Hamilton and Russia: What Broadway ‘Rap-ists’ Will Never Understand
by Renée Sigerson
Even in daily conversation, people will commonly compare earthquakes with political revolutions. Earthquakes can be massively destructive, mainly because humanity still has a primitive understanding of why they occur. Revolutionary upheavals, on the other hand, can be either destructive or beneficial. The outcome entirely depends on the morality and depth of devotion of the men and women who lead them.
Alexander Hamilton had a perfected grasp of the difference between social change which produces a progressive advancement of mankind’s condition, versus the kind of vicious outpouring of corrupted rage, which leads societies into chaos and violence. The former type of social upheaval dominated the 1776-87 American Revolution because of the moral quality of a small handful of guiding patriots; the 1789 French Revolution quickly became a madhouse of bloody chaos, bringing on an 18-year period of violence under Europe’s first continental dictator, presaging the Twentieth century’s two global wars.
It is because of Hamilton’s deep understanding of these differences in human mindset that he undertook to promote Shakespearean Classical drama in New York, the city he adopted to form a seed-crystal of a better, upward-developing civilization in the Americas.
Virtually all the certified biographers of Hamilton have failed to investigate seriously this aspect of Hamilton’s life. Or, more to the point, though some have noticed relevant facts indicating Hamilton’s role in establishing New York’s Park Theater as an upgraded forum for Classical drama, the academically approved biographers of Hamilton shut out this aspect of Hamilton’s life before the living drama of his activities is allowed to come upon the stage.
The reason is that the Park Theater emerged, in a most unforeseeable sequence of events, as the venue which shifted the relationship of the fledgling United States to Tsarist Russia, an irony of living history which William Shakespeare would well have enjoyed.
The following summary account of this effect of Hamilton’s efforts, including what happened after he took Aaron Burr’s bullet, can only unfold in a manner mirroring the unfolding of a Classically composed musical fugue.
Russia and America
Some elements are known in detail; others are fleeting contrapuntal reflections of the overall dynamic which fly away without a concluding exposition. The relationship between voices creates new ideas. Yet, there remains a unity in the living whole which points towards the basic point: going all the way back to the common root of the founding of the United States; the effect of Peter the Great’s modernization of Russia under the influence of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; and the long struggle of an educated, scientific circle of Russians who came to craft Russia’s development, and wanted the United States to be a successful partner. In particular, Russian patriots, largely assembled around forming a state-of-the-art navy, desired the United States to become a continental Republic, extending from its Atlantic coast beginnings all the way to the northern Pacific, to join with Russia against the madness of the dying, financier-based European oligarchical powers of western Europe in Britain, France and Spain—the corrupt combination which later emerged as the bloody British Empire.
For many decades, English-speaking academia has labored under the key-and-code that any fact or evidence illustrating the desire of representatives of pre-Bolshevik Russia to cement cooperative friendship with the newborn, revolutionary United States, must not be allowed to come to light. Though the facts proving this to have occurred are readily available, the code has enforced a procedure whereby all evidence of that type is hurled down an unlit, dark corridor, which is then sealed off by a carefully bolted door. If academic researchers desire to have comfortable careers, such bread scholars make sure to shut that door closed once they have deposited disembodied facts in the dark beyond.
John Quincy Adams was the first United States Minister to Russia from 1809-1814.
Recently, the Office of President Vladimir Putin knocked on that door. In the Russian-issued public statement summarizing Putin’s first-ever phone conversation with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, that Office’s statement read: “Both leaders noted that next year, it will be 210 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States, which itself should encourage a return to . . . mutually beneficial cooperation.” [emphasis added]
In the following account, we respond to that critical reference to 210 years past. We push that sealed door ajar, and cast a stage light onto a living drama that covers the period from Hamilton’s resignation from the post of Treasury Secretary, to the election in 1824 of John Quincy Adams as U.S. President. During that time-frame, a pro-American grouping within the Russian intelligentsia moved to make America an allied friend against their common enemy: the French madman Napoleon Bonaparte, and his secret supporters among the British financial scorpions who hated the United States and wanted Hamilton killed. German patriots associated with “Poet of Freedom” Friedrich Schiller played an important role in this period as well.
Among the objectives of this Russian grouping, aimed at securing a better direction for all of mankind’s development, was the desire to foster America as a powerful continentally ensconced force, comparable to the vast terrains under Russian rule. The idea was to lead mankind out of the insanity—which still exists today—whereby a financial jetset located in a few cities could “rule the world” by creating octopus-like tendrils engaged in financial skullduggery, slavery, drug trafficking, and fomenting war, wherever their naval outposts could reach. Thus emerged the idea both in Russia and America, that the interior zones of nations had to be developed to enable mankind to reach a higher level of purpose and discovery of the principles of organization of the physical universe.
To prevent this aspect of America’s actual evolution from becoming known, the financial elites have been spewing out venom against Russia going all the way back to the proverbial day one of the founding of the United States, often justifying their denunciations by nurturing moles within Russian society to spew hatred against the United States.
There is little new in tone or content to London-Wall Street-owned western press attacks on Vladimir Putin, that hadn’t been hurled against Russia as early as 1815, if not before.
Hamilton’s Theater Project ended up having a role in bringing Russia and America closer together. In reaction against this process, one of the key actors in our account was assassinated, his death marking one of the pivotal downturns in modern civilization. But by situating the facts of the matter as we do here, we aim to reverse a tragic development, and turn mankind’s flaws toward a discovery of the sort of penitence which frees human beings to mobilize new qualities of creative life. And, of course, this, in fact, is the sacred intention of Classical drama, entirely distinct from the silly, Jacobin ravings currently distracting Broadway in the form of a spectacle misnamed “Hamilton.”
And So, the Curtain Rises
In 1795, Alexander Hamilton resigned as Treasury Secretary of the United States, though he continued to direct President George Washington’s cabinet out of his law firm in New York. Among his new clients, he admitted William Dunlap, a portrait artist turned Classical stage director, whose drama group, “The Old American Company,” was chronically bankrupt.
William Dunlap (February 19, 1766 – September 28, 1839)
New Jersey-born Dunlap was one of many American youth sent by their parents to London to study under American portrait artist Benjamin West. The largely self-taught West was so acclaimed that even during the American Revolution, the British Crown kept him in service, while American youth came to benefit from his knowledge. Among those youth was the 14-year-old John Quincy Adams, whose letters thanking West for taking him on a tour of London museums while his father handled diplomatic negotiations with the Crown, are still today readily available. The shared influence of this experience has relevance for the entire process described.
In 1785, Dunlap returned to America, taking up residence in New York, where he was determined to become a stage designer. The quixotic Old American Company (OAC) accepted his application, and soon he also became stage director, and finally manager of the firm. OAC had been a favorite of General George Washington, who attended their performances when living in New York. Founded in the 1750s, OAC was a collection of emigré English and Irish actors, who came wandering to the Americas looking for settlements where theater had not been banned by the colonial governments, or in some cases, the Puritans. When Washington attended, theater was still banned by the Continental Congress as a morally seditious activity. (Thankfully Friedrich Schiller issued his famous essay in 1782, “Theater As a Moral Institution,” in which he demonstrated the morally necessary role in society of the Greek chorus and Classical drama in enabling human beings to discover their own potentiality for creativity and the Good.)
In this environment, it is not surprising that the English actors who attempted to bring Shakespeare to America had rather dissolute personalities. Dunlap was surrounded by back-biting egotists, who were constantly stealing money from the firm and arguing with one another about who would get the lead role.
Working with Hamilton, a completely new financial design for bringing Classical drama to the public was created. One hundred thirty shareholders were recruited from professional New York households and the circle of Hamilton’s friends, and seasonal tickets were issued, which Hamilton and his wife Eliza always purchased. Dunlap advertised in London to recruit new actors, and negotiations were launched to exchange better actors from a Pennsylvania theater group. This resulted in Thomas Abthorpe Cooper, a serious English actor whose performances of Hamlet had left Philadelphia audiences in stunned admiration, moving to New York.
The opening night of the Park Theater, which was in a new building with better staging, featured Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and a brief encore called The Purse. Nonetheless, due to cultural backwardness, bad weather, and fears of yellow fever, the new drama company still failed to achieve financial solvency.
That is, not until 1798, when an unforeseeable change occurred which had much broader implications.
The shift occurred as two apparent coincidences unfolded, actual events for which there is no proof that they were intentionally related. Shall we say: they were a “sign of the times.” And those times were deeply affected by the fact that Europe was being plunged into massive armed conflict as the man-beast Napoleon Bonaparte was amassing his military power.
Hamilton and Washington were always concerned that Europe’s wars would spill over into the new, vulnerable Republic, as had already been threatened during the 1793 Whiskey Rebellion. Hamilton had a visceral disgust for that sort of Jacobin anarchism, and his support for introducing Classical drama in New York aimed at using a Classical renaissance in that Hudson River-based port city, as the center for allowing all Americans to become much more educated and politically responsible for the posterity of the nation.
The first apparent coincidence occurred after Hamilton, in 1797, issued the controversial pamphlet known as “The Mrs. Reynolds Affair.” More has been written about this item, whose release may well have been a mistake on Hamilton’s part, than on any other aspect of Hamilton’s life. As known, in the pamphlet he admitted to his earlier, discontinued involvement in an adulterous liaison, which undoubtedly had been a political set-up against him.
As the pamphlet stirred political gossip throughout New York, in 1798, Thomas Abthorpe Cooper handed to Dunlap a manuscript which contained a translation of a play which had taken the European continent by storm. The author of the play was Weimar, Germany-born August von Kotzebue. The original text was in German, but the author was also known as the protected favorite of Russia’s Empress Catherine II, who had approved this young German writer’s appointment to run her St. Petersburg “German Theater.”
Titled in English The Stranger, but based on the German original Menschenhass und Reue (roughly: Misanthropy and Remorse), the play portrayed the case of a young woman who has secluded herself in a permanent state of penitence for the guilt of having committed adultery. Considering the intensity with which Hamilton’s political enemies reacted to his pamphlet, it is hard to imagine that the following had no effect on public reaction at large.
In the final scene of The Stranger, which is carefully prepared by the author, the lead character delivers a penitential soliloquy, identifying with painfully developed insight that flaw within herself that caused her to fall victim to a criminal seducer. Her proven transformation provokes her estranged husband and grief-stricken children to rush into her arms with forgiveness, and throughout Europe, no matter the language in which the play was performed, audiences would respond to Kotzebue’s concluding breakpoint with tremendous outpourings of emotional sympathy, sobbing and wailing, to the point of howling to show their support for the main character’s proven remorse for her sin.
Dunlap decided to stage the play. After reading the script to the cast, he noted in his diary, “I never saw a play affect performers so truly before.” The performances in New York elicited the same quality of explosive emotion as had earlier occurred in Europe.
August von Kotzebue (May 3, 1761-March 23, 1819)
Moreover, Kotzebue had awakened within the American-based acting troupe a deep interest in what was then called “the new German theater.” He was, by far, no equal to the leading dramatic writer operating out of Weimar, namely Friedrich Schiller, nor the most influential shaper of German cultural policies, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. But, reflecting his early childhood fascination with pro-American German philosopher and playwright Gotthold Lessing, Kotzebue was able to capture on the stage the precise emotional and intellectual conflicts of his average contemporaries, and to provoke them to rethink in the social environment of the theater, their own follies in a way that captured, intently, their imaginations.
Beginning with The Stranger, Park Theater performed 18 plays by Kotzebue over the coming two years. For the first time ever, the theater had stable financial support. Kotzebue became nearly a craze within the population of New York, and the playwright wrote a letter to Dunlap thanking him for the publicity.
New York’s Commercial Advertiser newspaper noted in March 1799: “To see something from the pen of Kotzebue is now the general wish.” In 1799, Park Theater performed his Count Benyowsky; or, The Conspiracy of Kamtschatka, the tale of a prison camp revolt in Siberia, under the command of a Polish captive who was also a supporter of the American Revolution. Soon, Kotzebue became not just a New York, but a nationwide early-American theatrical craze. By 1815, Count Benyowsky was performed in Baltimore at the official celebration marking the victory of the United States against Britain in the War of 1812—the same event which featured the debut of John Stafford Smith’s setting of Francis Scott Key’s “Defense of Fort McHenry” under its new title, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Kotzebue knew he was inferior to the greatest playwrights. But he churned out 300 plays addressing contemporary topics, including Britain’s slave system in Jamaica, portraying a slave family in completely human, ordinary terms before virtually all-white audiences. He was primarily a journalist, and yes, an agent of influence of the Russian patriots with whom he was associated; yet as we document below, he was really something more. He became linked in the view of many nations to the works of Friedrich Schiller, the true genius in drama of that time, giving people in many language-cultures an access-point to study Schiller in the original language. In England, where German progress in science and culture forced the introduction of German language studies, students were known to say, “Schiller and Goethe are for reading; Kotzebue is for the stage.”
The fact that this man embodied an exchange of culture and of national aspirations between Russia, German intellectuals, and the United States, was considered very dangerous by the imperial masters of old Europe. In 1819, Kotzebue was stabbed to death by a deranged student. In the next phase of our examination, we see how the staging and eventual burial of any reference to Kotzebue after his death, set the stage for nearly two hundred years of demonization of Russia. Once he was killed, Kotzebue’s murder was used by an imperial alliance between Britain and Austria’s Hapsburgs to create the myth of Russia as the monstrous dictator of all Europe.
Russia and the Next Phase
We may never know if the actor Cooper suggested performing The Stranger to Dunlap in order to blow apart misguided public preoccupation with Hamilton’s case. Yet, whatever the verdict on that matter, the second coincidence in this period of time, is that while all of this was occurring, future U.S. President John Quincy Adams had been named, following his assignment to conclude the controversial Jay Treaty with the Netherlands, as U.S. Ambassador to Prussia. As the assignment allowed him a lot of free time, Adams engaged in intensive study of the German language and theater, testing his skills as a translator of the new poetry and attending German theater in Berlin. Thus, both Adams and Hamilton in this period were “on the same page.”
This is significant because in this period, President John Adams and his wife Abigail became intense enemies of Hamilton. By the time he was elected, the elder Adams was heard to denounce almost everything Hamilton had been associated with. In contrast, his son worked under Hamilton as negotiator of the Jay Treaty with the Netherlands; supported, as Hamilton did, the U.S. purchase of the Louisiana Territories; and finally, when he became President, supported and oversaw the completion of the Erie Canal which Hamilton had proposed—a project also supported by William Dunlap’s continuing work on Classical painting and theater.
So, though Hamilton never lived to collaborate with John Quincy Adams in what he accomplished as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, beginning in 1807—the exact date referenced by President Putin’s press release—the following will show that there always existed a thread that linked their work. That thread continued to be influenced by the activities of August von Kotzebue.
Germany’s Voice in U.S.-Russia Ties
A concise detour into some further details of Kotzebue’s life sets the stage for dramatic, real-life events over a period of 20 years beyond what has been indicated so far, bringing us to the shocking circumstances and effects of his murder.
When hired to head Catherine II’s German theater, Kotzebue had legally committed his two sons from his first marriage to be taken as wards of the Russian Navy, to be educated as officers. Their mother having died, he remarried, becoming a brother-in-law of Adam Johann von Krusenstern, soon to be named Admiral of the Russian Navy.
The adventurous complexities of his life brought him to the very inside of the winding corridors where power was wielded in old Europe.
In 1801, Kotzebue returned to Russia from Germany, where he had relocated, to visit his two sons. Immediately upon crossing the border, he was arrested and transported far into Siberia, allegedly under orders of Tsar Paul I, the heir of the deceased Catherine II. In a beautifully written book describing the year he spent in Siberian exile, Kotzebue inserted an unmistakable reference, letting it be known that he was to be included as among Europe’s admirers of America’s founder Benjamin Franklin. No other reason is ever given as to why he was exiled.
His petitions to the Tsar, who he was convinced had been misled to imprison him, finally yielded his release. The Tsar—whose own controversial circumstances will not be detailed here—had him transferred from prison to become director of a new museum founded in St. Petersburg. One day, while Kotzebue was working in the museum, in the same building, Tsar Paul was murdered by a circle of conspirators. Kotzebue insisted these were the same conspirators who had originally arranged for his own exile.
During these years, Napoleon rampaged across Europe, looting the treasuries of every nation and demanding troops be amassed everywhere to be put under his command. It is under these conditions that John Quincy Adams was named Ambassador to Russia in 1807—again, the date cited by Putin’s office.
Add to that context: In 1807, Napoleon defeated the Prussian army in the devastating battle of Jena-Auerstedt. Europe was crestfallen by the implications of Napoleon’s seemingly invincible power. Immediately, a circle of Prussian officers headed for Moscow to join Tsar Alexander I’s army. Everyone knew that having crushed Prussia, Napoleon would begin preparations to invade Russia.
Among those Prussian officers was Friedrich Schiller’s brother-in-law, Wilhelm von Wolzogen. Schiller himself had passed away from lung disease in 1805, a year after Hamilton was murdered by Aaron Burr. Wolzogen was a dedicated scholar of his brother-in-law’s intellectual and artistic accomplishments. By studying Schiller’s strategic writings on Europe’s 17th-century Thirty Years War, including the dramatic trilogy Wallenstein, Wolzogen designed a plan for destroying Napoleon for good, whenever he dared to enter Russia.
The period of this interaction between Prussia’s leading military strategists and Russia, is the same period that John Quincy Adams arrived in Moscow as America’s first-ever official emissary. During the five years he was in Moscow and St. Petersburg, he had frequent access to Tsar Alexander, but in particular, he communicated with the head of Alexander’s cabinet, Count Nikolay Rumyantsev. In turn, Rumyantsev was in continuous collaboration with Kotzebue’s brother-in-law, Adam von Krusenstern, on the development of the Russian Navy. Their goal was to match England’s command of the seas by carrying out exploratory missions throughout the Pacific Basin. On the first such expedition, which concluded in 1806, Kotzebue’s sons Otto and Moritz both served as crew members under Krusenstern’s command.
Rumyantsev spoke frequently with the American Ambassador, famously emphasizing how much he admired the United States, even to the point that he desired to retire there, though his health prevented him from doing so. The leading subject they discussed was how to fix the border between America and northern territories claimed by both Russia and England. As Rumyantsev and John Quincy Adams tested each other on the question as to whether Russia or America would assert claim to the mouth of the Columbia River in the Oregon Territories, the Count made clear that whatever the outcome, he represented a pro-American grouping in Russia that rejected the sentimental attachment of other leading Russian circles in favor of England’s monarchical system. These Russian patriots wanted the American experiment to succeed, and for the United States to have a powerful position on the Pacific Basin to counter the madness of Europe’s imperial centers.
In 1809, Napoleon invaded Vienna for the second time, and advanced to position himself at the border with Russia. In the same period, President Madison ignored John Quincy Adams’ desperate letters advising him to resist, at all costs, allowing the United States to get into a war with England, since Europe had agreed to make England the leader of its anti-Napoleon Alliance.
As soon as U.S. gunboats attacked English ships that had been seizing U.S. sailors (a problem Tsar Alexander had volunteered to mediate, as he had successfully done in the past), war was declared between America and England on both sides. The Tsar was compelled to remove Rumyantsev to appease London, and a foolish Count Karl Nesselrode took control over the Russian cabinet.
John Quincy Adams sat out his disappointment, and continued his primary objective: to win Russian support for the best possible arrangements to make the United States a continental Republic. The common interest of the two countries was clear. Russia also oversaw a vast, uninhabited terrain. Its borders had to be secured, to allow for the maximum possibility of successful economic progress. For the United States, that meant the northern Pacific border of the United States would have to be that same 48th parallel which had given the United States unlimited access to the iron ore deposits of the area of Michigan. On the Pacific coast, that would mean that the United States, and no other country, could set the rules for navigating the Columbia River.
In those years, John Quincy Adams was therefore deeply concerned with destroying his political enemies in the Federalist Party, from which he had resigned after briefly serving as their Senator, and voting in favor of the Louisiana Purchase. He knew that the so-called Essex Junto, a pro-British faction within the Federalist party, were committed to splitting the United States into rival micro-states. He saw his work in Russia as key to counteracting Britain’s role in fostering subversion through the Federalist ranks. He wrote to family members from Russia: “If that [federalist] Party are not effectually put down in Massachusetts as they already are in New York… the Union is gone. Instead of a nation, coextensive with the North American continent, destined by God and nature to be the most populous and most powerful people ever combined under one social compact, we shall have an endless multitude of little insignificant clans and tribes at eternal war with one another for a rock, or a fish pond, the sport and fable of European masters and oppressors.” And again: “The whole continent of North America appears to be destined by Divine Providence to be peopled by one nation… For the common happiness of them all, for their peace and prosperity, I believe it indispensable that they should be associated in one federal Union.”
John Quincy Adams’ passionate commitment to the developed unity of the nation as a whole echoes precisely the devotion of Alexander Hamilton in his role as Treasury Secretary and chief aide to President Washington.
Thus, trust and agreement with the Northern Pacific giant Russia, was a prerequisite to ensuring that the United States could both expand in territory, and yet still endure. John Quincy Adams valued enormously the experience he gained living in Russia and building trust with its leaders. At a point when he still hoped to prevent the War of 1812 from erupting between the United States and Britain—as war would then exclude commercial ties and deeper cooperation between the United States and Britain’s temporary ally Russia—Adams wrote to Rumyantsev: “I lament the war, particularly as occurring at a period when, from my good wishes for Russia and for the Russian cause, I should rejoice to see friendship and harmony taking place between America and England, rather than discord… I know the war will affect unfavorably the interest of Russia.”
In 1812, when Napoleon massed his forces along the Russian border to invade, the Tsar—under advice from the Prussian circle around Wolzogen (who himself had died in December 1809)—did not attempt to defeat Napoleon’s advance, but merely deployed his army to slow it. When Napoleon reached Moscow, a terrible winter had already begun. As advised by their Prussian allies, on the Russian government’s command, a great fire was set and the city of Moscow burned to the ground. Its population had retreated to the countryside, its leaders to the northern city of St. Petersburg. John Quincy Adams moved to St. Petersburg along with diplomats from throughout Europe, while “General Frost and General Famine” reduced Napoleon’s half-million-man force to fewer than 20,000.
As this was happening, in war-destroyed Vienna, Kotzebue contacted the great German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, whose career had come to a halt as war had shut down the musical life of the city. Kotzebue intervened to get work for Beethoven. This collaboration, which began around the time Beethoven first performed his ground-breaking Symphony No. 7, was continued until Kotzebue’s death. Not accidentally, it was subsequently the Russian nobility which most generously supported Beethoven’s writing of his great Missa Solemnis, a work the composer dedicated to inspiring humanity to recognize the actual creative nature of the human species. In the manuscript of the Missa Solemnis, Beethoven dedicated it to the “inner peace” which allows human beings to communicate “from heart to heart.” The first-ever performance of the Missa Solemnis was financed by Russian leaders, and occurred in St. Petersburg.
The murder of Kotzebue
In 1815, Rumyantsev personally financed a new Pacific expedition, commanded by Kotzebue’s son Otto. The expedition lasted three years, and marked a breakthrough in the skill-levels achieved by the navy, as well as the knowledge gained by Russia of the land masses and populations lining the huge Pacific Basin. To this day, the calm inlet bordering Alaska below the Bering Strait, where access to the shore is more manageable, is named Kotzebue Sound, with its central city also bearing that name. The naming was done by the expedition crew in honor of Otto, whose standard of leadership was to treat sailors as well as indigenous people humanely, as had been fought for by American supporter John Paul Jones.
In 1819, Otto was assembling the materials for publishing an account of the mission, which had traversed the seas from Alaska to the Sandwich Islands and an island which he named New Year’s Island (now named Mejit). He was excitedly waiting to give the draft to his father, the experienced journalist, and to have August edit it in preparation for translation into many languages. But before Otto could arrive at his father’s home, August von Kotzebue was murdered, stabbed to death while standing by the front door of his house, by Karl Sand, an ideologically fanatical youth leader of the 1817 Wartburg Festival, where, in the style of George Soros’s “color revolutions,” thousands of books were burned by fanatical students. (A century later, the Nazis cited the Wartburg book burning as their precedent.) Assassin Sand tried to commit suicide, but died slowly, during which time he justified his act as necessary because of Kotzebue’s attacks on the degenerated youth movements which had assembled under the endless tribulations of war.
Sand’s circles branded Kotzebue a “Russian spy.” Overnight, Kotzebue was turned into an object of hatred throughout German-speaking Europe. Intellectuals throughout Germany were afraid to denounce his murder, convinced that if they spoke, they too would be targeted next. More important, Austrian Foreign Minister Count von Metternich, upon hearing that Kotzebue was murdered, coldly moved, without any signs of sorrow, to use his death to impose upon Europe a 30-year dictatorship now called the infamous Carlsbad Decrees. His cold and calculated reaction has often been noted with suspicion, as it calls into question whether in fact Sand was being used by an intelligence operation to take Kotzebue out of the picture.
Censorship, imprisonment of newspaper editors, harassment of political dissenters, and scrutiny of religious leaders erupted throughout Europe under the guidance of the Austrian foreign ministry, but with the backup of a morally broken and virtually insane Tsar Alexander I.
The real turning point had been 1815, where for a year, the monarchies of Europe had gathered in an environment of degeneracy and self-adulation for a nightmare called the Congress of Vienna. Rather than allow the defeat of Napoleon to emerge as an opportunity to uplift the suffering populations of Europe by promoting economic progress and an intellectual Renaissance, the bureaucrats and oligarchies of Europe chose to recreate Napoleonic oppression under a new management. For current readers, it is useful to know that the Patriot Act passed after the September 11, 2001 atrocity in the United States, was in its mindless breadth of blind oppression, as well as its diversion from the real causes of terrorism, a replica of that 1819 Austrian Hapsburg Carlsbad Decree gambit.
Suddenly, throughout Europe, Kotzebue was being branded a “bad person,” while in some quarters, frightened and dismayed people were praying for Sand as a virtual Saint. The French author Alexandre Dumas included the case of Sand in his famous book series, Celebrated Crimes, depicting the social strata Sand exemplified as a socially hostile lower nobility which identified with the medieval fantasy world of knighthood—namely a precursor of Nazism.
And it was not merely Kotzebue who came to be branded and then forcibly driven into obscurity by popular opinion; under the Carlsbad Decrees, Russia as a nation, and its leaders, also were suddenly portrayed as the most evil of all oppressors.
While Metternich ran the secret police apparatus that selected out enemies to be targeted by legal persecution, the enforcer of this atrocity was identified as Russia. Admittedly, Tsar Alexander was in very bad shape coming out of the workover he had received in Vienna in 1815, and fell generally right into the traps set for him by Britain and Austria. But, relevant to today’s situation, the barrage of public attacks on Russia once the decrees were in place, greatly resembles the outpouring of demonization hurled daily by the liberal media against Russian President Putin. Thus, it is not because of lingering Bolshevik hobgoblins circulating in Moscow that Putin is always being attacked; it is because the same psychological shell-game is being played that was unleashed following the assassination of Kotzebue. It is the same shell-game that former Vice President Dick Cheney played the day after the 9/11 massacre, when he called for an invasion of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the atrocity.
It is because of this twist from reality, that to this day, Kotzebue is virtually never mentioned, although his murder was used to trigger a 30-year legal atrocity throughout Europe. More important, the reflex of Metternich and his British friends to always blame Russia when a crisis hits, is an expression of the game that also developed out of the assassination of Hamilton: never allow the United States and Russia to act upon their common interest, because that will bring to an end the petty imperial power of the London/Wall Street system of murderous financial city-states.
In the surviving 1821 conversation books of the deaf Ludwig von Beethoven, the following exchange appears:
It seems to me that we Europeans are going backwards, and America is raising itself in culture. The present relationship at least is not favorable; the just claims of Americans to independence, on the contrary, support this.
The saddest tendency of this new revolutionary spirit is an egotism poorly demonstrated, or rather too clearly shown. What purpose is gained by the murder of Kotzebue? Although he was no moral luminary in the world, yet he was opposed to many a priest’s tale, and would have been again if he were living.
What man is in a position to estimate the results of such an act and consequently consider it as good and necessary?
The moral frenzy unleashed by the Sand murder was so great, and so deliberately intensified by Metternich, that the world came to be turned upside-down. One religious mentor of Sand’s was investigated by police, but then was spirited out of Europe by a leading member of the Boston Transcendentalist Movement and given a post at Harvard University. A professor of philosophy defended Sand’s act by saying he was justified in killing Kotzebue because he did it out of sincerity. The latter was briefly suspended from teaching by Metternich’s officials, but subsequently given back his post. In this case, the legacy of this professor also led directly to the founding of twentieth-century Fascism.
Fortunately, John Quincy Adams never forgot what he learned about Russia while living there and working with its pro-American advocates. In 1817, Adams was appointed Secretary of State by President Monroe. Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Castlereagh, worked overtime to convince Monroe that Tsar Alexander was about to invade South America. For years, Adams parleyed between Britain, which begged him to sign a doctrine whereby the United States and Britain together would stand against this Russian threat, and on the other side, the Russians with whom he was still discussing America’s northern Pacific boundary line. Old Thomas Jefferson wrongly weighed in and tried to persuade Monroe to work out a doctrine that would unite Britain and America against Russian escapades in the southern Atlantic.
Despite all the evidence that a disoriented Tsar Alexander was indeed becoming more oppressive towards his own people, Adams resisted any alliance with England. He prevailed over Monroe, and in 1823 released a founding statement of American foreign policy: that no imperial power would ever be tolerated by the United States on the continents of the Americas. One year later, he reached his objective, and Russia emerged as the first nation to sign on the dotted line in the what became known as the Russo-American Treaty, agreeing that the northern Pacific boundary of the United States was in fact the 48th parallel, giving the United States control over the use of the Columbia River. In fact, the principle of the Monroe Doctrine was being applied not just to the Atlantic, but also to the Pacific. It was only twenty-two years later that Britain finally agreed to that border. Subsequently, the Russian Navy was used by Tsar Alexander II to prevent Europe from interfering in the U.S. Civil War, and in 1867, Russia virtually gave Alaska, the northernmost habitable territory on the eastern side of the North Pacific, to the United States, in order to ensure that Britain and Japan would not be able to close in on Russian Siberia.
Americans bend in the direction of tolerating the outlandish abuses hurled at Vladimir Putin, under the influence of experts telling them, “well, this is a revival of the Cold War.” But that argument is a fraud. The outrageous and foolish nature of the anti-Putin media wars reveals their origin: the template for the design of anti-Putin propaganda is the outpourings of British Foreign Minister Castlereagh, himself a bloody murderer as the poet Shelley warned, and his cohort Metternich, as they arranged a world of continuous war coming out of the Congress of Vienna. Their intention was to prevent the development of science and classical culture from advancing the cause of cooperation among nation states. This doctrine of hell upon Earth was further developed by the early Twentieth century under the name “Geopolitics.” All of that evil is now going down the drainpipe of the juvenile phase of human history, as a new combination of world leaders assembles around the living legacy of Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, Russian and Chinese statesmen of good will, and Renaissance statesman Lyndon LaRouche.