This chapter discusses how, to help ensure the stability of the dollar, Hamilton established the Bank of the United States, the nation's second “central bank,” charged with implementing the government's monetary policy. Taxes and debts were the two great bugaboos of early American politics, both combining to foment the revolution and then the movement for the Constitution. Due to the volatile interest rates and deteriorating balance sheets that had confronted them in the colonial and revolutionary periods, late eighteenth-century Americans feared and disdained debt of any sort. They knew firsthand that when interest rates jumped, the value of their assets—land as well as bonds—plummeted, ripping their net worth to pieces and exposing them to runs by liability holders. Under such circumstances, it was best not to have any liabilities, any debts, outstanding. Early Americans also hated taxes, as much as we do today if not more so. Taxes that had to be paid in cash—specie or bills of credit—were particularly onerous because cash was often in short supply.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.