Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, said in 1832:
"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out."
Jackson objected to the existence of a bank that had a powerful voice in national affairs yet was not responsive to the will of the people. He contended that the bank benefited only the creditor, investor, and speculator at the expense of the working and agrarian classes that produced the real wealth of the nation by their labor. The financial procedures of the commercial or moneyed class, he said, created a boom-and-bust economic cycle. When the economy was booming, the creditor was rewarded with a large financial return on his investments. When depression came, credit became scarce. Workers and farmers, who were usually debtors, had no money to pay their debts and went bankrupt. Their lands and properties were then seized by their creditors. Thus, wealth became concentrated in the hands of a few. With wealth came power and the opportunity to reinforce this beneficial position by law.
The election of 1832 was a landmark in American history because the candidates were chosen by party conventions for the first time. The Jacksonians chose Martin Van Buren to run for vice president with Jackson. The history of the Democratic Party is traced from this convention. The supporters of the bank called themselves the National Republicans. The election was centered on the bank issue, and Jackson won a second term easily. He had 219 electoral votes to Clay’s 49.