” Cooper was the first to introduce anthracite coal into iron production in 1845, resulting in the US’ first wrought iron beams for construction. In 1854, Cooper was a founder in the telegraph company that created the first trans-Atlantic cable. Peter Cooper was the Greenback Party candidate for President in 1876. Cooper learned about monetary policy from Albert Gallatin, US Secretary of the Treasury from 1801-1814:

The following 14 paragraphs are the summation of his life-long experience of the benefits of monetary reform that he witnessed from Andrew Jackson ending the privately-owned 2nd Bank of the United States and promptly paying-off the national debt, the US government directly issuing Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War rather than borrow the money, and then the economic depression when that policy was rescinded in favor of the federal government again borrowing money, as we do today. This was his address at the Convention of the National Greenback Party in Boston on June 4, 1879. This third-party received 3.3% of the popular vote in the 1880 US presidential election.

“I think, that the neglect of our several administrations to make laws, that shall properly regulate the currency, both in volume and value, has been a greater cause of demoralization, want and misery among the mass of the people, than all other causes combined.

The American people have a right to demand of their Government a substantial reason for having taken from them their money, used by them for years as the currency of the country without cost to the Government. Our present Secretary of the Treasury declared in the Senate that ‘every citizen of the United States had conformed his business to the clause of the law regulating the currency of the country.’

I believe it will be impossible for our Government to show a good reason for having taken from the people their circulating notes, possessing (as the late Secretary McCulloch stated at the banquet, given by the New York Chamber of Commerce) ‘all the legal attributes of money.’  The Secretary at the same time said, that, ‘In the very year, in which the war was closed, the reduction of the debt was commenced, and the reduction has been steadily continued, to the amazement of foreign nations.’

This debt, so called, was also ‘the credit of a great nation, cut up into small pieces and circulated as money;’ as was well said by Secretary Chase.  What shall we think of the administration of a Government, expressly designed, ‘by the people and for the people,’ that should turn their circulating credit and their real money, into a debt which stops that circulation, vital as it is to the trade and prosperity of this people, and makes it a burden of bonds and taxes on their industry?

It will be equally impossible to show a good reason for having taken from the people their fractional currency, which was costing the Government nothing, and supplying its place with a more inconvenient currency, at the cost of thirty-two millions of dollars, added to the National debt.

The amount, already paid by the people as interest on the National debt, apart from any payments on account of the principal, is already one thousand, two hundred and twenty-four millions of dollars.

I have long been compelled to believe, that all that is now or ever has been required to secure permanently, is a safe deposit for all the unoccupied moneys of the country, and an ever strengthening bond of National union, as well as the best currency, that our country or the world ever saw, will be for the Government to do now, what should have been done at the close of the civil war,—and at the close of the war of Revolution against England—namely, to make the people’s money, found in circulation at the close of the war the sole money of the country, and the unflactuating measure of all values, receivable for all forms of taxes, duties and debts, and interconvertible with the interest-bearing bonds of the Government, which should bear an equitable but low rate of interest.

…How can we, as a Republican and a free people, control the Financial Institutions and the policy of this Government in the interest and prosperity of the whole people?

It is evident, that some fatal errors have been committed, some where, by which want, ruin and distress have been introduced, where before was prosperity, abundance and full employment for the enterprise and industry of this nation.

Individuals may suffer from extravagance, over-trading or over-production; but how can a whole nation have its joy and prosperity turned into mourning, but by the fatal errors of its ruling classes, which make the laws, and can thus mete out injustice and dry up the resources of a nation by rapacity and greed of gain, instead of diffusing happiness, education and freedom among the people.

Misgovernment and the faults of the ruling class have always proved in history the trouble and sorrow of nations. All the responsibility of a nation’s happiness, which may depend on a people’s laws and administration, must rest upon those, who are, for the time, the law making and administrative class.

Though the influences, that are now working against the rights of labor and the true interests of a Republican Government, are insidious and concealed under plausible reasons, yet the danger to our free institutions, now, is no less than in the inception of the rebellion, that shook our Republic to its centre. It is only another oligarchy, another enslaving power, that is asserting itself against the interest of the whole people. There is fast forming in this country an aristocracy of wealth—the worst form of aristocracy, that can curse the prosperity of any country.  For such an aristocracy has no country—“absenteeism,” living abroad, while they draw their income from the country, is one of its common characteristics. Such an aristocracy is without soul and without patriotism.

Let us save our country from this, its most potent, and, as I hope, its last enemy.  I beseech you, fellow-citizens, to consider well what the crisis of the country demands of you, not losing sight of the fact, that there are great wrongs which must be righted in the administration of the finances of this country for the last twelve years. Old issues of North and South are, in a great measure, passing away, but there is no section of our common country, that needs so much the reviving influence of an abundant and a sound currency, as the South. The Southern people have the finest natural resources, that our country affords; every facility for manufacture—the material, labor and water-power indefinite.  They need only money, wisely distributed among its working and enterprising population, for their work and their enterprise, which may draw out the money, and put it to the best use.  It was well said, lately, by one of the Southern statesmen, that the ‘Government had impoverished, discomfited, and crushed the South more by its financial policy, since peace was declared, than by its arms during the whole war of Rebellion!’

If the people can look for no relief from the present Congress and Administration—if those, who now sway the financial interests of the country cannot see their great opportunity—then new men must be chosen by the people, whom they can trust to make laws, and execute measures, that ‘shall secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity.’

I will close my remarks by a quotation from a speech of Daniel Webster.  He declared that ‘The producing cause of all prosperity is labor, labor, labor.  The Government was made to protect this industry, and to give it both encouragement and security.  To this very end, with this precise object in view, power was given to Congress over the currency and over the money of the country.’”

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“The bankers will favor a course of special legislation to increase their power…They will never cease to ask for more, …so long as there is more that can be wrung from the toiling masses of the American People…The struggle with this money power has been going on from the beginning of the history of this country.”

– Peter Cooper, in his letter to President Hayes, June 1, 1877.

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  • 789

    The federal debt could be extinguished in 1835 because the government decided to use the revenue for the extinguishment of the debt; and because the government refused to take out new loans. the first step should be the stopping of borrowing.

    Your credit system is just that, a credit system (with all that it entails: bubble and burst); it doesn’t matter who operates the printing press, the result is the same.

    Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Thomas Jefferson would heartily oppose your credit system. They were for limiting the government to governing; they were for hard money; they were for earning-saving first, spending afterwards. The credit system you embrace was the bread and butter of the opponents of Andrew Jackson, Martin Buren, Thomas Jefferson —Henry Clay attorney to BUS, Daniel Webster attorney to BUS, John Sergeant attorney to BUS, J.Q. Adams bosom friend of Biddle, Thaddeus Stevens attorney to BUS, H.A. Lincoln friend of central bank concept and bank currency.
    Supporters of Andrew Jackson, the agrarians and the city workers, wanted hard money, not a credit system.

    Andrew Jackson’s final warning:
    “The paper-money system and its natural associations –monopoly and exclusive privileges– have already struck their roots too deep in the soil, and it will require all your efforts to check its further growth and to eradicate the evil. The men who profit by the abuses and desire to perpetuate them will continue to besiege the halls of legislation in the General Government as well as in the States, and will seek by every artifice to mislead and deceive the public servants.”

    [to this day, the portrait of Andrew Jackson hangs in the London office of NMR]

    Peter Cooper’s ideas for good government:
    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/cooper/cooper_index.html

    Samuel Cary’s ideas:
    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/uregina/cary68.html
    http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/uregina/cary542.html