What is referred to as globalism has historic roots, which go back at least as far as the English civil wars of the 1600’s. Globalism today has certain characteristics:
The desire to spread democracy
Globalism has passed through four phases in the last 100 years or so:
Pre-globalism (From the end of the Spanish-American War to the end of WWII.)
Globalism 1.0 Post WWII to 1972
Globalism 2.0 1972 to 1996
Globalism 3.0 1996 to the present
William Jennings Bryan figures prominently as the most important ideological figure in early Globalism. Bryan opposed imperialism, yet he had favored America’s entry into the Spanish American War. Bryan believed in spreading democracy to the world, yet he railed against American empire.
Bryan is regarded as one of the most brilliant orators of his time. His candidacies for US president coincided with a period of history in which the US was transitioning from an agrarian frontier nation to an industrial power with considerable military might. In his cross of gold speech, Bryan asserted that European powers should not, and in fact could not influence the US currency.
“If they say bimetallism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply, that instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has it. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost.”
William Jennings Bryan was a populist, but his ideology parted ways with the earlier populism of Andrew Jackson. Bryan’s focus was on trying to find a world leadership role for the increasingly powerful USA which fit his morals. Bryan’s speeches and writings foreshadowed the early globalist ideology expressed in the famous Time Magazine article American Malvern.
Bryan lost his bids for the presidency. William McKinley’s pragmatism won out and the Philippines became a US territory. The US simply did not yet have the military or economic power to implement Bryan’s agenda in 1900. His ideas remain some of the most important for those of us interested in the history of globalism. This blog post will be revised.