The Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816, five years after the First Bank of the United States lost its own charter.
The Second Bank of the United States provided a way for the government to handle its financial affairs. The bank was created when James Madison and Albert Gallatin found the government unable to finance the country in the aftermath of the War of 1812. The War of 1812 had put the United States in significant debt, and the First Bank of the United States had closed in 1811. The debt of the nation led to an increase in banknotes among the new private banks, and as a result, inflation increased greatly. As a result, Madison and Congress agreed to form the Second Bank of the United States.
After the war, despite the debt, the United States also experienced an economic boom, due to the devastation of the Napoleonic Wars. In particular, because of the damage to Europe's agricultural sector, the U.S. agricultural sector underwent an expansion. The Bank aided this boom through its lending, which encouraged speculation in land. This lending allowed almost anyone to borrow money and speculate in land, sometimes doubling or even tripling the prices of land. The land sales for 1819, alone, totaled some 55 million acres (220,000 km²). With such a boom, hardly anyone noticed the widespread fraud occurring at the Bank as well as the economic bubble that had been created.
In the summer of 1818, the national bank managers realized the bank's massive over-extension, and instituted a policy of contraction and the calling in of loans. This recalling of loans simultaneously curtailed land sales and slowed the U.S. production boom due to the recovery of Europe. The result was the Panic of 1819 and the situation leading up to McCulloch v. Maryland
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