This is the seventeenth installment in a series of chapter summaries from G. Edward Griffin’s must-read book The Creature From Jekyll Island. This book may be the most important “red pill” available and we highly recommend that you read the full book. Buy it today at RealityZone.
G. Edward Griffin
Chapter 17 Summary: A Den of Vipers
The government had encouraged widespread banking fraud during the War of 1812 as an expedient for paying its bills, and this had left the nation in monetary chaos. At the end of the war, instead of allowing the fraudulent banks to fall and letting the free market heal the damage, Congress decided to protect the banks, to organize the fraud, and to perpetuate the losses. It did this by creating the nation’s third central bank called the Second Bank of the United States.
The new bank was almost an exact carbon copy of the previous one. It was authorized to create money for the federal government and to regulate state banks. It influences larger amounts of capital and was better organized across state lines than the old bank. Consequently its policies had a greater impact on the creation and extinguishing of the nation’s money supply. For the first time in our history, the effects began to ricochet across the entire country at once instead of being confined to geographical regions. The age of the boom-bust cycle had at last arrived in America.
In 1820, public opinion began to swing back in favor of the sound-money principles espoused by the Jeffersonian Republicans. But since the Republican Party had by then abandoned those principles, a new coalition was formed, headed by Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson, called the Democratic Party. One of its primary platforms was the abolishment of the Bank. After Jackson was elected in 1828, he began in full earnest to bring that about.
The head of the bank was a formidable adversary by the name of Nicholas Biddle. Biddle, not only possessed great personal abilities, but many members of Congress were indebted to him for business favors. Consequently, the Bank had many political friends.
As Jackson’s first term in office neared its end, Biddle asked Congress for an early renewal of the Bank’s charter, hoping that Jackson would not risk controversy in an election year. The bill was easily passed, but Jackson accepted the challenge and vetoed the measure. Thus, a battle over the Bank’s future became the primary presidential campaign issue.
Jackson was reelected by a large margin, and one of his first acts was to remove the federal deposits from the Bank and place them into private, regional banks. Biddle counterattacked by contracting credit and calling in loans. This was calculated to shrink the money supply and trigger a national panic-depression, which it did. He publicly blamed the downturn on Jackson’s removal of deposits.
The plan almost worked. Biddle’s political allies succeeded in having Jackson officially censured in the Senate. However, when the truth about Biddle’s strategy finally leaked out, it backfired against him. He was called before a special Congressional investigative committee to explain his actions, the censure against Jackson was rescinded, and the nation’s third central bank passed into oblivion.
NOTE: This chapter is far more intriguing and relevant than this summary allows. It’s vital to read in full as the today’s citizens are fighting the same “Den of Vipers” as Jackson defeated almost 200 years ago.
Get the book for yourself or for others you want to wake up. It reads like a mystery novel and is filled with colorful metaphors that make the seemingly complex world of banking very easy to comprehend. Visit RealityZone for your copy today. Summary is re-printed with permission from G. Edward Griffin.
See other parts below:
PART 1: The Journey to Jekyll Island
PART 2: The Name of the Game is Bailout
PART 3: Protectors of the Public
PART 4: Home, Sweet Loan
PART 5: Nearer to the Heart’s Desire
PART 6: Building the New World Order
PART 7: The Barbaric Metal
PART 8: Fool’s Gold
PART 9: The Secret Science
PART 10: The Mandrake Mechanism
PART 11: The Rothschild Formula
PART 12: Sink the Lusitania!
PART 13: Masquerade in Moscow
PART 14: The Best Enemey Money Can Buy
PART 15: The Lost Treasure Map
PART 16: The Creature Comes to America