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    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Andrew Jackson & the Bank Veto

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 2, 2012

Here is Part II of  my article on Andrew Jackson and the Bank veto. If you missed Part I, here it is. So many lessons can be learned by studying history and how leaders responded.  The Mental Fitness Challenge teaches many of these lessons though numerous historical examples. The LIFE Business is creating a group of courageous leaders who have learned how to learn. All of us are ignorant in some area; however, when we are ignorant on how to learn, our ignorance may become permanent. The goal in LIFE is to teach people how to think so they can learn and remove ignorance from any area of their lives. In truth, this is the same journey taken by Laurie and me and we are still on it to this day. What lessons did you learn from Jackson’s story? How do they apply to your life?


Orrin Woodward

Andrew Jackson & the Bank Veto

Andrew Jackson & Second National Bank

Jackson’s veto was a shot across the financial-elites broadside and could not remain unanswered, especially when the messenger was the sitting President of the United States of America. Contrary to prevailing perceptions, Jackson was not a novice in his understanding of inflationary policy. In fact, he studied, at length, the history of the South Sea Bubble and the debilitating effects of its inflationary methods. Accordingly, he understood the principles at stake in the Bank battle better than many of the Eastern intellectual elites opposing him. He knew that paper money not backed by bullion was fraud upon the many for the benefit of the few. Biddle, finally comprehending Jackson couldn’t be bought or bullied declared war, pulling out every political weapon in his extensive arsenal. Biddle purchased propaganda pieces in the newspapers in an attempt to refute Jackson’s charges and rally support for the Bank. For instance, he wrote to one editor, “If you will cause the articles I have indicated and others which I may prepare to be inserted in the newspaper in question, I will at once pay to you one thousand dollars.”  A thousand dollars then is equivalent to twenty-five thousand today, certainly enough to bribe most editors into action. Biddle’s relentless assault only strengthened Jackson’s belief that the Bank’s influence was unhealthy and detrimental to a republican government. In truth, money and power are just two sides of the same coin. Consequently, where money gathers, power is soon to follow and where power gathers, money is soon to follow.

The Bank’s  Advocates

Daniel Webster, the famed lawyer and presidential contender from New England, championed the Banks cause, becoming one of the Bank’s most virulent supporters. Ironically, although Webster had originally opposed the Bank’s charter, he found Bank religion when Biddle offered him a healthy legal retainer to aid in the re-charter movement. In the midst of the Bank battle, Webster wrote the a revealing missive to Biddle, “ I believe my retainer has not been renewed or refreshed as usual. If it be wished that my relation to the Bank should be continued, it may be well to send me the usual retainers.”  Webster, along with the champion of the statists American System, Henry Clay, supported the financial-elites in their fight against Jackson as perks, power, and recognition were sure to follow with the Bank’s blessing. Webster, in fact, launched a lengthy attack on the Jackson’s policies, blasting his veto of the Bank. Biddle, in addition, bought other influencers in Congress to oppose Jackson’s measures, dividing Jackson’s supporters into two camps. The first group desired the President to yield on the issue, hoping to maintain government decorum. The second group, in contrast, encouraged the President to finish what he started and end the unholy alliance between Big Banks and Big Government. Jackson’s popularity suffered from the steady stream of paid propaganda unleashed by the editors congenial to Biddle’s financial largesse. Indeed, numerous diatribes against Jackson’s policy permeated the press on a weekly basis.

Bank Declares War on Economy

Despite the funded politicians in Congress and rabid press editors willing to do Biddle’s bidding, he still stored one more ace up his sleeve. Fearing that Jackson would remove the Treasury deposits from his Bank, starving the bank of the lifeblood of money necessary to maintain its special power base, Biddle declared to Webster, “They will not dare to remove them. If the deposits are withdrawn, it will be a declaration of war which cannot be recalled.” Following through on his promise, Biddle launched a campaign of loan closures across America, causing financial panic among the state banks and business community. They were forced to either pay back their loans or collapse into insolvency. State banks and businesses screamed for relief, appealing to Jackson to end the Bank war and submit to the recharter. Misreading the President’s courage again, the bank and business failures only steeled Jackson’s resolve to end Biddle’s undue influence in the American economy. Moreover, many state leaders awakened by the inordinate power held by the Bank over the economy also recognized the truth of Jackson’s veto message. The President firmly believed that any power capable of causing a panic of this magnitude was not healthy for the freedoms of the American people. He denounced the Bank’s action to his cabinet, “The Bank has by degrees obtained almost entire dominion over the circulating medium, and with it, power to increase or diminish the price of property and to levy taxes on the people in the shape of premiums and interest to an amount only limited by the quantity of paper currency it is enabled to issue.” Jackson understood the role that money-interest can play in causing inflation and market cycles; unfortunately, this understanding seems lost on today’s politicians and our Federal Reserve System.

Author H. W. Brands, biographer of Andrew Jackson, discussed the Bank’s undue power of the purse, sharing Biddle’s money-influence over the Jackson government, “‘In half an hour,’ he boasted to an intimate, ‘I can remove all the constitutional scruples in the District of Columbia. Half a dozen presidencies’ — of bank branches — ‘a dozen cashierships, fifty clerkships, a hundred directorships, to worthy friends who have no character and no money.’” Clearly, Biddle was playing for keeps, understanding that money buys power and power produces money. Even in the midst of the Federal Government’s withdrawal of Treasury Deposits, Biddle remained confident of his ultimate victory, writing, “My own view of the matter is simply this…. The [instigators] of this last assault on the Bank regret and are alarmed by it. But the ties of party allegiance can only be broken by the actual conviction of existing distress in the community. Nothing but the evidence of suffering abroad [that is, in the country as a whole] will produce any effect in Congress.… This worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians and imprisoned judges, he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken.” Biddle appears to have succumbed fully to the corrupting effects of absolute power. His dictatorial thoughts, writings, and actions are on display during this stage of the war. He shared with another confidante, “My own course is decided, all other banks and all other merchants may break, but the Bank of the United States shall not break.” Biddle truly believed, that by causing harm and suffering in America, he could control the political leaders of our country.

Andrew Jackson’s Resolve

In hindsight, had it been any other President besides Jackson, Biddle would have been right. Jackson, however, stood his ground and eventually won the Bank war, despite receiving many battle scars along the way. Re-elected in a landslide, Jackson proved that a person with conviction and character can stand his ground and win, no matter the size of the forces aligned against him. Boldly, at one point in the battle, Jackson told his Vice-President Martin Van Buren, “The Bank is trying to kill me.  But I will kill it.”

Jackson example demonstrates a leader’s powerful effect upon others. When a person has the courage to stand strong, he strengthens the spine of others who recognize the truthfulness of his fight between right and wrong. Courage, just like lack of courage, is contagious. Character is courage and integrity combined. Integrity is identifying what is right and courage is the ability to stand for truth even when it hurts. Jackson accomplished many things in his life, both militarily and politically. However, in my opinion, his finest hour was his courageous stand against the Second National Bank. May this generation of leaders display similar courage in today’s fight against tyranny.

62 Responses to “Andrew Jackson & the Bank Veto”

  1. Titi Woki said

    The story of Andrew Jackson you have shared is so inspiring! He had the courage to do what many presidents have not even dared to poke at! The congress does not even remotely talk about abolishing the federal reserve – we surely need a freedom tide, a tide big enough to restore courage and truth to this nation. Thanks for charging the hill!

  2. Cheryl Koziol said

    There are many things that were taught to me about President Andrew Jackson when I was in school (10+ years ago), however this major part of his Presidency was not one of them. Just like as events happened then, I only hope that our lawmakers today realize that sooner or later the truth will come out. I hope that when it does, they will have already decided that they want to be on the side of the truth and help to correct some of the wrongs that have gotten our society to the place that it is at today.

    • Michelle Mielke said

      Well said Cheryl. As we share the life business I am comforted to know the generations that will be positively effected from the truth.

  3. Jim Croyle said


    I love this post. I hope against all hope that those currently in a position to make the changes necessary to return this nation to its original splendor will find the courage to do so. Recently, with conversations revolving around economics, I ask this question, “upon which form of government was this nation built?” Oftentimes, I am met with the proverbial deer in the headlight look so I give some examples: Communism, Socialism, Theocracy, Monarchy, Libertarian Socialism, and Free States etc.

    Almost without exception the response I get is, “A Democracy” Honestly, a few years ago I would have responded the very same way. Now, however, I follow up with, “how familiar are you with the Pledge of Allegiance?”

    I am not real sure what they are thinking when I recite the Pledge and insert “Democracy” for “Republic” but I can tell you this, the single deer mesmerized by the headlight appears to turn into a herd.

    This post highlights the need for immediate reeducation of our society with respect to fiat money.

    Thanks for leading the charge and for demonstrating the personal conviction to do what is right, whatever the cost. I am inspired!

    God Bless,


  4. Bill Eder said

    Orrin: You told me to wait for part two. Wow! The first part was great however this part is outstanding. Where have all the statesmen of Jacksons caliber gone. I trust there are a few around. This story reminded me of the movie starring Jimmy Stewart called Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Both characters in these stories displayed the kind of courge needed to cause
    a “Freedom Shift” in our beloved nation. The battle can be won if men of integrity and courage come forward. The media war is one way citizens can over come the current trends. As a young police officer decades ago I learned first hand not to believe news articles. neither I nor my superiors talked to reporters yet the story regarding an incident I was involves in was in the news. I did not recognize it until my name was mentioned. So don’t believe every thing until you verify. Thanks again for the outstanding history lesson. Very much appreciated the wisdom you share with us. God bless you

    • Amen Bill! Thanks for sharing your perspective! P.S. Who is Jimmy Stewart?

      • Bill Eder said

        Kristen : Jimmy Stewart was a very great actor before your time obviously.Did you ever see “It’s a wonderful life.”he played the part of George Baily. He also served as a pilot in WWII. Hope this is helpful.

  5. jimmy varghese said

    crazy how many people aren’t familiar with how the federal reserve was created, operates, etc. im glad the LIFE TEAM is going out there educating the people so we can possible dismantle corrupt governement practices and preserve our freedom!

  6. Orrin,
    Thanks for Part II. This is thought provoking material. Your blog is teaching people how to learn creating a group of people who think again and not be distracted by the unimportant things in life. Thank you for your leadership.
    Steve Leurquin

  7. Jose a zaragoza said

    Great post Orrin, Andrew Jackson committed himself to kill the bank’s monopoly and he did. Thanks to the life products that created curiosity to learn more about the fights with banks here in the united states I had read about this before. After reading this article I learned more things when I thought I knew all the story already!

  8. Joel Schwartz. said

    Wow Orrin. You inspire me every single day of my life. The words that come out of your mouth is like a fresh mountain of hope and encouragement to make our lives easier and makes our perspective outlooks much more alive!

    Thank you soo much!


  9. Heidi said

    They don’t teach that in public school. 🙂

  10. Jeanne Fritch said

    Sharing this blog post with many. Thanks, Orrin.

  11. Yancy Chaj said

    This is great what a display of courage that we can all learn from and need to put into action in our lives and our families and in the communities. What a great teaching story.
    Thank You

  12. Dave Springsteen said

    Part one got us thinking. Part two is scarey in the similarities of today. Hope leaders will rise up and have the character to stand for what is right. Thanks for reminding us that we must learn from history so we do not make the same mistakes.

  13. Kevin Andersen said

    The First Bank of the US was signed into law by George Washington. The 2nd Bank of the US was signed into law by James Madison. Were these two men tyrants who wanted to subsystem the American people under a national bank? You make Jackson the hero who fought against the tyranny of a national bank that was created and extended by 2 of our wisest Founding Fathers. Should Washington and Madison be compared to present day Federal Reserve supporters?

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Kevin, You are correct; however that’s not the whole story. Washington approved the first bank because Hamilton was closer to Washington and won out in a battle of titans (Jefferson versus Hamilton). Madison actually ended the first bank citing the reasons similar to Jackson (Unconstitutional etc); however, when in middle of the War of 1812, and needing cash quickly, he bowed to pragmatic considerations and the Second National Bank was born. People do not have to be tyrants in order to make poor decisions or bad precedent. In this case, Washington trust one of his most valuable aids, (Hamilton), who actually wanted a King for America and coveted a powerful America similar to England of its day with it’s marriage between Government and the Bank of England. I love Washington and Madison, but I believe they were in error here. Madison, all but admitted pragmatic consideration after he left office. Great thoughts Kevin! thanks, Orrin

      • Michelle Mielke said

        I love good discussion because I learn so much from it. Keep the questions coming!

  14. Len Troast said

    Orrin, thank you for this history lesson. May God raise up a national leader of the caliber of President Andrew Jackson who will study history and apply its lessons. One is sorely needed.

    • Jeremy Pethke said

      I believe that God has already done so… {he’s the author of this blog}

      Jeremy Pethke

  15. Robert Nava said

    Amazing Orrin,thanks for the education.
    Robert Nava

  16. JohnMay said

    Great stuff Orrin. I love America and her history. What an honor it is to be able say, “I am American”.

  17. Maribel Damphousse said

    I do hope and pray that the leaders of our countries would learn from the mistakes of previous leaders and avoid repeating the same mistakes. It takes courage to live true character and it takes character to live in truth. Thanks for speaking the truth in your blogs, Orrin.

  18. Joshua said

    Mr. Woodward,
    I have a newfound respect for President Andrew Jackson..My History lessons on Andrew Jackson in high school and college were less than flattering and mainly focused on his errors and mistakes.
    I dare any politician to stand up for what is right today.
    Thanks for the true history lesson,

  19. Peggi Kern said

    As I was reading the story of Andrew Jackson’s courage and resolve to stand up for what he believed was right, I kept thinking “there’s another example of turning rejection into energy”. It seems that at every turn, his obstacles created even more resolve to do what he believed to be right. So many times, the obstacles can cause me to question my inner voice and waver in my courage! Andrew Jackson was a man of courage and reminds me that rejection is the food that feeds conviction! Never give up in the fight for what’s right!

  20. Kevin Andersen said

    The Second Bank if the US was chartered through 1836. Andrew Jackson started shifting money to his ‘pet banks’ starting in 1833. This draining of funds from the National Bank prior to the expiration of its charter led Biddle to vehemently oppose Jackson. I am glad, Orrin, that you say that Washington and Madison were not tyrants. If they lived today, they might see the Fed as necessary, as they saw the BUS in their day. What is your thought on the idea that Jackson, in this Bank War, was one of the first proponents of ‘class warfare’ politics? His treasury secretary was Roger Taney who was the Chief Justice during the Dred Scott case. So, Jackson was for the common man except when it came to blacks (Dred Scott) or Native Americans (Trail of Tears).

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Kevin, Without getting way off subject, I covered character as a dimmer switch, rather than an on/off switch. They key, according to the best historians, is to judge men in the current they were swimming in (their time period). Clearly, enslaving any man is wrong and against liberty, plain and simple. However, Jackson was not the first “class warfare” politician, only the first to clearly delineate special interest exploitation within government. The Gracchi brothers (Tiberius and Gaius), during the Roman Republic, attempted land reform, as the patricians hoarded the land and exploited the masses. Both were killed for daring to right the injustice.

      I am all for wealth, success, and influence when it is earned through performance, but when it is exploited through power and tyranny its wrong. Whether slavery, oppressing of indians, special deal banking, Big Business married to Big Government for special deal monopolies, anything that unevens the playing field is wrong. The article points out one area of exploitation and you point out another, so it sounds like both of us desire an even playing field in all areas. May the best person win based upon his or her ability to serve customers, not cater to Big Government and gain special deals, oppressing the people for the benefit of the elites. thanks, Orrin

      • Rory Sayers said

        Hey Orrin I have been very intrigued by economic theory and its effects on liberty. The first book to really get me thinking was “The road to serfdom” and it has pretty much snowballed from there. Mises.org and recommended readings from other Austrian thinkers as well as personal life experience has only reinforced my belief that you can’t fix what you don’t understand.
        On that note I kept thinking that something else was behind the scenes and happened on the videos from Damon. This is a follow up to Renaissance 2.0
        This clarifies a lot of things but also may cause some people cognitive dissonance. I love to hear your thoughts after viewing.

        Freedom comes from truth

  21. Jerry Harteis said

    Orrin’ Great info that isn’t in the public’s eye. Jackson went for the harder but better long term answer. There is the lesson for all of us in our personal lives. Principles always work but one must be aware of them before they can be applied.
    See you soon

  22. Man it is pretty funny being not too far out of our amazing public schools the only thing that was tought about Andrew Jackson was how he was a racesist and a tyrant “with the trail of tears” being his suposedly only action while president. Not saying anything about his stand in new orliens against the British, or his stand against the bank. I find it frusterating that the school system has a hidden agenda and it won’t give all the information and let us decide what it actually means. That is only history I don’t even want to get started on science and the hidden agenda there. I think it would be awesome Orrin if you would do a post on the public school system and how it came about.

  23. abraham fleury said

    What a most awesome writing on a great accomplishment. Such of which should be taught in the school system.

    Thank you for the time and research you vested into this article.

  24. Elaine Mallios said

    Can you imagine that much propaganda unleashed against him – and he still won? That is inspiring and very timely. It is amazing how much power the big banks and the Fed have over us. This has got to be stopped.

  25. Chuck said

    A fascinating history lesson and an inspiring call to arms!

  26. Alex Obiden said

    The solution starts with the people. We must have courage and character. “We the people,” remember?

  27. Orrin,

    In looking at how I can apply Jackson’s lessons to my own life, it would be to stand firm on principle no matter the foe or the consequences.

  28. Tim marks said

    Great post!

    Jackson is a picture of what we need in leadership today !!


  29. Rob Crichlow said

    There is hardly anything more important than for us to learn this lesson and teach it to others. Standing in the gap for what is right at our own personal cost. Thanks for being the example for us to follow Orrin.

  30. Wes Smith said

    I love the example of courage here. I’m reading Rascal as part of the Mental Fitness Challenge and this story fits right in. Thanks Orrin!

  31. Peggi Kern said

    Orrin the information that you have studied and then shared is incredible. I honestly would admit that this type of information would have never even hit my radar prior to being involved with Life & Team. Its not because I did not want to know, I just didn’t understand the implications of knowing or not knowing. As Peggi and I continue to try to get better and improve ourselves to have a positive impact on our family, community and eventually our world around us I realize how important it really is for me to become more aware of our history and the battle fought with such character so that I can have the freedoms I have today. I also appreciate the different perspectives in the blog replies to see other’s perspectives. Thank you so much for your continued efforts to get us to think for ourselves and ask the tough questions so that we know why we believe what we believe in all areas of our lives. This is really powerful information, if we apply what we learn.


  32. Joe McGuire said

    Great post! Jackson had his faults but lack of courage was not one of them. It’s refreshing to read this story in an age when most of our elected officials would rather cave in to the monied interests.

  33. Laurie Tallio said

    I am learning so much about that which I had not a clue. Most importantly, with this situation or any other, that ” conviction and character can stand his (our) ground and win, no matter the size of the forces aligned against him (us)”.

  34. Tim Miller said

    Thanks for all you in getting the truth out. Great post!!

  35. Ali Staneart said

    Thank you for the history lesson! 🙂

  36. M. Fitzgerald said

    I love the history lessons on your blog! I always find myself inspired to further my understanding by reading great books on the subjects. We truly are challenged to think by your posts rather than to blindly follow. I also find the comments by others intriguing and informative. Thank you too all!

  37. steven johnson said

    Awesome. Thanks, Orrin. With the FED being so much stronger today than the 2nd National Bank was, I wonder what the average American can expect to see as a recoil to the leadership of one to stand against them. Any predictions?

  38. Debra Mohr said

    Thank you for inspiring me daily. Also it is great to have a leader who is unafraid to draw the sword! Thank you.

  39. Kim Decker said

    We all know if the Life Team can produce leaders who come even close to you and Chris then the world may have a chance to get something done. How courageous for someone to stand against the EVIL one. You have started something and we all will help you finish. GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  40. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Orrin, I appreciate articles like this that remind us of our history. The saying, “If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it” is true. Our country again finds itself in the same position- the government officials, the Federal Reserve, and Big Business colluding for personal benefit rather than the benefit of the country and its people. Sadly, power can corrupt, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thank you for causing us to REMEMBER and THINK!

    • Peggi Kern said

      Richard, Thanks for that insight. I’ve been selfishly blinded by my own daily concerns until being connected with Orrin’s blog and it’s definitely got me on the journey to learning our history, which is step one to the process of not repeating. I pray that millions of others will begin that same process.

  41. Great sunny afternoon!

    Thank you once again, Orrin, for your thought inducing & insightful posts. There are so many nuggets of wisdom, truth, & leadership within both part 1 & here, in part 2.

    There is a long history of politicians on one side of momentous decisions and statesmen/leaders on the other; Mr. Jackson was clearly in the latter category through his accomplishments in military circles alone, let alone his principled stance that kept a central bank in check mate to protect financial liberties.

  42. Greg Mazur said

    Great post Orrin!
    Thanks for bringing this story to our awareness. As kids we we’re taught to compare history and current events. But somewhere along the way, we lose that very important mind set. Could it be that television does too much thinking for our culture today and not enough honest comparison with our country’s history?

  43. Keith Sieracki said

    Clearly, this great historial example of the internal greed/power vs. integrity/ character struggles that all humans feel. If we can extrapolate the lesson shown by President Jackson and start applying it ourselves on a smaller scale then the larger scale inequalities should be much more obvious. In other words ” If I contually practice what is right, its easy to see when something is wrong”

  44. Andy said

    Thanks for sharing President Jackson’s story. Its awesome to read about men who stood strong in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. You also model this trait and I appreciate it. Many would sell out for selfish gain rather than face adversity for others sake. Thank God for Leaders of truth and strength who will continue the fight till the weak grow strong and are able to join in.

  45. Mike Hartmann said

    While Jackson was no saint (as neither of us are), he certainly was a leader. May we all use his example of courage to do what’s right in the face of blatant bribery and special deals to guide us during our decision making in these modern times.

  46. Shawn Jaeger said

    Thanks for the awesome blogs Orrin. When I have downtime I have a common urge to read something quick and interesting and normally that comes from some sort of online news outlet. Now I can come here and get great information that is applicable to myself and my community and I really appreciate the hard work and study you put into your posts- though I’ve almost come to taking them for granted. Every time there’s a new case study on a historical leader or a parable of some sort I get as excited as when I used to read some exciting paper back series and I discovered the next installment came out. The transformation the information you and Chris has changed my life so immensely that you have also affected the life of my siblings, for the better, through me- Thank you!

  47. Eric Schilling said

    Wow… A good example of a leader standing on principle and making a difference.

  48. Wildtarg said

    Just based on your summary, there are so many highlights and contrasts that could be drawn out of this epic historical battle – the one that is sapient in my mind is that Jackson displayed not just courage, but commitment. It took courage to accept the conclusion that his knowledge and study took him to, and to initiate action. Once he had crossed that threshold, it was not so much a matter of facing down fear, but of holding to one’s chosen course against rising pressure and opposition.
    It is also saddening and sobering to realize that Daniel Webster, a great mind in both his time and ours, to whom has been attributed many stirring and patriotic lines, was actually nothing more than an intellectual mercenary. Arms for hire has been a byword of human history; but minds for hire is a black mark on western academic and scientific method and tradition. I find it unconscionable that a person of learning or able thought to have no desires beyond a secure and comfortable life, and surrender their dreams to become the tool of another’s will in the realm of ideas. I will surely learn more about this conflict and about Webster and the others involved, but to me he seems like the intellectual equivalent of a Benedict Arnold.

    Keep going, we’re coming…

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