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carded by political economists. It is now known that in healthy and profitable trade imports must of necessity exceed exports. A given quantity of merchandise exa ported from a country must, in order to yield a profit, be sold in a foreign market at a price which includes cost, insurance and freight to the foreign market and reasonable profit to the merchants; if this increased sum be invested in merchandise to be returned to the original country its value there must of necessity be greater than that of the exported articles. Not that transactions can be thus traced except in isolated cases; we may indeed assume a case of exports exclusively to England and of imports exclusively from France, the trade between these countries equalizing the transaction; for bills of exchange and the other instruments of commerce render very simple in practice even the cases most difficult to trace in theory; the desire for gain leads every article to find the market in which it is most valuable; in this sense gold and silver are articles of commerce, and they will not be exported unless their value in the other country is greater than at home.
Ballot is any vote taken in such manner as to keep secret the choice of each individual voting; it is distinguished from the vivá voce or open vote. In most of the States vote by ballot is an old custom in popular elections. In many States it was made obligatory by consti, tutions adopted in 1776. In New York it came into partial use in 1778, and after 1787 it was universally adopted there. Many of the Southern States voted openly, but in all States except Kentucky this has been superseded by the ballot; but even in that State the vote for members of the House of Representatives must be by ballot in accordance with Federal laws. In eleven of the States provisions in the constitution prescribe the open vote for all proceedings of the Legislature. Where there is no such provision the House may determine for itself its method of voting.
Ballot-Box Stuffing is a method of election fraud and consists in arranging several ballots so as to appear as but one, thus enabling an individual to cast several votes.
Bank Notes are obligations issued by a bank, by which it binds itself to pay a certain specified sum to the bearer on demand. These notes will be taken wherever the standing of the bank is known. Our National bank notes are taken everywhere because protected by government bonds deposited with the Treasurer of tho United States. Long experience has shown banks what percertage of the amount of bank notes issued must be kept on hand in actual specie to meet all demands likely to be made on that score.
Bank of North America was the name of the first bank of a national character incorporated in this country. It had a charter for ten years from 1781 from the Confederation, but doubts as to its legality lead the bank to seek and obtain a charter from the State of Pennsylvania in 1783. In 1785 this latter charter was revoked, but in 1787 it was renewed. It was located at Philadelphia.
Bank of the United States.—There have, in the history of this country, been two such banks, the first from 1791 to 1811, the second from 1816 to 1836. The incorporation of the first of these was a part of Hamilton's financial scheme, and it aroused great opposition. Jefferson, Madison and others that subsequently formed and became the leaders of the Republican party were foremost in the opposition, which was based on the lack of power on the part of Congress to charter any such institution. The attitude of public men on this measure was among the first indications of the direction in which party lines would tend. Jefferson and the future Republicans demanded a strict construction of the Constitution, and denied the grant of any such power to Congress in that instrument. Hamilton maintained that the right to charter a corporation was one of the inherent privileges of a sovereign power, that the Federal government was a sovereign power, and need not therefore have such authority specifically granted, and that the step was “within the sphere of the specified powers” of the government enumerated by the Constitution. The bill incorporating the bank became law in 1791. The bank was to continue for twenty years, its capital was to be $10,000,000, of which. $2,000,000 was to be subscribed by the government. In return the government was to receive a loan of $2,000,.000, repayable in yearly installments of $200,000. Congress agreed to charter no other bank within twenty years. The public subscriptions were to be payable one-quarter in coin and three-quarters in three or six per cent. national debt certificates. The bank was authorized to establish branches, and its notes were to be received in payments to the United States. Although Jefferson had originally opposed the bank on the ground of the unconstitutionality of its charter, he nevertheless while President recognized its constitutionality by signing various acts affecting it, and in the courts the legitimacy of its existence was never questioned. Its efforts to obtain a renewal of its charter from the United States at the expiration of its existence in 1811 were unsuccessful, as were the efforts to prolong its life by a Pennsylvania State charter, and so it went out of existence. The head office of the bank was at Philadelphia. The government stock in the bank was sold to English bankers in 1802 at a premium of fifty-seven per cent. The bank had paid dividends averaging over eight per cent. per annum; while in liquidation it was bought out by Stephen Girard, of Philadelphia, one of the stockholders, and continued by him as a private institution.
In 1816 the second Bank of the United States was incorporated. Public sentiment had been inclined in favor of such a renewal by the financial difficulties attending the war of 1812, but although the subject was broached as early as 1814, it was two years later before the act passed. This time it was the Federalists that were opposed to it, and by in turn supporting and opposing each of two rival plans, they had compassed the defeat of both. The powers of the bank were much the same as those of the first. Its capital stock was $35,000,000, payable one-fifth in cash and four-fifths in government stock. It was to have the custody of public
funds, and five of the twenty-five directors were to be appointed by the government. Mismanagement brought the bank into a precarious position, and the new bank president was obliged, as a matter of necessity, largely to curtail its loans. The stringency thus created awakened considerable feeling against the bank. The first intimation of any connection of the bank with politics was the demand of certain of President Jackson's political friends for the removal of the president of a New England branch who was politically obnoxious to them. The president of the bank, Nicholas Biddle, refused, denying any connection of his institution with politics. President Jackson was opposed to the bank, and his messages to Congress in 1829, 1830 and 1831 expressed strong dislike of the institution. In 1832 a bill to recharter passed, both Houses, but was vetoed by the President and failed to pass over the veto. The elections of that year produced a House, the majority of which, supported the President. On the plea that the bank was not safe, the President now removed the government deposits and placed them with State banks, which were called Banks of Deposit, and nicknamed “Pet Banks.” To this he was supported by the House, which decided against a renewal of the charter and ordered an investigation of the bank. Of this nothing came. The bank was chartered by the State of Pennsylvania, and was thereafter known as the Nicholas Biddle's United States Bank. Only one more attempt to establish such a bank was made. This was in 1844, while Tyler was President. Two bills having that end in view passed Congress, but they were both vetoed.
Bankruptcy is a state of inability to pay all debts; it is also the process by which an individual may secure a discharge of his indebtedness by surrendering his property and complying with the law. The Constitution of the United States (Article 1, section 8, clause 4) gives Congress power « to establish . . . uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.” As the States also have the right to pass similar laws affecting their own citizens whenever there is no national law on the subject in force, it is customary to distinguish between National and State laws by calling the former bankrupt, and the latter insolvent laws. Three times only in the history of the government has there existed a bankrupt law. The first was passed in 1800 and was repealed in 1803; the second became law in 1841, and was taken from the statute books in 1843: the third had the longest life: it became law March 2, 1867, and was repealed on June 7, 1878, the repeal to take effect September 1st of that year. There is at present a considerable demand for another bankrupt law to secure uniformity throughout the country.
Banks of Deposit. (Šee Deposit Banks.)
Barbary Pirates. The countries on the Mediterranean coast of Africa from Egypt to the Atlantic, namely, Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Tripoli (which are known collectively as the Barbary Powers) had been in the habit of preying on the commerce of nations that refused to pay a tribute to them. Shortly after the Revolution the operations of these pirates were directed against our commerce, to protect which treaties were negotiated with the Barbary States, in 1786–7 with Morocco, in 1795 with Algiers, in 1796 with Tripoli, and in 1799 with Tunis. By these treaties the United States purchased immunity for its commerce by gross sums or yearly tributes. This shameful course was made necessary by our lack of an effective navy, which was due to the action of the Republican party of those days. But the government was now forced to organize a small navy, which was found useful against Tripoli. That country, becoming dissatisfied with the tribute, declared war in 1801. In 1803 some half a dozen American vessels were dispatched to the Mediterranean. In October the frigate Philadelphia ran aground in the harbor of Tripoli and was captured. Decatur in the following February sailed into the port at night, boarded the Philadelphia under the guns of the enemy, killed or forced overboard every one of her deferders, set fire to the vessel, and escaped without losing a man and with only four wounded. A land expedition conducted by General Eaton, American