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Second Bank of the United States (1816-1836)



  • Existence: 1816 - 1836


The Second Bank of the United States, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian national bank in the United States during its 20-year charter from February 1816[4] to January 1836. The bank's formal name, according to section 9 of its charter as passed by Congress, was "The President, Directors, and Company, of the Bank of the United States". A private corporation with public duties, the bank handled all fiscal transactions for the U.S. Government, and was accountable to Congress and the U.S. Treasury. Twenty percent of its capital was owned by the federal government, the bank's single largest stockholder. Four thousand private investors held 80% of the bank's capital, including three thousand Europeans. The bulk of the stocks were held by a few hundred wealthy Americans. In its time, the institution was the largest monied corporation in the world. The essential function of the bank was to regulate the public credit issued by private banking institutions through the fiscal duties it performed for the U.S. Treasury, and to establish a sound and stable national currency. The federal deposits endowed the BUS with its regulatory capacity. Modeled on Alexander Hamilton's First Bank of the United States,the Second Bank was chartered by President James Madison in 1816 and began operations at its main branch in Philadelphia on January 7, 1817, managing 25 branch offices nationwide by 1832.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Amos Kendall letter

Identifier: Mss 835110
Mss 835110
Date(s): 1835-01-10

In English.

Daniel Webster drafts

Identifier: Mss 831266
Webster Mss 831266
Date(s): 1831-04-16 to 1836-04-03

In English.

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