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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 19, 2011 6:45pm-7:30pm EDT

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it says. that's the way they can get the book right now. or they can contact my company at the phone number 623-340-5768 or they may contact you and you get the word to me and i will see that they get a book. >> author richard toliver, this is booktv on c-span2. no on book tv chris discusses the founding rights with former economic analyst on the cia. columnist for forbes magazine and author of more than 25 books. this is just under 40 minutes. >> good afternoon. my name is alex and ideas as the
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publisher regnery and we are very exciting to announce the launch this year and is celebrating with a party in the booth right after this event in about 30 minutes and i hope you all can join us right after this. so let's get right to the event. we have our featured author is chris derose, the author of founding rifles medical verses monroe the bill of rights and the election that saved the nation. and he will be interviewed by founding father benjamin franklin. [applause] ben franklin will be portrayed by is six the generation grandson marrec skousen who's an economist, professor, financial newsletter publisher and an author of many books. and one of the books he is
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authored or compiled for the regnery is the completed autobiography of benjamin franklin. ben franklin wrote his autobiography and only covered until 74 g7 a lot of things happened after 1757 and dr. skousen has taken the actual awards of benjamin franklin and compiled the rest of the story so at our book party immediately following we will have copies of the completed autobiography to be handed out. now i give you benjamin franklin. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is most agreeable to be here with you on this beautiful day in new york. i am sad and of course to discover after being gone for over 200 years that the city of
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new york is substantially larger than my home town of boston and philadelphia. what has happened to this country? but in the end, it was a pleasure to know that new york is the capitol capitalism and the world, and for that, i would always be in favor because i was always in favor of the commercial society. i have been amazed. i come at the time before my demise and 79 d, had always wished to have lived in your time to to three centuries later because i knew there would be great improvements in science and technology, my first love, and the reason that i hated the war so much and had to spend the last 30 years of my life defending it as a revolutionary was because it kept me from
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engaging in my first love. no, it was not a number yonah or my wife, deborah. in fact, it was science and inventions and technology because i knew that for you, the common man, this meant we could achieve greatness all of us, and not just be aristocrats and the wealthy, and that is why i invented the franklin stove to warn all common citizens of philadelphia. moreover, i wish to protect them from the outside, from the lightning with the electric rot. now of course jam john adams says he has a different view of my perspective and george washington at one time john adams claimed that as the history of america would be
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written by would stand as the primary character who would smoke of the electric and rod on the ground and out with a jump george washington and together the two of us would achieve all of peace and war and negotiations. well, it is interesting that i have understood that may well be the case. after all, i have a rumor that on the 1 dollar bill is general george washington. is that not correct? i believe that is the rumor. and i have also been rumored that mauney image is on the largest denomination, the 100-dollar bill. now why have not yet to confirm this. do any of you have 8,100-dollar bill you could show me to demonstrate to show this rumor
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is true, is their eighth lady or a man who perhaps has a 100-dollar bill they could show the have a man in the back. perhaps i could see if indeed this is true is there a bit of eight resemblance. let me see this. welcome it appears to be true this does look awfully close. thank you very much. i just wanted to prove it's still true that a fool and his money are soon parted. all right, i will give it back. i can't use this up in the spirit world any way. so it's not relevant. indeed, of this occasion is a wonderful one because it is an opportunity to discuss something i have the greatest love for,
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and that is the written word. when i went to england, brought no books with me. within a year i had collected so many books i didn't have room to fill them in my london apartment, craven street. i love books, i love the modern world, the ability to read, the thousands of books that are now published, isn't this a great miracle? in my time paper was scarce, books were scarce and books were jerry expensive. now of course in the modern world, what do we enjoy? the great technological advances. in fact now you can read without even having a book. i'm not so sure about this kindle that you're talking
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about. i fear the day when there are no more written books. wouldn't that be a terrible tragedy? almost as tragic as john adams. but i digress. we have today an opportunity to talk about regnery publishing and a new division. a wonderful new division on history. i of course loved history, the history of science, the history of our country, the history of religion. history is one we can look into and learn about ourselves and learn about others. it was with great pleasure that several jurors ago my sixth generation grandson completed my autobiography.
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you must understand that he that boasts of his ancestors does but advertise his own and sycophants it is most agreeable to me that he has completed this because my own grandson, william temple franklin had promised me he was going to complete the autobiography. you understand that all i only wrote the part until the first 51 years of my life in the that the autobiography if you've read it and by a show of hands, how many have read my autobiography? tremendous. there will be a quiz afterwards at the table where i will be autographing the completed autobiography that my great, great, great grandson completed,
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but the book was not finished could - and leaves out my view on the revolution. my nine years in france and my offense in the french ladies. it's not in their. it's very sad. but the completed autobiography in my own words does contain the entire story including mike miniet affairs in france as the ambassador, and is the creator of dimunation at the constitutional convention. so please, afterwards come by and pick up a copy and as a matter of fact we are offering if you do, and looks like an autographed copy, you will also receive a rare frankland stamp. now it is with great honor i announce to you that in the 200
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some years of the post office service of which i serve as the first postmaster general more stamps have been issued with my image on them and george washington's image together than any other american. john adams is turning over in his grave to have heard that he is only on four or five stamps in in the entire history of this great country. now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you an exciting new book called founding rivals, written by a historian, a lawyer by trade, from phoenix arizona. i had never heard of phoenix up until this time. nonetheless, it is my honor and i have been asked to interview
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mr. chris derose. can we please get in applause for the latest author and regnery history? [applause] >> good day, sir. >> good day, dr. franklin, for you? >> i'm delighted to be here among a friendly audience also i would like to see them a little bit closer of here but can you all here okay? that's the question. good, good. let us begin sounding rivals come a very interesting title. of course i have had many rivals in my lifetime including i wouldn't want to mention john adams but perhaps we could and his rivalry. you know, you mentioned this founding a rivalry between james madison, the father of the constitution, and james monroe. now how is it that jr founding
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rivals rather than founding friends, weren't all the founders really supportive of this great country, this new nation we created? >> they were patriots to a person but for many of them the had different ideas of what looked like and what it meant to be true to the principles of the revolution and what it meant to be patriots and to be an american. so i think we have developed this assumption over time that the founding fathers were hegemonic at the agreed on everything. if they always knew what the right course of action was to take and they were always in full agreement with that looked like. in the book founding rivals are the explain this just isn't the case. there's an awful lot of discord between not just james madison and james monroe but between the antifederalist who did not support the constitution of the united states and the
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federalists who did so this is a book about those struggles and it led up to the most important congressional election in history where james madison and james monroe went against each other for the house of representatives and in that race, riding on that race was whether or not madison would get elected in the house and pass the bill of rights which cemented the union, put an end to the antifederalist movement and took the two states of north carolina and rhode island which were staying outside of the union refusing to ratify the constitution until it contained a bill of rights, and only madison as the leader of the federalist could have persuaded the overwhelming federalist majorities in the house and the senate to ratify a bill of rights even before some of the other priorities. this was necessary not to protect the liberties of the public, but to gain the confidence of the constitution across the country and put an
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end to this movement to the constitution. >> this is interesting to read this james monroe is someone i'm not that familiar with. we didn't come away the minute, excuse me for a minute. excuse me. the dow is up? fantastic. excuse me for interrupting from the net. these gadgets you have, wonderful. i'm surprised you are not on them constantly. but another matter. james monroe, tell me, this is a man buy not particularly familiar with. tell me a little bit about the background of mr. munro. >> james monroe is popular among his classmates at william and mary and his fellow soldiers in the continental army and respected by his colleagues in the virginia legislature and in the congress. and james monroe, like james madison, to whom he looked up to
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as a mentor and someone who is more experienced, seven years older, he looked to for guidance they were both concerned with getting an energetic national government in america. .. >> having a strong national government.
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where he fell apart, most importantly, he said without the bill of rights. the good news is we had a good idea of what the bill of rights looked like. for a couple of reasons. number one with the state constitutions and other constitutions, there was a good since throughout the continents that what the rights were that were fundamental. we were rich tradition dating back to the magna carta. what rights did you have to have against your government? to be safe. number two, the greatest as king george iii and king of england, once you had a mad tyrant, inflicting upon you everything, you had a good idea. we had an idea of what the fundamental liberties were.
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james monroe wanted them. he also feeled of power of the new government and fearful of the executive. he didn't think -- he thought the executive was too powerful and probably turn into amour -- into a monoarch. the people he had been aligned with historically and in the virginia radification convention, which was discussed in the book extensively where the constitution itself hung in the balance. virginia, the biggest state, is it going to support the constitution or stop the constitution dead in it's tracks where it probably dies and never goes forward. james monroe comes out against the constitution. at the end of the day, it passes by eight votes out of that virginia radification convention. that is where monroe identifies himself and it's in the immediate runup to the election in which these two would run against each other. >> mr. derose, i took the opportunity to read just a few
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brief chapters which i understand is available at our booth and that is over where at the pursous area. the book will actually be out when? >> in november. >> in november. but you can look at selections. i've had the opportunity of reviewing this. this mr. monroe is someone that i seem to feel some foldness toward. i too am a mortal enemy toward an excessive powerful government, unlimited government is a very dangerous thing in our country and the reason that we establish the constitution was to limit government. i am jealous of our individual rights and any encroachment on the rights would make my blood
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boil. so i can certainly understand that. and i would think that the bill of rights would be an essential part and i am personally grateful that the very first act of congress from what i understand was to pass the first ten amendments. why was the bill of rights a controversial subject among the federalist and anti-federalist? >> actually, dr. franklin, and i realize you were in the last month of your life, suffering horribly of the congress -- >> of the gout. >> but really it takes everything that madison has, all of his credibility, political capital as we call it today to focus the attention of the federalist majority of the rights. early in the congress, madison announces later on i'm going to proposing a bill of rights. a set of fundamental protections for our liberties. that's what he wanted to do to preempt the federalist from offering their own, which likely
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would have been dangerous and structurally affected our government and gone way beyond what he had contemplated to allow the anti-federalist to give the government just some breathing room to get off of the ground. he announces early they are going to be coming. he forces the congress driving and screaming to consider them and ultimately to pass them. the reason the federalist majority didn't want a bill of rights, several reasons. one was that they thought they created a government of enumerated powers. anything the government can do is in the constitution. why do you need a first amendment that projects freedom of religious if the government has no power to regulate religion? couldn't you imply that the government has powers it doesn't have when you go around saying you don't do this and can't do that. also by omitting something, don't you say the rights doesn't appear in the bill of rights and constitution, therefore, it's
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not protected. they thought it was superb and potentially dangerous for what it might include. so -- and also the federalist majority said look we don't even have a tax system. we don't even have a method of collecting taxes and paying our bills. and the national debt at the time of the country, wait for him, was a staggering $50 million. i know you can't conceive of a government deal, that kind of national debt. that was their problem. they didn't have a national debt, judiciary, cabinet, they said why don't we -- we're a vessel just launched. why don't we see and wait and see what works and what doesn't work to consider the bill of rights. they were from states where they didn't have very strong anti-federalist present. they didn't appreciate the threat that the constitution posed by government that didn't protect these rights. >> now in your book "founding rivals" do you discuss george mason? because i understand george
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mason is the father of the bill of rights. is that not correct? >> he certainly can claim some sort of parentage to the bill of rights. when virginia is a first state to become independent, they blare independence a couple of months ahead of the national government. they have a virginia convention, they instruct their members of the continental congress in philadelphia to move for independence which richard henry lee does. and they declare themselves independent. so they set up their own state level constitution and that state level constitution includes a list of rights that would sound very familiar to anyone who knew our bill of rights. madison actually got to serve on the committee in the first act in public office. he's a delegate to the 5th and final virginia state convention. he gets to take his first crack at drafting a bill of rights. those look very familiar. it came out of the committee that george mason shared. >> neither madison nor monroe
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were around during the declaration, that is they were not members the continental congress that i recall, madison or monroe; correct? >> no. >> more of a constitutional debate rather than the issue. did both of them fight in the war? >> they did not. james monroe was actually a very distinguished soldier. he actually takes a bullet at the battle of trenton which held the entire balance of the war. he takes a bullet in the battle of trenton rushing the canyon. they put up the canyons on the main road. they were to pulverize the american army coming into town. that battle has the balance and monroe decisive action in that battle held the balance of the battle. he actually would have bled out and died and never known his name had not the night before, the soldiers awaken a doctor.
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they woke him up and went out and said -- cursed him and told him to get off of his property. he thought he was dealing with british soldiers. they had been in the charge of the town at nearly a year. i am a patriot. i will go into battle. perhaps i can help the poor soul. the poor soul he helped, james monroe. you'll see a lot of stories like that in "founding rivals." the simple chance encounter with dr. rikers was able to change history. we think it's all inevitable. we had the steady march, two independents, we defeated the most powerful country in the world, that was inevitable, we secured a government that was envy of the world to the very day, emulated, copies, talked about genius form of government for governmenting what is now a continent of 300 million people. we think that all of this was
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inevitable. it could have gone very differently at a number of -- at a number of effects throughout history. and so in "founding rivals" what i want to tell the world is nothing is inevitable. that the problems that we face that seem insurmountable seemed at the time and the persistence of the founding fathers, it didn't effect their persistence in the face of dire circumstances. the problems that we have today are things that can be addressed successfully. >> you know, it was amazing to me in reading your book because i was under the impression that when i passed away in 1790 that everything was moving very smoothly toward democracy, toward a republic, and not anarchy, and not decembertism we have achieved the great balance.
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it's with great pleasure that i see 220 years plus later that we have the wonderful balance in our society. and we achieved such great success. we do have our problems from what i can see. but it was interesting in reading founding rivals how tenuous the whole battle was. one the things i think every american should have well read perhaps to carry in their pocket as justice black did is a copy of the declaration of independence and the constitution of the united states. just by show of hand, how many have read these documents? very good. how many of you are lying? [laughter] >> now i want like to ask you a question, fill in the blank. we hold these truths to be --
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>> ah. jefferson actually wrote, perhaps you do not know this, sacred and undeniable. we hold the truths to be sacred and undeniable. i being the rational scientist that i am with my left hand scratched out the words sacred and undeniable and replaced them with the words self-evident. this is the only pleasure i have in the entire declaration of independence of having some input. then after nine years of fighting the greatest, most powerful military presence in the world we were able to declare american independence and we got the constitution of the united states which you as a lawyer are required to study.
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is that not correct? >> that is correct. >> so tell us about madison and his role. do you have a chapter on his role? his critical role in this subject of the establishment of the constitution? >> absolutely. much of the book is in the run up to the constitution, talking about the failings of the national government. the government that couldn't put together a national freight policy. it was a government that could not harness the productivity of his people. madison saw this and agreed as well. in the incidenting convention, where the movement to write a new energetic constitution for the country fell apart. in the philadelphia constitution, where there was nearly a walk out by both sides over some very serious questions. they learned how to work together and came together in
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philadelphia and in the spirit of compromise and finding some sort of government that could finally unite the country, the 13 states, and unlease the potential. madison earns his nickname, father of the constitution, doesn't mean he agreed with everything that was in there. he certainly didn't. doing the election, some of the anti-federalist supporters would say that madison had said not a letter could be spared. nothing could be further from the truth. madison is the biggest advocate for the constitution of philadelphia in virginia. that's what puts him at odds with james monroe. >> you know, i was a big supporter of the constitution. i gave the final address at the constitutional convention, encouraging everyone to deny a little bit of their infoulability and sign this document. in which many did. some still refused and it was a major debate that went on before
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it was ratified by nine states, i believe virginia was the 9th state to ratify. is that not correct? >> virginians thought they were the 9th state. but new hampshire had done so a couple of days earlier. i have a chapter, called the race to 9th. about the virginia ratification, whether the constitution hung in the balance and passes by the 8th vote. new hampshire is 9th. regardless of how many had ratified, a government without it's biggest state wouldn't have been worth very much. if virginia hasn't passed the constitution, new york wouldn't have considered it. ten states before new york and new york was about to be left out in the cold. they still barely pass, i believe it's three votes, under the efforts of alexander hamilton here in new york. >> all of us who signed the constitution at this time in
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1787 knew that it was an imperfect document. and yet could we have improved upon it? perhaps we could. here is some 200 years later we still have the constitution and we've made a number of amendments to the constitution. are there still some areas where we could improve our governing of our country and let me just raise as example one is dear to my heart and that is excessive debt. i was always a believe in industry, thrift, and prudence, and i have become of the opinion that perhaps we've lost a little bit of those virtures as americans some 200 years later. so i guess the question that i would ask you is why is there not a constitutional amount requiring prudence, a balanced
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budget, and control of government spending in today's world. what is your opinion, sir? >> you know, i'd like to talk with one -- the one minute that we have left, i'd like to reiterate our invitation to come to the booth at 4415. i'd love to meet all of you who came and sat and who are interested in this topic. to your point, i think the founding fathers would have been glad. one the things genius about the government, the constitution can be amended, it can be altered as it shows inefficiencies throughout time as it shows itself to be defective in certain ways, it can be amended. that wasn't the case of the articles of confederation. not really. that's part of the genius. this was a government that could always move to fit the times. that's the reason it's been an enduring government, the most enduring, most freist, most wonderful government that anyone ever got to live under. i'm grateful for that. i know you are too.
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thank you so much for coming out today. >> yes, thank you. also let me mention again that in 4415 both chris and i will be over there. i will be glad to autograph copies of the completed autobiography with a rare franklin stamp. you can also receive copies of this select version of "founding rivals." again, thank you so much. it's been a pleasure being with you today. [applause] >> every weekend booktv offers 48 hours of programming focused on nonfiction authors and books.
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watch it here on c-span2. >> who was owen sullivan? >> owen sullivan was one the most notorious counterfeiters in colonial america. he came to america in the 1940s from ireland. he was an indentured servant and ends up in boston as a silversmith. he begins to counterfeit colonial massachusetts notes and building a huge intercolonial network that spans from rides, new hampshire, massachusetts, all over. >> how easy was it to counterfeit at that time? >> well, the printing quality of the bills is fairly primitive by our standards, but it did require tremendous skills as an engraver. one the things you see, most counterfeiters are former silversmiths because it takes dexterity to engrave a copperplate in reverse.
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that's what was required. >> how many -- >> was there a national currency or 13 different types of currency official? >> in the colonial era, 13 different types of currency. after the revolution, it becomes confusing. instead of colonial governments, you have private banks all printing their own notes. first hundreds then later thousands. the peak of is more than 10,000 notes circulating. >> how did that system work? if somebody lived in massachusetts at the time and wanted to go to a store or mercantile? >> it's so confusing. this was the biggest discovery for me in my research was just to think of it from the grounds eye view. if you wanted to eye an apple, show up and present one of 10,000 different types of money. there were ways to manage it. ones things that happen in the period, they have a bank note reporter. you can actually look up twice a
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week in the mail in a little magazine the differing values of different notes and also see which are counterfeit. you know, there are certain counterfeit detectors. if the stroke is too thin, this one is too thick, you might be dealing with a forged note. >> was it a common, everyday thing to have money passed, forged money passed? >> extremely common. the one statistic that we have which is fairly rough, at the height of counterfeit in american, around the time of the civil war, you have between 1/3 and 1/2 of all circulation forged. even if it's half of that, just a tremendous amount of fake money in circulation? >> ben tarnoff, how did you find the story of owen sullivan? >> i started researching in financial crisis. that was my entry point. i was reading a lot about the history of american currency and financed and struck by the
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parallels between the past and present. the three characters seemed like excellent windows into the financial past. >> did owen sullivan make a lot of money in their lifetime? >> he certainly did. there are various estimates. it's in the vicinity of hundreds of thousands of pounds of colonial currency. differing because if he engraves a plate, his accomplices can use it after he leaves. it's not just him, but the network of accomplices all over. >> so money was localized at the time? >> it was. it was. you could have different types of currency in different communities. in the colonial period, you could also have different colonial currencies passing in a single colony. didn't need to be in massachusetts, for instance, to spend massachusetts money. >> if somebody was traveling from philadelphia to new york city -- >> yeah. >> -- what would they bring with them? >> depends.
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in the early republic period, you'd want to buy eastern paper or city paper which is bank noted printed by reputable banks in the east. places like boston, new york, and philadelphia. but if you were traveling particularly to the west, you would be -- you would see a lot of western paper. which was discounted, shaved based on the bank. you'd want to have the strongest and be able to buy up the cheap paper at a discount. >> did the continental congress or constitutional convention address the issue of money? >> well, the continental congress gets into a lot of trouble during the revolution. they start printing their own to fund the war. they are -- they need money. there's really no options for them. they are isolated like a british blockade, can't tax the states, they start printing legal tender currency which becomes
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inflationary and amount sinks of revolutionary efforts. >> no addressing of the thousands of different types of currency? >> well, what happens is when they sit down to right the constitution, the memory of those all of those colonial currencies and more vividly, the crisis with the continental currency means that virtually money of america's leading men advocate paper money. so the constitution explicitly prohibits states from printing their own paper currency. >> what happened to owen sullivan? >> owen sullivan is tracked down and executed in 1756 in city hall park. >> who were the vigilantes? >> in this period, law enforcement is primitive and amateur. if you want someone who is willing to do what it takes and travel across many jurisdictions to find a counterfeiter, you need to pay them pretty well.
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there's a man who's from connecticut who was paid by the connecticut colonial legislature to track down sullivan and bring him to justice. >> david louis was born in 1788. he learned the trade along the border between canada and the united states. which is a major counterfeiting hot spot. he returns to his home state of pennsylvania just in time in 1814 or so when the state charters a bunch of new banks which is part of the broader movement after the revolution an explosion of both banks and bank notes across the country which really opens up the opportunity for counterfeiters. louis is perfectly posed to take advantage. >> samuel upem.
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>> he's probably my favorite. he's not abandoned. he's a shopkeeper, runs stational on chestnut street. when the civil war coming in february 1872 or so, he starts to print which he sees reproduced. now he sells the notes from his shop. he doesn't call them counterfeits, he called them fax imile. which is -- most people thought the rebellion was going to be crushed. he expands his counterentire to be become a major, major counterfeiting operation. >> did he get caught or punished at the end? >> he's never punished. the south hates him. but he's not punished because he is counterfeiting the currency of a government that's not recognized by the union. and the federal government certainly knew what he was
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going. there's endless speculation and conspiracy theories about whether he may have received funding on the secretary of war. there's no evidence. they probably just let it happen. >> at what point did the country get to a single currency? >> well, it happens during the civil war. and there's a number of remarkable and unprecedented steps the federal government takes in the 1860s which really wouldn't have been politically possible without the civil war. so before the war,s -- as we said, you'd have 10,000 different types. after the war, it's either printed by the treasury or printed by a system of federally chartered banks. and counterfeiting subsequently declines quite dramatically. not only that, you have the founding of the secret service in 1865, which original mandate is to go after counterfeiters.
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>> was it controversial? >> extremely. there's a number of steps the federal government has to take. the most dramatic is to break the power of the state banks which are deeply entrenched interest. states like new york and pennsylvania have congressman and senators who advocate were aggressively for the interest. because they benefit enormously from the fairly chaotic monetary system. >> ben tar and anoff is the autf "moneymakers." >> up next, a panel discussion of philosopher and economist of the constitution of liberty. first published in 1960, and recently republished by the university of chicago press. this is just under an hour and a half

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