A Dictionary of American History

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Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Distribution Act

Distribution Act (23 June 1836) After the second Bank of the United States’s federal charter expired, this law directed the treasury Secretary to specify at least one bank in every state and territory as a depository or pet bank (see pet banks) for surplus federal funds. The law directed the Treasury to apportion $5,000,000 among the states as a loan, which would be distributed from federal funds in pet banks beginning 1 January 1837. Although the loan was subject to recall, it was the intention of the law’s sponsor, Henry Clay, that it not be repaid, and it was not. (The US lost $9 million due to the failure of pet banks in the panic of 1837.) Distribution was abandoned after the protectionist Tariff of 1842 slashed customs duties by setting rates higher than could be paid on most manufactured goods.

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Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Distribution Act," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed August 18, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q7KJN4N7JACCDUB.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Distribution Act." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 18 Aug. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q7KJN4N7JACCDUB.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Distribution Act' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 18 August 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q7KJN4N7JACCDUB.