Until January 1837 Jackson's primary goal was to free America from the shackles of a monopoly by rich outsiders whose power he deemed too great and whose public morals were bankrupt. In his heart and mind he believed they were too loose for the country's good and that of the world. He started his plan not in 1837, but five years earlier in 1832, when he transferred deposits from the Bank of the United States to what he thought were sound State banks because they would be custodians of public revenue. He reasoned the crash of the markets would be less severe. During his second term in office he revisited how his plan was unfolding. Had he made the right decisions? He saw the country slipping into moral decay.
There comes a time in the lives of many men when it is required to reassess your actions. In the back of our minds we begin to doubt our progress and what makes the biggest impact on how to correct problems. Life's problems change and we can't always see our perils. We can control our plan, but when additional problems creep into the mix we think 'could I have made better use of my time? We win together or the CEO accepts all blame.
Jackson was no different - he just put in plans in motion and shoved off to lessen the collapse of the country. After all he examined he trusted his instincts and made the right decisions. Sometimes an altered plan change in course is a good thing.
However he didn't know the depth of greedy speculators and shyster State bankers and the gamblers, lobbyists and speculators caused the final collapse of financial markets by fraudulent means by suspending Jackson's specie circular circumventing Jackson and President Van Buren's standing order.
Bankers got caught up in the coils of speculation trying to rescue greedy men and protect other bankers. Dishonest bankers falsified their books to hide their own peril. Jackson repeatedly warned President Van Buren to examine all deposit banks and get the Treasury funds in places of safety.
In March 1837 in President Martin Van Buren's first session of the 25th Congress his administration failed to accommodate businessmen with suspension of the specie circular. The passage of the Senate's Independent Treasury Bill died in the House of Representatives.
Van Buren felt constant pressure by the lobbyists and speculators to suspend the specie circular. Even before Jackson left office he re-examined the depth of his perceptiveness. He re-examined plans by which the Treasury should care for its own funds issuing its own money based on the metal in its own vaults. The Treasury would issue its own money; gold and silver coinage for units less than 50 dollars and note currency above that unit.
During Van Burens first litmus test about financial security his life was complicated when he had to stop his fellow Americans from New York intervening in the latest insurrection in Canada. This was just after September 1837 when the banks had just rescinded Jackson's specie circular starting the Panic of 1837 financial markets. In late 1837 a group of Canadians dissatisfied with the British government broke out in revolt and attempted to establish their own independence. The insurgents found much sympathy in New York citizens unknown to President Van Buren or the 25th Congress.
The rebels resurrected an Army of 700 American men from the State of New York. They took up arms, seizing and fortifying the old Navy Island in the Niagara River. The loyalists in Canada attempted to recapture the island and failed, but they succeeded in burning the "Caroline," the supply ship of the New York army. Loyalists of the Crown set it ablaze, cut her moorings and the burning vessel drifted down the river and down the precipice of Niagara Falls.
This action caused considerable excitement and the peaceful relations of the United States and Great Britain was strained again by an unauthorized war. The War of 1812-1818 prohibited either country from conducting military or naval operations on the Great Lakes and its connecting waters. The American army was acting without authorization from President Van Buren and that was illegal.
President Van Buren then wrote a proclamation of neutrality to Great Britain; which forbid interference by American citizens to engage in the affairs of Canada. General Wool was sent to the Niagara frontier with sufficient force to quell the disturbance and punish the guilty. New York insurgents on Navy Island were obliged to surrender and order was restored. Van Buren didn't relish the excitement, but the skirmish did improve the economy of America. It was getting healthier and he had to once again get back into the business of separating the government from the business of Americans before the start of 1838. (continued)