New Economic History Book Reveals Hidden Struggle Behind the Industrial Revolution
Nationalist Statesmen Battle Wall Street and Southern Slaveholders in Fight to Create Canals, Railroads, and Modern Society
November 20, 2020–What motivated the key people who created the industrial revolution?
In this ground-breaking new book on economic history, author Anton Chaitkin takes you behind the scenes, to see the two sides struggling to control American policy: nationalist statesmen and industrial innovators, versus the British empire, Wall Street, and the Southern slaveholders.
In Who We Are: America’s Fight for Universal Progress, from Franklin to Kennedy—Volume 1: 1750s to 1850s ($19.99, paperback, Amazon), author Anton Chaitkin draws from over 40 years of research into American and world history to correct the disastrous flaw in the way the history of modern times has so far been presented.
Who We Are is available for purchase in paperback at Amazon.com. A Kindle edition will be available shortly.
Both imperial apologists such as Adam Smith, and “New Left” revisionists like Howard Zinn, portray greed as the motive force for modern development. Chaitkin demonstrates that all great advancements in our power over nature were deliberate projects for the improvement of humanity.
The author comments, “The only people who can seriously criticize the real evils of America today, are those who seriously appreciate what America—uniquely—did right in the past. That’s the purpose of the book.”
Chaitkin wrote the best-selling Treason in America, co-authored George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, and has written hundreds of sharply original investigative articles on American history.
Some startling details from Who We Are:
- Benjamin Franklin guides his friends in England who develop the steam engine, canals, and steelmaking—and discover biochemical laws of nature.
- Lord Shelburne’s British Intelligence system acts to prevent other countries from acquiring the new technical powers, by fake insurrections and the “free trade” dogma.
- Franklin and his close allies guide America’s revolt against the empire, write the Constitution, and strategize for a strong industrial nation-state.
- Thomas Jefferson betrays his ideals, joins the enemy Shelburne apparatus, defends southern slavery and British interests, and sabotages Alexander Hamilton’s founding development program.
- The British turn the French Revolution to anarchy and mass bloodshed—the first documented account of that regime-change intervention.
- America’s founding program remains blocked, until a new generation of nationalist leaders fight the British again and start industrialization.
- Finally, in the 1820’s, acting as a team in government and the military, an idealistic core group builds U.S. canals, coal and iron industries, and railroads. They bring on modern times, and actively aid other countries’ industrial progress—all this against the violent opposition of the pro-slavery and British imperial interests.
The book is extensively documented, and each chapter concludes with a section of relevant pictures.
Volume 1 takes us to the Civil War. Volume 2 (planned for 2021) carries the story of progress, versus empire, from Abraham Lincoln to John F. Kennedy.
An accompanying website to the book contains color pictures, live links to the wealth of cited archival sources, and additional information. Visit: WhoWeAreBook.com.
Tags: Anton Chaitkin, economic history, Who We Are
The South felt, with good reason, that it was better to deploy private funds for infrastructure projects, as more efficient and generally less corrupt. The North wasn’t battling “Southern slaveholders”; it got the lion’s share of projects for itself at the expense of the entire South, notably insisting on a Northern route for a transcon railroad, conveniently with its eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa, where (as it happens) Lincoln owned property. The implication is that none of these improvements would have happened without the Federal gov’t, when in fact they would have, likely better, faster, and more of them in private hands. Government can regulate for the greater good, but getting its hands into the pie makes for a mess.
The Who We Are book is not mine, but I agree with the author on this point. The railroads were in private hands, but it was thanks to the Federal government that they were able to get the land and the credit they needed to do the job. And Lincoln’s Republican Party, at least, did want to extend modern rail infrastructure (and ensuing industrialization) into the South, but found the political path blocked by those committed to a backward way of life linked to the slave, plantation system. There are many books which elaborate on the crucial role of the Federal government’s financing our major infrastructure projects, and debunk the free-enterprise myth. One is by Frank Bourgin and is entitled “The Great Challenge: The Myth of Laissez-Faire in the Early Republic,” but there are many more on periods after that.