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Hard Times Tokens, 1834

Soon after President Andrew Jackson refused to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States in 1832, money was in short supply. In protest, citizens minted one-cent coins known as “Hard Times Tokens.” Issued from 1832 to 1844, the tokens often depicted barbs against Jackson and his followers.

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Hard Times Tokens, 1834

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.