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Bank of the United States Note, 1840

After President Andrew Jackson refused to renew its charter, the Bank of the United States’ status as a federal institution expired in 1836. This bank note from 1840 comes from the period when the bank continued as a private institution.

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Bank of the United States Note, 1840

Votes and Vetoes: Defining Senate Powers 1834-1837

The Senate gained new prominence in the 1830s as a result of its battle with President Andrew Jackson. Jackson's veto of an act to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States angered many members of Congress. When the President refused to comply with a Senate request for important documents related to bank operations, the Senate censured, or formally rebuked, him for assuming powers that he did not have under the Constitution. Jackson angrily rebuffed the Senate and dismissed its censure. Three years later, when Jackson's Democratic Party regained control of the Senate, the new majority voted to strike, or delete, the censure from the Senate Journal. Behind this debate lay a fierce struggle for power between Congress and the President over which branch would take the lead in shaping national policy.