John Taylor

“. . . and bank-notes will become as plentiful as oak leaves.” —Thomas Jefferson

“They [the people], and not the rich are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labours and our amusements . . . our people . . .must come to labour sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses . . . .” —Thomas Jefferson

“But an opinion that it is possible for the present generation to seize and use the property of future generations has produced to both parties concerned, effects of the same complexion with the usual fruits of national errour. The present age is cajoled to tax and enslave itself, by the errour of believing that it taxes and enslaves future ages to enrich itself.”
—John Taylor of Caroline

“A crocodile has been worshipped, and its priesthood have asserted that morality required the people to suffer themselves to be eaten by the crocodile.”
—John Taylor of Caroline

“We are now making an experiment, which has never yet succeeded in any region or quarter of the earth, at any time, from the deluge to this day. With regard to the antediluvian times, history is not very full; but there is no proof that it has ever succeeded, even before the flood.”
—John Randolph of Roanoke

“I said that this Government, if put to the test—a test that it is by no means calculated to endure—as a government for the management of the internal concerns of this country, is one of the worst that can be conceived . . . .”
—John Randolph of Roanoke

“Why should the government pay the expenses of one class of men rather than another?”
—John C. Calhoun

“A habit of profusion and extravagance has grown up utterly inconsistent with republican simplicity and virtue, and which was rapidly sapping the foundation of our government.”
—John C. Calhoun

“It was impossible to force the minds of the public officers to the importance of attendance to the public money, because we had too much of it.”
—John C. Calhoun

“It has been justly stated by a British writer that the power to make a small piece of paper, not worth one cent, by the inscribing of a few names, to be worth a thousand dollars, was a power too high to be trusted to the hands of mortal man.”
—John C. Calhoun

“The banks have ceased to be mere moneyed incorporations. They have become great political institutions, with vast influence over the welfare of the community. . . .”
—John C. Calhoun, 1837

“We must curb the Banking system, or it will certainly ruin the country.”
—John C. Calhoun

“Special Privilege, corporate greed, concentrated wealth are divided throughout our Union between those who call themselves Republicans and those who call themselves Democrats, but the difference in name will not forever succeed in hiding from the people the fact that the Democrats of that sort want exactly the same government favors which are demanded by Republicans of that sort. . . . . Through cunningly devised tax systems, bond systems, currency systems, bank systems . . . . these modern Highwaymen get boundless booty with minimum risk. . . . . Under the Banking and Bonded Systems, all the Roads of Produce lead to the Rome of Imperial Plutocracy . . . . A fight over the offices there may be, and will be; but never a fight over principles.”
—Thomas E. Watson, Southern Populist, 1916

“The present corporate economy cannot do other than oppose the private economy; it must by its very nature continue to lessen private opportunity and the security of the individual; and it must very often and finally propose the corporate exploitation of every individual and private right.”
—Richard B. Ransom

“The essence of finance/capitalism is not free trade but free money.” —Richard B. Ransom

“The government is the executive committee of great wealth.”
—Frank L. Owsley, Southern Agrarian, 1936

From its beginnings, the U.S. government was regarded by Southerners as a matter of liberty, honour, and American mutuality. From its beginnings, the predominant class in the North regarded the government as a source of profits. Southerners saw the Constitution as the people’s control over government power. Northerners saw it as an instrument to be manipulated to their advantage. This difference came to a head in the struggle between Hamilton and Jefferson. Jefferson and his friends (John Randolph, John Taylor, etc.) called Hamilton, Adams, and their friends “monarchists.”

By this was meant not only that they favoured kingship, which they did, but that they wanted a strong central government built on patronage to the wealthy (at the expense of the ordinary hard-working producers). The patronage was to be paid through national debt, manipulation of the currency, and various types of business subsidy, which were falsely claimed to be necessary and beneficial to all Americans.

Jefferson and his friends (including a valiant minority of Northerners) managed to hold Hamilton’s schemes in abeyance for two generations, although they were constantly and aggressively put forward. Lincoln’s conquest and near-destruction of the South established the Northern program without any effective check. Yet Jeffersonian ideals continued to wield a certain power long afterward, right up to World War II. It is this Jeffersonianism that is the main theme of Southern history, and not slavery as trendy “scholars” today claim. The regime of the Republican George W. Bush and the Democrat Barack Obama (there is no difference) has now delivered the final death blow to the system of government and to the ideals of freedom established by our forefathers. The Constitution no longer exists except as a collection of minor procedural rules. The distinction between government spending for public purposes and for private profits has been abolished, as has the distinction between federal spending for national purposes and for merely local purposes. The government is now making sure that the economy is frozen so that those who are presently wealthy will remain so and that your and my children and grandchildren will pay the price in diminished life.

Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.

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