Trilateral Center of the New World Order
THE NEW WORLD ORDER
The United States is the Trilateral Center--both for the Americas, and for the world's other continents. It was designed to be the Trilateral Center for the rest of the world's nations. And there's a geographical reason for that: The Americas are situated in the middle of the globe between the world's other strategic continents. Thus, potentially the United States can reach out either of its arms--the Western arm, toward Asia, or the Eastern arm, toward Europe, to aid and influence foreign affairs.
In Spring 2001, and again in Spring 2002, the United States took steps closer to the goal of achieving what can be called "Camerica"--a zone of closer cooperation between Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, Central America, and South America. The Monterey, Mexico summit in March 2002 further encouraged Mexico, Central, and South America to develop democratic principles in accordance with those advocated by the international community that is the New World Order.
(To see the beginnings of these democratic principles and their role in the emergence of the Trilateral Center, see: Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order and The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order.)
A next, further step in the emergence of the Camerica region--the expanded Trilateral Center--was explored in 2001-2002, also: the cooperation of a large interAmerican, intercontinental free trade zone stretching all the way from Canada to Mexico (and potentially to South America), with the United States of America anchoring the center and occupying the middle position between the upper North American and Central-South American regions. Eventually, this may lead at some point in the future to a possible political alliance or confederation between the nations of the American continents (collectively, Camerica: Canada + the rest of North America, Central America, and South America). In the economic, political, ideological, and military regard, the United States would then serve as the Trilateral Center for the Americas--as it has already fulfilled the goal of being the Trilateral Center for the world through the exportation of its democratic ideology, its trade, its political/legal advisers, and, in the post-World War II era, its military advisers and peacekeeping troops. The United States of America serves as the command center and headquarters of the New World Order; it is the Trilateral Center. And its new American empire secured its beginnings through a war involving a clash of two empires: the Great War for Empire that was fought in the mid-eighteenth century.
Great War for Empire
The thesis is twofold: (1) The Great War for Empire (popularly known as the Seven Years War in Europe and the French and Indian War in America) originated from an ideology. That ideology influenced public opinion through much-publicized rhetoric about America's manifest destiny, the supreme importance of that destiny to Great Britain, and the "Great French Threat" hindering American expansion. (2) The effect of that rhetoric was to initiate a shift in the relationship between London, the center of the British empire, and its American periphery. The Great War for Empire was thus a prelude to the American Revolution, and both wars were linked through ideology. The underlying ideology of the Angloamerican imperialists during the Empire War was their Whig Enlightenment agenda to create an American Peripheral Center. This ideology was transformed at the end of the Great War for Empire into a vision to create a Trilateral Center--an independent America serving as an ideological center for both Great Britain and France--and eventually, the whole Atlantic community.
By the term "Great War for Empire" ("Empire War" for short), this analysis refers to the American front called the French and Indian War--a name that masked that war's global significance--the European phase of which was labeled the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), whereas the war on the American front lasted for nine years (1754-1763) and was driven by a distinctive strain of ideology. In contrast to the dynastic battles fought between absolutist monarchs like Louis XIV and the Austrian Habsburgs, the Empire War was an ideological war under its imperialistic skin, and it set in motion an undercurrent of ideological revolution.
The contemporary ideological overlay went like this: Great Britain and France, the two ancient rivals, were battling for possession of a vast American territory and its accompanying trade. Both nations discovered that New World trade and commerce were even more valuable to them than they previously had thought, and both of them wanted to possess all of it, only they couldn't agree on how to divide the territory among themselves. As Dr. John Mitchell in The Contest in America between Great Britain and France (London, 1757) described the British imperialist view: The outcome of the contest between Great Britain and France was nothing less than control over the whole continent of North America, together with its commercial trade. (Incidentally, French control over America might have dealt a possibly fatal blow to any budding notions of American independence, since the French were absolutist, whereas the British constitutional system at least guaranteed British subjects an array of constitutional rights and freedoms. It was British Whig political rhetoric that drove the ideology of the American Revolution--a situation only possible in a British atmosphere where such Whig ideology thrived in the first place.)
Mitchell was right about his main point: Trade was the important point of dispute during the Great War for Empire. Two European colonial centers fought over the American periphery, with France wanting New France in North America to become a more profitable source of trade, and with the British claiming that the French were in reality taking over their territory. Thus, the war was fought for economic and imperialistic motivations--especially in the case of France. That country wanted to become America's new economic center, with France displacing the current British imperial center at London.
However, there were
ideological undercurrents submerged beneath the imperialistic surface that
churned the stream of the Great War for Empire. Some British officials in the
American Periphery, allied with Whig imperialist officials in London, wanted the
Great War for Empire to be a war for American expansion and even an
Anglo-American political union in which the American continent would possess its
own central government institution attached to or independent from the British
central government at Whitehall--i.e., to switch the center of empire
to the periphery, making America Britain's Peripheral Center. Thus America and
Europe would be linked in one Atlantic community, and the center of that linkage
would be America. (Furthermore, in coming centuries--ever since the founding of
the United States--the three regions of the American continents: Canada (North
America), the United States (North America), and Latin America (Central and
South America) would become somewhat linked, to a varying extent, culturally and
economically (first in the case of Canada and the United States, which share a
common British colonial heritage, and recently, in the case of the United States
and Latin America, which share culturally across the Southwestern United
States/Mexican border.) (For a historical note pertaining to the shared colonial
heritage of Canada and the (pre-United States) American colonies, see Chief
of the North: Jonathan Belcher, Jr. Interestingly, Jonathan, Jr.'s grandson,
Admiral Sir Edward Belcher (1799-1877), a famous explorer in the British Royal Navy,
explored regions of Central and South America during the nineteenth century; to
read about his Texas colony, see his biography.) The
three American regions--Canada, the United States, Central/South
America--collectively, Camerica--will link economically once the proposed
interAmerican free trade zone becomes a reality.).
Ideology in the American Peripheral Center
(the Emerging Trilateral Center):
Clash of Empires
During the Anglo-French conflict the ideology of the American Peripheral Center--the emerging Trilateral Center--was European and imperialistic because in the mid-eighteenth century, the colonists still considered themselves to be Europeans, defending and supporting the European colonial system. That was the attitude which certain British officials sought to make use of throughout the course of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) (the American phase of which was known as King George's War) and the Great War for Empire (1754-1763) (the American phase of which was known as the French and Indian War).
During both wars, the policy for the development of a Peripheral Center was created and carried out by a circle of British officials in London and their agents in the American colonies. (It should be remembered that the colonial system in America was a British constitutional system; thus British imperialism was not the same as French absolutism. In fact, the British constitutional system of government was the major basis for the later United States Constitutional system of government.) Two strains of thought in the American colonies contributed to this development of a center in the American periphery: (1) the efforts of British officials and their colonial followers who followed expansionist practices and a war-like philosophy akin to that of political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, and (2) the "friends of liberty" circle, headed in Revolutionary times by Benjamin Franklin and others. (The Hobbesian view was offset and countered by the political philosophy of John Locke, focusing on individual rights and liberties, which reached its culmination in the ideology of the American Revolution.) (See Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order, for further discussion about these two groups.)
Today, when people think of British colonialism, the concepts that come to their minds are likely to be those made famous by the party of imperialistic British officials whose hard-line ideas and practices so riled the American colonists that they led to the American Revolution. Many of those officials had been born and raised in Great Britain, and had been sent to America by the British government in Whitehall for the express purpose of governing the American colonies. Their practices were often in contrast to those of home-grown American officials like Governor Jonathan Belcher, a third-generation American. It was uncommon for a colonial governor to be a native-born American, and those who were, like Governor Belcher, tended to look out more for the interests of American colonists while at the same time, walking that fine line in a subtle manner in order to please their British superiors. (See Governor Jonathan Belcher, Champion of Civil and Religious Liberty.) Governor Belcher was one of those who had a distinctive sense of having family ties and geographical/economic links to America in a way that officials originally from England did not.
One principle, however, on which both British officials and American colonials generally agreed during the early-to-mid-eighteenth century was the necessity of containing and resisting French totalitarianism--the threat to America posed by France's attempt to take over the whole North American continent.
Not that Anglo-French clashes over the New World hadn't happened before--the two empires had just allowed their colonists to fight their skirmishes without letting them upset the European balance of power. Such a diplomatic policy, however, did not prevent the development of intense rivalry between Britain and France for the trade and territory of North America during the seventeenth century, beginning in 1621 when France became upset because England's King James I granted Nova Scotia (a name that is Latin for "New Scotland") to a Scotsman, Sir William Alexander. However, at the conclusion of the second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667), King Charles II of England ceded Nova Scotia to France at the Treaty of Breda (1667). This territorial flip-flop encouraged England and France to exert rival claims to the Acadian territory. America's growing importance to both France and England soon led to acts such as England's entering the War of the League of Augsburg as the insistence of the British merchants of Hudson's Bay, and foreign relations were increasingly influenced by American affairs in proportion to the American colonies' growing importance to the European commercial system of mercantilism. Unfortunately, the boundaries between the French and British New World empires remained vague at the conclusion of both the Augsburg War and the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713) and remained unsettled until the British victory in the Great War for Empire--the culminating struggle in the more-than-century-old Anglo-French conflict over American territory and trade.
That Britain's Tory, pro-French Secretary of State Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, preliminary designer of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) ending the War of the Spanish Succession, turned traitor and fled to France two years later in 1715 explained why the treaty did not resolve the Canadian boundary question. Indeed, the treaty's terms--namely, that the French would accede Hudson's Bay and part of New France (Acadia--the French name for Nova Scotia--and Newfoundland) to England, but retain fishing rights on Newfoundland, as well as regain possession of the strategic island of Cape Breton--left a loophole that the French would later use to reassert French claims to Nova Scotia a generation later. Extolling the fact that Bolingbroke sold out the British government and allowed the French to keep Cape Breton, Abbe Raynal, a French historian, stated that the ideology of later eighteenth-century French imperialists was both expansionist and Enlightened. France viewed America as an outlet for its population--not to relieve demographic pressure, but to rejuvenate Old France in the American Utopia, where Native Americans roamed free subject only to the "law of nature" that dictated religious and philosophical toleration. In order to preserve their pristine territory, the French needed to encircle their borders with forts, as Vauban did in Old France, in order to check English ambitions. Thus did an Anglo-French diplomatic entente secured by the Treaty of Utrecht unwittingly lay the groundwork for disputes over northern New France.
The problem of the Great Lakes region, the Anglo-French boundary between New England and New France, was not a major problem prior to 1713, but the increasing colonial expansion of both England and France from 1713-1754 created regions of conflict in both the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley areas. An additional point of contention was the Hudson's Bay region, whose territory was promised to the British in the Treaty of Utrecht, but whose fur trade was dominated by the French. The French became convinced that jealous British Colonial merchants diverted the fur trade from New France to Albany, New York, and deprived France of its rightful profits. At least two major Anglo-French diplomatic commissions meeting in 1719 and 1750 to resolve the conflict accomplished nothing but failure, leaving the issue to be resolved by the only remaining solution: war.
In 1719 the first commission deadlocked because the British expanded their territorial definition of Nova Scotia, pushing the French toward the more extreme position of limiting the term "Acadia" to include only the peninsula, not the mainland. Indeed, the negotiations seriously damaged chances of any further peaceful reconciliation between the two imperial powers by opening up the question: What is Acadia? What territory did it include? After the talks of 1719, French officials became convinced that the mainland of Nova Scotia was legally still a part of New France. Accordingly, the Governors-General of New France built a series of forts, beginning with Fort Niagara in 1720 in the area of Lakes Ontario and Erie, in order to discourage English expansion and to defend New France. The British commissioners, however, considered such forts to be "encroachments" on English territory, which they defined as including the entire Great Lakes, Hudson's Bay, and Saint Lawrence River region as well as the Nova Scotia mainland. With each new fort that was built, the British became increasingly aggressive and the French, increasingly defensive. To halt British expansion, the French used Louisbourg, their fortress at Cape Breton, as an ideological base from which the French launched a "propaganda" campaign painting the British as expansionists.
While the French disseminated their ideology (which was a cover for French expansionism), certain key British officials pushed their own expansionist, anti-French ideology that sought to create an American Peripheral Center. It was not surprising that the 1719 boundary commission ended in stalemate, for the leading commissioner at the 1719 meeting was none other than Martin Bladen, the main originator of the Peripheral Center concept! President of the Board of Trade from 1717-1746 and a former military officer, Col. Bladen largely originated the Peripheral Center concept when he proposed a plan for forming an Angloamerican colonial union, dominated by a military Captain General (a "Generallissimo" possessing the right to make war), who would turn the colonies into a "homeland" and training ground for native-born American soldiers to fight in European wars. (During the American Revolution, America was also used as a training ground for French soldiers fighting on the American side, such as the Marquis de Lafayette and Saint-Simon, who later became influential figures during the French Revolution and the formation of the European Community (now European Union), as described in The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order.)
In addition, Bladen expounded a militant version of eighteenth-century British colonial policy. Traditional policy maintained that the reason for colonies' existence was to support economically the trade of the mother country by providing the imperial center with raw materials and ready markets for finished goods. Strengthening the traditional view, Bladen made America the Peripheral Center of British existence. Consisting of an informal body of ideas that Bladen and his successors shared in common, this "new imperialism" was woven into the overall fabric of British mercantilist policy, but paradoxically represented a subtle shifting of that policy's focus away from the welfare of the mother country to the welfare of her periphery.
Ironically, the "new imperialism" of the twenty-first century (the Empire that is the New World Order) is in certain respects a throwback to earlier views roughly sketched out by Martin Bladen and his like-minded compatriots at the British Board of Trade. Out of the Anglo-French conflict came the initial proposal for the creation of the American Peripheral Center--the emerging Trilateral Center-- that later became the United States of America. Whereas, according to Bladen's plan, a colonial "Parliament" would have the power to send American troops upon any mission that would best serve the interests of Great Britain, to him, "Great Britain" represented the currently-existing form of Empire. Thus, American troops would serve and safeguard the interests of the British empire, wherever they might be found. It requires only a leap of the imagination to conceive of this Empire as still Angloamerican-focused and/or directed (in terms of world leadership and the establishment of world trends), but expanded world-wide to encompass the globe. Now, Angloamerican (as well as troops from other European Union nations) can serve as the world-wide "peacekeepers," to safeguard the interests of this greatly expanded Empire. (It is interesting that popular political terms used for legislative concepts and/or structures in the New World Order Empire are "Security Council" and "General Assembly"--terms reminiscent of the two houses of the legislature in the American colonies: the Council (the upper house) and the Assembly (the lower house). Now, it may be noted, native-born American troops are sent world-wide to safeguard not only the interests of the American empire, but also the interests of the New World Order. Thus, the United States is in this way functioning militarily as the New World Order's Trilateral Center.
Bladen's view of America as Britain's Peripheral Center made Great Britain's peace and survival depend on America. Thus already, he hinted at the view that Britain should look to America for help and support--not the other way around. In the future, America would be the center, and Britain would be America's ideological and economic periphery. The balance of ideology, as well as economy, was shifting centers.
Increasing proliferation of pamphlet literature during the mid-to-late eighteenth century--a phenomenon that was largely the product of republican-affiliated Dutch publishing houses that flooded England and France with literature--also provided the proponents of the Peripheral Center concept with a medium for educating England and America about America's destined importance. Actually, this mix of liberalism and imperialism was not as paradoxical as it might seem. Martin Bladen was dependent upon the patronage of England's first "prime minister," Sir Robert Walpole, and was a member of Walpole's inner circle, which met at Walpole's Houghton Hall. Walpole, moreover, was a Whig, the party of rights and liberty. At the same time, Walpole kept up King George II's traditional policy of maintaining close ties with the Holy Roman Empire, represented by Francis, Duke of Lorraine and future husband of Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa (for whose crown the War of the Austrian Succession would be fought). In fact, an important part of George II's diplomatic entourage was Walpole's network of spies, diplomats, and other agents--one of whom was Martin Bladen. Bladen's diplomatic visit to Paris, France in 1719 inaugurated the next half-century of Anglo-French relations and the dissemination of a creative plan, carried out by Enlightened Whig officials, to shape and mold a new system of political concepts. This vision was achieved not only by transforming the foreign relations of the British Empire, but also by transforming relations within that empire toward increased focus on the North American Peripheral Center.
The circle of Whig oligarchy was cemented together at the highest levels--even introduced into France--and formed a truly cosmopolitan society during the eighteenth century, possessing Anglo-Dutch, Franco-Dutch, and Anglo-French connections which transcended national and political boundaries. Really, these officials operated at the highest level above national political boundaries. The society's ideological agenda was to create an international point of connection, on the basis of shared ideology and culture, including opportunities for those in the lower social orders to "climb the ladder" through the assistance of their social superiors. (This was the British system of "patronage" dispensed to American colonial officials by patrons such as Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle.) This Whig Enlightenment credo, and the use of patronage in particular, was a key factor affecting the composition and dissemination of pro-British ideology by colonists dependent on the patronage of imperialist officials during the Great War for Empire.
The court Whigs' political agenda was supported by a Whig Enlightenment that included Daniel Pultney, Bladen's fellow diplomat in 1719, as well as many English noblemen and bishops and even King George II. This group was the British government. Their main ideological themes--patronage and constitutional monarchy (as opposed to absolutist monarchy)--emphasized the royal prerogative, but to a lesser extent than the Continental theory of Enlightened Absolutism. The Whig Enlightenment was the ideology that British imperialists sought to propagate in order to create an Angloamerican Peripheral Center.
The ideology of the Peripheral Center was transmitted to the general public, both in England and the American colonies, through pamphlets published in the major publishing capitals of London, Paris, or the Hague. During 1756-1758, a spate of pamphlets justifying the British ministry's view of the Seven Years' War and British official conduct in the colonies extending back to the previous War of the Austrian Succession were written anonymously by the officials themselves or their political supporters. For example, one imperialist, a minor official named Dr. John Mitchell, wrote in 1757 a lengthy, definitive text on British policy toward New France (French possessions in America) that clearly defined the concept of the Peripheral Center and advocated Britain's exclusive right to Nova Scotia. Not surprisingly, Mitchell's Map of the British and French Dominions in North America (1755), commissioned by the British Board of Trade, was used as an authority by British diplomats considering the Canadian question. Even the famed French writer Voltaire (who supposedly had some contact with Martin Bladen) contributed to the fostering of this attitude about the "Great French Threat" through his timely publication of The Age of Louis XIV in 1751, with an enlarged edition published in 1755 -- the year in which Great Britain conducted military maneuvers against the French that triggered the Great War for Empire. (Voltaire, incidentally, was linked to the Anglo-Dutch circle of publishers who promoted enlightened republicanism--an attitude that later led to the French Revolution.) (For more about the French Revolution, see The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order.)
But--the Great War
for Empire ultimately resulted in the American Revolution. (See Jonathan
Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order.)
And the American Revolution ushered in the beginning of the American era, the
creation of the United States of America. So, out of the Great War for Empire
came an even greater empire--not British, but American (or rather,
American-centered or American-directed: America in the leadership role, leading
the nations of the New World Order): What would eventually become (to its
fullest extent, in the post-World War II era) the American Trilateral Center for
the New World Order.
The Emergence of the Trilateral Center:
The Great War for Empire as Prelude
The formation of America's Trilateral Center, in its next, post-Bladen phase, was made possible through a power play at the British Board of Trade, the government entity that effectively determined colonial policy. The Board's President from 1748-1761, during the Great War for Empire, was arch-imperialist George Montagu Dunk, Earl of Halifax, the ideological successor to Martin Bladen. (Read more about him in Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order.) Halifax worked closely with other British officials, including the Duke of Cumberland (for whom Governor Belcher named Cumberland County, New Jersey, incidentally) and the Duke of Newcastle (Governor Belcher's patron), to step up the development of the American Peripheral Center. (For Halifax's selection of Governor Belcher's son to be the first Chief Justice of Nova Scotia when it was under British rule, see Jonathan Belcher, Jr.: Chief of the North.)
By 1756, the French and Indian War spread from America to Europe to become the Seven Years' War. Prussia allied with Great Britain in 1755-1756, whereas Austria allied with France. More importantly for America, this sense of crisis, in which America suddenly became a catalyst for European wars, revealed that the makeweight concept in the international balance of power, with Prussia as the deciding factor, would not work to keep the peace in Europe in the face of America's new importance. An alternative existed: To make America the scale, standing alone at the apex with the two superpowers, Great Britain and France, poised on either side of the base. Keeping balance of power in America would keep balance of power in Europe. The first step, achievable by the end of the Great War for Empire, was an Angloamerican political union--a plan to unite the American colonies in approximately the same way as under the Bladen plan. Bladen had proposed a colonial Parliament in 1719; in 1754 the Albany Congress, consisting of delegates from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania met at Albany, New York, supposedly to secure the allegiance of the Iroquois Indians during the impending French and Indian War, but in actuality, to form the first intercolonial meeting at which representatives from various colonies met as a form of Congress. Apparently, Benjamin Franklin, who is credited as the author of the Albany Plan, adapted the earlier Board of Trade idea for the American colonies' own purposes. He proposed a plan for a congress-like legislative body headed by a President-General; however, the colonial assemblies did not ratify his plan. (See Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order.)
Angloamerican Union was not enough. Not enough was the mere union of the
American colonies under the British wing, with Great Britain as their head. The
distant colonies must become their own new center--an increasingly powerful
center. The American Revolution had to happen--the creation of a separate
American nation, politically separate from Great Britain. What came out of the
Great War for Empire was the American Revolution. The American Peripheral Center
became the Trilateral Center in succeeding centuries.
Appalachian Settlement--Catalyst for the Great War for Empire
determining factor in the development of the Trilateral Center was not northern
expansion into Canada, but the second major issue of the Great War for Empire:
westward expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains into the Ohio Valley, and
southward into the Mississippi Valley. Expansion into Appalachia became an issue
only after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) (which ended the War of the
Austrian Succession), when the British Board of Trade, headed by the Earl of
Halifax, the ideological successor to Martin Bladen, encouraged large numbers of
English settlers to travel beyond the mountains, and the Ohio Company of
Virginia, with a Halifax-type imperialist, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia, as a
stockholder, was formed to support that westward movement into Ohio lands
claimed by France in 1729.
Sidebar: The Example of William Livingston as Imperialist-Patriot
The main obstacle the British faced after 1748 was first the French Governor General of New France, Roland-Michel Barrin, Marquis de la Galissoniere, who was determined to limit the British to the sea coast, and then his successor as Canadian Governor General, the Marquis de la Jonquiere, who, together with French Governor Du Quesne, built a circle of forts extending from Niagara in the north to Fort Du Quesne in the Ohio Valley. French Governor Vandreuil of Louisiana stopped American colonist William Livingston's plan to settle 200,000 acres in South Carolina; thus Vandreuil checked British movement to the South.
Incidentally, William Livingston (1723-1790) was a friend to Aaron Burr, Sr., President of Princeton College, and to leading New Jersey patriot William Peartree Smith--both of whom were friends of Governor Belcher. Livingston's eulogy to Burr (printed by Hugh Gaine in 1757) also spoke respectfully of the governor. Livingston called Governor Belcher the "BEST OF FRIENDS" and pictured the two friends, Jonathan Belcher and Aaron Burr, meeting in Heaven, "never--never more to be parted." It is indicative of Governor Belcher's own political sentiments that Aaron Burr was his friend, for Livingston said of Burr: "FOR PUBLIC SPIRIT and the love of his country, who ever surpassed this reverend patriot? Amidst all the cares of his academical function, he thought, and studied, and planned, and toiled for the common weal. He had a high sense of English liberty and detested despotic power as the bane of human happiness. With him the heresy of ARIUS was not more fatal to the purity of the Gospel than the positions of FILMAR to the dignity of man or the repose of states. Of our excellent Constitution he entertained the justest idea and gloried in the privileges of a Briton as much as he lamented their [...] abuse." Already in 1757, this was as fine an example of American Revolutionary rhetoric as words written during the Revolution itself. And indeed, William Livingston later became a famous patriot in the American Revolution, as did William Peartree Smith on a more localized level.
Thus this circle of friends--Livingston, Burr, and Smith--and yes, that circle included Royal Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher, too--were all budding American patriots. This provides an excellent example of the blurring of lines between colonial "imperialists" and Revolutionary "patriots". Sometimes, they were one and the same person, depending on the time period. In fact, William Livingston of New Jersey was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. A member of the U.S. Constitutional Convention, he was a link between America's Colonial and Revolutionary eras. Not only did he approve of Royal Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher of New Jersey (term of office: 1746-1757), but also Livingston himself was Governor of the State of New Jersey (the first under the new United States government), governing from 1776-1790. Before the Revolution, Livingston was an Assemblyman (a member of the legislature) in the New York colony (1759-1761). A distinguished lawyer, well known for his literary abilities, and, together with William Peartree Smith, a charter member of Benjamin Franklin's American Philosophical Society (see The Great Seal of the United States and the Belcher Coat of Arms for interconnections), Livingston also served as a Brigadier General in the New Jersey militia during the American Revolution, was a delegate to both the First and the Second Continental Congresses, and played an instrumental role in New Jersey's ratification of the United States Constitution. Incidentally, he also sponsored the education of young Alexander Hamilton. It's hard to find a more patriotic American than him! Yet, it should be noted, that Royal Colonial Governor Belcher was probably one of the most "patriotic" of the colonial governors Livingston liked, for another of Livingston's colonial governor friends was a British-born arch-imperialist, a Halifax compatriot, and one of Martin Bladen's most dedicated proteges! Thus Livingston liked both imperialists and patriots, when the time suited him. This seems ironic and paradoxical--but it's one example of why the American Revolution (once one gets past the ideology) can't really be classified into such clean-cut lines.
The New American Empire
George Washington's defeat at Fort Necessity convinced the Duke of Newcastle that the French were trying to take over all of North America. (John Mitchell also thought that was France's ultimate goal.) To achieve this, the French were connecting the French possessions of Canada and Louisiana by way of the Ohio for the purpose of sealing off the British and confining their colonies to the east side of the Appalachian Mountains--a strip of coastal land only 100 miles wide. After they had secured the west, the French would swoop down on the coast and seize New York, the profitable British sugar islands, Cuba, and even the mines in Mexico--the entire American source of raw materials (especially the sugar islands) upon which the British depended. With domination of trade went superiority of naval power; thus loss of America meant Britain would no longer command the seas.
Affected by that milieu, John Mitchell's vision of the American Peripheral Center was more expansive in 1757 than Bladen's had been in 1719. In particular, Mitchell harped on two themes: (1) the colonies' trade is necessary for Britain's survival, and (2) in order for colonial trade to increase its production, America must expand westward. An America confined to the coast was not sufficient for British purposes; British trade could easily be brought inland, making inland settlement profitable. An empire should be developed through demographic expansion driving a territorial expansion; therefore, foreigners should be encouraged to immigrate to America. Such increased population furthered the revived Bladen plan to train soldiers in America and export them to fight European wars. Thus, incidentally, the twenty-first century idea of the United States sending troops to defend other nations around the world is not new. It is actually an updated replay of an idea formulated at the beginning of the eighteenth century that eventually led to the formation of the American Trilateral Center. So, whenever the United States donates its troops for United Nations peacekeeping missions, it is actually carrying forward the idea of the Trilateral Center that was inherent in America's founding during the American colonial era.
However, the British began to realize something. A very large territory could support itself economically--the implication being that once America was economically independent, it could become politically independent, as well. The one factor preventing British encouragement of American expansion in the past was, said Mitchell, the concern that the American colonies would declare their independence from Great Britain. Here was Mitchell's premonition of the American Revolution: If the American colonies revolted, France would give them encouragement and support, and thereby influence them by being their ally. This, of course, was exactly what happened during the American Revolution. Ironically, however, this very reason for fighting France in the Great War for Empire was the scenario that happened after America (together with Great Britain) fought France--and won. From 1754-1763 America fought the French; then joined the French over a decade later to fight the English and thus become independent of both France and Great Britain.
Indeed, a chief concern of the British ministry during the 1750's was that some Hudson Bay merchants would ally with the French, their trading partners. Some colonists wouldn't fight the French during the Great War for Empire because they expected the French to help them achieve an American revolution. These colonists sought a Franco-American alliance even in 1757.
Accordingly, the imperialist policy of some British hard-liners stressed the need to make the American colonies dependent on Great Britain for everything: this was the only way to prevent the American Revolution. Yet, at the same time, these British officials recognized that America must expand for the economic benefit of the British empire, but expansion was not feasible as long as British America was hemmed in by the French. Furthermore, the center of empire was shifting to America through sheer demographics: The American population was doubling with every generation, according to Mitchell's observation. Such a sizeable population needed room to expand. Indeed, America was rapidly becoming Britain's demographic center, for by the end of the Great War for Empire, America contained more than one-fourth of the British empire's citizens. Yet the arguments for increasing immigration into the colonies, when carried to its logical conclusion, pointed to an unstated ideology: America must expand its population and territory and become economically self-sufficient because America must become independent. No matter how imperialist some British officials sounded, often this unstated ideology underlay their thinking. Mitchell, by his very mentioning of an American revolution, raised the notion that such a revolution was possible. Moreover, the colonies' failure to unite during the War of the Austrian Succession demonstrated that a colonial union--an enlightened, unified state (or united states) was necessary for administrative convenience. Since the colonists refused to unite under Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan, a colonial union was necessary (according to Mitchell), governed without any alteration in the British constitution. Of course, this idea became moot when the American colonies did in fact unite during the American Revolution, creating first a confederation under the Articles of Confederation, then the federalist system of government delineated in the United States Constitution.
Interestingly, Benjamin Franklin, the British government's ally in framing the Albany Plan of Union, shared the Whig Enlightenment's dream of a semi-independent linkage of America and Great Britain. According to Franklin himself, America eventually should become this new empire's center--i.e., the Trilateral Center. Some republican Whigs hoped that Europe would eventually copy America's example--which Europe did, by the way, beginning with the French Revolution. (See The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order.) However, despite Mitchell's assurances that such an American revolution was not imminent, some British ministers, including the Duke of Newcastle, thought that American union might lead to American independence. That official intransigence prevented extension of the Peripheral Center concept to its ultimate conclusion during the Great War for Empire. However, once British victory removed the French threat, the British ministry then became the major obstacle to fulfillment of America's destiny. The British had wanted to politically unite the colonies in opposition to France, but when that didn't happen, William Livingston, as early as the 1750's, reluctantly interjected a faint, new note--about the problem posed by British government corruption. Ironically, this note echoed the song of the Whig opposition press in Great Britain, which stirred up opposition to the British ministry's policy of importing German Hessian "soldiers of fortune" to fight Britain's battles. American opposition to the Hessians' strong-armed tactics later was a major factor contributing to the development of the American Revolution.
Besides the idea that the British ministry was not acting in America's best interest, American Revolutionaries won people to their side, according to Joseph Galloway in Historical and Political Reflections on the Rise and Progress of the American Rebellion (London, 1780), by printing in the newspapers "the flattering idea that America would soon become a great empire"--i.e., the Trilateral Center. Following the lead of the Whig Angloamericans, French philosophe Guillaume Thomas Francois, Abbe Raynal wrote in The Revolution in America (London, 1781): "[T]o be a great state, the center and seat of power must be in the state itself." "The new hemisphere must be detached one day from the old .... It [was] prepared in America by the increase of population"--Lord Halifax's demographic project designed, ironically, to create the Angloamerican Peripheral Center. Thus, Raynal argued against an Angloamerican political union: "Nature did not create a world to subject it to the inhabitants of an island [Great Britain]." "This unity [with Great Britain] ... which seems so necessary to you [Americans], is but that of the silly animals in the fable...." To Raynal, the American Revolution was in effect America's Great War for Empire--its own empire independent from Britain. That the empire would be republican, with a written constitution, was not wholly inconsistent with previous British imperialist rhetoric, for the same Whig ideology that supported the court of King George II could also be utilized to support republicanism. Not until the American Revolution did American patriot Samuel Adams admit that he had been working twenty years for that event--starting about 1756.
Raynal said that the
British mixed, unwritten constitution should be supplanted by a
written constitution (which the United States Constitution is, complete with
checks and balances). Raynal recognized that Americans were nationalistic at the
time of the American Revolution, in the sense they were proud of their
distinctive identity as Americans. Joseph Galloway insisted that the
"cession of Canada to Great Britain" at the end of the Great War for
Empire encouraged Americans' "spirit of republicanism and
independency". Galloway stated that at the end of the Great War for Empire,
the cession of Canada to the British laid the foundation for the idea that
"America should soon rise to a great independent empire" (i.e.,
the Trilateral Center). Thus, even Canada was a factor contributing to the
political atmosphere that gave rise to the United States of America.
The ideological revolution during the Great War for Empire that made America the Peripheral Center of Britain also set the stage for the American Revolution that made America the Trilateral Center of both Britain and France. The task set forth for the Empire War to accomplish was twofold: (1) to remove the French from the continent so America could fulfill its manifest destiny, and (2) to spur the colonies into uniting with each other. Not only did the nationalistic ideology fuel military action that resulted in the Great War for Empire, but also it made Britain's North American colonies Europe's new ideological center: According to French philosopher Abbe Raynal, America's "happiness will inspire [Europe] with no other sentiment, than the desire of imitation."
Upon becoming the Peripheral Center, America became, in the words of Raynal, "the hope of the universe". For the first time, the Empire War shifted the focus of European attention primarily toward the New World crisis and the problems of the Old World colonial system. The main question left remaining for the American Revolution to resolve was whether America would remain a British subsidiary--an empire within an empire--or whether America would untie the apron strings binding it to Europe's destiny--a task France was more than eager to promote following French military defeat in the Great War for Empire.
Thus, the ideology of the Great War for Empire was the same as the ideology of the American Revolution--only in reverse. In the former, there was a Great French Threat; in the latter, there was a Great English Threat. The result of that rhetoric was to create an America politically free from both Britain and France, but economically tied to both in the European balance of power.
In the prophetic words of Abbe Raynal: "Then will ages roll away, before England and the republics formed at her expense can come together."
the Atlantic community, with the United States of America serving as the
Trilateral Center. Come together--with America as the key to the
balance of power in Europe, leading European initiatives. The United States of
America, the world leader. The United States of America--initiator of ideology
and commercial trading partner of many nations. Come together--with the
United States of America in the center of the Americas, with Canada to the north
and Central/South America to the south. The Americas--Camerica--the
Trilateral Center of the world.
(tells about the role played by the British Board of Trade in helping to form the Trilateral Center through the advancement of conditions that led to the American Revolution)
For further reading:
Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order
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