Americans, aka “The USofA,” apparently earned their deserved reputation well over a century ago.
The ‘rest of the world’ – themselves thieves extraordinaire – were already treating our American cousins with wary respect a petty thug regards his warlord.
No misconceptions existed in the ex-colony fledgling nation of Australia during those early days of the Commonwealth, a time of The Free Trade Party, The Protectionist (soon to be Commwealth Liberal) Party, and the Labour (yet to be Labor) Party.
From The Gadfly, 14 February 1906:
Comes, then, the question of illegitimate legislation, of ‘‘boodle” legislation and “graft.”
It is devoutly to be hoped that the “big interests” of Australia are too honest to resort to such means, despite the fact that a visiting American, who appears to know all about the game, opines that they are too mean.
This shrewd voyager from the land of the wooden ham, of the “rake off,” and the political “boss,” declares that until the importers are ready to hand out large sums to establish huge campaign funds and buy their politicians, they can never hope to “rule the roost” and gull the people of Australia.
To-day there is little fear that the scandalous system of bribery and corruption that the people of the United States seem to accept as inevitable will ever besmirch Australian politics. Australia has started straight in this matter, and there is every hope that it will continue to go straight: that it will be able to produce a crop of politicians whose “business instincts” will never oust their sense of honesty and decency.
Also, the Australian public is shrewd enough to know its politician moderately well; it takes sufficient interest in its politics for that, and should see that the policy of “graft” be comes unnecessary for the Protectionists and impossible for the Freetraders.