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A Birth-Chart for the USA
by Dane Rudhyar, 1974


Table of Contents

The Roots of the American Nation
- 9

In 1789, less than three months after Washington had been inaugurated, the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille. In the ensuing years Paine urged President Washington to declare America's support for the country which had been of such great assistance during our revolutionary crisis; but Washington was both afraid to involve the United States in a conflict which might have been detrimental to our early national growth, and repelled by the radicalism of the French revolutionists a radicalism very foreign to his nature. The President may have been right from a national point of view, but not only did his actions not avoid the War of 1812 with England, but he established an isolationist policy that lasted for a century
      The sharp disagreement between Paine and Washington symbolized the basic conflict between political-economic realities and the humanistic idealism which has ever been strong in American history. It is also the conflict between two concepts of social organization: one seeking to perpetuate whatever can be saved of Europe's aristocratic past, and the other founded upon the new vision of society which had emerged from the minds of a few Greek thinkers as well as from Jesus' teachings a vision which never has had much chance to be fully implemented. This conflict also took form in the contest between Jefferson and Hamilton.
      In a biography of Jefferson by James Scbottler (1897) we find this extremely relevant exposition of the characters and beliefs of the protagonists in the great politico-social conflict which nearly rent Washington's first administration and, in a broad sense, has ever since been in operation:
Hamilton was for repressing popular tendencies and keeping Democracy restrained by the strong hand of order and authority; Jefferson was for giving Democracy the freest scope possible, and trusting willingly to the experiment of recognizing public opinion and the common sense as the ultimate repository of power. Hamilton believed in Statecraft, was dazzled by the example of the Caesars, desired a government whose strength lay in attaching wealth and privilege to its standard; while Jefferson considered that no government on earth could be so strong as that which offered its best advantages to everyone, and advanced its standard not so much by fostering as by giving equal opportunities. Hamilton, a waif from the British West Indies, fortuitously placed in New York's aristocratic circle, had no State prepossession whatever, and looked upon the State establishments as a confusion and encumbrance to continental unity; . . . He was for centralization, for imperialism, for a strong national administration which would pervade every part of this Union . . . Jefferson, native bom and bred, and as really as most Virginians of native stock, a loyal son of the oldest and proudest of American commonwealths, believed States and State rights "a precious reliance;" Hamilton had a predilection, which possibly Jefferson's ardent imagination exaggerated, for whatever was British; and even British corruption and the insidious attachment of interests as then practised in Parliament and the election by a British ministry which aimed at success, seemed part of the legitimate science of government. Jefferson's French prepossessions and British antipathy, which Hamilton certainly exaggerated believing him imbued with the false and visionary philanthropy, the scepticism, the levelling follies of the French revolution, a disciple where he had been more nearly an educator of foreign sentiment tinctured his own contending views of foreign and domestic policy; he disdained corporate wealth, loved simple equality, simple manners, the open life, and dreaded every avenue which opened to bribery. In short, Hamilton was for re-erecting and re-enacting Europe in America; while Jefferson felt fervent faith that Heaven had reserved his hemisphere for a political destiny and experience of its own, through whose influence the Old World might, perhaps, in time become reorganized. Hamilton believed the free tendencies of mankind were essentially vicious, and needed domination; while Jefferson believed that human and individual domination had been, in the world's annals of the past, the fatal obstacle to public virtue.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
All Rights Reserved.

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