The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 -
A Legislative History

Part of LLSDC's Legislative Source Book and its
Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet

Ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251-275, Pub. L. No. 63-43, December 23, 1913

Guide to Legislative History of the Original Federal Reserve Act


Chronology Before 63rd Congress (1907-1913)


July 10, 1832 - President Andrew Jackson vetoes renewal of Second Bank of the United States
Oct. 1907 - Panic of 1907 (Wikipedia entry)
May 08, 1908 - Aldrich-Vreeland Act enacted; establishes National Monetary Commission
1909 - 1911 - National Monetary Commission publishes a series of 48 reports on banking
Jan. 08, 1912 - Final report of National Monetary Commission with recommendations
            & proposed draft bill, known as the Aldrich Plan, after its Chairman, Nelson Aldrich.
Jan. 11, 1912 - Aldrich bill introduced as S. 4431 by Sen. Burton, R-OH (no further action)
1912 - 1913 - House Subcommittee hearings held May thru February,
            chaired by Rep. Arsene Pujo, D-LA, on the "Money Trust Investgation"
Aug. 1912 - Democratic party approves platform opposing the "Aldrich bill for the establishment
            of a central bank," but supports banking law reform
Nov. 1912 - Democratic Party sweeps the U.S. House, Senate, and White House,
            electing Woodrow Wilson as President
Jan - Feb 1913 - Hearings before a subcommittee of the House Banking and Currency
            Committee, "Banking and Currency Reform"
Feb. 13, 1913 - Report of the Pujo Subcommittee, H. Rept. 62-1593 - Concentration of Control of Money and Credit

Chronology in the 63rd Congress, 1st Session (1913)


Apr. 07, 1913 - Aldrich bill introduced as S. 7 by Sen. Lodge, R-MA (no further action)
Jun. 23, 1913 - Pres. Wilson addressed joint session of Congress on banking and currency reform.
Jun. 26, 1913 - H.R. 6454 & S. 2639 introduced by Rep. Carter Glass & Sen. Robert L. Owen
            - 1st official introduction of President Wilson's proposed Federal Reserve Act
Aug. 29, 1913 - H.R. 7837 introduced by Rep. Carter Glass, D-VA, chair of the House
            Committee on Banking and Currency
Sep. 10, 1913 - H.R. 7837 reported, H. Rpt. 63-69, pp. 1-74 (Majority views - Rep. Glass)
Sep. 10, 1913 - H.R. 7837 as reported, H. Rpt. 63-69, pp. 111-132 (Appendices C & D - 
            reserves)
Sep. 10, 1913 - H.R. 7837 reported H. Rpt. 63-69, pp. 133-166 (Minority views & Rep.
            Lindberg's)
Sep. 10 - 18, 1913 - H.R. 7837 considered on the House floor
Sep. 18, 1913 - H.R. 7837 passed by House - 287 yeas, 85 nays, 5 present, 55 not voting
            with 26 announced pairs - v. 50 Cong. Rec. pp. 5127-5135
Sep. 2 - Oct. 27, 1913 - Hearings by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee chaired by
            Sen. Robert L. Owen, D-OK. (Vol. II, Vol. III - Frank Vanderlip testimony)
Nov. 06, 1913 - Vanderlip persuades Senate Banking Cmte to adopt some of his plan - NYT
Nov. 20, 1913 - Senate Banking Committee deadlock, 6 to 6 (v. 50 CR 5950)
Nov. 22, 1913 - H.R. 7837 reported in disagreement. See (S. Rpt. 63-133, pp. 1-28) by
            Senate Banking and Currency Committee with views of Owen
Nov. 22, 1913 - Text of H.R. 7837 as proposed by Owen, S. Rpt. 63-133 pp. 32-66 - Appendix
Nov. 22, 1913 - H.R. 7837 as proposed by Sen. Hitchcock, S. Rpt. 63-133 Pt. 3, pp. 1-24
            - views of Sen. Gilbert Hitchcock, D-NE, and text of bill as proposed (Vanderlip plan)
Nov. 24, 1913 - S. Doc. 63-242 - Comparative Print of H.R. 7837 as passed by House;
            with Owen & Hitchcock amendments

Chronology in 63rd Congress, 2d Session (1913-1914)


Dec. 1 - 18, 1913 - H.R. 7837 (Owen substitute amdt) considered on Senate floor
Dec. 18, 1913 - Senate passed H.R. 7837 (v. 51 Cong. Rec. 1230) 54 yeas to 34 nays
            & 7 not voting. Bill includes Owen amendment as amended.
Dec. 20, 1913 - House voted to disagree to Senate amendment and send bill to conference
Dec. 22, 1913 - Conference Report submitted to Senate and House
Dec. 22, 1913 - S. Doc. 63-335 - Comparative Print of H.R. 7837 as passed by the House,
            the Senate, and the proposed Conference Report
Dec. 22, 1913 - Explanation of conf. rept. by Rep. Glass (v. 51 Cong. Rec. A561 - A564)
Dec. 22, 1913 - House agreed to conference report on H.R. 7837 (v. 51 Cong. Rec. 1464) by 
            298 yeas to 60 nays and 76 not voting but with 34 announced pairs (NYT article).
Dec. 23, 1913 - Senate agreed to conference report on H.R. 7837 (v. 51 Cong. Rec. 1487-88) by
            43 yeas to 25 nays and 27 not voting but with 13 announced pairs
Dec. 23, 1913 - President signs H.R. 7837, Pub. L. No. 63-43. See NYT article.
Apr. 10, 1914 - report of the Federal Reserve Bank Organization Committee (Documents)

Other Historical Resources


A B C of the Federal Reserve System, The by Edwin Kemmerer, Princeton Univ. Press, 1922
Aldrich Commission Bill and the Federal Reserve Act Compared (circa 1915)
Aldrich Plan Compared with Glass Bill by Rep. S.D. Fess, R-OH, Sep. 18, 1913 - Cong. Rec. A282
Banker Preferences, Interbank Connections, & the Enduring Structure of the Federal Reserve System
Banking Reform - National Citizens' League For the Promotion of a Sound Banking System, 1912
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: History, Membership, and Current Issues,
            Congressional Research Service report - Feb. 9, 1995
Brief History of Central Banking in the United States by Edward Flaherty, PhD., 2003
Defects and Needs of Our Banking System by Paul Warburg, NY Times article, Jan. 6, 1907
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913: History and Digest by V. Gilmore Iden, 1914
            Political and Social Science, Jan. 1922
Historical Beginnings ...The Federal Reserve by Roger T. Johnson, Fed. Res. Bank of Boston, 1999/2010
Paul Warburg's Crusade to Establish a Central Bank in the United States by M. A. Whitehouse, 1989
 

Compiled by Rick McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC.

Please email your questions or comments to the Legislative SIS.

Last updated in June, 2016