by Samuel Francis
In the course of American history, nationalism and republicanism have usually been enemies, not allies. From the days of Alexander Hamilton, nationalism has meant unification of the country under a centralized government, the supremacy of the executive over the legislature, the reduction of states’ rights and local and sectional parochialism, governmental regulation of the economy and engineering of social institutions, and an activist foreign policy—expansionist, imperialist, or globalist—that costs money and requires at least occasional wars. Nationalism and its proponents have historically been Anglophiles, emulating the mercantilist dynastic state that flourished in Great Britain from the eighteenth century, and for all their claims of overcoming sectionalism and private interest, they have been identified with the Northeastern parts of the United States and its institutions—New England, New York City, the Ivy League, Big Banks and Big Business, Wall Street and Washington. The national state the nationalists defended and constructed was born with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, reached adolescence in the victory of the North in the Civil War, and grew to corpulent adulthood in the twentieth-century managerial state of Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
The principal opponents of nationalism in American history have been republicans, and it is one of the ironies of our history that the political party that claims the republic.