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were again brought up against him during his candidacy for the presidency in 1884. During that campaign another series of Mulligan letters relating in part to the same and in part to other matters were published. His friends have always declared their inability to see anything improper or incriminating in either series; his opponents believe them to be perfect proof of guilt. Certain it is, that many of the detached sentences have a suspicious sound, and during the campaign these were industriously disseminated and many have passed into currency.
Mutual Protection Society. (See American Knights.)
National Banking System.-A system of national banks, authorized to issue bank notes secured by the piedge of United States bonds, was recommended to Congress in the report of Secretary of the Treasury Chase in December, 1861, as a means of raising the revenue necessary to carry on the war. The alternative put by him was a further issue of demand notes, of which fifty millions had already been issued, and the continuance or which he regarded as dangerous. The advantages claimed by him for the national bank system were a safe and uniform currency, greater ease for the government in obtaining loans, a decreased rate of interest (equivalent to the participation of the people in the profits on circulation), avoidance of a money monopoly, and the distribution or government securities among the monied institutions of the country, thus iäentifying their interests with those of the government. The suggestion was not acted upon at that time, and legal tender treasury notes, amounting in the aggregate to $300,000,000, were authorized. At length, on February 25, 1863, the National Bank Act, having been passed by Congress, was signed by the President. It provided for the organization of national banks by not less than five persons; for all capital stock to be fully paid up; for circulation to the extent of ninety per cent. of the market value of government bonds deposited, but not to exceed ninety per cent. of the par value; the circulation was
guaranteed by the government, which had in return a first lien on all the assets of the bank to cover any deficit provided the bonds deposited did not fully protect it. The total circulation was limited to $300,000,000. This was subsequently, in 1870, raised to $354, 000,000, and finally, in 1875, all restrictions on the total amount of circulation were removed. On October 5, 1887, the total circulation outstanding was $272,387,176, $102,719,440 of which had been withdrawn and legal tender notes deposited for its redemption. No bank was allowed to organize with a capital stock of less than $50,000, and then only in towns of less than 6,000 inhabitants; in larger places a minimum of $100,000 capital, and in cities of 50,000 inhabitants more, of $200,000 is required. The conversion of State banks into national banks was authorized, but only a few banks availed themselves of the privilege until the passage of the Act of 1865, which placed a tax of ten per cent. on all notes of State banks or of individuals used as circulation or paid out by them. July, 1864, there existed 467 national banks; January, 1865, 638; July, 1865, 1,294; and on November 1, 1887, this number had been increased to 3,061, divided as follows:
The aggregate capital stock, November 1, 1887, was over $580,000,000. The banks are subject to rigid government supervision, and beside reports made at
stated intervals, they are liable to be called upon at any moment for a statement of their affairs, or to subject themselves to an examination at the hands of the bank examiner. They are prohibited from making loans on real estate, or on the shares of their own capital stock, or on their own notes, or on legal tender notes, or from making loans to any one concern to the extent of more than one-tenth of their capital stock. The national banks are subject to a national tax of one per cent. on their circulation and of one-half per cent. on their average deposits, beside the tax of the State in which they are located. The banks have answered the expectations of their promoters, for they have provided a currency uniformly safe and current everywhere. They proved during the war and immediately after it a valuable aid in placing government loans. The currency, indeed, is regarded as too valuable a feature of the system to be allowed to perish, a fate to which the rapid extinction of the public debt at present seems to point. The system has been denounced as one peculiarly favorable to the banks organized under it, but when it is considered that United States four per cent. bonds are now (1888) selling at a premium of about twenty-six per cent., that bonds purchased at that price yield but two and one-half per cent. to the investor, that the banks are allowed to issue circulation to the extent of but ninety per cent. of the par value of such bonds, and that a tax of one per cent. on circulation is exacted, while lawful money to the extent of five per cent. of the circulation is required to be kept with the United States Treasurer, and the expenses of redemption are borne by the bank; under these circumstances it is plain that the profit to banks on circulation is not large. As a matter of fact, when money is worth six
per cent., circulation secured by four per cent. bonds purchased at a premium of twenty-five per cent., yields a profit of about five-eighths of one per cent. January 25, 1884, the McPherson Bill, as it is called, was reported to the Senate. Its provisions allowed national banks to issue circulation up to the par value of the bonds. It failed,
however, in the House. The purchase by the government of United States bonds would retire the basis of the national bank circulation. The plans suggested to avoid this contingency are given under Surplus.
National Bank Notes. (See Currency; National Banking System.)
National Christian Association was formed at a convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May, 1868. Its main principle is opposition to secret societies. The association has spread widely, and now has branches in many States. About 1872 it began action as a political party, for an account of which see American Party II.
National Debt. (Sce Debt of United States.)
National League of Democratic Clubs.-A movement started by the Young Men's Democratic Club of New York, resulted in a meeting of representatives from Democratic clubs in various parts of the country in New York City on April 21, 1888. An association was formed with the above name. The general objects are the support of the principles of the Democratic party. In particular it indorses the policy proposed in President Cleveland's tariff message to Congress in December, 1887, and also the civil service laws. It advocates legal prohibition of the formation of “trusts," and the reservation of public lands for actual settlers, and it maintains that federal taxation shall not be “for the benefit of individual or class interests.”
The management of the league is entrusted to a general committee, of which Charles Ogden, of Omaha, was elected chairman. Soon after the formation of the league a call was issued for a convention to assemble at Baltimore, Maryland, on July 4, 1888.
National Party.-The formal name of the Greenback-Labor party, adopted at the convention of 1878.
National Republican Party.-During the administration of John Quincy Adams, the unity that had so long prevailed in the Democratic Republican party showed signs of coming to an end. The differences between the Adams and Clay Republicans and the Jackson Republicans were not merely on the surface, they
had roots deep down. Each acknowledged the other to be members of the same party, it is true, but they nevertheless contained the elements of distinct parties. The Adams section was devoted to principles much resembling those of the old Federalists, but they brought to politics many of the popular elements of Jefferson's methods. They favored a national bank, internal improvements and a protective tariff. In the election of 1828, though defeated, they made an excellent showing, polling 509,000 popular votes to 647,000 for Jackson. Through lack of tact Adams forfeited the support of many followers, and the leadership naturally fell to Clay, and by common consent the name of National Republican was adopted about 1830. In 1831 the party nominated Clay, but adopted no platform. An address to the voters was issued, declaring its principles to be as above stated, but the party was defeated. In practice, its main aim was now opposition to the President, Jackson, and it welcomed as allies men of all shades of opinions on other topics—the nullifiers of South Carolina, the State's-right factions of other States. To all these heterogeneous elements the name of Whigs was applied in 1834, and a large proportion of them formed the Whig party, whose existence dates from that year.
Nativism is the principle that all political power should be in the hands of natives of the country, or that the requisites for naturalization should be rendered very stringent, so as to exclude aliens as far as possible from participation in the government. (See American Party I.)
Nat Turner's Rebellion.-In August, 1831, a slave revolt broke out in Southampton County, Virginia. It was led by Nat Turner, who believed himself inspired to do this, an eclipse of the sun in February of that year being the sign. The excitement of the supposed revelation, however, caused him to fall ill, and it was not until August that the design was executed. He and his fifty followers gave no quarter. The uprising was at once put down, however, and Turner was executed. About sixty whites and one hundred negroes lost their lives in the struggle.