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The two Banks of the United States (1791–1811 and 1816–36) were not designed to act as central banks but both began to develop techniques that compelled the local banks to restrict their note issues to an appropriate proportion of their specie base. Around 1830 some Southern and Western parts of the country were almost totally dependent on the services of the national bank, while state banks themselves on balance appreciated the stability that the national bank brought to paper issues. Most state bankers therefore disapproved of Jackson’s veto in 1832 of the Bill rechartering the national bank.

Elites, religious and political, cooperated on a continental basis, and often came together in dealing with their associates in Britain. 2 Yet these developments did not mean that the colonies were growing away from Britain; on the contrary, if anything, they shared in the growing sense of Britishness that Linda Colley has discerned in Britain in the eighteenth century, and they took pride in their place in the triumphant British Empire. 3 This shared political outlook was fully revealed after 1763 as the colonies came into conflict with the British government.

Politics for a generation would be focused on winning control of that center, with both competing parties taking their names and identities from national issues. Federal elections became the most important focus of popular political involvement: though between 1804 and 1820 relatively few men voted in presidential elections because the result was a foregone conclusion, the largest turnouts seem to have come in congressional rather than in state elections. Moreover, between 1807 and 1814, even state politics operated according to national party lines in two-thirds of the states, despite severe factional differences within some state Republican parties.

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Der schwere Kreuzer «Prinz Eugen»


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