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We Worship Jefferson, But We Have Become Hamilton's America [Wall Street Journal article]
Wall Street Journal | February 4, 2004 | Cynthia Crossen

Posted on 02/04/2004 12:00:19 PM PST by HenryLeeII

We Worship Jefferson, But We Have Become Hamilton's America

EVERYBODY WHO IS anybody was there -- at least among those 750 or so Americans who adore Alexander Hamilton. Representatives of the Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr factions also turned out in force.

Two hundred years ago this summer, Hamilton died from a single bullet fired by Burr, then America's vice president, in a duel in Weehawken, N.J. Hamilton's early death, at the age of 47, denied him the opportunity -- or aggravation -- of watching America become a Hamiltonian nation while worshipping the gospel according to Thomas Jefferson.

Now, some Hamiltonians have decided to try to elevate their candidate to the pantheon of great early Americans. Last weekend, scholars, descendents and admirers of Hamilton gathered at the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan to kick off their campaign and sing the praises of America's first treasury secretary, who created the blueprint for America's future as a mighty commercial, political and military power.

The conference was sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

But the overflow crowd also had to grapple with the unfortunate fact that many Americans have negative impressions of Alexander Hamilton. Perhaps Ezra Pound expressed their feelings most poetically when he described Hamilton as "the Prime snot in ALL American history."

YET, AS ONE HAMILTON acolyte, Edward Hochman, a Paterson, N.J., lawyer, asked the assembled experts: If Hamilton's vision of America "won" in the long run, "why do we love Jefferson?"

"Because," historian John Steele Gordon responded dryly, "most intellectuals love Jefferson and hate markets, and it's mostly intellectuals who write books."

Even Hamilton's detractors, including members of the Aaron Burr Association, concede that he was a brilliant administrator, who understood financial systems better than anyone else in the country. He laid the groundwork for the nation's banks, commerce and manufacturing, and was rewarded by being pictured on the $10 bill. "We can pay off his debts in 15 years," Thomas Jefferson lamented, "but we can never get rid of his financial system."

Jefferson's vision of America was the opposite of Hamilton's. Jefferson saw America as a loose confederation of agricultural states, while Hamilton envisioned a strong federal government guiding a transition to an urban, industrial nation. He is often called the "father of American capitalism" and the "patron saint of Wall Street."

The Hamiltonians have much historical prejudice to overcome. The real Hamilton was a difficult man, to put it mildly. He was dictatorial, imperious and never understood when to keep his mouth shut. "He set his foot contemptuously to work the treadles of slower minds," wrote an American historian, James Schouler, in 1880.

In the turbulent years of America's political birth, naked ambition for power was considered unseemly, except in the military. After the war, Hamilton, a courageous and skillful soldier, grabbed power aggressively and ruthlessly, indifferent to the trail of enemies he left behind. As a political theorist, he was regarded as a plutocrat and monarchist, partly because he favored a presidency with a life term.

JOHN ADAMS, America's second president, dismissed Hamilton as "the bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar" and "the Creole" (Hamilton was born in the West Indies, and his parents never married). George Mason, the Virginia statesman, said Hamilton and his machinations did "us more injury than Great Britain and all her fleets and armies."

"Sure, he made mistakes," concedes Doug Hamilton, a Columbus, Ohio, salesman for IBM, who calculates he is Hamilton's fifth great-grandson. "He was only human. But family is family."

Hamilton had at least one, and probably several, adulterous affairs (Martha Washington named her randy tomcat "Hamilton"). He was also a social snob and dandy. Hamilton, wrote Frederick Scott Oliver in his 1920 biography, "despised . . . people like Jefferson, who dressed ostentatiously in homespun." He "belonged to an age of silk stockings and handsome shoe buckles."

Historians find Hamilton something of a cipher. He didn't have the opportunity, as Adams and Jefferson did in their long retirements, to "spin, if not outright alter, the public record," noted Stephen Knott, author of "Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth."

Joanne Freeman, Yale history professor and editor of a collection of Hamilton's writings, agreed that "there are huge voids in our knowledge of him." Consequently, his legacy has been claimed by various political interests. Among his illustrious admirers are George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding and the French statesman Talleyrand.

At the 1932 Democratic convention, however, Franklin Roosevelt blamed "disciples of Alexander Hamilton" for the Great Depression.

By the time of Hamilton's death, he had dropped out of public life and returned to his law practice. Even so, wrote Frederick Oliver, "the world mourned him with a fervor that is remarkable, considering the speed with which it proceeded to forget him."


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: alexanderhamilton; foundingfathers; godsgravesglyphs; hamilton; history; jefferson
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Comments? Thoughts?
1 posted on 02/04/2004 12:00:21 PM PST by HenryLeeII
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To: 4ConservativeJustices; stainlessbanner; Mudboy Slim; sultan88; Ditto; Non-Sequitur; Owl_Eagle
Founding Fathers bump!
2 posted on 02/04/2004 12:02:09 PM PST by HenryLeeII
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To: HenryLeeII
The more I learn about Hamilton's tenure as Treasurer, the more I like him.

He will be hated and despised forever by those who dislike central banks, but I think our experience with the Federal Reserve system has proved them wrong.

This is, of course, controversial, but I happen to agree with McCain's sentiment that if Greenspan died, he'd still appoint him Fed chairman, a la "Weekend At Bernies."

Hamilton also advocated fractional reserve banking.

Economically, the opposite of Hamilton's ideas is Jackson, who shut down the second Bank of the United States. Jackson was a hard money man.

3 posted on 02/04/2004 12:11:25 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: HenryLeeII
If Hamilton's vision of America "won" in the long run, "why do we love Jefferson?" . . . "Because," historian John Steele Gordon responded dryly, "most intellectuals love Jefferson and hate markets, and it's mostly intellectuals who write books."

There's more to it than just this. Most conservatives "love Jefferson" because it has become apparent that the America that Hamilton envisioned turned out to be thoroughly inconsistent with the ideals laid out in the U.S. Constitution. The concepts of "freedom" and "liberty" get very blurred once you have an urbanized industrial society in which people live in close proximity to each other and are practically forced to interact with each other on a daily basis.

4 posted on 02/04/2004 12:15:58 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Alberta's Child
The concepts of "freedom" and "liberty" get very blurred once you have an urbanized industrial society in which people live in close proximity to each other and are practically forced to interact with each other on a daily basis.

I don't think they become "blurred"---I think they just require a greater commitment to minding one's own business.

5 posted on 02/04/2004 12:22:47 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: HenryLeeII
He was dictatorial, imperious and never understood when to keep his mouth shut.

Well, you could say that, since he died in a duel because he didn't know when to keep is mouth shut.

6 posted on 02/04/2004 12:26:53 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Alberta's Child
In many ways Jefferson has become an ideal more than a blueprint, whereas Hamilton was strictly nuts-and-bolts practicality (whether you agree with his ends and means), which may help explain George Washington's favoring of him (along with Hamilton's wartime experience and Jefferson's lack thereof).
7 posted on 02/04/2004 12:29:39 PM PST by HenryLeeII
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To: HenryLeeII
I loved Washington, Adams and yes, Hamilton. Jefferson was, well, Jefferson. He wanted Utopia and I think it is a good thing he didn't get what he wanted. The more I read of the federalists, the more I think I am one. I think Jefferson was naive. His plan to start over every generation and redo everything was whacky if you ask me. And for a person who didn't think the government or law should do most things, that the law should reside within ourselves, he didn't have much self control about debt. A smart man but not as able as the federalists if you ask me. I think Washington favored the federalists for good reason.
8 posted on 02/04/2004 12:33:21 PM PST by cajungirl (John Kerry has no botox and I have a bridge to sell you!)
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To: HenryLeeII
While I disagree with Hamilton's stronger tilt towards the Federal Government than many of his contemporaries, the essays that he wrote among those in the Federalist Papers are not that markedly different in thrust from those of James Madison.

It is a slander of Hamilton, to suggest that he would ever have endorsed the compulsively egalitarian bent in Washington today. That was not the type of strong Federal Government, that he advocated.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

9 posted on 02/04/2004 12:34:12 PM PST by Ohioan
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To: HenryLeeII
During George Washington's presidency, there arose the issue concerning the constitutionality of creating a national bank. Those opposed pointed out that the Constitution didn't provide any specific express authorization for the Federal government to create a national bank. Those in favor argued that, while there was no specific grant of express authority for a bank in the Constitution, there existed implied authority in the Constitution's "necessary and proper" clause.

Treasury Secretary Hamilton and Secretary of State Jefferson provided President Washington with the opposing arguments concerning the correct way to interpret the "necessary and proper" clause:

Hamilton’s argument

Jefferson’s argument

As can be seen, Jefferson argued that if the "necessary and proper" clause were to be construed in the liberal manner that Hamilton argued, there would be no real limit to the scope of the Federal government.

Washington sided with Hamilton's expansive view of Federal power and the Federal government was off to the races.

10 posted on 02/04/2004 12:47:05 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Deliberator
I think they do become blurred. If you and I live next door to each other, almost anything I do on my property can have some kind of impact on you (particularly with regard to things like water and air quality). Should I be permitted to play my stereo all night if it keeps you awake? Conversely, should you be able to force me never to play my stereo at all?

A real dilemma in this regard: If you live next door to me, should I be permitted to bring down the law against you if your refuse to have your children inoculated against lethal infectious diseases?

11 posted on 02/04/2004 1:01:59 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: cajungirl
I think one of the fascinating points of American history is that Hamilton was from New York -- one of the places which the British maintained as their own throughout the American revolution (in fact, Washington's army pretty much gave up on the idea that they could ever oust the British from New York).
12 posted on 02/04/2004 1:06:15 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Scenic Sounds
Washington sided with Hamilton's expansive view of Federal power and the Federal government was off to the races.

I agree with you. In fact, I would make the case that this nation as envisioned in the U.S. Constitution pretty much came to an end with the events that culminated with the Whiskey Rebellion in the early 1790s. It's pretty weird when you think about it -- this novel idea called "the United States of America" really only lasted about five years.

13 posted on 02/04/2004 1:08:45 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: HenryLeeII; KayEyeDoubleDee; All
Comments? Thoughts?

We are not a Hamiltonian nation so much as our federal government is precisely the tyranny that Hamilton predicted it would be when he opposed the Bill of Rights.

Hamilton [alone, as far as I know, among the founders] understood that any explicit list of rights granted to citizens would quickly degenerate from a minimal list of their rights [the rights they possess at a bare minimum] to a maximal list of their rights [beyond which they possess no further rights].

So, for instance, when the slave states sought to exercise their clear and unequivocal tenth amendment right to secede from the union, the anti-constitutionalists [led by Lincoln] were able to argue that no such right existed in the constitution precisely because no such right had been explicitly listed among the rights possessed by the states and the people.

14 posted on 02/04/2004 1:18:41 PM PST by mosel-saar-ruwer
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To: Alberta's Child
If you and I live next door to each other, almost anything I do on my property can have some kind of impact on you

"Freedom" and "liberty" are not properly understood as shields against any kind of impact.

(particularly with regard to things like water and air quality). Should I be permitted to play my stereo all night if it keeps you awake?

Introducing water, air, or noise pollution onto my property is a violation of my rights. While you would certainly have more elbow room to produce such pollutions and easily keep them on your own property if you lived in an agrarian society, lack of such elbow room does not blur the essential concepts of "freedom" and "liberty."

A real dilemma in this regard: If you live next door to me, should I be permitted to bring down the law against you if your refuse to have your children inoculated against lethal infectious diseases?

If inoculations are available and you have been inoculated, why would you care whether my kids have been?

15 posted on 02/04/2004 1:19:02 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: mosel-saar-ruwer
Hamilton [alone, as far as I know, among the founders] understood that any explicit list of rights granted to citizens would quickly degenerate from a minimal list of their rights [the rights they possess at a bare minimum] to a maximal list of their rights [beyond which they possess no further rights].

I thought this point had been most forcefully advanced by Madison.

16 posted on 02/04/2004 1:20:15 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: Alberta's Child
It's pretty weird when you think about it -- this novel idea called "the United States of America" really only lasted about five years.

That's one way of looking at it, if you agree with Jefferson's interpretation of the Constitution. Of course, Washington and Hamilton (and a lot of other folks) didn't agree.

It's interesting, though, how many people think that this liberal view of Federal power under our Constitution all began with Lyndon Johnson, or FDR, or Wilson, or Teddy Roosevelt, or Lincoln when, in fact, it was President Washington and Alexander Hamilton who consciously (particularly in view of Jefferson's comments) decided in favor of the broad implied Federal powers that now concern many conservatives.

17 posted on 02/04/2004 1:21:44 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: HenryLeeII
bump for later
18 posted on 02/04/2004 1:23:55 PM PST by Texas Federalist
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To: Alberta's Child
Why can't freedom exist in an industrialized society?

It was the agrarian society in which slavery thrived in the South, don't forget.

19 posted on 02/04/2004 1:34:53 PM PST by what's up
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To: Deliberator; KayEyeDoubleDee; All
I thought this point had been most forcefully advanced by Madison.
Hamilton held that the Constitution gave the Federal government only the power to provide for the common defense and encourage national greatness. It did not have the power to infringe upon citizens’ rights. Therefore, he objected to attaching a bill of rights to the Constitution. “[T]he Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, a Bill of Rights,” Hamilton wrote in Federalist 84. “For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” asked Hamilton. “Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?” He also argued that the Constitution already protected trial by jury in criminal cases and provided for habeas corpus “in the most ample manner.”

http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/article.php?sid=263

More here:
http://www.google.com/search?q=hamilton+bill+of+rights&safe=off
Hamilton could not possibly have been more correct in his predictions in this regard; in that sense, [history has proven that] he obliterated his opponents in this debate.

Our current condition of serfdom to the federal tyranny owes much to the fact that he did not prevail in this matter.

20 posted on 02/04/2004 1:43:54 PM PST by mosel-saar-ruwer
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To: Scenic Sounds; Alberta's Child
it was President Washington and Alexander Hamilton who consciously (particularly in view of Jefferson's comments) decided in favor of the broad implied Federal powers that now concern many conservatives.

I dunno. How much of today's bloated federal government can be justified as "necessary and proper" for exercising its enumerated powers---even under Hamilton's broad reading of "necessary and proper"?

21 posted on 02/04/2004 1:46:25 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: HenryLeeII
Jefferson and Hamilton were bitterly opposed in the 1790s, but when the election of 1800 ended in a tie and some Federalists wanted to make Aaron Burr President instead of Jefferson, Hamilton did his best to dissuade them. Burr was talented but totally unprincipled, the Bill Clinton of his day.

Jefferson later had a bust of Hamilton at Monticello. That may have been one of the busts that Al Gore couldn't identify when he visited Monticello.

22 posted on 02/04/2004 1:50:47 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: mosel-saar-ruwer
“For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” asked Hamilton.

I always thought that was Madison's. D'oh! I learn something new every day.

23 posted on 02/04/2004 1:51:09 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: Alberta's Child
That is false, his ideals were not at all in conflict with the Constitution. Hamilton had as much if not more to do with the calling of the CC, the debate leading to the writing of the document and the ratification of the constitution as any man. He understood it better than any other American, so much so that John Marshall looked up to him as a legal mind.

But he, unlike his enemies, understood that unless the federal government was strengthened and regard for the Union heightened the nation would fall under the yoke of the great empires which surrounded us. Jefferson's view of the future was totally screwed up consisting mainly of empty words and phrases and goofy economic theories. An agricultural nation as he envisioned/wished for would have led to our doom as great nation and our becoming a backwater rather than the most dynamic and important political force in modern history.

Those who think they know something about Hamilton should read Forrest MacDonald's biography. Hamilton was the most important actor in achieving our independence next to Washington. His hatred was more the work of the lying proto-RATmedia of his day. Jefferson was behind most of the liars and for that reason has earned my undying contempt.

His intellectual superiority was so great that J. called him a "host within himself" and "a collosus." No American wrote as much as H. for the common man producing over a 30 yr period hundreds if not thousands of newspaper columns explaining politics.

Every political debate after 1788 revolved around Hamilton as his enemies admitted. But they could not defeat him with the truth and had to rely upon a cabel of lyin' newspapers to distort the truth about him. He was not a "monarchist" nor "pro-British" except to the extent that being so would help our country.

Hamilton was much different than his rivals in that he was a true nationalist and considered himself an American first without a shred of loyalty to a particular State. It is not an accident that Washington admired him more than any contemporary having worked closely with him for over twenty yrs. Hamilton not only was the prime mover for his administration but (unknown to the president) for the first three yrs of Adams'.

Hamilton's brilliance places him firmly within the most significant people in history. It is about time the Jeffersonian lies are cleared out and that he resume his rightful place within our Hall of Heroes.
24 posted on 02/04/2004 1:52:43 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
the America that Hamilton envisioned turned out to be thoroughly inconsistent with the ideals laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

That is false, his ideals were not at all in conflict with the Constitution.

You're rebutting an argument that AC never made.

25 posted on 02/04/2004 2:00:18 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: Alberta's Child
Sorry---should have copied you.
26 posted on 02/04/2004 2:00:51 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: HenryLeeII
Hamilton, in addition to being part of the triumvirate that wrote the Federalist, also wrote a treatis "On Manufactures," which dealt with the use of tariffs to protect American businesses, which would otherwise be destroyed by international competition. That's an ancient idea which has currency today.

The beginning of the American Republic has been described as "a contest between Jefferson and Hamilton for the soul of Washington." In many ways, the future of the Republic is the same. Neither Jefferson's nor Hamilton's ideas are sufficient by themselves. Hamilton is generally right; but Jeffersonian ideas are the necessary break and restraint on excessive Hamiltonianism -- as we have today.

Congressman Billybob

Click here, then click the blue CFR button, to join the anti-CFR effort (or visit the "Hugh & Series, Critical & Pulled by JimRob" thread). Don't delay. Do it now.

27 posted on 02/04/2004 2:02:18 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Deliberator
I dunno. How much of today's bloated federal government can be justified as "necessary and proper" for exercising its enumerated powers---even under Hamilton's broad reading of "necessary and proper"?

Jefferson didn't seem to see limit the possible power of the Federal government if "convenient" qualified as "necessary":

"If has been urged that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes, Suppose this were true: yet the Constitution allows only the means which are "necessary," not those which are merely "convenient" for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to everyone, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed. Therefore it was that the Constitution restrained them to the necessary means, that is to say, to those means without which the grant of power would be nugatory."

As for the the Supreme Court, its usual approach is to limit the power of Congress only where legislation impacts upon a specific Constitutional prohibition (e.g., the Bill of Rights).

28 posted on 02/04/2004 2:02:46 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Deliberator
"Jefferson didn't seem to see limit the possible power of the Federal government if 'convenient' qualified as 'necessary':"

should read:

Jefferson didn't seem to see any limit to the possible power of the Federal government if "convenient" qualified as "necessary":

29 posted on 02/04/2004 2:08:01 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Scenic Sounds
Jefferson didn't seem to see limit the possible power of the Federal government if "convenient" qualified as "necessary"

Although Hamilton used the word "convenient" it was never in a context that I read as making "convenient" qualify as "necessary."

I don't see how, for instance, AFDC falls under any enumerated power even applying Hamilton's test: "If the end be clearly comprehended within any of the specified powers, and if the measure have an obvious relation to that end, and is not forbidden by any particular provision of the Constitution, it may safely be deemed to come within the compass of the national authority."

As for the the Supreme Court

Little hope there for defense of our rights.

30 posted on 02/04/2004 2:10:36 PM PST by Deliberator
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To: Scenic Sounds
Hamilton's argument destroyed Jefferson's flimsy attempt for good reason particularly since the latter just threw around learned-sounding phrases with no real logic. Anyone who tried to argue logically with Hamilton was doomed to defeat and was the main reason few of his enemies attempted to refute him. Jefferson's argument was pathetically incompetent while Hamilton's was so brilliant as to stand as one of the greatest statements of the meaning of the constitution as has ever been written. Not much of a surprise since he wrote 2/3s of the Federalist papers.

Jefferson did not distinguish correctly the difference in the means and ends of government. Hamilton easily pointed out the difference and showed that the Bank was a means to an end which allowed the government to carry out the powers entrusted to it (such as national defense and governmental finance.) It is not an end in itself only a means to several ends.

His enemies finally achieved their goal and refused to recharter the Bank at the worst possible time (when financing the War of 1812 became necessary.) To their chagrin the burden of that War and the insanity which erupted within the banking system without a National Bank FORCED them to re-charter it (Madison had changed his mind and wanted re-charter but the ideological whackjobs in Congress were to blind to understand.) Little wonder that Washington sided with Hamilton's view.

Until the Civil War the federal government was tiny so your concluding remark is also false. You might note that there was NO central bank for almost 80 yrs after Jackson unwisely destroyed it. Its absence did not slow down the growth of the fed/gov at all.

Hamilton's argument in the Essay on the National Bank does not give carte blance to government expansion. Federal power was limited by express prohibitions within the constitution, confined to actions not immoral and no actions contrary to the spirit of the document.

No one (not even Jefferson) denied that there were implied powers which were legitimate. He just became a "strict constructionist" out of political expediency but that view leads to idiotic conclusions: we could have no mint since one wasn't mentioned, we could not control our borders since that is not mentioned among other things.
31 posted on 02/04/2004 2:19:40 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Ohioan
Slander of Hamilton became a national passtime after his death. His views were not terribly different during the writing of the Constitution than Madison, as you point out. However, he remained consistent in those views while Madison fell under the spell of Jefferson and went downhill theoretically thereafter.

He wanted a government strong enough to protect the Union and to assist the economic development of the Nation. He was an American first and foremost not a New Yorker.
32 posted on 02/04/2004 2:23:50 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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bump for later read
33 posted on 02/04/2004 2:25:14 PM PST by jmcclain19
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To: Alberta's Child
Well the Revolution was mainly fought in New York and New Jersey far more so than in other states.
34 posted on 02/04/2004 2:25:19 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Alberta's Child
Total b.s. the Whiskey Rebellion was directed AT the constitution and the government it produced.
35 posted on 02/04/2004 2:26:25 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: HenryLeeII
bump for later
36 posted on 02/04/2004 2:27:45 PM PST by j_tull
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To: Scenic Sounds
Implied powers were not in dispute until it became expedient for Jefferson to argue against them. You should study some of the deeper sources of history of that era.

37 posted on 02/04/2004 2:27:54 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: mosel-saar-ruwer
Madison also agreed with Hamilton that no Bill of Rights was needed but they had to concede it to get the constitution ratified.

Any "right to secession" meant that the Constitution was meaningless. That specific argument was specifically refuted during the ratification by no less than Madison who stated that the states joining the Union were forever part of the Union. Unless a constitutional amendment allowing separation was ratified. The 10th amendment merely referred to local and state law not in conflict with the Constitution and police powers, public health concerns etc., issues which would affect ONLY states and localities.

Under the Constitution there can be NO action by any one state or group of states which affects the Union as a whole.
Any belief to the contrary must throw logic out the window since it is tantamount to denying that the document is the Law of the Land. It leads to such absurdities as claiming that though no state has the right to print money it has the right to do something far more drastic, secede. Secession was the nightmare of ALL the founders and Jefferson as well.
Recall his comments in his first inaugural address and Washington's (Hamilton's) in the Farewell Address which is directed at secession.
38 posted on 02/04/2004 2:38:11 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Verginius Rufus
That is totally correct. Hamilton conceded that Jefferson "had pretensions to integrity" while Burr had none. Burr was a RAT through and through. Washington hated him.
39 posted on 02/04/2004 2:41:29 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Deliberator
The America that Hamilton envisioned was not in conflict with the Constitution.
40 posted on 02/04/2004 2:43:59 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Yes. Most people today have no idea how important Hamilton's ideas and writings were at the beginning of our Republic. His insistence on establishing the nation's good credit rating, no matter the short-term hardships, was one of the most important events in getting this country on sound footing.
41 posted on 02/04/2004 2:46:06 PM PST by HenryLeeII
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To: justshutupandtakeit; Deliberator
Ping for later discussion.
42 posted on 02/04/2004 2:49:13 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: HenryLeeII

Weehawken, New Jersey

Recollections of America's most famous duel of honor may weakly rattle around in the hindbrain of anyone who stayed awake during grade school history classes. But who were those guys again?

It was Burr vs. Hamilton -- and someone got killed.

Near a picturesque cliff along the Hudson River, overlooking the island of Manhattan, Aaron Burr did battle with Alexander Hamilton. The date was July 12, 1804.

It all started when the Presidential election of 1800 got gummed up, Bush vs. Gore-style, and Burr eventually landed in the VP seat. Like a whiny public radio commentator, Hamilton sought to undermine Burr with rumors and alleged slander. The two politicians, after a long skirmish of words, finally met on the riverbank below the cliffs and worked it out with pistols.

The actual rock "on which rested the head of Alexander Hamilton" after he was mortally wounded is the base of the monument. Turned out that while Hamilton was (as noted on the stone) a "Patriot, Soldier, Statesman, and Jurist," Burr was a guy from Newark with more pistol practice. Perched atop the Rock of Death is, appropriately, a bronze head of Alexander Hamilton.

Years ago the rock was moved to its current lofty perch on Hamilton Ave. (a dead end street) to make way for the Weehawken yacht basin.

43 posted on 02/04/2004 2:51:39 PM PST by Incorrigible (immanentizing the eschaton)
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To: HenryLeeII

I'll take the Conservative Hamilton over the Libertarian Jefferson anyday, thankyou.

PS> That's his grave, 1 block from Ground Zero.

44 posted on 02/04/2004 2:51:45 PM PST by presidio9 (Protectionists Treat The Symptoms And Ignore The Disease)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Neither Jefferson's nor Hamilton's ideas are sufficient by themselves. Hamilton is generally right; but Jeffersonian ideas are the necessary break and restraint on excessive Hamiltonianism -- as we have today.

Good point. People lose sight of three things: 1) what's often taken to be the old order was largely a result of Jefferson's and Jackson's electoral victories, not of the ideas of the Framers, 2) Jefferson's views had as many problems as Hamilton's -- arguably we'd still be complaining if states had the kind of power Jefferson wanted and the federal government was no more than a weak league of independent commonwealths, and 3) once the Federalists had been vanquished, Jefferson and his fellow Republicans adopted or adapted many Federalist ideas and programs for their own use.

Jefferson wasn't a consistent libertarian, or state's righter or free trader or anti-industrialist. As with other politicians -- as with Hamilton -- the sense of the national interest sometimes overcame Jefferson's own political ideology.

Today's challenge is how to adapt Jefferson's decentralist vision to current circumstances without taking on all of the historical baggage associated with Jeffersonianism.

45 posted on 02/04/2004 2:58:20 PM PST by x
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To: yall
JEFFERSON AND HAMILTONIAN VISIONS FOR AMERICA

Compare the views of Thomas Jefferson (Democrat-Republican) and Alexander Hamilton (Federalist) on the chart below.

______________________________________
Economy:

J) agrarian based.

H) commerce and maufacturing base.

______________________________________
militia v. regular army:


J) Favored militia under state control. The stationing of British troops in America before 1775 showed Republicans that military forces could threaten liberties of the people.


H) Favored standing forces under national control. Federalists believed an army and navy symbolized national power & prestige. Such forces would protect American interests from foreign powers.

_______________________________________
title of President:

J) Keep it simple: "Mr. President."


H) Wanted more stately title, like "His Executive Highness," etc. This woul add prestige to the office.


_______________________________________
power of President:


J) weak executive.


H) strong executive.

______________________________________
tariff:


J) low


H) high

_______________________________________
Revolutionary War debt:

J) The value of debt notes was low. Southerners in particular feared the wealthy northeasterners would purchase the securities at rock-bottom prices, thus making money of widows and orphans of the American Revolution when the gov't paid back the note-holders at 4% interest.


H) The First Report on the Public Credit (1790) argued that assumption of the debt by the national gov't would attract wealthy investors and creditors, thus adding to the prestige of the new republic.

______________________________________
Federal bank:


J) Formation of a bank was not a power granted to Congress. Therefore the US gov't should not establish a national bank.

H) Argued a bank is related to the collecting of taxes, which the Constitution desiganated a responsibility of Congress. A bank would also stabilize currency.


______________________________________
"strict constructionalism":

J) limited government.



J) National government to assume widepowers.


______________________________________
views on democracy:

J) Man is "perfectable," and therefore capable of governing himself.


H) Distrusted people's ability to govern. Believed in elite rule far more than the Jeffersonians.


46 posted on 02/04/2004 3:00:33 PM PST by tpaine (I'm trying to be 'Mr Nice Guy', but the U.S. Constitution defines a conservative. (writer 33 )
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To: CobaltBlue
"He will be hated and despised forever by those who dislike central banks, but I think our experience with the Federal Reserve system has proved them wrong."

Lol...you think the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was a good thing?

Are you an heir of a banking interest by chance?
47 posted on 02/04/2004 3:05:44 PM PST by 21st Century Man (Symbols are for the symbol minded...)
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To: HenryLeeII

We Worship Jefferson

Mr.Bush: What Would Jefferson Do?

48 posted on 02/04/2004 3:08:08 PM PST by Federalist 78
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To: HenryLeeII
Comments? Thoughts?

Aaron Burr was 25 years too late.

49 posted on 02/04/2004 3:08:12 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Et praeterea caeterum censeo, delenda est Carthago. -- M. Porcius Cato)
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To: presidio9
I'll take the Conservative Hamilton over the Libertarian Jefferson anyday, thankyou.
44 -po9-

Conservatism has always been defined by the base principles of our constitutuion..
-- Hamiltons dedication to those basics is questionable.

50 posted on 02/04/2004 3:13:25 PM PST by tpaine (I'm trying to be 'Mr Nice Guy', but the U.S. Constitution defines a conservative. (writer 33 )
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