Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

Was the First Bank of the United States unconstitutional or constitutional?

I need some sites...I know Wikipedia...or whatever you know [that is correct] can help me.

I have a debate tomorrow about this, I am in favor of the First Bank of the United States but I still need things against it.

Please help me with sources and thanks again !

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Wikipedia has links to the 2 prevailing opinions:

    However, if you take the following powers from Article 1, Section 8:

    The Congress shall have power...

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    Jefferson tried very hard to be a strict constructionist - he wanted to do no more than was explicitly allowed by the Constitution. Ironically - he used the Necessary and Proper clause to justify the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

    Hamilton argued that the Founding Fathers did not create a government just so it would fail because it could not take the necessary and proper steps to ensure it's own continuance. The necessary and proper clause was added as an understanding that unforseen circumstances would arise, and the government would need to adapt to those circumstances - within the framework of the other defined powers.

    In McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice Marshall upheld the bank, saying:

    "Congress has power to incorporate a bank.

    The Act of the 10th of April, 1816, ch. 44, to "incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States" is a law made in pursuance of the Constitution.

    The Government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action, and its laws, when made in pursuance of the Constitution, form the supreme law of the land.

    There is nothing in the Constitution of the United States similar to the Articles of Confederation, which exclude incidental or implied powers.

    If the end be legitimate, and within the scope of the Constitution, all the means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, and which are not prohibited, may constitutionally be employed to carry it into effect.

    The power of establishing a corporation is not a distinct sovereign power or end of Government, but only the means of carrying into effect other powers which are sovereign. Whenever it becomes an appropriate means of exercising any of the powers given by the Constitution to the Government of the Union, it may be exercised by that Government.

    If a certain means to carry into effect of any of the powers expressly given by the Constitution to the Government of the Union be an appropriate measure, not prohibited by the Constitution, the degree of its necessity is a question of legislative discretion, not of judicial cognizance."

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