Alexander Hamilton and the Formation of American Government
In the United States during the late 18th century, the American Colonies were struggling with their identity. The Revolutionary War had won Americans their collective freedom, but the best way to exercise it was the subject of much debate. One American, Alexander Hamilton, felt a need for a common, strong economic and political base for the states. This ideology stemmed from both his boyhood on the Island of St. Croix, and trying events during the Revolutionary War- influences that would later be instrumental in his publishing of the Federalist Papers.
Hamilton and the Economy
Since the birth of the country, there have been many influences on its development. The economy in particular has been an area of great importance. Many people have been factors in the growth of the United States’ economy. Perhaps the earliest and most influential of these was Alexander Hamilton. As shown in his effective policies, such as assumption of Revolutionary War debts, practical taxation, formation of the National Bank, and views on manufacturing, Hamilton was a dominant force from the beginning.
Alexander Hamilton was born a bastard child in the West Indies and demonstrated great intellectual potential at an early age. He was sent to New York City for schooling and studied at King’s College, now Columbia University. His vision of America took a more capitalistic tone and “he was determined to transform an economically weak and fractious cluster of states into a powerful global force” (Tindall & Shi, 2010). Hamilton advocated a strong central government. He was bold and persuasive and his philosophies quite extraordinary for his time.
Hamilton understands that some people will oppose the constitution. The people who benefit from the current form of government will especially be opposed to a new constitution. Hamilton does not want to focus on the people who will be opposed to the new constitution. He only wants to focus on arguments that are in favor of the constitution. Hamilton believes that a strong form of government is necessary in order for America to strive. Hamilton thought the union must be preserved and there must be a protection of liberty and property under the new government. He believes the county is too large to have a national system of government that is why Hamilton thinks American needs a strong union. Hamilton believed Americas had greatness in its future and the key to achieving this greatness was in the new Constitution.
The broadway hit play Hamilton, written by Lin Manuel Miranda, is viewed as an educational play about Alexander Hamilton, one of the United States’ founding fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. The play captures the spirit of Alexander Hamilton’s ambition, eloquence, and mistakes in a revolutionary format-as revolutionary as Hamilton himself! Combining rap, musical theater, and history, Hamilton is an enthralling and entertaining play that is mostly accurate to the real Alexander Hamilton. The details of Hamilton’s life and relationships that were misrepresented in the play to achieve the theatrical flair.
“[T]he man on the ten-dollar bill is the father of the American treasury system, a signer of the Constitution, one of the primary authors of the Federalist Papers, and the loser of the infamous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. Alexander Hamilton's earlier career as a Continental Army officer is less well known. Yet Hamilton's first experience in public service is important, not only because it was the springboard to his later career, but because it also deeply influenced his values and thinking” (Hamilton).
Hamilton is a very strong member of the Founding Fathers by founding the National Bank, and the U.S. Mint. Allowing the use of currency allows every American to trade goods for a set amount of currency. Another act Hamilton did was convincing the people of New York to ratify the constitution. Without their help, the constitution would not have a ratification at that time. The next significant act Hamilton did was become Washington’s assistant. Hamilton aided Washington by becoming the major general of the army during the Quasi War with France. The last piece Hamilton was able to be significant to the new world was his role as the Secretary of Treasury. This was important because the newly founded government needed to find ways to pay national debt that had been accumulated during the Revolution. Hamilton is significant to the new world by establishing a financial foundation for the federal
Hamilton wanted to establish a financial plan that could encourage enterprises and would strengthen the government and benefit the economy. He fought on the issue of public debt and argued that the government had to pay interest on bonds and relieve state debts. From the musical, Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton argues that assuming all debts would help the economy by lifting the burden. He states, “If we assume the debts, the union gets a new line of credit, and a financial diuretic. How do you not get it? If we’re aggressive and competitive, the union gets a boost. You’d rather give it a sedative?”(Hamilton, Cabinet Battle #1). Then, Hamilton and Jefferson agreed on a bargain, in which southern states would support the state debts and in return, the capital would move the south. In addition, Congress approved Hamilton’s plan to raise revenues and income would come from tariffs. Overall, Hamilton was very successful because the tariffs would raise money and encourage manufacturing in America, which would strengthen the American
Alexander Hamilton was one of the founding fathers of the United States, and the contributions he made to the country are vast. This paper will explain how he both shaped and was shaped by the events of the revolutionary era. The events of his life will be reviewed in this paper, and important moments that took place during his early life, the Revolutionary War, and post war will be observed.
Alexander Hamilton was born an illegitimate child in 1755 in the West Indies to a financially struggling family (Alexander Hamilton, n.d., para. 2). He did not receive his formal education until he was sponsored by family friends who were impressed by his ambition. He chose a military career and served as George Washington’s secretary and aid. After the revolutionary war, he became a lawyer, served Congress, and founded the Bank of New York. He was also the first secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton had no faith in common people and wanted to control them, “In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will” (brainquote.com, 2011, p.1).