Colbert, Leibniz and Vattel: The Cameralist Roots of the American System

Everyone knows of the American Revolution and Declaration of 1776. Very few people know of the deeper historical currents and networks of republicans stretching across space and time that made this revolution happen and upon whose ideas, a system came into being which was named “The American System of Political Economy”.

On Sunday July 12th, the Rising Tide Foundation hosted a lecture by historian and engineer Sam Labrier who introduced the philosophical, political and economic origins of the American System by taking his audience into a study of world history starting with the french Cameralist school of Jean-Baptiste Colbert that arose in the wake of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. Leaders of this school of political economy included such great statesmen and scholars as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the jurist Emerich de Vattel whose “Law of Nations” stands in total opposition to all systems of Hobbesian empire upon which today’s current geopolitical system is premised.

The ideas of value, productivity, law, technology and economy which arose from the Camerialist school and which was later advanced by the great Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton (first U.S. Treasury Secretary) and Henry C Carey stands in total opposition to all monetarist/free trade schools of thought rooted in the philosophy of such minds as Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Malthus and J.S. Mill upon which today’s globalized world order are based.

Other classes in this series can be found here.

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