Friday, July 15, 2011

Independent Treasury

I hope you all remember that Polk was our only president who fulfill ALL his campaign promises. One of them was to create an independent treasury - I always forget this one, so I thought I'd share some information on it today:
With his hard-won victory in the tariff debate, Polk next moved to revive the Independent Treasury Act that President Martin Van Buren had signed into law in 1840 and the Whig-dominated Congress had repealed the next year. The act established independent treasury deposit offices separate from private or state banks to receive all government funds. The system was designed to be a long term replacement for both the Second Bank of the United States, which Jackson had "killed," and a remedy for the ensuing wild speculation resulting from Jackson's policies that contributed to the major depression of the late 1830s. The Whigs had repealed the act as a step toward recreating an institution more similar to the Second Bank of the United States. The new Independent Treasury established by Polk entrusted the federal government with the exclusive management of government funds and required that disbursements be made in hard specie, such as gold or silver, or in paper backed by gold or silver. This would, hopefully, avoid undue speculation in western lands as the nation expanded its territory.

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