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The Root of Old Hickory

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The Root of Old Hickory

11/23/2018 Murray N. Rothbard

[Previously unpublished online; Faith and Freedom 2, no. 9 (May 1951).]

Tempestuous "Old Hickory" has been one of the great storm centers of historical controversy. The old-line historian, who flourished about the end of the nineteenth century, regarded Andrew Jackson with undisguised contempt. He considered Jackson an unwashed, wild-eyed radical who rode out of the Western hills to trample on sound finance, as embodied in the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson led his mob of poor Western farmer-debtors to the elimination of the Bank, because it represented the major bulwark against the inflation and paper money that they ardently desired. (Debtors always benefit by inflation, since they can repay their debts in "cheap" money, the purchasing-power of which has dwindled as compared to the time of the original loan). Jackson's opposition to protective tariffs was of a piece with his opposition to sound finance; both were motivated by the hostility of poor agrarians to rising industry and sound money.  :snip:     https://mises.org/library/root-old-hickory

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