Founders

Alexander Hamilton, founder of the American System. Portrait, Painted by John Trumbull

Alexander Hamilton’s Genius Can Save Our Nation

(The following essay was written as a submission to a contest sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, in which contestants were to address how Hamilton had affected their lives. This essay came in second. I republish it because it will give you a sense of my orientation in running […]

by February 28, 2018 Commentary, Economists
A Message That Should Resonate Today: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

A Message That Should Resonate Today: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

by Nancy Spannaus Aug. 20–It is a testament to the greatness of American System President Abraham Lincoln, that many of his speeches and policies have such a lasting quality, a core of truth, that they are relevant even today. Such, in my view, is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. It is […]

by August 20, 2017 Commentary, Founders
President George Washington (1789-1797)

President George Washington (1789-1797)

Our first President (1732-1799) was of one mind with Alexander Hamilton on the requirements for establishing a credit system that would use federal government powers to develop the U.S. economy through promoting scientific agriculture and manufactures. He was committed to creating unity in the nation through economic projects, and to […]

by June 9, 2017 Statesmen
Henry Clay

Henry Clay

It is to Henry Clay (1777-1852) that the concept of the American System is most commonly attributed. Clay came on the political scene in the election of 1810 as an advocate of American national interests against the depredations of the British Empire at the time. As Speaker of the House […]

by June 9, 2017 Statesmen
President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) began his advocacy of the American System during his first term in Congress, as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and continued it throughout a career as a diplomat, Secretary of State, President, and Congressman. His concept was to develop the nation through upgrading its infrastructure and […]

by June 9, 2017 Statesmen
President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

During his first run for political office in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) described his platform thus: “My politics are short and sweet, like an old woman’s dance. I’m in favor of a national bank. I’m in favor of the internal improvement system and a high protective tariff. These are my […]

by June 9, 2017 Statesmen
President William McKinley (1797-1901)

President William McKinley (1797-1901)

William McKinley (1843-1901) was the last American President—until the recent comments by President Trump—to acclaim the American System, and he acted to put it into effect. For McKinley, the core of the system was the protective tariff, by which he expected the Federal government to ensure the health of industry, […]

by June 9, 2017 Statesmen
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

  Alexander Hamilton’s concept of the American System was most fully developed in his Report on the Subject of Manufactures, submitted to the U.S. Congress, upon its request, in December of 1791. There, at great length, Hamilton lays out the way in which the productive powers of labor are increased […]

by June 8, 2017 Economists
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Of all the American statesmen who espoused and acted to implement the American System, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) clearly had the most opportunity to shape the nation. Entering the presidency at a time of extreme crisis, FDR had three full terms to be able to implement a wide array of […]

by June 8, 2017 Statesmen
Mathew Carey

Mathew Carey

Mathew Carey (1760-1839) was an economist and publicist who played a major role in the revival of the American System after Hamilton’s system had been basically abandoned by the Federalist Party, as well as the Democratic Republicans. As editor of the American Museum magazine (1787-1792), Carey published Hamilton’s seminal reports […]

by June 7, 2017 Economists