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Bonus Bill of 1816


BONUS BILL OF 1816 was intended to direct profits from the second national bank to fund internal improvements. On 16 December 1816 John C. Calhoun recommended that the House of Representatives appoint a committee to investigate such an application of federal profits. Calhoun, as chairman of the committee, introduced a bill on 23 December 1816 to set apart as a permanent fund for internal improvements the $1.5 million bonus exacted from the bank as a price of its charter and the profits from the $7 million of bank stock owned by the United States. Although the House passed the bill, President James Madison vetoed it on 3 March 1817 on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. Madison suggested that an amendment to the Constitution would remove all doubts on the subject.


Dangerfield, George. The Awakening of American Nationalism, 1815–1828. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

Larson, John Lauritz. "'Bind the Republic Together': T he National Union and the Struggle for a System of Internal Improvements." Journal of American History 74 (September 1987): 363–387.

George D.Harmon/t. m.

See alsoBank of the United States ; Banking .

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