Tag

Alexander Hamilton

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Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Attraction of Policial Decency

Scholars are wont to paint antipodally Jefferson and Madison. Most depictions show, in effect, that by psychological disposition, Madison was better suited to be a Hamiltonian Federalist than a Jeffersonian Republican. I offer a few illustrations. Merrill D. Peterson, in his Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, states that Madison had a “more penetrating mind, sharp, probing, and persistent,” while…
M. Andrew Holowchak
October 24, 2023
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Divorcing Ourselves from Akhil Reed Amar

Editor's note: This piece originally ran as a five part series at The Independent Institute. Just a month ago, National Review (the supposed Gray Lady of the Right) ran a piece by Yale’s Akhil Reed Amar entitled Declaring Independence from Thomas Jefferson. The piece is a paean to centralized power imbued with presentism as Amar virtue signals and plays the role of Pied Piper as…
William J. Watkins
September 27, 2023
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Jefferson’s “Textured Republicanism”

Both parties, says Jefferson to Abigail Adams (11 Sept. 1804), agree that the proper object of governing is the public good, yet they disagree concerning how it is best to promote that good. One fears most the ignorance of the people; the other, the selfishness of rulers independent of them. Which is right, time and experience will prove. We think…
M. Andrew Holowchak
December 13, 2022
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Forms of Nationalism in Early America

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School My first lecture is going to be a bit of a story, but this story is not going to be one where there's a hero at the center of it. Instead this is gonna be a story about nationalism, what nationalism is and the categories of nationalism that were present during the early…
Carey Roberts
October 10, 2022
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The Federalist Crucible

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson have dinner. It looks like funding an assumption of State debts by the general government is not going to go through, and Hamilton’s very worried because U.S. stock is plummeting in the international finance markets. So, a deal is struck. Jefferson will put pressure on his people to…
John Devanny
September 16, 2022
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Economic Interpretation of American History

This article was originally published in the May 1916 issue of the Journal of Political Economy. To turn men away from the “barren” field of political history is one professed object of Professor Charles A. Beard in the two volumes which he has in recent years submitted to the public. Other purposes of these interesting volumes are to call the…
William E. Dodd
October 14, 2021
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Who Owns America Today?

The chief conflict in American history was and remains the conflict between the center and the periphery.  Geographically, this conflict plays out as a powerful antagonism between the large, urbanized, metropolitan areas of America and their satellite college and university towns, and the less densely populated small towns and rural areas.  In the political and financial realms, the conflict is…
John Devanny
November 23, 2020
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Can the Southern Tradition Save America?

“Where you gonna be when half of California riots? Where you gonna run to when the lights go out? I won’t be hangin’ out in California, I won’t try it. Buddy I’ll be up and headed South.” Jamey Johnson The Wuhan virus has sparked a renewed interest in the Southern tradition. No one is saying that, but it’s true. Donald…
Brion McClanahan
March 23, 2020
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Lies and Truths of Nationalism

It is disturbing when you see a man like Tucker Carlson, who seems a reasonably objective fellow, painted with the brush of authority by the likes of Virginian Rich Lowry. Lowry, of course, is the editor of the once conservative publication, The National Review. Lowry’s views are aligned with Eric Foner et al—the nationalists. Recently, 11-1-19, on The Tucker Carlson…
Paul H. Yarbrough
November 21, 2019
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Poison Under the Wings

The beginning of the American political order goes much further back than the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.  Political scientists and political theorists are understandably fixated on the Constitution and the convention that produced it.  Eric Voegelin, Willmoore Kendall, and a few others go even further back searching for a continuity in the political symbolization present in some certain select, but…
John Devanny
November 20, 2019
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St. George Tucker’s Jeffersonian Constitution

One could argue that there are two basic visions for America: the Hamiltonian and the Jeffersonian. The former is nationalist, calling for centralized power and an industrial, mercantilist society characterized by banking, commercialism, and a robust military. Its early leaders had monarchical tendencies. The latter vision involves a slower, more leisurely and agrarian society, political decentralization, popular sovereignty, and local…
Allen Mendenhall
October 11, 2019
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The Challenge of the Southern Tradition

In 1966, Senator Jim Eastland of Mississippi walked into the Senate Judiciary Committee and asked, “Feel hot in heah?” A staffer replied: “Well Senator, the thermostat is set at 72 degrees, but we can make it colder.” Eastland, puzzled by the response, doubled down, “I said, Feel Hot in heah?” The staffer now was perplexed and fearing that he might…
Brion McClanahan
March 25, 2019
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A Little Whiskey Rebellion

“I plainly perceive that the time will come when a shirt shall not be washed without an excise.”— Representative James Jackson of Georgia, speech against the Whiskey Tax delivered on January 5, 1791 in the House of Representatives As with so many other episodes in early American history, the true story of the so-called Whiskey Rebellion has been purposefully scrubbed…
Joe Wolverton
February 22, 2019
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Hamilton on Steroids

“The revenue of the state is the state.”  Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution Washington D. C. finds itself in the midst of an entertaining, nay consuming, Kabuki theatre.  The federal government has “shut down” its non-essential functions, re-opened the same, and promised to do it all over again in a few weeks, raising the question as to why…
John Devanny
February 7, 2019
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Nullification and Secession: Solutions or Talking Points?

Many of us in the South have maintained our faith in the Constitutional right of nullification and secession despite the efforts of massed, bloody, Yankee bayonets. But is the talk about nullification and secession an earnest effort to put forward solutions to an out of control, Deep State, supreme federal government or is it merely an exercise in heady political…
James Ronald Kennedy
September 3, 2018
Review Posts

How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America

A review of How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America by Brion McClanahan, Regnery History, 2017. A thinking American must choose between Hamilton and Jefferson, whose contrary visions of the future were contested in the first days of the Constitution. If you are happy with big government, big banks, big business, big military, and judicial dictatorship, then you have Alexander Hamilton…
Clyde Wilson
September 19, 2017
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Yankee Finance Capitalism Part III: The Creature from Jekyll Island

The endurance of the system of Jeffersonian finance based upon the Independent Treasury system was remarkable given the post war transformation of the United States from an agrarian country to an industrial one.  Tariff rates had increased, large subsidies were being awarded to the railroads, and the federal government drifted slowly but inexorably toward imperialism.  The last major Jeffersonian edifice,…
John Devanny
June 16, 2017
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Yankee Finance Capitalism Part II: The Jeffersonian Triumph

“The revenue of the state is the state.” Edmund Burke The rise of the modern nation state in the 1600s was founded upon monarchies securing independent sources of revenue to pay for the royal armies that secured their dynasties.  Jacques Colbert, Louis XIV’s minister of finance, designed a system of state monopolies, internal free trade districts, tariffs and internal taxes…
John Devanny
June 9, 2017
Review Posts

A Question of Sovereignty

Although the nation recently recognized the 150th anniversary of the end of the War of Northern Aggression, we are still plagued with questions about the legality of secession, issues and inquiries that unfortunately may never end. In exchanges on social media over the years, I have argued our principles as passionately as anyone can, while kindly, but at times very…
Ryan Walters
April 4, 2017
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Washington’s Rye

Every student of history knows at least a brief sketch of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, but most people don't realize that Alexander Hamilton's excise tax on distilled spirits hit George Washington in the wallet as well, albeit years after the rebellion. He owned the largest distillery in Northern Virginia from 1797-1799 and shipped hundreds of gallons of moonshine to Alexandria during the…
Brion McClanahan
September 23, 2016
Review Posts

A Southern Political Economy vs. American State Capitalism

General Lee was a soldier and leader of men, not a politician. Although several of his decisions as soldier had an important political impact in American history, he seldom discussed such matters. An exception is his correspondence with the British historian Acton shortly after the war. Acton had spent a long career studying how constitutional liberty had gradually developed as…
Clyde Wilson
August 10, 2016
Review Posts

The Cause of Jackson is the Cause of Us All

Old Hickory has been chopped off the front of the twenty-dollar bill. Andrew Jackson will still appear on the back of the bill, but Harriet Tubman (freed slave, conductor on the mostly mythical Underground Railroad, and Union spy) will now appear on the front. Jackson was a famous war hero and a feared duelist, but he finally met his match…
James Rutledge Roesch
April 26, 2016
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Jefferson Was Right

I am writing in response to the recently posted piece at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, entitled “History proves Thomas Jefferson was wrong (whew).” The author of this article drastically overstates Madison's role in the finalized Constitution. Madison desired a highly nationalistic government, with a national legislature that had general legislative authority, two houses of Congress both of which were apportioned…
Dave Benner
December 14, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Thomas Jefferson, Southern Man of Letters, Part I

There was a popular ragtime song in the 1940s and ‘50s, derived from an old minstrel tune, that went like this: Is it true what they say about Dixie? Does the sun really shine there all the time? Do sweet magnolias blossom 'round every door? Do the folks eat possum till they can’t eat no more? If you really want…
Clyde Wilson
November 4, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Jeffersonian Political Economy

Your other lecturers have pleasant and upbeat subjects to consider. I am stuck with economics, which is a notoriously dreary subject.   It is even more of a downer when we consider how far the U.S. is today from a Southern, Jeffersonian political economy which was once a powerful idea. Economics as practiced today is a utilitarian and materialistic study. It…
Clyde Wilson
July 29, 2015
Review Posts

A Sympathy for Disunion

A Sympathy for Disunion "This, Mr. President, is not a government founded upon compact; it is founded upon the power of the people. They express in their name and their authority, "We the People do ordain and establish," etc, from their ratification alone it is to take its constitutional authenticity; without that it is no more than tabula rasa. "I…
Vito Mussomeli
February 24, 2015
Review Posts

The Cause of Jackson and Lee

  Delivered at the Blount County Courthouse, January 19, 2015. Robert E. Lee said “Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns and battles and generals or other individuals, but that which shows…
Carl Jones
January 21, 2015
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Fortress Dixie

Protecting Our People in the Era of Islamic Terror & Ebola Within a few days after the Federal Empire’s current glorious leader, Barack Obama, calmly assured Americans that there was little danger of an Ebola outbreak in this country, the first Ebola death occurred in Dallas, Texas. A few months after the Federal Empire secretly dispersed thousands of illegal alien…
James Ronald Kennedy
October 15, 2014
Review Posts

John Taylor on Federal and Constitutional Questions

Part II of a Five Part Series. Part I 1. Liberalism Taylor stood on liberal ground in holding that men were a mixture of good and evil. Self-interest was the only real constant in human action.43 He broke with archaic-republican ideas of mixed constitutions and social balance. His key idea was to divide power up so many ways, federally and…
Joseph R. Stromberg
October 14, 2014
Review Posts

James Jackson: Forgotten Founding Father

This essay appears in Clyde Wilson and Brion McClanahan, Forgotten Conservatives in American History and is reprinted here in honor of Jackson's birthday, Sept 21. James Jackson did not sign the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But his heroism in the War of Independence and his exemplary integrity and republican statesmanship in the first days of the U.S. government…
Clyde Wilson
September 22, 2014
Review Posts

Rights of the States and of the People

This is Part I of four letters that originally appeared in the Richmond Enquirer in 1819 under the nom de plume Hampden. They could have been written yesterday. To the Editor of the Enquirer: By means of a letter to you, sir, I beg leave to address my fellow citizens. I address them on a momentous subject. I address them…
Spencer Roane
August 21, 2014
Review Posts

John C. Calhoun: Nullification, Secession, Constitution

"The confederation has been formed by the free will of the states. If today one of these very states wanted to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be quite difficult to prove that it could not do so. The federal government, in order to combat it, would not rely in a clear way on either force or law."…
Marco Bassani
August 8, 2014
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1865 and Modern Relevance

"I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy....Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more…
Carl Jones
April 16, 2014
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Getting Right with Mr. Hamilton?

“…the borrower is servant to him that lendeth” (Proverbs 22:7) “There is an elegant memorial in Washington to Jefferson, but none to Hamilton. However, if you seek Hamilton's monument, look around. You are living in it. We honor Jefferson, but live in Hamilton's country . . .” (George Will, Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy, 1992)…
John Devanny
April 6, 2014