Subscribe to EIR Online
This review appears in the February 23, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Britain's Assault on America Revisited

by Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

The Anglo-American Establishment
by Carroll Quigley
New York City: Books in Focus, Inc., 1981
354 pages, paperback

Professor Carroll Quigley (1910-1977), the noted Georgetown University historian, completed the writing of The Anglo-American Establishment sometime during the late 1940s. Yet the book was never published until 1981, four years after the author's death. Since the publication was delayed for more than 30 years, it is not at all inappropriate to publish a review of this important work 26 years after its first publication. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find a more useful moment to review this invaluable account of the British oligarchy's assault on the United States.

Since the inauguration of George Bush and Dick Cheney in January 2001, the United States has been under relentless attack from within. Many a sage Bush-Cheney critic has observed that the current Administration has done more damage to the United States than any foreign enemy could ever inflict. From the Iraq War, to the looming preemptive attack on Iran, to the collapse of the physical economy, to the disintegration of conditions of life for the vast majority of the lower 80% income brackets, and the assault on Constitutional rights, the Bush-Cheney Administration has successfully turned most of the world against the United States, and turned millions of Americans against their own elected government—and against the very idea of government acting on behalf of the general welfare.

Yet few critics, with the exception of Lyndon LaRouche, have raised the specter of a foreign hand behind the Bush-Cheney wrecking operations. This is largely explained by the fact that the vast majority of Americans, including within the political class, have lost a true sense of history. They perceive the consequences of the government's actions from the more limited standpoint of relatively near-term cause and effect, or from the vantage point of a specialist's limited historical lens. Moreover, they all generally accept the false notion that the British hand in world affairs has been vastly reduced, and that the impulse towards empire has been abandoned or suppressed, due to England's "diminished" condition. One need only read the inserted special report in the Feb. 3, 2007 edition of the Economist to recognize that the City of London is now celebrating "another British imperial moment," centered around the successful promulgation of yet another devastating myth: that globalization is an irreversible, driving force in world economic and political affairs.

It is in this context that the present review of the Quigley book is written. For what Professor Quigley recounts, with impeccable documentation, is a more than 100-year assault upon the American Constitutional republic by a conspiracy of leading British imperialists, who saw the survival of the British Empire in apocalyptic terms: Either the United States would be coopted back under London domination, or the Empire would crumble. Based on this assessment, a tight-knit group of leading British oligarchs launched a series of projects, aimed at recasting the British Empire as a "Commonwealth of Nations" and drawing the United States, forever, back into the fold.

The project documented by Professor Quigley, involved the philosophical assault on the American republican outlook, and the gradual establishment of an alternative ideology, based on the "Anglo-American" or "English-speaking" vision of the world. This so-called "Anglo-American" vision was, in fact, the outlook of the Venetian Party of Anglo-Dutch bankers and aristocrats, who believed in world government, under the control of a tiny elite. That this is the antithesis of the American System outlook is self-evident to anyone who has studied the history of the American Revolution, the Constitutional Convention, the evolution of an American school of foreign policy by John Quincy Adams, and the development of the American System of political economy of Alexander Hamilton and Mathew and Henry Carey.

The obliteration of the true history of the United States, and its replacement with a false history of Anglo-American shared world vision ("free trade and democracy") is, perhaps, one of the greatest and most underestimated achievements of the conspirators profiled by Quigley. Unfortunately, in his Anglo-American Establishment, Quigley himself fails to draw out the fundamental distinctions between the American and British systems, and thus misses the most fundamental point of his otherwise most valuable exercise in historiography.

The Venetian System

Ironically, Professor Quigley's book begins with a very precise description of the Venetian "Doge" system. The original Cecil Rhodes conspiracy, launched in the late 19th Century, was precisely and consciously modelled on the Venetian system of secret government, run by a self-selected and self-perpetuating committee. Here is Quigley's introduction to the formation of the conspiracy, which he then details, from its origin in 1891 through to 1945:

"One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than fifty years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy.

"The three men who were thus engaged were already well known in England. The leader was Cecil Rhodes, fabulously wealthy empire-builder and the most important person in South Africa. The second was William T. Stead, the most famous, and probably also the most sensational, journalist of the day. The third was Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Escher, friend and confidant of Queen Victoria, and later to be the most influential advisor of King Edward VII and King George V.

"The details of this important conversation will be examined later. At present we need only point out that the three drew up a plan of organization for their secret society and a list of original members. The plan of organization provided for an inner circle, to be known as 'The Society of the Elect,' and an outer circle, to be known as 'The Association of Helpers.' Within the Society of the Elect, the real power was to be exercised by the leader, and a 'Junta of Three.' The leader was to be Rhodes, and the Junta was to be Stead, Brett and Alfred Milner. In accordance with this decision, Milner was added to the society by Stead shortly after the meeting we have described.

"The creation of this secret society was not a matter of a moment. As we shall see, Rhodes had been planning for this event for more than seventeen years. Stead had been introduced to the plan on 4 April 1889, and Brett had been told of it on 3 February 1890. Nor was the society thus founded an ephemeral thing, for, in modified form, it exists to this day. From 1891 to 1902, it was known to only a score of persons. During this period, Rhodes was the leader, and Stead was the most influential member. From 1902 to 1925, Milner was leader, while Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian) and Lionel Curtis were probably the most important members. From 1925 to 1940, Kerr was leader and since his death in 1940 this role has probably been played by Robert Henry Brand (now Lord Brand)."

Using historical archives, and cross-gridding an enormous amount of data, Quigley traced the evolution of the conspiracy. He identified the original Cecil Rhodes Trust as the first institutional expression of the conspiracy. The Rhodes Trust, as spelled out in Rhodes' last will and testament, established a scholarship program, aimed at recruiting leading young Americans into their Venetian scheme. The Rhodes Trust spawned a larger organization, known as the Milner Kindergarten, which, in turn, established the Round Table, a public journal for the conspirators, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which, in turn, spawned a series of institutions all over the British Empire, and in the United States (the New York Council on Foreign Relations). At all times, the extended Rhodes-Milner group controlled the editorial policy of the London Times, and used All Souls College at Oxford as their private finishing school, and research and propaganda hub.

The details of this evolution need not be summarized here. The purpose of this review is not, after all, to provide a Monarch Notes summary of the findings of The Anglo-American Establishment, but, rather, to take the reader beyond the conspiracy as spelled out by Quigley to a deeper level, more appropriate to the present crisis in U.S. political affairs.

Instead, it is worthwhile to merely highlight several of the leading "facts" presented by Professor Quigley and then move on to the deeper point, which these crucial facts help to explain.

The Milner Group 'Writ Large'

In his chapter dealing with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Quigley provides a blunt summary: "The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA)," he wrote, "is nothing but the Milner Group 'writ large.' It was founded by the Group, has been consistently controlled by the Group, and to this day is the Milner Group in its widest aspect. It is the legitimate child of the Round Table organization, just as the latter was the legitimate child of the 'Closer Union' movement organized in South Africa in 1907. All three of these organizations were formed by the same small group of persons, all three received their initial financial backing from Sir Abe Bailey, and all three used the same methods for working out and propagating their ideas (the so-called Round Table method of discussion groups plus a journal). The similarity is not an accident. The new organization was intended to be a wider aspect of the Milner Group, the plan being to influence the leaders of thought through The Round Table and to influence a wider group through the RIIA."

After detailing the founding meeting of the RIIA "at a joint conference of British and American experts at the Hotel Majestic on 30 May 1919," Quigley noted that, "The American group of experts, 'the Inquiry,' was manned almost as completely by persons from institutions (including universities) dominated by J.P. Morgan and Company. This was not an accident. Moreover, the Milner Group has always had very close relationships with the associates of J.P. Morgan and with the various branches of the Carnegie Trust. These relationships, which are merely examples of the closely knit ramifications of international financial capitalism, were probably based on the financial holdings controlled by the Milner Group through the Rhodes Trust. The term 'international financier' can be applied with full justice to several members of the Milner Group inner circle, such as Brand, Hichens, and, above all, Milner himself."

Lord Brand, whom Quigley identified as the head of the Rhodes doge system, from 1940 until his death in the early 1960s, was the chairman of the London branch of Lazard Brothers Bank. Lazard was at the epicenter of the entire Rhodes/Milner/Round Table scheme, and was, as EIR has documented in recent years, a key bridge to the continental European fascist operations known in France as the Synarchy (the Banque Worms Group), and to Wall Street. Lord Brand designated his replacement at the head of London Lazard as his successor, as well, within the Round Table group, thus carrying the conspiracy well beyond the time frame covered in Quigley's book. Further highlighting the role of Lazard in the still-ongoing Venetian scheme, Quigley appended a "Tentative Roster of the Milner Group," including the Society of the Elect, the Association of Helpers, and a small list of foreign members. Quigley only listed four Americans, clearly reflecting his meticulous attention to detail, and his refusal to draw any speculative conclusions that could not be substantially backed up by historial records. The four Americans were: George Louis Beer, a wealthy tobacco magnate who wrote a series of late 19th- and early 20th-Century laudatory histories of the British colonial system and its role in shaping American policy; Frank Aydelotte, the President of Swarthmore College, a Rhodes Scholar, and the historian of the first 40 years of the Rhodes Scholarship; Jerome Greene of Columbia University; and Clarence Streit.

Streit was a leading American proponent of union with Great Britain. He wrote a famous tract, Union Now, and launched a movement to bring this about. The fact that Professor Quigley named him as one of only four proven American members of the Rhodes/Milner inner core is of significance in its own right. The revelation that Streit was the father-in-law and leading mentor of Lazard Brothers banker Felix Rohatyn is invaluable, in that it opens a window into the Round Table schemes, extended up to the present day. Rohatyn, along with his longtime collaborator George Shultz, personifies the present efforts of this Anglo-American apparatus—an effort that is at once viciously aimed at the destruction of the United States as a sovereign power, and sophisticated. Shultz was the architect of the current Bush-Cheney Administration, and has been the guiding hand behind every hideous policy to come out of the White House since 2001. Rohatyn, for his part, has been a one-man wrecking ball inside the Democratic Party, operating behind the scenes from his boutique Wall Street investment house to destroy the last shreds of the U.S. high-tech industrial base and promoting the takedown of the government role in the maintenance and development of the nation's vital infrastructure.

What Quigley Didn't Write

Virtually any criticism of Quigley's masterful work must fall within the domain of what he did not say. This reviewer is not in a position to judge whether Quigley failed to distinguish between the American and British systems because of a genuine lack of familiarity with the subject, or because he chose to leave certain historical principles unstated and implicit. Perhaps former President Bill Clinton, a Georgetown University student of Professor Quigley, could shed further light on this. For now, it is vital to rescue Quigley's work from the grips of American populists, by filling out certain crucial summary matters that complete the picture.

During the last decades of the 18th Century and throughout the 19th Century, it was widely recognized that the newly established American Constitutional republic represented an alternative to the European oligarchical model of rule by a small elite. Following the groundbreaking work of the first U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the American System of political economy came to be associated with national banking, sovereign credit, the investment in critical infrastructure, and the use of protective tariffs to defend the development of a national agro-industrial economy to promote the general welfare. Nineteenth-Century American economists like Mathew and Henry Carey, and some European students of the American System, like Germany's Friedrich List, developed the American System as the alternative to the British System of free trade, slavery, and suppression of colonial development.

From the moment that the American Revolution succeeded in freeing the North American colonies from the British imperial yoke, leading British circles, typified by the Baring Bank and British East India Company's Lord Shelburne, sought to recapture the United States. Following their military defeats in the War of 1812 and the U.S. Civil War, the British elites were forced to begrudgingly accept that the United States had emerged as such a leading agro-industrial power, that reconquest was no longer remotely possible. Following the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad in 1869, the United States consolidated a continental republic, further underscoring the strength of the U.S.A. and the American System.

At that point, leading British circles determined that the only path to reconquest was to destroy the United States, politically, economically, and philosophically, from within. The launching of institutions like the Rhodes Trust and the British Fabian Society, aimed precisely at this objective, and the task was set out over a succession of generations.

At the same time, the post-Civil War U.S.A. was busy spreading the American System around the world, particularly in continental Eurasia. By the final decades of the 19th Century, the American System had taken root in many parts of continental Eurasia, from the Germany of Bismarck, to the Russia of Count Witte and Mendeleyev, to the Japan of the Meiji Restoration, and the China of Sun Yat-sen.

While Professor Quigley focussed his attention on the British efforts to subvert and recapture the United States, the British also took very aggressive action to kill off the American System thrust into Eurasia. Under Prince Edward Albert ("The Prince of the Isles"), later King Edward VII, the British launched a series of manipulated wars—in the Balkans and in the Far East—that led shortly to World War I. The purpose of all of these efforts was to defeat the spread of the American System. Virtually no account of the Balkan Wars, the Sino-Japanese War or the Russo-Japanese war makes any link to the extraordinary late 19th Century spread of the American System into Eurasia. This is a major weakness in the histories of this period.

Beginning in 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley by a British-sponsored anarchist, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson promoted the idea of an Anglo-American alliance, British Fabianism, and other manifestations of the Round Table project. By the mid-1920s, the United States had entered into a period of cultural and economic disintegration, brought about by the promotion of free trade, unbridled speculation, and a variety of culturally degenerate projects.

FDR Revives the American System

Nevertheless, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected President in November 1932, he was able to revive the American System and rapidly reverse the decades of degeneration. Had FDR survived to serve out his fourth term, there is little doubt that he would have devoted his post-World War II efforts to the dismantling of the European colonial empires, as he vowed in a series of confrontations with Churchill during the war-time summit meetings in Halifax, Casablanca, Tehran, and Yalta.

The deeper lesson for the British in the successful FDR revival of the American System was that the cultural underpinnings of the American republic were strong enough, still, to carry forward the fundamental principles of the American Founders, even after years of erosion, and even with deeply flawed, and even traitorous figures in the Presidency.

The FDR legacy, particularly in the form of the Bretton Woods System, had to be gutted, and the industrial foundations of the United States destroyed altogether, if the Round Table agenda was ever to be realized.

In 1960, when John F. Kennedy was elected President, on the basis of a promise to revive FDR, the British again moved to literally exterminate the threat. Kennedy was assassinated, along with brother Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King. Richard Nixon became President in January 1969, and within two years, under the guiding hand of British Round Table agents Shultz and Henry Kissinger, Nixon dismantled FDR's Bretton Woods System, and opened the U.S. economy—and the world—to a 35-year period of looting and disintegration.

Now, with the Bush-Cheney Presidency in its waning months, the greatest threat to humanity is that the British "invisible hand" behind this regime will move to finish off the United States—from within. It is for this reason, above all, that Cheney must be removed from office as the first step towards restoring the American System tradition, and proving the durability and superiority of the republican system.

Back to top