tv Willard Sterne Randall The Founders Fortunes CSPAN July 4, 2022 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
at bob's to the whole state university system. jefferson, with madison's help was a very big part. i certainly don't want to talk. people here are far more knowledgeable about the development of this university system. you for from uva. it was, for me a lot of fun to discover the depth of this friendship are. >> the presidency airs saturday and available to watch any time at c-span.org/history my name : : and ceo of the veteran's
strategiespu inc. and indiana based public relations washington 2010. robert served in the united states army from 1987 to 1990 after receiving an honorable discharge, robert earned a masters degree in history from indiana university. he also served as deputy chief of staff and communications director for indianapolis. in 2019 he launched the leaders and legends podcast he and his list of guests include george f well, randall and david who
stuart and many more. let's give the guest a virtual round of applause. [applause] thank you, morgan. mr. randall, thank you for your time this evening to tell us about your new book and taking some questions. the latest book is the founder's fortune, how many shaped america. the birth of america, excuse me. his previous works include biography of washington, jefferson, hamilton and many others. let's get started right away. the closing line of the declaration of independence is, quote, for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence we mutually pledge to each o other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. please examine the sentence and tell us why you think fortune was included.
>> obviously their lives were involved because they were revolution against and if it failed or if they were captured, they would be hanged on the ritual, but the fortunes were quite various. some of them were very wealthy. some of them were not, but if you are on the losing sight of a revolution, not only yours, but your families and descendents properties also begin the properties of t king, so everything they had earned was at risk. >> is there a particular gap in scholarship? iyou've written so many books. is there a gap in scholarship you wanted to fill in while writing the founders fortunes?
>> the first gap was to re-examine a theory from a little over a century ago called the economic theory of constitution. and in s times very much like hw i started this project thinking about the times we are in five years ago in political turmoil, divisiveness and it resembled the time w in the early 20th central when charles beard was at the university trying to put together something to explain how the country got going and who did it. and his conclusion was the founding fathers were in it for the money.
then he went through their pockets and found gold and came to the conclusion that they wanted the new form of government in which they would benefit people like them and he thought of them as a class. he thought of politicians as the same asac plutocrats. he actually used the words that these were security brokers financiers et cetera, leaving out entirely most of the men who signed the declaration it overwrote the constitution many of whom were not rich at all. so i not only wanted to go back to his theory but i wanted to go through each one of the founding fathers lives and careers and find out for myself as well as to explain to other people who h these people really worry and how they lived and what they had at stake and whether they want
tool lose by the revolution and the constitution. >> taking in what you just said, what you term this book a revisionist history orian updated one based on news sources and subsequent scholarships. >> i like the second. i think that you can learn an awful lot about what happens by looking closely at the lives of the individuals. for several decades. >> you mentioned finding out
about what they were really like. >> how much time do we have? >> i will start with benjamin franklin who is everybody's popular grandfather figure. even in the hamilton play, the one thing they left out as benjamin franklin because the playwrights that they would take over everything. but worldwide probably the best known founding father was benjamin franklin. he was the inventor, he was the guy with a wheelbarrow interning up scraps of garbage and the autobiography that generations of students had to read. he was also sort of the quintessential new american. so i've studied him a lot and what i've learned about him for
one thing, he was totally honest and very frugal but every once in a while, he could be very naïve. for example, when he was finishing up as our ambassador to france and put together the french alliance when he was coming home, he got the traditional gift they gave diplomats when they were t going home which was often a soapbox. the french were convicted to tobacco and sniffing on it and there was a nice little gift from the king according to how high up you were in his favor. benjamin franklin got a stuffed box with a portrait of the king and 401 diamonds. that created a storm of theio
constitutional convention when he mentioned by the way what we got out of it as a result is the emoluments clause in the constitution that you cannot, ha government official cannot take gifts from other countries or titles. so there was a whole mine i had no idea about what i also didn't know so i've learned a lot of tgood stuff. >> in an article we talked about this, the contention of which we focus too much on the founding fathers and the revolutionary era. what is your take on discharge? >> i don't think that you can understand how the country came about or what that meant or how different it was if you skip over the founding fathers and what they struggled with, not justre what they accomplished. what they reject and what they were able to call off. so i think it's the foundation.
if you don't have a foundation, where do you start? the civil war was a replay of the civil war of the american revolution. andd that has been ignored until recently.nt one third of americans wanted to stay loyal to the king. one third wanted their own country. and the others are coming and i'm quoting john adams. the other third is dependent where the army was. we started out divided. and you have to understand i think who these players were and what it was to understand with the party politics and some other things about y our own times. so i think that you have to and thenh a foundation go from there. >> we are having a conversation with william randall, his latest book is called founders fortune how money shaped the birth of america. one of the gifts that you give
too the readers of this book is how you convert 18th century financial figures into 21stt century numbers. it really has an impact. how exactly did you do that, and did the numbers, the calculated 21st century numbers astound you? >> they astounded me, but actually i was put onto a website called measuring worth. and in that, it gives you a choice how to look at the conversions. you put in the money from the time that you are examining. then the amount and the date when you're writing the book and you get almost a menu of possibilities of what i decided to follow is what we now call
the consumer price index. and that is basically what the money will buy. if you look at that, it is quite surprising. and it's not just about the prices. but example, before the revolution,ra england and france were a century of wars, french and indian wars. and when it was all over, the british had a debt of armed money, $10 trillion. if you just put that in sterling it means nothing. but if you put it in terms of $10 trillion now and know what is transpiring in the senate and our economy, then it's striking what comes out for me is the british thought that they were on the right side. who were these americans that wanted a free ride to live better than the average.
which helps explain which is why it is sympathetic to the british. >> also well-known actors that you just mentioned benjamin franklin but also well-known actors of this period in our history are a part of your book. washington, hamilton, jefferson. but this book isn't just about them. how important was it to you to expand the list of founders that had a keen financial interest and what was taking place at the time? >> i think to settle on a pantheon of statutes and a handful of founders it doesn't help to understand that among the delegates to the constitutional convention, the gentleman that ran the store in new hampshire, his entire portfolio of bonds from the revolution was worth about $12.40 a year.
he certainly wasn't, well, it was about ten dollars before the constitution then it appreciated. the chief justice in the supreme court of new jersey was practically penniless. i've looked at those people as well. c half of the signers of the constitution were trained in the law. about a dozen of them basically had no formal occasion whatsoever. but they had already been governors of states founded in the state universities. they just didn't leap over from the revolution to write a new constitution. they struggled for a dozen years trying to set up governments within their own towns and when
that didn't work that day decide to come together to see if they could come up with the documents that made a more perfect union. but the constitutional nsconvention happened because en george washington who had when the revolution and was beloved by so many people, he couldn't get maryland and virginia t to talk. he wanted to build a canal from the ohio valley so that the ships could sail to europe. but maryland wanted all of the tones and he finally said we can't go on like this. we have to become one nation. >> when it comes to measuring wealth, was there a conflict or perhaps a debate between the relative value of land as opposed to that of hard money? >> the problem was there was lots of land and not much hard
money. the british wouldth not allow te colonies to have their own currency. everything had to be paid. the several states had already tried and had been shut down by the british government. there were no banks, which was hard for me to believe. there were no banks in the united states before the revolution before the constitution. like alexander hamel in his formula. the land was what everybody wanted. that's why so many came from europe. if it was, so everybody can hear and expect that after the french and indian war was over to go west and the british shut it w down. they drew a line on the map on the appalachian mountains and said you can't. from the british point of view is made sense for many people from the coast not being able to buy anything from england. to the americans, it was an
affront andha guaranteed for thm that they would have no wealth, no land to expand. >> let's go back to something you just said. because it took me back. there were no banks in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war and the constitutional convention and the establishment of thehe unitd states. where did people get their money to build or buy? >> in part, washington is an example. he had a broker in london. all the cotton plant -- tobacco planters had to use brokers houses in london to send over the crop and have the broker evaluated to keep it legibly and fulfill orders for any goods that washington wanted, which wasn't working very well.
you had to order everything from england given the length of time it took. washington's wedding suit was sixs months late. martha's clothes were always the wrong size. he saved up to buy a carriage, a nice carriage, custom-designed carriage to stop using a the old buggy and it fell apart at the dock. americans were at the mercy of english merchants that insisted on being painted silver and gold and americans didn't have it, so washington i think begin to bego rebel when he became a debtor, which was not in his nature. >> were talking about the attitude of the british and the treatment of the colonists by the british. so, while all of this was happening, while the colonists were in the state of pre- rebellion and complaining about the taxes, what was the attitude of the british ruling class and its wealthy accomplices towards
the colonists and the complaints? >> well, unfortunately, especially dealing with boston, they felt that theme americans were an unruly mob and so they sent troops. they sent garrison troops to the frontier to keep the settlers from crossing the mountains. they sent a regiment from montréal to garrison alston. they treated americans more and morend as a people not as englih citizens living abroad. and that really got someone like george washington who we don't talk about much with honor and valueue on it in our history. but the insult of being treated as second-class englishmen were effector i have found.yo
>> it was in a enormously expensive britain you mentioned the figure actually their data. so, how testified in your mind were the leaders in advocating and legislating for the colonists to contribute in ways that they hadn't before? >> the leaders of england, the parliament tended to ignore the fact the colonies were given royal charters that included privileges concluding each colony was allowed to legislate and set its own taxes and collect its own taxes. people didn't come here to north america expecting to be kind of the whole framework of their government pulled apart suddenly because a new administration came to power and london wanted to ignore the rights of the american colonists. and just hand us the bill.
benjaminin franklin put it very well. he said what we gave you, half with our lives and half was the cost of the struggle. then we gave you all of our trade. although our commerce. how dare you tax us on top of that. the stamp act in 1765 and others to the towns to recoup this money what was the reaction? >> what startedh out immediately as americans saying we have to buy a stamp and put it on every piece of paper. practically, you look at that and to say it doesn't sound like enough to start a revolution but george washington, for example, what he got through was a hard day in the field and they like
to play cards with his friends they said in his drawing rooms. all of a sudden he had to pay ten shillings tax on a deck of cards. for ten shillings, he could hire a farm manager for the week when they cracked open the dice there was a tax on that and it would give him two horses. so what seems like a small thing to us was a big thing to them at the time. and how they reacted is the way any good english would come a riot. it was a lot at home if you raised the price they rioted. if they couldn't get a beer, theyey would write it again. as americans protested with riots. what was news, the british soldiers to put them down and it was some englishmen with weapons trying to control other englishmen. as it went on, the british were
fumbling. they had just become an brokers. there was no precedent. they sat around reading the history of rome to figure out the empire so that one administration after another had an idea what to do, so they came up with is the act was rejected and overturned. and they came up with the townsend act that included you had to pay a tax to america. americans started putting something like foil on their windows. they began to risk and not go along. franklin's son william, when he was courting a young lady would go over to her house on a sunday. and he would have to survive 16 cups of tea and keep sipping until her mother said you have
to leave. they had to pay to have it imported by the english and english ships all the way from india. all they had to do is duck down into the caribbean and get it for a fraction of that. which is what they d did. so, they resisted byis their actions. they didn't suddenly decide to go too t war. washington thought the war was a very bad alternative. that was a surprise to me. they lost everything in the english civil war. that's why his family came here. what he wanted was sanctions as we call them today. he wanted an economic boycott of the english. and that worked very well until over again you talk about how some of these taxes felllt on te wealthy members of the colonies.
how did they react and how are they affected by the taxes? when it began the british started using the royal navy to connect the customs. and the result was many people that had been openly buying things from the caribbean or france couldn't anymore. the goods became very expensive. needles and thread was something that robert morris ordered to be smuggled in from europe. there was less and less commerce between americansns and europe. and the average is citizen had to pay for it. >> when my kids were studying
this period in american history, i always toldn them to pay attention to the act as i always thought for some questions and comments in the chat it is underrated that it is a cause of the break between the colonies and great britain. what is your take on the act, and how did that affect the mentality of the colonists both rich and poor? >> the act that was finally passed did two things. many resented. one, it made catholicism in the stateeb church of the huge probm of québec. two, at extended québec beyond what we call québec. all the way down to the ohio valley. and it also cut off the trade
with the native americans in québec province.e. so americans basically saw that they were being boxed in. but new englanders were as anti-as they would say then as they could be. and of the idea that the british were superimposing the catholicism on their promise of heaven was much too much for themha and the first army that went to fight in the revolutionary war stopped in the famous puritan preacher and cut off the piecesp of his vestments and put them in their hats to carry the message to canada that they were not going to sit for this. so it was about trade, more english control. it was a matter of also the québec trial by jury as it would all
the landowners to work more or less fixing the roads and bridges. what it did was really diminish the rights and the privileges of the english americans. >> having a conversation with willard randle, famous historian. his latest book is called the founder's fortune, how money shaped the burden of america. no discussion or affection of the economic conditions of the revolutionary era is complete without a deep dive into slavery. and the slave economy. how did this peculiar institution affect the founder's fortunes and the colonial economy in general? >> well, the economy of the south, that is what we would now call the south was based on a slavery. the economy of the north depended on another form of servitude, and that was the indentured servant. if you put the two of them
together, it is half of the population of british america. the difference was in new england indentured servants served for a term of the years and when it was over rewarded either with the tools of his trade or land. enough land to raise a family. the two did not see each other, they didn't see each other as equal. really the seeds of the civil war began right at the time of the declaration of independence. jefferson who owned or enslaved hundreds of people wrote the declaration and in it he blamed the slave trade on the king of england and on the british, which in a way was inaccurate because the largest exporter of slaves was the royal african company controlled by the king
of england. but he tried to write slavery to get the slavery abolished in the declaration of independence. and the southerners, the southern delegateses wanted to o for it. they considered him somewhat of a traitor and slavery basically hit the floor from the very beginning. and i think much worse is when the constitution was written just a dozen years later the debate was cut off. there would be no more discussion for another 20 years. they kept ignoring the snake that was coiled under the table of their democracy and that evil institution of slavery. but each blamed it on the other. how can you object to the ships that you billed for the transport of slaves. it's you that it takes the wrong
that the slaves labored to get the shooter and in turn you turn it into roman boston. the biggest slave port in the country was not in the south. south. it was providence rhode island. so, they couldn't solve this amicably between them so they kept pushing it down the rope. kicking it down the road and they continued to be a source of much of the wealth of the country, but not all of it as time went on. the north joint of the industrial revolution. the old factories. workers from europe who worked under pretty horrible conditions but only for a short time. so, you already have in the declaration of independence those seeds of the civil war by what they cut out. >> what was their inability to do so fueled us much by economic
necessity as it was in the sense that we can't afford to have our plantations and crops without involuntary servitude and by tho way, if god wanted them to be equal less, he would intervene. you read to some pretty horrible stories about the attitudes of the plantation owners in the 18th century for sure at least the time period that you are writing. >> let me take that into reverse order. first of all, slavery was not invented in the south. antiracism was not invented in thee south either. in the early 17th century even the arch bishop in the church of england wrote a very bad poem that talked about the chromatic
scale of evil and the darker you were, the further you are from god and england. and of the english had experienced they came up with an idea of treating a race or nationality quite subservient to their own. not everybody agreed that there was a continuation of slavery. george washington, in an economic calculation figured out he couldn't go on growing tobacco that is used for slave labor because the british were charging him 80 cents on the dollar to ship it, where how's it, unpack and process it and
tax so he could no longer afford too grow tobacco and instead tconverted to a crop that used almost no slavery. growing wheat, catching fish in the potomac river, fish and wheat to the local markets building his own to build wheat all the way to italy. he converted to a whole new economic model land everybody to the south. you couldn't get to the north without crossing at mount vernon and stopping for dinner and having some of martha's ham. he was chosenso by some to leada revolution because it was the largest in the colony and without it there would be no war. it's pretty hard to find an excuse for turning a blind eye to the solution. just some of the delegates to the declaration with a huge
number of people. one delegate 26-years-old in south carolina at 800 enslaved workers. the numbers are staggering. in the north, i have only been able to find one or two of the delegates to the continental congress that had to slaves and so the north already saw this is a terrible idea. when you read biographies of washington and jefferson o and some of a the others and i know you've delved deep into their lives, it's kind of shocking how poor they were in the extent that they had land but no money. if you didn't know thomas jefferson owned monticello, you would think that he would be
begging outside of the tavern every single night for a meal. why were these plantation owners and founders so cash poor? >> they lived harvest to harvest. and there were such things as bad years as in any farmers life. they lived according to the ideas of the british and what they were going to pay for that year's crop. there was no gold or silver. thomas jeffersonoo took 54 years and probably the longest home improvement project and histories to finish monticello because he could never get enough money to do it at once but that was also he was an absolute compulsive shopper who just kept spending and spending. he also had the idea that if the british were going to rip him off, he was going to rip them off so he didn't spend much time
or money. he rationalized everything including his debts. >> he founding father whose name and signature is bigger than anyone's on the declaration of independence. do you think that wealthy merchants and patriots, john hancock, is this underrated in his contribution to the revolution? >> i think he definitely is. and i am working on that frankly. he's underrated because he overdressed. maybe that is too simplistic. but he was born the son of a country person inn massachusetts penniless. he was adopted by a wealthy uncle and aunt and the merchant
at newhe england because his une was sick and dying. he was a small fellow, lightweight and he likedo to enhance his size with really fancy clothes. he was using the hancock businesses and set up a chain of stores basically. hell bankrolled the managers. he distributed food to the poor and supportive hundreds of
families when there were hard times with the british blockade the park. part. so he was very loved in boston except for one or two people. the loyalists and john adams. john adams. through the songs called to sit down john because he would talk and talk and talk, which was the opposite of john hancock. john hancock would run a good meeting but he didn't talk much. he didn't have any errors either, so no family to glorify his reputation. my favorite bostonian by the way to keep going on that for a minute as sam adams, the true radicalev of the revolution. he is the hippie of the 18th century. and when hancock and sam adams
were racing to philadelphia during the british attack on boston to the continental congress, john hancock turned to sam adams and said you can't go to philadelphia representing massachusetts looking like that. so john hancock antagonized him and that became a political rivalry. it meant it was a confederacy. everyone was o in.
everyone was in on one side or the other than the revolution. the wealthy. he moved 280 times and temporary headquarters. we had no officer class. we had no military academies and wound up being generals. many people who are poor under the schemes couldn't evolve the land and volunteered to fight because the states gave them
bounties when the war was over anywhere from 100 acres to what was actually scheduled all the way up to the general and the states by the way were competing with each other and outbidding each other before the recruits. so, rank or birth or class were not factors. anyone who was willing to fight the british bayonets in artillery was welcome. >> not only to the people who were trying to keep it or risk it, but also to theg people who were trying to create it. it was the revolution viewed by some as a way to better their economic condition? >> the answer is yes because americans had no navy and what could be done about that was merchants couldn't invest in building their own ships, hiring
their own crews and called privateers who got commissions from congress and then went out and attacked the british, attacked merchant ships, ships carrying weapons. thousands of british ships were captured. it's an amazing thing. we call it the merchant marine now, but the merchant marine really was privateers. anyone on the ship got a cut when they captured another ship intact and brought it back with its cargo and not auctioned it off. so the cruise, something started as a member of the crew wound up on the ship were several ships. it was a way to wealth. >> we have reached the question and answerur part of the conversation with willard randle, the latest book is called the founder's fortunes. how many shaped the birth of america. eugene has a question. >> before that, i would just
like -- these are wonderful questions. i want to thank you and ioo look forward to more wonderful lwquestions. >> as always, you are incredibly kind and wonderfully gracious. eugene has a really good one. who was the richest founder and the poorest? >> robert morris to both. he started out as america's first -- he came out of the revolution as the first billionaire because he had been a financier, invested in ships and then used them to transport goods to france et cetera. they also had privateering ships that were very successful and by the middle of the revolutionary war, the french said he was the richest american. we a would consider him a billionaire. when it was all over, when the struggle was all over and there was a new constitution, the
economy tanked becauses the british, while they gave us our political independence for the treaty of paris and not our economic independence and they cut off america's markets with europe, with of the caribbean and robertse morris was one of those people who no longer could sell goods and use the ships to make money with europe, so he did this spectacularly foolish thing of speculating land, which is what so many had done. three signers including robert morristo and up in prison becaue they had to so much, so little cash into soin many investments. so, robert morris, who financed the revolution it actually sat down and assigned 6,000 notes by hand to pay washington's army so they could be discharged
proudly, he wound up for three years and we didn't even know. >> for the current financial situation of the united states and maybe focus a bit perhaps on mr. hamilton. >> well, mr. hamilton would be very happy with his idea which was to create a national bank to create the corporation. the first american corporation is the united states government. anybody has toha pay back a government loan that makes profits. he would be very happy with the financial health of the country and banking and the stock market and all that. buty. personally, it was a disaster at making money.
he was so broke when he was killed in a famous dual that his friends and colleagues had to pass the hat. so, he would be happy in the thabstract of the real life and death. he wouldn't be happy at all. >> so, in the previous conversation, you make a comment about passing the hat. expand upon that and say exactly what you mean by that. >> passing that meant he didn't have -- it goes back to the land and money. hamilton married the daughter of a wealthy landowner, but he couldn't sell his land any more than any other american. he couldn't collect rent from tenant farmers because they didn't have any money. so, hamilton worked very long hours supporting a family of
seven as a lawyer. but he also couldn't get along with another american. the different political persuasion. so they wound up shooting it out. the, problem was he didn't have any money, so his family didn't have the money for a funeral or a monument and his colleagues and congress and others literally took up a collection to pay for his funeral and to put a marker upset by the i ways right across the street from the world trade center. for a man who came up with a phenomenal financial system, he wasn't very good at it himself. >> next question is anonymous. would you say that with the founding fathers lacked in
material wealth they made up for in political power? >> ambition to have power, yes but they were powerless because from the minute the constitution was signed in washington and took office, his lieutenants, hamilton and jefferson were at each other's roots. they had no power the only one who had any power is george washington. congress had no power basically because nobody had any money through most of this period. each state, as we are now
finding out again came up with its own election laws and its owners who could hold office. in the south the wealth was based on the value of human beings. they were on the equity of slaves. the governor of south carolina had to be a millionaire. the governor of massachusetts for a while was sam adams for the old suit and for making very bad money. >> the q-and-a feature as willard randall before we leave we have a few minutes left. this question is from robert.
a lesser-known a financier is all over pollock. can you comment about him and how he did postwar? >> i would like to know about him because i can't answer that. >> if you have a minute, type in a little bit and we will try to answer in the few minutes that we have remaining. next question from jan. what finally let the trade happen again between the united states and england? >> the war of 1812 which was the final act in the revolution. again, privateering and the courage of a lot of sailors andd fightinge men. they were able to at least fight to draw against the british army that had already defeated bonaparte napoleon. but the americans held onto the
territory that they had won the british invaded baltimore. we've got the star-spangled banner because they failed by the bombs early light, or they invaded from canada. we don't hear about that. the naval battle of the war was on lake champlain. so, the british couldn't invade from canada. they made it a terrible blunder by leaving baltimore and a sailing to new orleans where they lead into the frontiersman under andrew jackson. 2,000 men killed or wounded 15 minutes. the british were vanquished. the british lost the war of 1812. t t they defeated napoleon but thy couldn't defeat the americans. >> what was the role of solomon? >> i'm glad somebody brought that up.
he was the man who actually knew how to get together enough cash in this cashless society. when washington needed to pay his men to cross the river and attacked trenton in 1776. he basically hung out in a coffeehouse in philadelphia when the ships camend in and the contracts came et cetera. he was an excellent financier and totally respected by washington who depended on him. he has been given far too little space in our history. >> so, robert has come through for us. oliver, the merchant and the financier of the american revolutionary war with of the
creation of the united states $in 1778. >> that is a good idea for a book. this is how the books are born in the questions and historians can't answer. >> 's we talk about some of the wealthy members of the generation who cast their lot with the revolution. what about the wealthier colonists, the wealthier americans that stayed true to britain? how did they fare both during and after the treaty of paris in 1583? >> they fared very badly in the united states. convoys and ships left to take determined loyalists elsewhere in the british empire.
the treaty provided that they would be able to collect their debts. heye was a lawyer that firmly believed in the contracts and language refused to accept the terms of the treaty franklin and jefferson had. so, he also found in out and persecuted into became a lawyer for the loyalists. on the basis of the legal
practice. so, the british probably are the only ones who treated the loyalists well. after using them and losing the house of lords give the loyalists the equivalent of the cost of one more year and divided it up, sent commissioners over to get documents and people for the losses. canada is where most of them went. so what is now ontario province, the loyalist province. new brunswick, nova scotia. most of the loyalists walked or went by ship to the frozen north. >> final question for the evening. you started talking at the very beginning of the discussion about howre the british had i think you saidll a debt of $10 trillion and they needed money from the colonists through texas to help alleviate this data.
but instead of getting money from the colonists, they got more. so, what was the financial condition of great britain after the end of the american revolution? >> very deeplyt.t. in debt. they didn't manage to do anything but incur more debt. they also lost -- george the third managed to lose the first british empire. he ran the word personally. he was an insomniac writing notes to generals as prime lminister but he managed to loe and left the land owners of england that paid most of the bills. and as much as a third of the value of the land every year the british couldn't afford to go on fighting. there were riots in the streets, there were troops in london, shooting rioters. the british lost the war and they were dead broke still.
>> and i guess we know how the war affected the allies into the colonists and french monarchy and itsts deadly game and how tt played out. >> we have been speaking with willard, the latest book is called the founder's fortunes, how many shaped the birth of america. thank you to everyone who came on today to listen. as usual, you did an absolutely terrific job. your book is amazing and i encourage everyone to use the link in the chat feature to pick it up at their nearest bookstore. thank you very much. >> and thank you. this has been a great pleasure for me. >> recently, the author talked about with the constitution might look like if it were rewritten by every american generation. here is some of what he said. >> and i will finish my presentation by talking just for a second about the preamble.
there is no discussion in my mind if you set down with hundreds of delegates to account the convention back in philadelphia in 2022, our preamble would look different. the new drafted preamble would look different. one of the things a lot of countries have done in their preamble is gave a nod so i crafted a preamble and i'm going to show it to you as a way to finish up. it looks like this. this is what i would argue would be and could be a constitutional preamble in the 2022 conventional constitution. we the people in the united states to form a more perfect union establish justice and acknowledge the history, the injustice, tranquility revised with the common defense, the remedy to rule the systemic prejudice other institutional
determination, slavery persisted legacy under the indigenous nation and the native peoples promote the general welfare and endeavor to achieve greater equity to all to establish this constitution for the united states of america. >> you can watch the full program on c-span.org/history. just search for the title of the book, a constitution for the living. ♪♪ ♪♪
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