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Laissez-faire? Free or Fair Markets? -Market Control from the Start- Part 4

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Crossing the Delaware
Crossing the Delaware
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We have seen that "Free Trade" has been and continues to be a myth in the United States. The colonization in Georgia, Main, Maryland, New England, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and the Carolinas, mostly provided the proprietors monopolies on such items as fishing, including whales and sturgeons, hawking, hunting, fowling, commodities, hereditaments to the new proprietors, This was in addition to the proprietors' monopolies over the sale, lease, development and distribution of lands and the abilities of some to even collect quite rents, that could be substantial, on lands distributed. But the proprietors also retained governing duties, courts and the like, some of which they were quite ready to release to the inhabitants or back to the crown to lessen their troubles and expenses (see The Cornerstone Brief generally and particularly p.48).

Before 1756 the lands west of the Allegheny mountains had conflicting colonial and French claims extending to the Mississippi. Not counting French Quebec, over 958,000 square kilometers were involved (Cornerstone Brief p. 124) in the Colonists' claims. Modern-day France encompasses about 643,801 km. The modern-day UK encompasses about 243,610 sq km. Add Ireland at 70,273 km and you would have the size of Great Britain at the time of the French-Indian of Seven Years War depending on which name you prefer. It is obvious that the British and French were fighting over a fertile land mass larger than each of had in their entire countries. The colonists, in their support of George III, believed that, under their colonial patents from the British Crown, they had first claim to those lands.

I would presume, under proper historical research or true investigative reporting, conflict over such a prize was much more important than any anger over some taxes or duties Parliament chose to impose on the colonists before the Revolution to help pay for the prior war with France. Those were more like rubbing salt into the wound left when Colonial claims west of the Appalachian Mountains were forfeited to the Native American tribes in the Proclamation of 1763, requiring them to be re-purchased through King George III. This was later confirmed by Parliament in the Quebec Act of 1774. I presume George Washington did not like losing claims to about 60,000 acres of land (the Cornerstone Brief, p. 134) even if he could not tell a lie, and Ben Franklin was not happy with the progress of his plans through the British ministry with the interests of prominent colonial and British investors such as House of Commons member Thomas Walpole, in the new planned colony of Vandalia. Is this the primary reason that George Washington rode off to lead the local army in Boston in revolt a year before the Declaration of Independence, before there was any United States?

The fact is there have always been large vested financial interests in how this country developed. But every time the chips are down, these vested interests have to turn to the general population for support and promise them a more just and egalitarian society. This time, contemporaneously with the Declaration of Independence, they promised that the new government would restrain the aggregations of wealth and power. They would do this by no longer creating or supporting the common description of such aggregations at the time evidenced through granting any titles of Nobility, either by the Colonies individually or assembled as shown in the contemporary hand-written notes of the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence (the Cornerstone Brief, p56-60). To raise and maintain an army, promises had be made, especially where money is scarce. It may be time to reanimate those restrictions to provide some protection against the enormous powers of wealth disparity in out elections and politics.

One wonders why the principal financial cause of the Revolution has not been taught widely, if at all. Could it be that all did not share equally in the gains? In New York it took over another half a century after the Revolution to remove the vestiges of colonial nobility. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, passed by the Articles of Confederation Congress, replaced by the Constitutional Congress in the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 and did much to resolve some of the claims and conflicts of the Colony-States to the Western lands. Georgia was the last to relinquish its claims in 1802. These claims, and who got what, when the concessions were made, should be of great interest to true historians of the period who will follow the money and wealth, as well as the allowances provided in the treaties and by Parliament that went to private loyalists individuals. This should make fascinating reading. We. however, shall next explore how the people have been paid in the past and how they could be paid now, how the governments recognized their duties and provided subsistence sustenance for the citizens.
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AB 1959 and JD 1963, University of Missouri, Columbia. 50 years active member of Washington State Bar Association, mostly civil and commercial office, trial and appellate practice and Superior Court Arbitrator for about 40 years or so, since the (more...)
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