By Nancy Spannaus
Jan. 27, 2021—On September 23, 2020 I was honored to have the opportunity to present my book Hamilton Versus Wall Street to the U.S. Treasury Historical Association, an organization of Treasury employees dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Treasury. As of this week, the video of that presentation is available to be shared with the public.
You can find it on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/5p1jIFVbeJA.
A few words of explanation are in order. The noontime lecture series usually takes place in the ornate cash room (see above) in the 1860s Treasury Building, an edifice completed during the Civil War. Due to COVID restrictions, however, the event had to be done remotely. As mine was the first lecture hosted by the Association to be done in this format, we encountered technical problems with the Power Point presentation. The slides were not available to the audience for the bulk of my opening statement, leaving it up to me to ad-lib for most of my talk. You will hear me note joyfully when they begin to appear.
I entitled my talk “Alexander Hamilton, Founder of the American System,” and in the 35 minutes allotted to the opener, took on the key myth that Hamilton was a crony capitalist committed to enriching the elite. I summarized his principles, their implementation up through FDR, and the opposition those principles faced from Wall Street bankers. A short Q&A finished out the tightly scheduled event. The audience of about 60 was comprised primarily of Treasury employees.
My heartfelt thanks to the Treasury Association’s technical staff for persevering in the arduous task of integrating my remarks with the slides, thus making it possible to air the entire presentation. They did an admirable job.
My YouTube Channel
The AmericanSystemNow YouTube channel is in its infancy, and I want to use this occasion to ask you to subscribe and begin to spread the word. Despite its technical problems, this Treasury Association presentation may be the best video to begin to circulate more widely, as my lecture is only about 35 minutes long, in contrast to the other videos on the site.
In general, my intent is to use the channel as an archive of my classes and presentations. Most of these events will range from an hour or more, and are therefore not geared for those looking for short salvos on various topics. As on the blog, my orientation is to provide in-depth expositions on aspects of the American System, both as they developed historically, and as they are relevant today.
Over time, I will seek to improve the technical quality; the Treasury Association event occurred before I had a clue of what to do about lighting or other such matters, as you will see. But it is my hope that the importance of getting out the word on American System economics at this critical conjuncture in our nation’s history, will lead viewers to ignore the “warts,” and promote the vital content these videos contain.