The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

That guy on the $10 bill? He wanted to sell out the US to the banking class …

I borrowed Don't Know Much About History from Bunny, and I must say, reading it is making me feel better about the current administration, if only from a “the more things change, the more they stay the same” type of deal.

I'm not even half way through, but some choice bits—the first about Alexander Hamilton:

Hamilton was no “man of the people,” though. The masses, he said, were a “great beast.” He wanted a government controlled by the merchant and banking class, and the government under Hamilton would always put this elite class first …

The second major component of Hamilton's master plan was the establishment of a national bank to store federal funds safely; to collect, move, and dispense tax money; and to issue notes. The bank would be partly owned by the government, but 80 percent of the stock would be sold to private investors … This time there was no compromise, and President Washington went along with Hamilton.

In 1791, Hamilton had become involved with a Philadelphia woman named Maria Reynolds. James Reynolds, the husband of Maria, had begun charging Hamilton for access to his wife—call it blackmail or pimping. Reynolds then began to boast that Hamilton was giving him tips—“insider information,” in modern terms—that allowed him to speculate in government bonds. Accused of corruption, Hamilton actually turned over love letters from Maria Reynolds to his political enemies to prove that he might have cheated on his wife, but he wasn't cheating the government.

On the rivalry between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton:

As part of their ongoing feud, both men supported rival newspapers whose editors received plums from the federal pie. Jefferson's platform was the National Gazette, and Hamilton's was the Gazette of the United States, both of which took potshots at the opposition. These were not mild pleasantries, either, but mudslinging that escalated into character assassination. More important, the feud gave birth to a new and unexpected development, the growth of political parties, or factions, as they were then called.

Gee, nothing new here. In fact, it's rather interesting to note that newspapers back then were less objective in reporting the news than today. Or perhaps they were more blatent about their biases back then.

And even the endless Presidential campaigning going on now, nearly a year before the elections, isn't new:

[John Quincy Adam's] administration was crippled from the start by the political furor over the “corrupt bargin,” and Adams never recovered from the controversy. The Tennessee legislature immediately designated Jackson its choice for the next election, and the campaign of 1828 actually began in 1825.

I just wish they taughtthis history rather than the watered-down claptrap they force down students today.

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