The Hamiltonian Federalists within the original Federalist Party, unbeknownst to today’s Americans, actually opposed the Separation of Church and State on socioeconomic grounds. The Separation of Church and State was understood as something akin to the “privatization of religion,” creating a Welfare Capitalist program that turned religion itself into a handmaiden of Kapital and Schuld. The so-called “Christian Right” and “Christian Left,” according to this Hamiltonian logic, are nothing more than ideological diversions of Jeffersonianism. For rather than a “privatization of religion,” the old Hamiltonian Federalists advocated for “Federalization” of religion and immigration through close collaboration between the Federal Government and the Churches.
The forms in which this close collaboration would assume was to take place within the realms of education, housing, and family. There could have been vocational training programs, relief programs for immigrants arriving to these shores, and accommodations for the integration of religious minorities like Roman Catholics, Jews and Muslims. These Socialistic ideas were intended to be the product of a “Federalist Nationalism” where the immigrants and religious minorities had the potential to provide their own contributions to the American Way of Life. This Federalist Nationalism saw them as ways of reminding the American people as a Totality on why the American Way of Life itself is driven by that fundamental contradiction within the American Essence. No matter how racially and ethnically diverse America becomes, that fundamental contradiction of the American Essence–the “English-Prussian Dialectic”–remains constant.
Has one not yet realized how much the US Constitution is still, to quote the old Hamiltonian Federalists themselves, “‘a roof without walls?’” To put another way, can one envisage the US Constitution being written in England or Prussia, let alone elsewhere in the English-speaking or German-speaking worlds? And which language would the US Constitution be written in?
One of the more pressing concerns of the old Hamiltonian Federalists, unlike the traitors who aligned themselves with James Madison, was that the Constitution lacked a national identity. It was perceived as a national document for a political system without a common culture that united all Americans and their States around the Federal Government. Therefore, it became a sort of imperative for the Hamiltonian Federalists to develop a “national culture” to complement the Constitution. This national culture, built on a foundation of “reflective essays,” “print literature” and even a shared “legal jurisprudence,” would have also included an “American art style,” an “American language,” and an “American dictionary.”
There is no doubt that the American Union is exceptional. The real question that the old Hamiltonian Federalists and I are determined to ascertain about “American Exceptionalism” is under whose definition. We cannot understand the Hamiltonian Federalist interpretation of American Exceptionalism without realizing how it eventually ties in with Federalist Nationalism and its own stances on religion in general. More importantly, why Federalist Nationalism is opposed to our contemporary understandings of the “Christian Right” and “Christian Left” as well.
In essence, American Exceptionalism takes on an entirely different form and actuality within the realm of Federalist Nationalism. Religion must not be allowed to serve as the ideological plaything of the Jeffersonian Empire of Liberty. To do so would be tantamount to tolerating and condoning the reactionary, chauvinist elements in the American Way of Life, a problem which has only been exacerbated by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Furthermore, the Federalist interpretation of American Exceptionalism is more inclusive than exclusive, more humility than hubris. It stresses the need for all Americans, regardless of their faith or ancestral origin, to pursue civic engagement in the American Way of Life as Americans first and foremost. It is a healthy nationalism the likes of which were proclaimed by Alexander Hamilton himself in the pages of Federalist Paper No. 1:
“The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”
America is a byproduct of British and German Cultures, and there continues to be frictions over whether America was supposed to be an extension of the German-speaking world or the English-speaking world. It is discerned from how most everyday Americans interpret the Constitution, which stances they take on the roles of the Federal and State Governments, and whether one considers America as part of the English or German-speaking worlds. The implications of the English-Prussian Dialectic are as much related to US domestic policy as it is to US foreign policy. The most relevant of all should be the forms in which the Federal Government itself is meant to be organized, and our “Special Relationships” with the United Kingdom and the German Reich.
Thus, the need for America to support the creation of strong families, in addition to adherence to the Federalist Party’s belief that the Family serves as the building block of the Union, has two different purposes under Hamiltonian Federalist social policy. First, no American family lives and grows together on its own anywhere in these United States. This family finds its sense of time and place, its authenticity within the American Way of Life, as part of a larger “People’s Community.” This People’s Community is comprised of other Americans whose shared ancestral heritage can be traced back to their old homeland. And second, the contradictions of the English-Prussian Dialectic would never be given its proper resolution, let alone be ameliorated, if everyday Americans grow forgetful of their origins. Every generation of Americans should be familiarized with the culture and traditions of their ancestral homeland, and this effort has to be supported by the Federal Government as part of their education, upbringing, and social life.
Perhaps no other Federalist in the 20th century understood the importance of this task for the Federal Government better than Richard Nixon. In his book, Beyond Peace, he wrote:
“It is essential that all people have the opportunity to study their own roots, which make our national tree so strong. But those who say that skin color alone entitles minority groups to an alternative set of national icons strike at the heart of what it means to be an American. In coming from other places to participate in our vast continuing experiment, our miraculous community of immigrants, Americans enter into a special kind of social contract. Being American is not about being white and Christian, or black and Muslim, or Asian and Buddhist. It is about being dedicated to a country that in principle offers virtually limitless opportunity to all, regardless of their background. That we have failed to turn this principle into reality in every respect does not mean we should abandon it, especially if in doing so we restore divisions between races and peoples that will undermine our potential to complete the task of building a truly pluralistic, strong, prosperous nation.”
Nixon would later reinforce this message in his later memoir, In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat and Renewal. Within that particular book, he described its importance as part of the education and upbringing of young people:
“Each student should leave twelfth grade reading English at a twelfth-grade level or better. He should have read great English writers such as Shakespeare, Dickens, the Brontës, and, in translation, great Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Spanish writers such as Cervantes, Latin American writers such as Borges. Black students should know something about Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and white students should know about Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. In short every student should know a little bit about everything, so he can make an intelligent decision about what he wanted to study in greater depth in college…A student should know the rudiments of a foreign language, be able to recognize at least a few of the great works of Western music, and understand the tenets of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and the world’s other great religion, Marxism-Lutheranism. He should have spent some time playing a competitive sport. He should know the history of his country, and something about the history of the world. This should include contributions of women and minorities that were left out of the curriculum in earlier eras.”