10 May 2015

Robert Morris - Revolution Financier

An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States by Charles A. Beard, 1913, Edited Excerpts 
No man contributed more to the establishment of our Constitution than Robert Morris, “the Patriot Financier.” Robert Morris was a stupendous political force in Washington’s administration. Of all the members of the Convention, Robert Morris of Pennsylvania had the most widely diversified economic interests. He owned and directed ships trading with the East and West Indies, engaged in iron and manufacturing, bought and sold thousands of acres of land in all parts of the country, particularly in the west and south, and speculated in lots in Washington as soon as he learned of the establishment of the capital there. Had he been less ambitious he would have died worth millions instead of in poverty and debt, after having served a term in a debtor’s cell.

The Anti-Federalists by Jackson Main, 1961, Edited Excerpts

The Bank of North America was connected above all with the name of Robert Morris. As superintendent of finance he controlled the finances of Congress for three years during the Revolution; he conducted profitable mercantile ventures while holding that office, and he had a dominant influence in the Bank of North America.

Since the bank was the only one of its kind, it had a financial monopoly, which the directors employed to crush all oppositions and to dominate trade. It promoted the concentration of wealth into a few hands, thus fostering the growth of aristocracy and the control of government by the few, rather than by the many.

James Warren wrote to John Adams, “Morris is a King, and more than a King, He has the keys of the treasury at his command, appropriates money as he pleases, and everybody must look up to him for justice and for favor.”

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