Here’s is America’s real “original sin” — the adoption of the British Mercantilist (or, “crony capitalist”) system which the Founders had fought a war of secession to escape. Hamiltonian political-economic principles provided the foundation for Lincoln’s counter-revolution, and explain the mess we’re in today, as economist Tom DiLorenzo argues here:
Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system â€“ the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from â€“ to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nationâ€™s capital.
Jefferson and his followers opposed him every step of the way because they understood that Hamiltonâ€™s agenda was totally destructive of liberty. And unlike Hamilton, they took Adam Smithâ€™s warnings against economic interventionism seriously.
Of course, the debate between Hamilton and Jefferson was recognized at the time as one between whether America was to be a peaceful republic or an authoritarian mercantilist state.Â It was also evidentÂ that such a division could only lead to a split between the States. Jefferson himself said, “I would rather the States should withdraw which are for unlimited commerce and war, and confederate with those alone which are for peace and agriculture.”
And after the War Between the States, the winners clearly understood the real point of the war. Joseph E. Brown, the collaborationist governor of Georgia, saw the writing on the wall and proclaimed, “The Hamiltonian construction of the Constitution has been established by the sword.”
It is at the point of that sword that we, the people, stand today. And if we feel like helpless subjects forced to pay for our rulers’ corruption and incompetence, that’s why.