Economic Nationalism was created by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury during the presidency of George Washington. Hamilton did not believe that the United States could be completely self-sustaining until the country was doing well in all economic areas. Hamilton was also the controller of the new system, while England’s Elizabeth the First and France’s Colbert did not approve of the conditions of mercantilism. Over time, even Senator Henry Clay, the “Father of the American System”, wanted the economic system of America to become whole with different kinds of people like farmers and city folk working together. While studying the Constitutional Convention in 1989, Frank Bourgin found and proved that the country’s founders meant for the government to be closely associated with the economy. Our founders resorted to this strong belief because of the financial and economic disorder and distress in which the country found itself because of the Articles of Federation. If Economic Nationalism had not been adopted by this country, life as we know it today would be very different.
The economy drives every area of government and life in the U.S. The financial infrastructures of today wouldn’t exist if Hamilton had not promoted Economic Nationalism. In other words, we have technologies and institutions today as a result of this system. A third area in which our country benefits from Economic Nationalism is in physical and industrial materials. For instance, our country would not have many of the manufactured goods as are now such an important part of the U.S. economy without Economic Nationalism. For example, there would be many more farms and farmers than there are today. This would be true because when the country first began, everybody farmed for survival purposes, and a strong national economic system was not in place. The system of Economic Nationalism changed all of that.
Without Economic Nationalism our country would not have a quality educational system like today. Schools continue to grow because of new students gained over the course of the year. Economic Nationalism was meant to bring all citizens in the United States together; education cannot work without the help of all citizens. Schools in the U.S. have always been successful because citizens are willing to pay for their children to become educated so they will be able to help the community when their time to work comes. If Economic Nationalism had not been implemented, most U.S. citizens would be farmers, living off their own livestock and crops. Farmers also wanted labor workers because they did not have tractors and other machinery like today. To rut up their gardens, they would get their tills, blades that make sections in the dirt in which to plant seeds.
Then they would attach these onto a manual tiller that was strapped onto a donkey, and the donkey would then pull the tiller and farmer slowly across the garden. That was one of their easiest jobs, but once Economic Nationalism was in place, people began working together. More efficient machinery was invented. Farmers began sending their children to school because the new machinery made their jobs much easier. Those farmers who didn’t have the new equipment were convinced by the townspeople to allow their children to go to school. This helped the schools by giving them new students, and having new students meant more teachers. Economic Nationalism furthered education in many ways. Schools started with only a few students, but with Economic Nationalism there were many more. Subjects that were taught were also impacted. When schools first began, field trips were almost impossible. Now, almost every school has at least one field trip a year for educational purposes. Students go to farms, hospitals, and other places and see how to help the community so that maybe one day those students will make a difference where they live. The practice of Economic Nationalism has changed the focus of American education.
Without Economic Nationalism, this country would not have the financial infrastructures of today. Economic Nationalism resulted in the creation of financial infrastructure, which is the main part of all financial systems. Without it, banks and other financial institutions would close almost immediately. The result would be many people losing their money; disorder and chaos would ensue. Some examples of the policies for banks which would not exist without Economic Nationalism are the United States First Bank, the National Banking Act, and the United States Second Bank. The United States First Bank was initiated by Alexander Hamilton and adopted in 1791.
The purpose of this bank was to be a storage unit for federal funds and as the tax agent for the government. Then in 1811 its purpose was changed to that of an economic developer. In 1863, a good while after the First and Second Banks of the United States, The National Banking Act was passed. Its purpose was to make a system to start a nationwide currency and banking system and to make federal war loans more popular. The Second Bank of the United States was adopted after the War of 1812 due to debt from the war. The First Bank could not handle all the work needed, resulting in the Second Bank’s creation, taking weight off the shoulders of the First Bank. Without Economic Nationalism, banks would be much different today and perhaps far in debt. So, Economic Nationalism has kept the United States stable financially.
The absence of Economic Nationalism would drastically affect the physical or industrial material of today. Physical and industrial materials are manufactured goods like machines or equipment such as tractors on a farm. These are produced for consumers and their industries for farming or building purposes. Industry improved due to Economic Nationalism, increasing speed and volume of production of these materials. There were major developments in transportation by the creation of national roads, steamboats, and railroads. These developments affected the nation’s economy in many ways. Businesses could expand, and goods could be shipped more efficiently. Economic Nationalism also aided the production of physical and industrial material as factories started, and people relocated to urban areas. American industry was revolutionized by new inventions such as interchangeable parts, assembly lines, and mass production. All were a direct result of Economic Nationalism.
High quality education, sound financial infrastructures, and a wealth of physical and industrial materials are all important to the United States. Alexander Hamilton and his idea of a national economic system greatly influenced the world of business and finance that the U.S. knows today. His foresight and understanding of such a system truly aided in the growth and dominance of the United States in the 21st Century.
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