Federal Bank Acts

Federal Bank Acts

The National Bank Act, 12 U.S.C.A. § 21 et seq.(1864), was enacted to provide the federal government with an agent to handle its financial affairs through the incorporation of the Bank of the United States, which also carried on general banking business. Created by a statute passed by Congress in 1791 the Bank of the United States became the central bank for the newly formed government.

The bank had a 20-year charter that expired in 1811, but it was not renewed due to the political climate of the country. The financing problems of the War of 1812, however, highlighted the need for a central bank, motivating Congress to enact legislation to establish the Second Bank of the United States. That bank also had a 20-year charter, but the bank was closed prior to the charter expiration due to political opposition led by U.S. President Andrew Jackson.

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