Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Views of History ‒ Part 1

Two Views of History ‒ Part 1
Thomas Allen

[Editor’s note: Footnotes in original are omitted.]

People’s view of history and the major events occurring during their lives generally falls into two categories. The first category believes everything happens by accident or chance. No planning is involved. No force is guiding events from behind the scene. The major events are random and spontaneous. The second category believes that not all events happen by accident or chance; many are planned. A force is guiding many, if not most, events from behind the scene. The major events are not spontaneous.

Rush Limbaugh, the well-know conservative and a staunch Zionist, falls in the first category. He rejects a conspiratorial explanation of history. Yet he describes the acts of liberals essentially the same way as most conspiracy historians and conspiracy scientists describe the actions of the conspirators. He also has admitted that people who advance in Washington have been handpicked by an Ivy League school. These people are given certain roles in government. They are monitored and go where the hand pickers put them.[1] Sounds like a conspiracy, doesn’t it?

One argument that he gives for rejecting conspiracy science is that it is too simple. Actually, it is more complex than the alternative of random and spontaneous causes. Conspiracy historians and scientists must look far beneath the surface to explain the cause of an event. Accidental historians merely investigate the surface causes.

Another reason that he gives for rejecting conspiracy science is that some conspiracy scientists claim that William Buckley is part of the conspiracy. Buckley, a neo-conservative, typically advocated conservative positions while most conspirators are identified with the left. Therefore, conspiracy scientists are wrong, and conspiratorial historical interpretations are false. What Limbaugh overlooks is that Illuminists support both sides in order to influence and control both sides for their benefit. Buckley was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations[2] and, perhaps more important, Skull and Bones.[3] He also worked for the CIA[4] and participated in the Bohemian Grove.[5] Therefore, he was an Illuminist of some degree. Buckley directed and influenced the right. His job was to prevent the right from getting too close to the inner circles of the Illuminists. He was to the right-wing what the Lamonts were to the left.

Nevertheless, Limbaugh did agree with conspiratorial historians that a powerful force outside the federal government was directing President Clinton to support NAFTA. He said, “This is the one issue Clinton has, other than welfare reform, where he has just flown in the face of his constituency groups. . . . There are forces, powerful forces, outside Washington, who are steering this one.”[6]

Contrary to Limbaugh’s claim, a sinister force has guided major historical events in the background. This sinister force is termed “Illuminism.” Illuminists have been involved in, if not behind of, most world events of importance that have occurred since the end of the Middle Ages. They were involved in many major events before then. Working through various secret societies, semi-secret societies, and front organizations, Illuminists have been a major force of world history.

Most historians deny conspiracies as the cause of major events in history. Accidental historians have bought Napoleon’s dictum, “history is a fraud agreed upon.” The “fraud agreed upon” is that conspiracy does not exist in history. For example, most historians believe that conspiracy played no important part in the French Revolution. They point to the Jacobins outlawing Freemasonry in 1792 and dissolving Masonic lodges. (Napoleon legalized Freemasonry in 1798 and encourage Freemasons to reopen their lodges.)

This action has been used to argue that Freemasonry was not involved in planning or directing the French Revolution. The thought that a small group of conspirators aided by dupes was behind the French Revolution is belittled. Such an assertion does not rule out conspiracy. Most important collaborators were not dupes. Liberals and Jews throughout the twentieth century have supported and collaborated with the Communist cause, yet they are not Communists. So it was with the French Revolution. People collaborated with the conspirators not because they were dupes but because they were sympathizers. They knew what the conspirators want to do, and they sympathized with that goal.

That most revolutions, wars, and other great events of history have complicated causes does not mean that conspiracy is not involved. Furthermore, conspiracies are not omnipotent. Although a conspiracy may start an event, it may not be able to control it as planned. In the end what really matters is the blood sacrifice to Lucifer. As long as the blood flows, who causes it to flow matters little.

That the Jacobins outlawed Freemasonry does not mean that the two were not co-conspirators. (The Jacobin Club was a puppet society of Freemasonry established to carry out the political initiative of Freemasonry.[7]) A favorite trick of the Illuminists is to use two opposing factions that they control to confuse the masses. They often use the tactic of pressure from below and pressure from above. Illuministic agents either incite the rabble to riot or disgruntled groups to revolt while illuministic agents in positions of power come forth to suppress the violence with superior violence. Another common approach is to control all major political parties or factions; thus, the electorate is tricked into believing that it has a choice when it does not.

The Jacobins may have been a rebellious faction. Or a power struggle may have occurred between the Jacobins and other Illuminists as occurred in the Soviet Union between Stalin and Trotsky. Outlawing Freemasonry may have been part of the Illuminists’ plan to purge undesirables, i.e., anti-illuministic, members from Freemasonry. At this time many Masonic lodges were operating independently of the Grand Orient. When the revolt came and the king was in danger, many Freemasons came to his defense. Thus, outlawing Freemasonry gave Illuminists the opportunity and excuse to purge these lodges and Freemasonry of counterrevolutionists. Furthermore, the Jacobins may have feared that some Freemasonry lodges might be used for a counterrevolution — just as the Jacobins had used them for their revolution. The Jacobins, or the Illuminists behind them, may have had other reasons for outlawing Freemasonry.

However, the most likely reason for outlawing Freemasonry was to prevent it from being accused of cooperating in the revolt. This tactic is commonly used. Secret societies are divided into two factions or parties. One is the intellectual party, which is passive and supports the cause through intellectual means like speeches and writings. The other is the war party, which supports the cause through violence.

Another ploy used to discredit a conspiratorial explanation of great historical events is to identify people whom conspiratorial historians claim were co-conspirators. For example, to disprove that conspiracy and secret societies had any relevant part in the French Revolution, accidental historians identify persons who were suppose to be part of the conspiracy, but who were executed. Philippe the Duke of Orleans, Mirabeau, Robespierre, and others were executed; thus, a conspiracy could not have existed. Why could not conspirators have executed fellow conspirators? The Duke of Orleans was merely a tool of the Illuminists who were behind the conspiracy of the French Revolution. When his usefulness ended, Illuminists fed him to the mob. Mirabeau was a high-degree Illuminist. However, when he began to waver against executing King Louis XVI, he became a threat to the Illuminists and had to be eliminated. Likewise, with Robespierre, he was also a high-degree Illuminist. However, the Illuminists were beginning to lose control of him, and he was becoming a threat. Furthermore, the Illuminists were ready to move to the next level of the revolution, and they no longer needed Robespierre. So they guillotined him. Such explanations account for the execution of Illuminists and other members of secret societies. The executed are tools who have outlived their usefulness, or they are threats and know too much. Also, some may become victims of the passions of the moment. Of coarse, accidental historians give little credence to such explanations.

Accidental historians question how a conspiracy could pass from one generation to another. They point out that most conspirators are nefarious characters. They question how such people could maintain their conspiracy for so long without turning on each other much more frequently than they do. (Responding adequately to these objections is where many conspiracy scientists fail.)

If the conspiracy originated in man and was man-centered, accidental historians would be correct. Such conspiracies are short-lived. They certainly do not pass on to the next generation. The evil men involved in them would destroy each other, especially as the conspiracy was achieving its goal. However, the conspiracy is not man-centered. At the center of the conspiracy is Lucifer. He has organized it, and he directs it. Thus, the conspiracy can transcend generations. Lucifer controls and checks his miscreant conspirators. Consequently, the conspiracy lives.

Another ploy, which is perhaps second only to the silent treatment, used by anti-conspiratorialists is to attack the messenger. If they cannot refute the facts, arguments, or conclusions, which they seldom can, they destroy the messenger. Assail his character. Ridicule him. Smear him as a “fascist,” “racist,” “anti-Semitic,” etc. Anyone who believes in a conspiracy is mentally unstable, if not insane — a kook. Discredit the messenger anyway possible, i.e., as much as necessary to ruin him. If his facts and conclusion cannot be refuted, he can be discredited by destroying his character. (Personal attacks often force the person being attacked to expend his resources to defend his name instead of exposing the conspiracy.)

Most accidental historians approach the conspiratorial explanation of history by ignoring it. They do not attempt to refute the evidence of conspiracy because they cannot refute it.

Perhaps the main reasons that most historians discount conspiracies are (1) career advancements, (2) vested interest, and (3) the difficulty in finding information. Conspiracies by their nature are secretive.[8]

The first reason is the primary reason. Illuminists control academia; therefore, any historian who explains historical events from a conspiratorial perspective risks career advancement and perhaps his career. Illuminists control the major universities, and most minor ones, and the major publishers. Thus, funding for and publishing of conspiratorial histories, especially conspiratorial twentieth century histories, are greatly stifled. Additionally, any historian who writes history from a conspiratorial perspective faces social and professional ostracism.

The teachers, mentors, and employers of most historians are accidental historians and have a vested interest in a non-conspiratorial explanation of history. They instill on historians under their control and influence a bias against conspiratorial history. Thus, these historians also acquire a bias against conspiratorial history. People are highly reluctant to admit that they have been deceived and that they are wrong. For an accidental historian to admit the existence of a conspiracy requires rejecting a lifetime of work.

Finally, conspiracies seldom make their true goals and programs public. (Many of today’s secret societies and their front organizations are open about their general goal of establishing a New World Order with one world government. However, they pooh-pooh anyone who suggests that a totalitarian government will control this New World Order or that a conspiracy is involved.) Much inductive reasoning is required to discover them.

Accidental historians nearly always present revolutions as spontaneous events. The politically, economically, or socially oppressed rebels against an autocratic state, for example the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution. Rare is the historian who identifies the source of financing for the revolutionists. No revolution would last more than a few months without money, weapons, and other support. Most revolutions would fail if the backers were not also influencing, if not controlling, the government against which they are revolting.

Accidental historians fail to explain why world leaders continue to make the same errors that lead to war, inflation, and depression. They fail to explain why each “mistake” made by world leaders nearly always advance Illuminism in one form or another. (If an accidental historian dares to offer an explanation, it is usually with the Marxist Hegelian dialectic. In reality, the Hegelian dialectic is a description or explanation of planned events — not of accidental, random, or spontaneous events.)

Furthermore, accidental historians must argue that the leaders of the United States are stupid. Yet they fail to explain how such influential people can achieve such success while being completely void of intelligence. If the leaders of the United States are not stupid, why do they continuously adopt domestic and foreign policies that destroy the foundation and fundamental principles of the United States? (The answer is one that few accidental historians will give — they ignore the question and, therefore, do not give an answer. The answer is that most of the leaders of the United States have declared war on the God of the Christians. They may call themselves Christians, although this label is becoming more taboo each day, and go through the motions of being Christian [baptism, church attendance, praying, etc.], but many of them are not really Christians.)

Accidental historians fail to explain why the big bankers, multinational corporations, and other so-called capitalists of the West built up and maintained the Soviet Union. Why would anyone arm someone who threatened to kill him? This is exactly what the rich and powerful in the West did. A basic tenet of Communism is to kill the rich and distribute their wealth to the proletariat. The Soviet Union would not have survived more than a few years if it were not for the money and technology of the West. Accidental historians must believe that these so-called capitalists were greedy fools or dupes. Yet they fail to explain how fools and dupes can successfully run the largest banks, corporations, and governments in the world. (Contrary to what accidental historians would lead one to believe, these men were not fools or dupes. They were not going to arm anyone who was a threat to them, which is why they seek to nullify the Second Amendment and disarm the American people. These men knew what they were doing. They controlled the Soviet Union and knew that it was no threat to them in spite of the communist rhetoric. The rhetoric was for show. These so-called capitalists were greedy, but they were not fools or dupes.)

Those who reject a conspiratorial explanation of history have to believe that the United States’ entry into World War II was an accidental, spontaneous, random event. They have to reject and explain away all the evidence that shows that the Roosevelt administration and the British government planned and connived to bring the United States into the war. Likewise, with the French Revolution, World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution, they must reject and explain away the overwhelming evidence of conspiracy. Accidental historians must claim that the communist capture of the countries of eastern Europe resulted from spontaneous grassroots revolts. The communist capture had nothing to do with Roosevelt and Churchill conspiring with Stalin in secret meetings and giving him eastern Europe.

The Bible clearly shows that a group of Jews conspired to get Jesus crucified. People who reject the conspiratorial view of history must reject any conspiracy involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. They must argue that his crucifixion resulted from the spontaneous act of a mob.

Opponents of conspiratorial historians often suggest that conspiratorial historians are mentally ill. On the contrary, the opponents are the ones who display symptoms of mental illness, for they refuse to look at the evidence. (Or worse, they know the truth and seek to conceal it.) They ignore the evidence and hope that it is not true. A rational person would review the evidence and draw a logical conclusion. The logical conclusion is that a sinister force, a conspiracy, is behind many great events of history.

1. Dennis L. Cuddy, Now Is the Dawning of the New Age New World Order (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Hearthstone Publishing, 2000), p. 204.

2. Gary North, Conspiracy: A Biblical View (Ft. Worth, Texas: Dominion Press, 1986), p. 89.

3. Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids (New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000), p. 94.

4. “Neoconservatism: a CIA Front?” 1997, cpt?action=cpt&expire=&urlID=65..., June 8, 2003.

5. David Icke, “Conspiracies, Cover Ups, Truths, Facts, Oddities, Research,” http://mysite.users2. 50megs,com/research/bohemianclub.html, June 18, 2001.

6. Dennis L. Cuddy, Secret Records, The Man, the Money, & the Methods Behind the New World Order (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Hearthstone Publishing, 1999), p. 182.

7. Bernard Fay, Revolution and Freemasonry (Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, and Company, 1935), p. 315.

8. Gary Allen, None Dare Call It Conspiracy (Seal Beach, California: Concord Press, n.d.), pp. 7-16.

Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.

Part 2 

 More articles on history.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Continental

The Continental
Thomas Allen
[Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original are omitted.]

The American Revolutionary War began on May 10, 1775 with the scrimmages at Lexington and Concord. In 1776, the colonies formally declared their independence from Great Britain. The following year the delegates of the several states in Congress proposed the Articles of Confederation. These Articles were ratified and became effective in 1781. The war concluded with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in October 1781 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Before the colonies had formally declared independence, the Continental Congress began issuing paper money, bills of credit called Continental notes or Continentals. It first issued paper money in 1775. This issue was quickly followed by a second issue. Benjamin Franklin, who had earlier been a strong proponent of governmental issued paper money, urged that the bills on the first issue bear interest. For the second issue, he urged Congress to borrow on interest the bills already issued. Congress rejected both recommendations. However, the third issue did bear interest.[1]

The first issue was for $2 million, i.e., two million Spanish milled dollars, one Continental dollar being equal to one Spanish milled dollar. These bills were to be paid in four successive years beginning in 1779 and ending in 1782. Money to pay these bills was to come from taxes levied on the States in proportion to their populations.[2]

If any State failed to pay its share, the other States would pay it. (Congress pledged redemption of these bills of credit because they would not otherwise circulate.) The pledged redemption was not to redeem the bills in specie. It was to accept them in payment of taxes and then retire them. Thus, these bills became a tax “superimposed upon the previous ‘tax’ burden imposed by paper inflation.”[3] However, because of opposition to taxes, most states did not levy taxes until 1780.

As Congress lacked the power to declare its bills legal tender, they were not legal tender when issued. However, in 1777, it asked the States to make its bills legal tender, and they did.

In 1775, Congress authorized a second issue of bills for $1 million before the bills of the first authorization had been issued. This was quickly followed by a third authorization for $3 million before the end of the year.[4] Thus, $6 million were issued in 1775.

Another issue of $9 million was made in early 1776. Before the colonies had formally declared their independence, Congress had issued 15 million Continental dollars.[5]

The Continental Congress had intended to coin gold and silver and eventually to make its bills of credit redeemable in silver or gold. In 1777, it considered establishing a mint to coin gold and silver. After the war, Congress defined the monetary unit, the “dollar,” as the weight of 375.64 grains of fine silver. This was the amount of silver in a new Spanish dollar.[6]

At the beginning of the war, the total money supply of the United States has been estimated to be about $12 million.[7] Thus, Congress more than doubled the money supply within a year.

By 1779, Congress had issued 242 million Continental dollars. In 1781 the Continental had become worthless. Thus, the Continental died about the same time as independence was won.

Table 1 from Dewey[8] summarizes the issuance of Continentals. (Rothbard differs slightly from Dewey. He gives $135 million being issued in 1779 and a total of $235 million.[9] Carson gives $90 million in 1779.[10] Otherwise, the three agree.)

Besides Continentals that Congress issued, the States also issued paper money. They issued $209,524,776. With its issuance of $128,441,000, Virginia issued more than half this amount. It was followed by North Carolina with $33,325,000 and South Carolina with $33,458,926.[11] Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island had approved issuing state bills of credit before Congress approved its first issue. By the end of the war, State issued bills had been withdrawn from circulation — being redeemed at a depreciated rate in payment of taxes.

The Continental had begun depreciating against the standard Spanish milled dollar before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Table 2 shows the depreciation of the Continental dollar (the old currency after 1780) as compared to the Spanish milled silver dollar.[12]

Because of its depreciation, people began refusing Continentals or only accepting it at a discount. Most communities made distinguishing between Continentals and silver money illegal. Anyone found guilty of selling at a premium for paper money or a discount for silver was punished. Refusal to accept payment in Continentals for goods and services was outlawed. Typically, the offender forfeited part of his goods and was declared an enemy of the country. Tarring and feathering and banishment were not uncommon. Most States made the refusal to accept Continentals in payment of debt result in the extinguishing of that debt.

As speculation is commonly blamed for rising prices, some communities prohibited merchants to speculate. The effect of these laws was to prevent merchants from bringing needed supplies into the community. Some States prohibited anyone from buying more goods than the government judged necessary.

As prices rose, States and communities began fixing prices and wages. Some States made withholding goods required by the army or navy illegal. Some made withholding goods needed by the community illegal and allowed breaking open such stores and selling the goods at statutory prices. As these laws quickly created severe shortages, they were soon repealed.

In June 1778, Congress recommended the repeal of all price fixing laws, and the four States that still had such codes soon repealed them. However, some communities in the North continued to enforce their own price codes.

Inflation always harms wage-earners more than any other class, other than those on fixed income, as wages lag behind prices. When price controls are imposed, wage-earners suffer even more. Price controls force businesses to reduce their work force.

About the deleterious effects of price controls, John Eliot of Boston wrote in 1777, “We are all starving here, since this plaguy addition to the regulating bill. People will not bring in provision, and we cannot procure the common necessaries of life. What we shall do I know not.”[13]

About the effects of inflation, George Washington noted, “a wagon load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon load of provisions.”[14]

About currency depreciation, John Adams remarked, “every man who had money due him at the commencement of this war, has been already taxed three-fourths part of that money [that is, has lost it by way of the depreciation of the currency]. . . . And every man who owed money at the beginning of the war, has put three-fourth parts of it in his pockets as gain. The war, therefore, is immoderately gainful to some, and ruinous to others.”[15]

Most people at the time seem to have little understanding of the cause of rising prices and conversely of depreciating currency. White reports the following account about George Washington to illustrate this point:

December 12, 1778, Washington wrote to Reed, the President of Pennsylvania, commending his zeal “in bringing those murderers of our cause, the monopolizers, forestallers and engrossers, to condign punishment. It is much to be lamented.” he continued, “that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America. I would to God that some one of the more atrocious in each State was hung in gibbits upon a gallows five times as high as the one prepared by Haman.” Yet he had written, more than a year earlier (September 28, 1777), to John Parke Custis, directing him to see that the rent of certain land and slaves should be so arranged that the payments should have a relative value to the currency. “I do not mean by this,” he says, “that I am unwilling to receive the paper money. On the contrary I shall with cheerfulness receive payment in anything that has currency at the time of payment, but of equal value then to the intrinsic worth at the time of fixing the rent.” Again (October 10, 1778), only two months before he wrote to Reed about hanging monopolizers, forestallers and engrossers, he wrote to Custis advising him not to accept money for a piece of land he was about to sell, but to take other land in exchange for it, because the money might lose its value.[16]
Was Washington ignorant or hypocritical? He wanted to punish merchants harshly for doing what he had instructed Custis to do. As Washington was trying to hedge himself against depreciating currency, so were these merchants whom he wanted to punish.

White continues, “Washington was an honest man. It never occurred to that he was doing with his land and slaves exactly what the others were doing with their provisions and store goods.”[17]

Washington finally did realize the destructiveness of forcing depreciating money on people. In 1779, he wrote Lund Washington, his agent, that:
[H]e would no longer accept continental money on contracts made before the war, unless other people did the same. “The law,” he says, “undoubtedly was well designed. It was intended to stamp a value upon, and to give a free circulation to the paper bills of credit, but it never was nor could have been intended to make a man take a shilling or sixpence in the pound for a just debt, which the debtor is well able to pay, and thereby involve himself in ruin. . . . If sacrificing my whole estate would effect any valuable purpose I would not hesitate one moment in doing it. But my submitting in matters of this kind unless the same is done by others is no more than a drop in the bucket. In fact, it is not serving the public but enriching individuals and countenancing dishonesty, for I am sure no honest man would attempt to pay twenty shillings with one or perhaps half of one. In a word I would rather make a present of the bonds than receive payment for them in so shameful a way.”[18]
Currency depreciation led to hostility between people living in town and those living in the country. Country folks accused the town people of extortion because of high prices. They threatened to storm the town and take what they wanted. Town folks accused country people of withholding their produce and proceeded to enact laws against withholding.

A major victim of price fixing and currency depreciation was the Continental Army. Farmers refused to accept the double penalty of selling their crops below market price to the Army and for rapidly depreciating currency. They either sold elsewhere or only raised enough for their families.

As the Continental depreciated, real wages of the soldiers fell. They dropped from $7 per month to 33¢ in purchasing power in spite of raises in pay. This depreciation led to mutinies. Before Washington could march to Yorktown, Robert Morris had to borrow hard money from Rochambeau to pay his soldiers.[19]

By the time Washington marched on Yorktown, the Continental had collapsed. Impressment supplied his army. The quartermaster and commissary departments took what they needed and paid for the supplies with paper “certificates.” These certificates quickly became almost worthless.

In March 1780, Congress sought to replace the Continental with a new currency. It declared 40 old units of money to be worth one new unit.[20] That is, Congress would accept payment in paper in place of silver at the rate of $40 in paper to $1 in silver. However, the natural depreciated value was 60 to 1.[21]

To retire the old bills, Congress levied a tax on the States to be paid in old bills. The old bills were to be destroyed and replaced by new bills. The new bills were not to exceed one-twentieth of the face value of the old bills. “The new bills were to be redeemable in specie in five years, to bear interest at 5 per cent., and to be receivable for taxes.”[22]

At this time, $200 million were estimated outstanding. Thus, Congress canceled 195 million Continentals.[23] Instead of having a debt worth $200 million in species, Congress now had a debt of $5 million in species.

This action temporarily halted the depreciation of the Continental. It even rose in value. However, when the States failed to levy the necessary taxes to complete the conversion, depreciation began again.

A major problem that States had in raising the necessary taxes in Continentals was that the people insisted on paying their taxes with impressment certificates. Both the States and the Continental Army had obtained supplies by impressment and paid for them with these certificates. The certificates were worth even less than the Continental. Thus, States could not collect enough Continentals to send to Congress for retirement.

All Continentals were supposed to be retired by June 1781. However, “only 30 million had been taxed and delivered by the states, and only $600,000 of new bills had been issued and even these had already depreciated to 5 to 1 in species.”[24]

The new currency quickly dropped to 6 to 1 while the old currency fell to 500 to 1.[25] It soon reached par with the old money.[26] By May both had ceased circulating in the North. They lingered on several more months in the remote areas of the South. The Continental finally dropped to 1000 to 1 before ceasing to circulate at all.[27]

As often happens with paper money, counterfeiting was a problem. Both the British and Americans counterfeited bills. Because of counterfeiting, Congress called in entire issues of certain dates and declared them uncurrent after a fixed period.[28] The called issues quickly depreciated against other issues.

When the irredeemable Continental paper money ceased circulating, hard money flooded the markets. It came from family savings and from British and French soldiers and sailors. “It was so plentiful that foreign exchange fell to a discount.”[29]

Apparently, enough gold and silver were in the colonies to fight the war without having to resort to irredeemable paper money. It could have been obtained through borrowing or taxing.

However, not being a constituted government until the war was almost over, Congress had no taxing authority. Besides borrowing and issuing bills of credit, it relied on the States to raise revenue via taxation. The States were reluctant to tax their citizens to support the war — especially when Congress failed to ask for taxation at the beginning of the war when enthusiasm was at its height.

So, instead of relying on taxation and voluntary loans to fund the war, Congress relied mostly on forced loans, bills of credit in the form of Continentals. These forced loans accounted almost 60 percent of Congress’ revenue.

As Dewey notes, because of the politics of the situation, Congress may have had little choice but to resort to funding the war with bills of credit.[30] The New England colonies had returned to their old habit of issuing paper money. At the beginning, the popular (and ignorant) belief was that no one would suffer from the issuance of paper money. However, the more astute debtors saw paper money as away to reduce their debts by paying them in depreciated money.

In May 1781, Congress asked the States to repeal their legal tender laws. Those that had not already repealed them quickly did. The States adopted “scales of deprecation” for the settlement of debt. These scales were notoriously incorrect. The payment of debt often resulted in injustices to the lender or borrower or both. About this injustice, W.G. Sumner wrote:
The courts could not do justice because depreciation introduced a fraud into the very essence of the case, and the agent of the fraud was almost always innocent, so far as his intention was concerned. If, therefore, the court undertook to release the victim of the fraud from all effect of the fraud, the injury was simply thrown back on the perpetrator, who being innocent, suffered as much wrong as the victim would have suffered if nothing had been done.[31]
Both Congress and the States rejected the notion that they had to pay their bills at par in species and jettisoned their worthless paper money. E. James Ferguson explained:
Currency and certificates were the “common debt”of the Revolution, most of which at war’s end had been sunk at its depreciated value. Public opinion did not view government contracts as sacred and tended to grade claims against the government according to their real validity. Paper money had the least status; the mode of its redemption was fixed by long usage. . . . In any case, the holder had no exemption from the general misfortune, and he was expected to abide by the ordinary process by which money was redeemed.[32]
Every holder of Continentals suffered some lost depending on when and how long he held them. However, the last person holding the paper money suffered total lost since he had no one to whom to pass the bills that he held. The last holders of paper money are mostly the poor, old, widows, and the least sophisticated in monetary matters, i.e., those who can least afford the lost.

Congress did, however, decide to pay its loan certificates at a discounted rate. The North held most of this debt.

In 1790, Congress offered to buy back outstanding Continentals at the rate of $100 in Continentals for $1 in specie. Of the estimated $78 million outstanding, only $6 million according to Dewey[33] ($7 million according to White[34]) were turned in.

Some outstanding bills were used as wall paper. Others were used to make clothes in jest. Much of the remainder was probably lost or destroyed.

About the Continental, Pelatiah Webster, who was a merchant in Philadelphia during this time, wrote, “We have suffered more from this than from every other cause of calamity; it has killed more men, pervaded and corrupted the choicest interests of our country more, and done more injustice than even the arms and artifices of our enemies.”[35]

Webster also wrote:

The fatal error that the credit and currency of the continental money could be kept up and supported by acts of compulsion entered so deep into the mind Congress and all departments of administration through States that no considerations of justice, religion, or policy, or even experience of its utter inefficiency could eradicate it. It seemed to be a kind of obstinate delirium, totally deaf to every argument drawn from justice and right, from its natural tendency and mischief, from common sense and even common safety. This ruinous principle was continued in practice for five successive years, and appeared in all shapes and forms, i.e., in tender acts, in limitations of prices, in awful and threatening declarations, in penal laws with dreadful and ruinous punishments, and in every other way that could be devised, and all executed with a relentless severity, by the highest authorities then in being, viz., by Congress, by assemblies and conventions of the states, by committees of inspection (whose powers in those days were nearly sovereign), and even by military force; and though men of all descriptions stood trembling before this monster of force, without daring to lift a hand against it, during all this period, yet its unrestrained energy ever proved ineffectual to its purposes, but in every instance increased the evils it was designed to remedy, and destroyed the benefits it was intended to promote; at best, its utmost effect was like that of water sprinkled on a blacksmith’s forge, which indeed deadens the flame for a moment, but never fails to increase the heat and force of the internal fire. Many thousand families of full and easy fortune were ruined by these fatal measures, and lie in ruins to this day, without the least benefit to the country, or to the great and noble cause in which we were then engaged.[36]
Furthermore, Webster declared about the Continental, “It ceased to pass as currency, but was afterwards bought and sold as an article of speculation, at very uncertain and desultory prices, from five hundred to one thousand to one.”[37]

Thomas Jefferson wrote this about the Continental:
It will be asked how will the two masses of continental & of State money have cost the people of the U.S. 72 millions of dollars, when they are to be redeemed now with about six millions? I answer that the difference, being 66 millions has been lost on the paper bills separately by the successive holders of them. Every one, through whose hands a bill passed, lost on that bill what it lost in value, during the time it was in his hands. This was a real tax on him; & in this way the people of the United States actually contributed those 66 millions of dollars during the war, and by a mode of taxation the most oppressive of all because the most unequal of all.[38]
Commenting on the sacrifice of the people, Dewey writes:
As to the actual sacrifice by the people measured in the commodities which they gave for the national paper currency which was issued, no exact statement is possible, but various estimates have been made of the specie value of the total issues: Jefferson placed it at $36,367,000, Hildreth at $70,000,000, Bronson at $53,000,000, and Bullock more recently makes an independent calculation and arrives at estimates varying from $37,800,000 to $41,000,000.[39]
White writes:
When the final catastrophe came, some of the wise men of the period exclaimed that the continental money was simply a form of taxation, and that it had been paid and cancelled. Franklin consoled himself with this idea, saying that the bills clothed and fed the army and that they operated as a tax, bearing most heavily on the rich, as was proper, since the rich had the most money. Strange that so great a man could have been so deceived. If the continental money was a tax it did not bear heaviest upon those who had the most, but upon those who kept it longest. Those who had money due them at fixed times and could not hasten the payment were taxed not in proportion to their wealth but in proportion to the time the debts had to run. All who depended upon regular interest payments — and most of the charitable and educational institutions of the day were in this category — were taxed at various rates up to 97½ per cent of their entire income. It is a complete subversion of ideas to call this a tax.[40]
White also remarks:
One of the striking phenomena of the Revolution was the great display of luxury. Franklin wrote in 1779: “The extravagant luxury of our country in the midst of all its distresses is to me amazing.” Another writer says: “Every form of wastefulness and extravagance prevailed in town and country, nowhere more than in Philadelphia under the very eyes of Congress, — luxury of dress, luxury of equipage, luxury of the table.”

This is not hard to understand. If a man owed $1,000 gold value and was enabled to pay it with $100, he had $900 disposable for other purposes. As this money had not come by hard knocks he would naturally be somewhat free in spending it. He would give good dinners, drive fast horses and buy fine clothes and jewelry for his family. It was the transfer of property from frugal persons to spendthrifts. While it continued it gave a deceitful appearance of prosperity.[41]
Rothbard summaries some of the support of the Continental:
The archconservative Gouverneur Morris originated the idea of using government paper to finance the Revolution; and, far from being ashamed of his creation, he trumpeted to the complaining Washington that paper money was a great engine that would mobilize the nation’s resources for the war. He recognized that the paper would depreciate, but he looked forward to this as a tax; the obvious inequity of the tax’s falling hardest on the lowest-paid and the most exploited group in the country, the soldiery, caused him only fleeting regret. These men would simply have to sacrifice their pay as well as their lives to the national effort. As might be expected from the old paper-money enthusiast, Benjamin Franklin hailed paper as a “wonderful machine” that would “pay itself off by depreciation,” which he persuaded himself would fall equitably on the members of society.[42]
The experience of the Continental made such an impression on the people of that era that when the Constitution was written, it forbade both the U.S. government and the States from issuing bills of credit. At least the writers of the Constitution were convinced that they had denied the U.S. government the power to issue paper money when they removed that authorization from the draft constitution. Both those who favored granted the government the power to issue paper money and those who opposed such power were convinced that they had denied the U.S. government the power to issue bills of credits with the adoption of the Constitution.

The U.S. government did not issue paper money until President Lincoln declared war on the Constitution and financed his war with unconstitutional U.S. notes, commonly called greenbacks. Later the U.S. Supreme Court twisted the Constitution to give Congress the authority to issue fiat paper money. In making this ruling, the Court ignored the clear intent of the writers of the Constitution that Congress had no such power. Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court proved that it has a bias in expanding the power of the U.S. government as that increases the power and prestige of the Court.

Later Congress would circumvent this prohibition against issuing bills of credit by creating a semi-independent “privately-owned” central bank, which is a quasi governmental agency. It empowered the central bank, the Federal Reserve, to issue bank notes. Congress ended the gold standard and declared federal reserve notes legal tender. Thus, federal reserve notes, which are obligations of the U.S. government and which are secured mostly by U.S. securities, became effectively governmental bills of credit. (Moreover, all earnings of the Federal Reserve above its operating cost goes to the U.S. Treasury.) The country is now in the process of learning what the founding fathers learned from the Continental.

[Editor’s note: The appendix showing the income of the Continental treasury from 1775 to 1783 is omitted.]

1. Hoarce White, Money and Banking (Boston, Mass.: Ginn & Co., 1896), p. 134.

2. Davis Rich Dewey, Financial History of the United States (1922, Rpt. Elibron Classic Replica Edition, 2005), pp. 36, 38; Murray N. Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the Untied States (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002, 2005), p. 59. White, p. 134.

3. Murray N. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, vol. IV, The Revolutionary War, 1775-1784 (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House Publishers, 1979), p. 55.

4. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 55. White, p. 135.

5. White, p. 135.

6. Edwin Vieira, Jr., “The Forgotten Role of the Constitution in Monetary Law,” Texas Review of Law & Politics 2:1, pp. 94-97. Edwin Vieira, Jr., “What Is a ‘Dollar’? An Historical Analysis of the Fundamental Question in Monetary Policy (1994), pp. 14-18. Edwin Vieira, Jr., “‘To Regulate the Value of Money’ An Analysis of the Power of Government to Create and Set a Value on Money,” 1993, Value_of_Money_EV-006.H..., May 19, 2008.

7. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 55. Rothbard, History, p. 59.

8. Dewey, p. 36.

9. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 374.

10. Clarence B. Carson, Basic Economics (Wadley, Ala.: American Textbook Committee, 1988, p. 99.

11. Dewey, p. 36.

12. Dewey, p. 39, 41. Rothbard, History, pp.59-60. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, pp. 374, 380.

13. Carson, p. 100.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid., p. 101.

16. White, p. 138.

17. Ibid., pp. 138-139.

18. Ibid., p. 139.

19. Ibid., p. 141.

20. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 380. White, p. 141.

21. Ibid.

22. Dewey, p. 40.

23. White, p. 141.

24. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 381.

25. White, p. 141.

26. Carson, p. 101.

27. Dewey, p. 41. White, p. 141.

28. White, p. 142.

29. Ibid.

30. Dewey, pp. 42-43.

31. White, pp. 144-145.

32. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 382.

33. Dewey, p. 41.

34. White, p. 145.

35. Ibid., p. 135.

36. Ibid., pp. 139-140.

37. Dewey, p. 41.

38. Howard S. Katz, The Warmongers (New York, N.Y.: Books in Focus, Inc., 1979), pp. 46-47.

39. Dewey, p. 40.

40. White, p. 145.

41. Ibid., p. 147.

42. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, p. 379.

Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some Early American Conspiracies

Some Early American Conspiracies
Thomas Allen

[Editor’s note: Footnotes in original are omitted.]

In the first three decades following the American Revolution and the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation, several important conspiracies occurred. Among them were the Illuminati Conspiracy, the Genet Conspiracy, the Burr Conspiracy, and the Essex Conspiracy.

Illuminati Conspiracy
Before the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati had disbanded in Europe, it had established 15 lodges in the United States. Among these lodges was the Columbian Lodge of the Order of the Illuminati established in 1785 in New York City. Its members included Governor DeWitt Clinton, Charles Dana, Horace Greeley (a spiritualist), and Clinton Roosevelt (an ancestor of Franklin Roosevelt).[1]

Several American leaders during the era of the founding of the United States were Illuminati or at least closely allied with the Illuminati. Among the founding fathers who can be counted as an Illuminatus is Thomas Jefferson. (He belittled those who saw danger in the Illuminati and praised Weishaupt when the Illuminati swept the country in 1797.) He was so high in the organization that he had the insignia of the Illuminati inscribed on the back of the Great Seal of America.[2] Another prominent Illuminatus was Thomas Paine.[3]

The Genet Conspiracy

After the American Revolutionary War had concluded, the French government, which the Illuminists controlled, sent Edmond Genet as its first ambassador to the new republic of the United States. Genet arrived in Charleston in 1793. Upon his arrival, he began acting like a monarch, and his fellow Freemasons treated him as such. He came seeking repayment of America’s debts to France. (France needed money for war with England and revolution). He pursued allowing French privateers to use American crews. As Genet’s insolence grew, Jefferson, who was Secretary of State, was pressured to rescind Genet’s credentials. Jefferson, who was an ardent supporter of the French Revolution and a Rosicrucian and Freemason himself, refused. Rather than act against a fellow Freemason, he resigned. Washington then appointed Edmund Randolph as Secretary of State.

Genet and his American supporters organized Democratic Clubs throughout the United States. These clubs supported the French revolutionists and opposed the Federalists, even to the point of using mobs to threaten supporters of Alexander Hamilton. They were modeled after the Jacobin clubs that had been advocating revolution in France.[4] The objective of the Democratic Clubs was to subvert orderly traditions of the United States. Washington believed that these clubs were behind the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. After Washington openly denounced them, most seemed to have disbanded.[5]

Genet began organizing an army to invade Florida and Louisiana. (According to Mullins, the objective was to take these territories from Spain and set up an independent country from which to invade and reconquer the United States for England.) When President Washington learned of this scheme, he ordered his Secretary of State, Randolph, to seize Genet’s credentials and send him back to France. However, Randolph delayed taking any action. Meanwhile, the French government sent a new ambassador, Joseph Fouchet, and recalled Genet. (Genet belonged to the Girondist faction, which Marat had defeated.)[6] As Genet’s return to France would have meant his death, Washington allowed him to remain in the United States.

In 1795, Washington obtained documents on Randolph’s financial dealings with Fouchet. These documents evidenced bribery and treason. Washington demanded Randolph’s resignation.[7]

The Burr Conspiracy

In the United States, British intelligence worked closely with John Jacob Astor, a Freemason, and Aaron Burr. Astor was the treasurer of the Grand Lodge of New York between 1798 and 1800. In 1800, the East India Co. gave Astor free entry to all the ports that it controlled throughout the world. Thus, he gained an enormous financial advantage over his competition. Astor began making his fortune trading furs. Later as an agent for British intelligence before and after the American Revolution, he received part of the British opium trade with China. His brother, Henry Astor, who had become rich during the American Revolutionary War by selling to the colonists cattle that the British had taken from the colonists, provided the initial funds for his business. Later, John Astor would make a fortune selling opium to the Chinese. To repay this favorable treatment by the East India Co., he funded Aaron Burr’s plot to replace President Jefferson.[8]

During the Revolutionary War, Burr had worked as a double agent for the British. Later he became the attorney for Astor’s commercial activities.

In 1790, Governor George Clinton appointed Burr Attorney General of New York. That same year, the legislature made him Land Commissioner when it enacted into law the sell of state-owned land at a low price to encourage settlers. As Attorney General and Land Commissioner, Burr allowed land speculators with whom he was associated to buy millions of acres at an extremely low price and on long-term credit.[9]

Through his Masonic connections, he fixed elections in New York. In 1798, he gained control of the Society of St. Tammany in New York City, which had been incorporated in 1789. (This society became the infamous Tammany Hall, which corrupted and controlled the politics of New York City from the time Burr gained control until the 1930s.)

Hamilton and Burr founded the Manhattan Company in 1799. This company was chartered to provide water for New York City. However, Burr turned the company into a bank, the Bank of Manhattan Co.

In 1801, Burr became President Jefferson’s Vice President. He persuaded Jefferson to appoint Albert Gallatin as Secretary of the Treasury. Gallatin was a Swiss banker and cousin of Jacque Necker, whose financial policies help cause the French Revolution. Like Burr, Gallatin was an agent of British intelligence during the American Revolutionary War and continued to serve as a British intelligence agent during the Jefferson administration. Gallatin was a friend of Voltaire, who was his father-figure.[10]

In 1804, in a duel with Alexander Hamilton, Burr shot and killed Hamilton. Hamilton had caused Burr to lose his election for governor of New York and had supported Jefferson over Burr for President. If Burr were ever to succeed in dividing the United States for the British, he had to eliminate Hamilton.

After killing Hamilton, Burr fled New York with money from John Astor. (For several more years, Astor continued to give money to Burr.) He went to Philadelphia where he met with Colonel Charles Williamson of British intelligence, who was Burr’s client and confidant. Burr offered his services to the British in setting up a country made from the territory west of the Appalachians.[11]

Williamson had returned the United States following the American Revolutionary War as an agent of a consortium of London financiers who had bought large tracts of land in New York. To acquire the land for his principals in England, he had become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Williamson was also an agent of Henry Dundas (Viscount Melville) and William Pitt (Prime Minister). Dundas, a close associate of Shelburne, was the political boss of Scotland. While serving as the British Secretary of State, Dundas wrote in 1787 a master plan to extend the opium traffic into China, which the East India Co. had been pushing since the American Revolutionary War. He also authorized and instructed British warships to seize American vessels suspected of trading with French colonies and to impress their crews into the British navy, which eventually led to the War of 1812. (Later he became Minister of War [1794-1801] and Lord of the Admiralty [1804-1805].)

Through Williamson, Burr became an agent of Dundas.[12] With covert aid from the British, Burr established his new country. This scheme became known as the “Western Conspiracy.”

James Workman, a British intelligence officer, drew up a plan in 1800 for Dundas to bring the Western Hemisphere under British control. This plan was the basis of Burr’s Western Conspiracy. The plan called for the conquest of the Spanish colonies starting with Louisiana, which was then a Spanish colony, using Irishmen, and then resettling the Irish in these territories.[13]

Workman and Edward Livingston aided Burr in his conspiracy to take the western territories from the United States. (John Jacob Astor had financed Livingston’s move to Louisiana, where Livingston became Grand Master of the Louisiana Masonic Lodge.) These two became the leaders of the Mexican Association. The purpose of this Association was to raise an army. Then with the aid of the British, this army would seize the Louisiana Territory, which the United States had recently obtained from France.[14]

The conspiracy began to unravel as people began to expose it. Burr was later tried for treason and was acquitted. Edmund Randolph, former Grand Master of Virginia, was his attorney. Chief Justice John Marshall, then Grand Master of Virginia, presided over the case. In spite of the overwhelming evidence of his guilt, Marshall got him acquitted.[15] After the trial, Burr fled to Canada and then to England with money that John Jacob Astor had given him. In the end, all the main conspirators escaped conviction. Shortly before the War of 1812 began, Burr returned to the United States. Through the influence of Albert Gallatin and Dolly Madison, President James Madison’s wife, the charges against him were forgotten.[16]

Edward Livingston, one of Burr’s coconspirators later became President Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of State. Just before his appointment, Livingston became Grand High Priest of the Masons of the United States.

Essex Conspiracy

After the collapse of the Western Conspiracy, the Essex Junto, which began in 1798, grew in intensity. A group of conspirators in and around Essex County, Massachusetts, worked with agents of British intelligence to cause the secession of the New England States. Massachusetts Senator George Cabot led this conspiracy.[17] Others involved in this conspiracy were Stephen Higginson (a merchant and brother-in-law of judge John Lowell), judge John Lowell, John Lowell (son of judge John Lowell), Theophilus Parsons (Massachusetts supreme court justice), Timothy Pickering (Massachusetts senator and previously Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State), and judge Tapping Reeve (Aaron Burr’s brother-in-law). Senator James Hillhouse of Connecticut, Senator William Plumer of New Hampshire, Senator Uriah Tracy of Connecticut, and Roger Griswold were also involved in the conspiracy.[18] Working for the British to foment this conspiracy were Henry Dundas (chief of British special operations) in Great Britain and Charles Williamson in the United States and Williamson’s two agents, Aaron Burr and General Francisco de Miranda.[19] However, the most important British agent involved in starting this conspiracy was Sir John Robinson, who was one of the highest ranking agents in British intelligence. He came to the United States between 1796 and 1797 and laid the foundation of what became the Essex Junto.[20]

The conspiracy suffered a setback in 1808 when John Quincy Adams exposed it to President Jefferson. However, the events leading to the War of 1812 and the war itself revived it. Throughout the war, these conspirators thwarted the United States government’s war effort. While raising money for the British in Canada, they threatened people who purchased bonds of the United States government. They were also involved in smuggling war materiel into Canada.

The Essex Junto conspiracy culminated in 1814 in the Hartford Convention, which sought secession of the New England states. Their endeavors eventually resulted in the Southern States declaring their independence.


1. William Guy Carr, The Conspiracy to Destroy All Existing Governments and Religions, p. 10. Salem Kirban, Satan’s Angels Exposed (Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania: Salem Kirban Inc., 1980), p. 151. Eustace Mullins, The Curse of Canaan: A Demonology of History (Staunton, Virginia: Revelation Book, 1987), p. 132. William T. Still, New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1990), pp. 92-93.

2. Carr, p. 10. Nesta H. Webster, World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization (Editor Anthony Gittens; seventh edition; Palmdale, California: Omni Publications, 1994), p. 87.

3. James W. Wardner, Unholy Alliances: The Secret Plan and the Secret People Who Are Working to Destroy America (James W. Wardner, 1996), p. 47.

4. Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids (New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000), p. 220.

5. William P. Hoar, Architect of Conspiracy: An Intriguing History (Belmont, Massachusetts: Western Islands, 1984), pp. 9-11.

6. Hoar, p. 9. Mullins, p. 185.

7. Mullins, pp. 185-186.

8. Anton Chaitkin, Treason in America From Aaron Burr to Averell Harriman (New York, New York: New Benjamin Franklin House, 1984), pp. 26, 66. Mullins, p. 137.

9. Chaitkin, p. 27.

10. Ibid., p. 21.

11. Chaitkin, pp. 69ff. Mullins, p. 138.

12. Chaitkin pp. 27-31.

13. Ibid., pp. 56-63.

14. Ibid., pp. 72-73.

15. Chaitkin, p. 75. Mullins, p. 139.

16. Chaitkin, p. 80.

17. Mullins, p. 136.

18. Chaitkin, pp. 67, 92, 116.

19. Ibid., pp. 66-67.

20. Ibid, p. 95.

[Editor’s note: The list of references in the original is omitted.]

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Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.