Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Raymond C. Miller


There is a great gap in the history of American monetary politics between the years of Jackson’s “Bank War” and the lengthy debate over bonds, Greenbacks, and silver that occupied the energies of the nation after the Civil War. While these years w ere chaotic and produced little constructive monetary legislation, the money issue played an important role. This study is designed to help clarify the nature of the issues during this period and the ways in which the parties reacted. The study of these issues has usually been confused by assumptions derived from a projection of the post-war issues into the pre-war period and by the tendency to view American history in terms of a continuous conflict between the party of conservatism and the p arty of liberalism. I have rejected these assumptions as invalid and attempted to reconstruct the issues of the time as the parties involved perceived them. The rejection of these organizational concepts has forced me to make some conjectures based on limited evidence which may ultimately prove inaccurate. I also have no doubt that the situation in other areas at different stages of social and economic development was different from that in the Old Northwest and my conclusions would have to be altered accordingly to apply in those areas. However, I hope that this study makes clear the weakness of interpreting American history within the limited bounds of the liberal-conservative dichotomy which impresses ideological continuity on the immensely complicated convolutions of parties and interest groups.