Bank of the United States is chartered, February 25th, 1791
Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, advocated the creation of a national bank with the power to issue paper money. It was a daring suggestion, especially when many Americans did not trust bankers. Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state, believed the creation of a national bank was unconstitutional; he also opposed Hamilton’s plan to impose excise taxes, pointing out that such taxes were the very reason that states had declared independence. When President Washington finally backs Hamilton, the bank is chartered—and Jefferson begins organizing opposition parties, the Democratic-Republican Societies.