The Strategic Significance

of Lafayette's 1824 Tour


Unpaid Debt to

The European


by Warren Hamerman

"Schiller is lessfollowed though inspired by a genius of During the year 1824, a presidential election of

higherelevation." enormous consequence occurred, representing an is-

-John Quincy Adams, Diary, 1799 sue of the utmost strategic priority. James Monroe

had finished his second term. Andrew Jackson, backed

"France, Ge_cnany,Poland,furnished to the armies of this by the American Jacobin Thomas Jefferson, was mo-

Union in our revolutionary struggle, no inconsiderable bilizing a populist movement which distrusted every

numberofoJficersof high rank and distinguishedmerit." political and economic principle of the Founding

--John Quincy Adams, Fathers. In particular, they were aimed at repudiating

Oration on Lafayette, 1834 the economic policies of America's first Secretary of

the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, the only policies

"_ "_ "_ which would lay the basis for America's industrial

development as the "seed crystal" of a new world

In the wake of the global economic depression economic system to replace the bankrupt looting and

which struck with full force after the Napoleonic genocide programs of the British and their allied

Wars ended in 1815, the young American republic European oligarchy.

faced one of the greatest crises in its history. Collaps- The remaining leadership of Benjamin Franklin's

ing prices, widespread unemployment and unstable networks deployed into the United States to ensure

currencies characterized Europe. In 1819, panic swept that the American Presidency would be captured by

the United States.

an heir of Franklin who could steer a course true to

The British oligarchy, their banking agents of the the principles of Washington and Hamilton.

House of Rothschild and Baring Brothers, were push- General Lafayette, himselfa colleague of Franklin

ing the economic strangulation and genocide pro- and Washington, who personally epitomized the

grams of Parson Malthus and Adam Smith upon the struggle of the international humanist republican

United States and the world. If America could be faction against Jacobinism, deployed into the United

recaptured through the combination of internal fac- States. For 13 months, he toured every state in the

tionalization, corruption and foreign aggressio n Union, organizing to raise the American population

which George Washington had warned against in his to the highest level of understanding of their legacy.

Farewell Address, not merely the United States, but As a result,John Quincy Adams, himself educated by

the entire international republican movement--the Franklin, who served George Washington as an

heirs of Benjamin Franklin-_-would suffer a strategic ambassador to Europe and was a longstanding coldefeat,

league of Lafayette, was elected President.

CAMPAIGNER/June 1980 5

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