1735 – BIRTH OF JOHN ADAMS, 2ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt.”
“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from the defects of the Constitution or confederation, not from the want of honor or virtues, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nation, of coin, credit and circulation.”
1840 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY AND MONETARY THEORIST
“For as the currency question is of first importance and we cannot solve it or escape it by ignoring it. We have got to face it and the best way to begin is not by wrangling about speculative opinions as to untried schemes but to go back to history and try to get hold of some firmly established principles.”
1874 – PUBLICATION OF OCTOBER ISSUE OF INDUSTRIAL AGE MAGAZINE
“The religious press has almost without exception been the allies of the bondholders and bankers in their endless schemes to fleece the public, and the mouthpiece of the monopolists and the defender of the soulless corporations that fill their pockets by robbing the toiling people.”
1972 – DEATH OF EZRA POUND, US POET AND CRITIC
Some of his poetry deals with the destructive moral and social effects of usury.
“The usurers act through fraud, falsification, superstitions, habits and, when these methods do not function, they let loose a war. Everything hinges on monopoly, and the particular monopolies hinge around the great illusionistic monetary monopoly.”
1832 – RE-ELECTION OF ANDREW JACKSON, 7TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
This was the first presidential election focused on the issue of money creation. Jackson was opposed to re-chartering the private Second National Bank of the United States (misnamed to give the impression it was public by calling it “National” in much the same way the current largely private Federal Reserve System is misnamed). A few Jackson quotes:
“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government … are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.” “If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.” “I have no hesitation to say if they can re-charter the bank, with this hydra of corruption, they will rule the nation and its charter will be perpetual and its corrupting influence destroy the liberty of our country.”
1231 – DEATH OF WILLIAM OF AUXERE, FRENCH PHILOSOPHER, THEOLOGIAN AND ENVOY TO THE POPE
“Whence if men were silent against usurers, the stones would cry out if they could.”
1831 – BIRTH OF IGNATIUS DONNELLY, U.S. CONGRESSMAN, POPULIST AND GREENBACK LEADER
“The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrated in the hands of the capitalists…The fruits of toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes — tramps and millionaires.”
Arguably, conditions have actually further deteriorated economically and politically since Donnelly wrote this in the late 1800’s.
1940 – DEATH OF CHARLES MACUNE, HEAD OF SOUTHERN FARMERS’ ALLIANCE AND ORIGINATOR OF THE POPULIST “SUB-TREASURY PLAN”
The “Sub-Treasury Plan,” developed by the southern Populist Macune, was an ingenious proposal to circumvent banking corporations, merchants and landlords by farmers to avoid debt at high interest, which often resulted in the loss of their farms. The proposal called for farmers to store their harvest in federal warehouses when prices for their commodities were low. Farmers would leverage those commodities for loans (up to 80% of the market value in federal notes) to support themselves until prices rose. The proposal was especially useful to southern farmers with non-perishable crops (i.e. cotton). The farmer had one year to sell the crop and then pay back the note and 1% interest.
1948 – BIRTH OF EARL OF CAITHNESS (MALCOLM IAN SINCLAIR), MEMBER OF THE UK HOUSE OF LORDS
“The next government must grasp the nettle, accept their responsibility for controlling the money supply and change from our debt-based monetary system. My Lords, will they? If they do not, our monetary system will break us and the sorry legacy we are already leaving our children will be a disaster.” (March 1997)
1650 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND (1689-1702)
A weakened monarchy due, in part, to the economic aftereffects of war, William III agreed to give up his sovereign money power to a new corporation, the Bank of England, which was chartered in 1694. Wars have resulted throughout history in debt and dependency on lenders, which in modern times are banking corporations.
2015 – ELECTION DAY IN THE UNITED STATES
It may be impossible to believe in our corporate-dominated elections — where corporations and the wealthy few decide which candidates are “electable,” what issues are discussed and what constitutes “news” — that there were a few federal elections in our nation’s history where the nature of money and/or democratic control over the issuing and circulation of our nation’s money were among THE, major issues in the campaign [i.e. 1832 election of Andrew Jackson and 1896 election of William McKinley over William Jennings Bryan].
1818- BIRTH OF BENJAMIN BUTLER, UNION ARMY CIVIL WAR GENERAL AND MEMBER OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE
“I stand here, therefore, for inconvertible paper money, the greenback, which has fought our battles and saved our country, which has been held by us as a just equivalent for the blood of our soldiers, the lives of our sons, the widowhood of our daughters, and the orphanage of their children. I stand here for a currency by which the business transactions of forty million people are safely and successfully done, which, founded on the faith, the wealth, and property of the nation, is at once the exemplar and engine of its industries and power—that money which saved the country in war and has given it prosperity and happiness in peace. To it four million men owe their emancipation from slavery; to it labor is indebted for elevation from that thrall of degradation in which it has been enveloped for ages. I stand for that money, therefore, which is by far the better agent and instrument of exchanged of an enlightened and free people than gold and silver the money alike of the barbarian and the despot.” [Speech on House floor, January 12, 1869 on national currency]
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email firstname.lastname@example.org