Patrick Pappano for Veterans Today
It seems that even the most insouciant and compliant Americans, when asked about the state of their country, confess to discouragement. Indeed, President Trump may have even gained the Presidency precisely because he enunciated the need to restore our fortunes. I leave it to the reader to decide for himself how earnest that call to action was. But the need for it seems to be clear to even the most inattentive.
Some older readers like myself, I am 75, will just ignore all calls to action with the dismissal, they have seen it all before. But what is interesting is the date they suggest as the mark for the turning-point to the downside. Some will say post-WWII. Others, cannier, will say no, it was 1933 with the elevation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as does Harold Rosenthal, that Jewish Prima Donna who couldn’t contain his glee at the usurpation of America by the Jews in that infamous 1978 interview. Then those Americans, mostly dead, who declared 1912 and the election of Woodrow Wilson as being the turning point. And, a very good case may be made for the Civil War as the turning point of from good to bad. If only it were so. Any of these dates would be better than the one I select, 1776.
In just a few words, I will merely point out, that once Independence from Great Britain was declared, over the issue of taxes, taxes went up and they have been going up ever Since. But, mistakes can be made. Maybe our founding fathers only thought they had a better idea, but in the end, things did not work out as planned. A happy thought, but there is good reason to suspect that there was much more going on below the surface of observation of the average citizen. And like virtually all other national movements, particularly rebellions, one must follow the money.
King George III, that evil monster, had responded to the Mashpee Indian tribe’s plea that the Massachusetts Bay Colony leave their land alone, by ordering the Massachusetts Bay Colonial government to leave the Mashpee in peace. In addition, evil King George III, seeing the plight of the Indians at the hands of his colonial subjects, set aside a strip of land just west of the Allegheny mountains for the Indians and forbade westward settlement into or beyond this “Indian Strip.” Of course, it didn’t work. Corruption had already taken hold in the seaboard side of the colonies and more woke settlers were fleeing to the west. So it does not appear that westward movement was slowed down any due to King George III.
When Franklin was in London as ambassador for Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, he was asked how such prosperity, then evident, was achieved in the colonies. The direct quote Franklin gave is as follows: “That is simple. In the Colonies, we issue our own paper money. It is called ‘Colonial Scrip.’ We issue it in proper proportion to make the goods and pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power and we have no interest to pay to no one.” I personally believe this embarrassment of riches was the spark that made the American Revolution inevitable. There was money about that did not belong to the Bank of England and this would surely set a bad precedent that had to be stamped out.
The westward movement was to land that would become known as the “Northwest Territory” and had been ripped away from France in the French & Indian War and was now the property of Britain, all 166 million acres of it. The stock-market didn’t begin until 1792 so up until that point and for well afterward, land was the bonanza everybody was chasing. And at $1 per acre, the Continental government, when it came into possession of this land at the Treaty of Paris in 1783, formally concluding hostilities between Britain and her former American colonies, came into possession of a $166 million asset.
The American Revolution had only decided the Eastern Seaboard, nothing else. But still, those evil British tax farmers then asked of the American delegates to the treaty negotiations, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams, if they would like the Northwest Territory to go along with their newly won eastern strip? They would, they replied, and it was done. And instantly, with the stroke of a pen, $166 million worth of land was transferred to the Continental government. This is perhaps the strangest treaty concession ever made.
Just as an aside, in 1783, land was the thing in the colonies, as it had been right from the start. All those settlers who gave up their feather beds in England to sleep in the New England woods, did so with the prospect of gaining land, something that would have been impossible for them at home. And so, the rush was on. It was a land rush.
It is well known that George Washington was a great land speculator but so also were many if not most of the founding fathers, named and unnamed. Land was the thing and the prospect of buying land from the government and then reselling it to speculators or even better, settlers, drew many into that get rich quick scheme that wasn’t a scheme at all: land works. And the amount of land was mind boggling.
British Indian agent, the well-born and educated, Sir. William Johnson, who became British agent to the North American tribes, particularly the Mohawk, who adopted him as a Sachem, left his Mohawk Indian wife, Molly Brant, 25,000 acres in what is today Johnstown NY. Unfortunately, by the time of his death, New York State either had a law or quickly passed one, that disallowed Indians to own land. So Molly’s bequest fell instead to Sir William’s son by a European woman, John, but unfortunately, John had died, and so the land reverted to the State of New York. That is what I mean – you must always follow the money. Still, 25,000 acres is a whale of a lot of land but in those days not all that unusual.
Not to belabor the point, the British government later employed Molly to manage their affairs with the Iroquois, a generally hostile tribe, and when the State of New York expelled the Iroquois from their lands, the evil British then allotted the Iroquois land in Ontario province of Canada. The British government also compensated Molly for her New York State losses. She was a devout Anglican and today, in Canada, April 16th is Molly Brant Day.
Now back to the colonies. The Revolutionary War soldiers and materiel suppliers had been paid in Continental paper money, which were really, zero-coupon bearer bonds much like EE savings bonds and in government bonds typically yielding 6% of face value. It is a market constant that the fortunes of war have a direct influence on the public’s perception regarding the government’s ability to pay. As the issuing governments fortunes decline, so does the market value of its financial paper. If there is a turnaround and the same country moves toward victory, the paper rises to near its original face value and sometimes beyond. In the course of the American Revolution, American paper depreciated driving bond yields up to 18% and even attracting investment from Abigail Adams, in her husband’s absence over in France and Holland. Allegedly, the British were also printing Continentals, a later WWII wartime strategy to destroy the enemy’s money by inflation, plus enabling them to acquire local foodstuffs. But there are lapses in the historical record that would seem to deny this, But, for certain, the financial paper seems not to have risen much off its lows following victory, leaving its holders, soldiers and merchants, a little short. This itself is a mystery. The colonial paper should have shot up in value. In fact, the Rothschild fortune is grounded in the recovery of English “Consuls” after the defeat of Napoleon. Why this didn’t happen in the colonies is worthy of investigation, particularly with the aforementioned Northwest land asset – follow the money.
Creditors and speculators, like Abigail Adams, who bought up this paper bond debt, did not have much patience with slow pay and began to enforce collection. The colonial governments then pressed by bondholders then began to enforce repayment. This led to Shay’s Rebellion which in turn led to the Constitutional Convention, called for the prime purpose of collecting money.
The consolidation of the 13 colonies into a single governmental structure had as one of its central drivers, the collection of wartime bond interest which was being frustrated by the more numerous debtors controlling the legislatures of the individual colonies. The answer to this problem of “too much Democracy,” was managed by dramatically increasing the number of electors for each federal post such that voters no longer knew who they were voting for and thus began placing into office strict monetarists who would not issue paper money and whose main concern was attracting new finance from abroad by exhibiting a “sterling” repayment record. Also, “Recall”, the right of citizens to recall officeholders who disappointed, was eliminated. This reduced the control The People had over their government. And as a further destruction of the sovereignty of The People exercised through their state governments, the adoption of the new Constitution would be by the people and not the states. The states no longer really mattered. It is reported that when Patrick Henry, who smelling a rat, refused to attend the Constitutional Convention, first saw the finished document, uttered: “We the people???? What happened to the states?” The states? What states? The plural name “States” got swept up into the new nation’s name as a singularity – The United States.
The objection to the new Constitution was tucked under the national rug but may still be viewed in the “Anti-Federalist Papers” wherein Americans can once again lift their heads in pride at the best rhetoric one is likely to find anywhere, even among the classical Greek and Roman rhetoricians. But it was, as I say, disappeared and the few who understood what was happening were visited by thugs to encourage them in their voting “the right way.” In Philadelphia, savvy delegates refused to show up and were then rounded up by force and forced to vote “The right way,” and did.
The Constitution was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies (states) with Rhode Island holding out. Washington carefully avoided Rhode Island In his progress to Boston after the new country came into being. But all it took for ratification was 9 out of 13, so Rhode Island was in the new nation whether they liked it or not. This was a provision of the wartime Continental Congress.
Now the fun part. Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary, decided that in order to establish the borrowing power of the new nation on national and international credit markets, all of the revolutionary financial paper would have to be redeemed at full-face value. This was scuttlebutt for a while but as everybody knows, speculators make their living by keeping their ears to the ground for just such scuttlebutt and what was seeping up out of the ground was the very great disparity between current market price of this Continental financial paper and full-face value. Not surprisingly, those in the know, understood the imperative for such a move and having confidence and inside information, began buying up the paper, sometimes with notices placed in local papers. Even Alexander Hamilton was accused of profiting but defended himself by pointing out he had done it for his brother-in-law who was going through a flat spot in his finances.
James Madison, perhaps the best educated of the Founding fathers, had started out in the Washington-Hamilton big government camp but was now transitioning more toward the Jeffersonian small government model. Madison saw what was happening and proposed that the financial paper be redeemed such that both those that had earned the paper and those that had speculated in it, be made whole. Hamilton was against it stating that those who lost faith with their country and sold their Continentals and bonds, deserved to be fleeced by the speculators who had more faith in their country. Of course, that faith having been placed there by the aforementioned soldiers and suppliers who were about to be fleeced. And that such soldiers and suppliers accepting such payment in the first place was a pre-condition for where they were now. No matter. Jefferson then arranged a dinner meeting between Hamilton, whom he didn’t like very much, and Madison, whom he liked well enough, a fellow Virginian, to sort things out. Hamilton offered to move the national capital to Virginia even almost adjoining Washington’s property, if Madison would refrain from taking a position on the redemption matter. Madison folded and it was done – redemption at full-face value was passed by Congress with all profits to the speculators.
As an aside, Hamilton’s former boss and I’m sure, conspirator, Robert Morris, was gleeful, pointing out that now the way was cleared for money to go to the wealthy, where it would do the most good. Morris loaded up on Continentals and bonds and reportedly made several, or more millions of dollars. He died broke, apparently having over-indulged. But not doubt his sentiment was correct and his money went to even wealthier people who perhaps made even better use of it.
But this was only stage 1 of the wealth transfer project. This largesse paid out by the new federal government created a great federal debt. Now this debt could have easily been paid off with land sales from the Northwest Territory, and this is presumably what happened once Jefferson got into office. But in the meantime, Hamilton suggested and got Congress to approve a “Sin” Tax on the production of whiskey. And a two-tier tax, where the big distillers paid a flat rate expected to be 6 cents a gallon while the smaller distillers had to pay 9 cents a gallon. Perhaps stung by the redemption and now this new outrage and the fact that whiskey in the back country was not the for-profit commodity it was in the seaboard cities, the western farmers refused to pay the tax.
But the government now had a brand-spanking new Constitution and a military conscription provision and a military man as President, feasibility fosters fiat, and thus President Washington marched out with 13,000 conscripted creditor soldiers to convince the remaining 800 western Pennsylvania tax protestors that they should pay. The fracas was also strategically labeled “The Whiskey Rebellion” when it was clearly a “Tax” rebellion, the same that had produced the new nation in the first place. The “Whiskey Rebellion” was put down in 1794 and the tax was collected up until 1801, when Jefferson assumed office and cancelled it.
It is not known how the “Over-Mountain Boys” from west of the Alleghenies, who had defeated the Loyalist militia under British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot at King’s Mountain in North Carolina, were treated in this dust-up. The history books are silent on this and many other details. But of one thing you may be sure by just applying statistical models, the Over-Mountain Boys were definitely making whiskey and are not on record for having complained about any tax. My guess is that it was just a bridge too far and the purpose of the tax, to exhibit new government power, had already been accomplished by putting down the western Pennsylvania “Whiskey Rebellion.”
Jefferson was a breath of fresh air for the country, but it wouldn’t last. Baked into the cake were two opposing forces: a Constitution and a “Democracy.” How well this has worked is the point of this paper – “Democracy” has rolled right over the Constitution and pretty much made it irrelevant. And keep in mind, the Constitution was never intended to be a citizen-friendly document. The Bill of Rights was the trade-off the “Federalists” had to accept to get their Constitution to cure the problem of too much democracy.
It is clear at this point, that King George III was the loser in this American Revolution and it is now becoming clear that the American people were also the losers – taxes went up and freedom from government oppression went down. The American people had traded in a benevolent King across an ocean for a not so benevolent government just up the road; not a good trade. But then, who benefitted and the question most often neglected in American history books – Why? Americans are taught to wonder who killed Kennedy? Who did 9/11? Who blew up the Maine? Who cares who did it, the key question is why? What changes are these acts intended to bring about? That is the urgent question, not who were the last actors to touch it before it went down. That hardly matters.
Of course, the answers to the “Why” questions are carefully hidden and not likely to get unearthed by even stalwart researchers like David Irving. No, rather one must default to the Henry Ford formula. When asked if there was anything to the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” Henry Ford replied that they fit present circumstances. And indeed, the way most problems of missing agents are found is by statistics, looking for “Goodness of Fit.” Once one lays down a bundle of variables against a constant, and using a stepwise regression analysis, a linear pattern begins to emerge and once you have that, then it is only a matter of dropping other variables in and seeing where they come out in the pattern. This may have even been the unspoken method of that greatest of all sleuths, Sherlock Holmes.
On June 14, 1776, the flag committee of the Continental Congress met and apparently, enthusiastically adopted the East India Company flag for their incipient rebellion against king and Parliament. The logic put forward was that the Declaration of Independence was not meant to start a war necessarily but to gain a peaceful separation and by displaying a flag that was both British but at the same time, independent of Britain, would send just the right signal. This also seems to imply a connection with the East India Company that had ties to freemasonry and suggests that the new united states would function much like India as a property of The Company but, populated by Englishmen instead of Indiamen. Of course, the opium trade would continue.
Coincidentally, the East India Company flag had an ensign of 13 horizontal stripes and a union of the British Union Jack. After hostilities began in earnest, the Union Jack was replaced with a blue union displaying 13 white stars for each of the 13 colonies. Oh, and that yarn (pardon the pun) about Betsy Ross, that was the start of propaganda nation. A quaint, heart-warming tale to be sure.
It has been averred that persons inside the East India Company with links to other centers of power in England and the Bank of England and freemasonry, were running the revolution and that is given further support from the prominent placement of an obelisk as the Washington Monument, like a dog marking out its territory.
The constant is money however. Now holding money constant, we will drop in some variables. What would be the effect of the Bank of England getting the Currency Act affecting the 13 colonies passed by Parliament in 1754? Well, we don’t have to guess, it is recorded. Here is the Parliamentary record. Question from Parliament to Franklin: “And have they not still the same respect for parliament?”
Franklin: “No; it is greatly lessened.”
Parliament: “To what cause is that owing?”
Franklin: “To a concurrence of causes; the restraints lately laid on their trade, by which the bringing of foreign gold and silver into the colonies was prevented; the prohibition of making paper money among themselves; and then demand for a new and heavy tax by stamps; taking away at the same, trials by juries, and refusing to receive and hear their humble petitions.”
While Franklin does not state it, other witnesses state: The effect was depression in the colonies and the start of bad feeling toward Britain. Hummm? And if the colonies separated from Britain, what would happen then? Well, the colonies occupy a land mass many times the size of Britain, might a bank in the colonies become quite prosperous? Hummm. Maybe yes. How might a colonial army be financed however? If done by the Bank of England might that not raise some eyebrows? Hummmm. Maybe France might have a useful role here. How might a colonial army made up of farmers defeat a professionally trained and equipped and seasoned British army? Well what if generals Howe, Burgoyne and Cornwallis didn’t try very hard having perhaps a favorable disposition to the colonial cause perhaps eased by some emoluments? Well that would certainly help. And so the big project was convincing French Louis XVI to poke his fingers into King George’s eyes by supporting the colonial cause and incidentally setting him up with a war debt that will hasten revolution there? Hummm. I like that very much. Now this American Franklin, who has been crowned “Dr. Franklin” and invited to be a member of the Hellfire Club, might he not be the perfect American Ambassador to France to plead the American cause? Why sir! The very man!
Now the pièce de résistance, The revolution is over, the Constitution is adopted, that unfortunate affair of the whiskey tax is settled, and Mr. Hamilton, an admirer of the Bank of England, proposes a similar bank of issue for the new United States. By issue is meant money issue. And it is done. Hamilton, the rainmaker, has capitalized a new federal Bank of the United States with $10 million with only $2 million coming from the United States government, the rest put up by wealthy public spirited but un-named “investors,” presumed by some to be in England.
As was pointed out, Hamilton is a rainmaker. The new bank was chartered for 20-years, apparently with some Congressmen beginning to smell a rat. The bank came up for re-charter 20 years later, but Congress balked. There had been 72% inflation and the rat they had smelled was that the other $8 million from those “wealthy” investors had never been paid in and the result was a loss of confidence in the paper the BUS was issuing, which is called inflation. Inflation is the natural and predictable successor to too much lending without sufficient capital. In the days of coin this phenomenon showed up as coins being clipped and or issued in increasingly less-dear alloys. In paper money, it merely loses value. This is what happened 20-years later in 1811 in the new United States of America. It turned out that the “wealthy” investors had used the U.S. Government money to acquire their own shares in the bank and that was the money they were lending for their own accounts.
Another curious detail gone missing is the case of John Paul Jones. When Franklin was in Paris, doing his all to get the French King engaged in the American drive for independence, the King was demurring, waiting to see how robust and investable this rebellion was as evidenced by colonial victories in the field. Franklin was desperate by his own admission. And just at the point of throwing in the towel, news arrives in Paris that John Paul Jones, flying an American flag, has just defeated the British warship Serapis even taking the ship over as a prize. And the victory is attended by the most heroic saga, having Jones’ men urging him to surrender, with their ship, the Bonhomme Richard, sinking under them. “I will not be defeated” shouts Jones and after another broadside volley the captain of the Serapis strikes his colors. What a stirring saga and with the effect of gaining French financing. But, curiously, not even noted in popular American history. Why? My guess, is to not dethrone Washington the more compliant hero of the Revolution and one who may be depended upon to put down that noisome western Pennsylvania rabble complaining about just taxation. Washington was chosen as the logo of the new country with many anthems composed in his honor.
John Paul Jones was even denied a post in the new United States and wound up in a pauper’s grave in Paris. An enterprising U.S. Navy man found him, brought him back, and he was re-buried at Annapolis. But that was all. No fanfare, no John Paul Jones day, nothing but silence for the greatest Revolutionary War hero who made the error of just being too set in his ways. He was not a “go along get along” kind of guy as Gerald Ford used to urge his Congressional colleagues to be.
What is particularly egregious about this lapse is that overall British commander William Howe who was reclining in his hotel room in Philadelphia was whom Washington was fighting. Jones was fighting the British Navy, which was at the forefront of the British military footprint. The defeat of the Serapis was by far the most significant single victory in the battle landscape. And indeed, the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown was a French project.
How much did the proverbial “man on the street” understand about these matters? Probably not very much. He just went to the polls and voted his conscience. But there does seem to be, as Tesla observed, ether in the air. So, the “man in the street” knows something isn’t right but can’t figure it out. Gene Hackman once observed of adolescent girls, they don’t know very much but they do know that the boys all want to screw them. It seems the American public could learn something from these girls.