The Independent Treasury Act, first passed in 1840 at the urging of President Martin Van Buren, and again in 1846, formally separated the U.S. Treasury and its policies from commercial banking. It required all federal revenues to be placed into several regional depositories, called subtreasuries, rather than in national, state, or private banks as had generally been federal practice since the 1790s. The measure also required that future payments to the national government be made in specie (gold or silver) only. Paper currency ...

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