The history of the United States from its founding through the 19th century to the early 20th century, was marked by a continual political battle revolving around the creation of a central bank of the United States. Mercantilists such as Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Treasury Secretary, were in favour of such a bank, and his advice won over George Washington, much to the dismay of Thomas Jefferson, who was a strong opponent to central banking.

Again, during the tenure of Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), the primary political struggle was with the entrenched financial interests both domestic and from abroad (namely Western Europe), on the issue of creating a central bank of the US. Andrew Jackson stood in firm opposition to such a bank, saying that, “the bank threatened the emerging order, hoarding too much economic power in too few hands,” and referred to it as “The Monster.”[21] Congress passed the bill allowing for the creation of a Second Bank of the United States, however, Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill, much to the dismay of the banking interests.

As Lincoln himself stated:

“The money powers prey on the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes.”

“I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me, and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. As a most undesirable consequence of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.”

Throughout much of the 1800s and into the 1900s, the United States suffered several economic crises, one of the most significant of which was the Great Depression of 1873. As Howard Zinn explained:

The crisis was built into a system which was chaotic in its nature, in which only the very rich were secure. It was a system of periodic crises – 1837, 1857, 1873 (and later: 1893, 1907, 1919, 1929) – that wiped out small businesses and brought cold, hunger, and death to working people while the fortunes of the Astors, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Morgans, kept growing through war and peace, crisis and recovery. During the 1873 crisis, Carnegie was capturing the steel market, Rockefeller was wiping out his competitors in oil.

Name Month Direction Entry CurVal CurStp Prev Trade Cur Trade
Wheat Dec X 38 0.00
Corn Dec X 1,425 0.00
Soybeans Nov L 93400 91500 88450 1,575 950.00
Meal Dec Sell 26700 Stp Lmt 26500 880 0.00
Bean Oil Dec X 522 0.00
Oats Dec X 537 0.00
Live Cattle Aug X 74 0.00
Sugar #11 Oct X 2,005 0.00
Gold Rev 933 Oct L 93300 95440 93300 2,180 2140.00
Silver Sep L 13625 13875 13300 7,375 1250.00
Copper Sep L 23000 25220 23300 428 555.00
Platinum Oct L 11768 11914 11600 62 73.00
Cotton Dec X 0 0.00
Eurodollars Sep L 99260 99465 99310 1,100 512.50
Live Hogs Aug X 1,390 0.00
Japan Yen Sep X 151 0.00
Eur Curncy Sep L 14217 14216 14000 590 1.25