“First operated in 1797”
The First Bank of the United States, established in an effort to alleviate debts from the Revolutionary war and officially proposed to the first session of the first Congress in 1790. It was in operation from 1797-1811. There was strong opposition by those who wanted to limit the power of the Federal government. These opposers, such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, claimed the bank unconstitutional for benefiting merchants and investors at the expense of the majority of the population. This bank was chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791. Establishment of the Bank was included in a three-part expansion of federal fiscal and monetary power (along with a federal mint and excise taxes) championed by Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton believed a national bank was necessary to stabilize and improve the nation's credit, and to improve handling of the financial business of the United States government under the newly enacted Constitution. The First Bank building is now a National Historic Landmark located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania within Independence National Historical Park.
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