Skip to comments.The Lesson of Alexander Hamilton
Posted on 05/28/2012 3:36:36 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
How many things are in a person's pocket that they don't even know about?
We take money for granted -- most people can't tell us which way George Washington is facing on the quarter. They can tell us that Ben Franklin is on the front of the hundred, but they can't tell us that Independence Hall (where he helped draft the Constitution) is on the back.
One might think that as denominations get smaller and more common, the pictures on them would become more famous and well-known. The ten-dollar bill features Alexander Hamilton on the front. Since he was never a president himself, one wonders how many Americans could explain how he got on the note. A hint is on the back, where there is a picture of the U.S. Treasury. In short, Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the Treasury.
But it was how he handled that position that garnered him immortality on our money.
A lot of people living in the United States in 1790 believed (as a lot of people do today) that the debts incurred during the American Revolution should just be ignored. What modern people would think of as the United States didn't begin until 1789. The debts run up before that time were under a different government, so why should the new government be responsible for that debt?
Alexander Hamilton argued against this.
He believed that the new nation needed a good reputation on the international scene. If the United States was known to honor its debts, it would find it easier to get loans. Hamilton pointed out that this would be especially useful in a national emergency. Moreover, Hamilton wanted the federal government to take up all the state debt as well.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
We should all fear for our Republic.Obviously, I concur (see screenname).
Alexander Hamilton was the original ‘Big Government” guy. He would’ve been very happy to see how the grand experiment turned out.
I'm sure in his time, most in government were on the plus side of honorable, unlike today. The scale of debt in blue states like California, et al is staggering - they are run nowhere near anyone with any sense would call honorable.
True, he felt it was for the collective good will and camaraderie, etc. and that it would foster a common will, but we as a nation are about as fractured as a nation could be. Truthfully, I doubt whether I, maybe many like me, will ever want anything to do with California, Massachusetts, etc...again.
Wrong. He was for a strong executive, which the times called for as the early United States was easy prey for rapacious foreign powers. Hamilton believed that the future of America was in extensive industrial development and wealth creation. He favored a strong central government to develop such. There is no way that Hamilton advocated or even envisioned the modern entitlement state -- that is a slander on his memory, beloved of paleocons and libertarians.
The political alternative of the time -- Jeffersonianism -- envisioned a nation of yeoman farmers. His system was propped up by slavery. Hamilton believed in free labor and free markets.
Spoken like someone with a superficial knowledge of the founders, at best.
Thank You Cincinatus for setting the record straight. I rather doubt we would have had a survivable republic without Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton put this nation on a sound and strong financial footing.
Sadly, today we live under Jeffersonian democracy as you so eloquently stated. The plantation still exists.
Taking on states’ debts in those days compared to the currrent situation would be apples to oranges.
Hamilton was not the father of the modern entitlement state or society, and would as has been stated, be horrified of such.
And that is what we have now. In such a society and corresponding government, freedom naturally erodes, as does the full faith and credit of the nation.
We needed both of them to create the greatness of America. We needed Jefferson for his contribution and we needed Hamilton for his.
Under God’s blessing and guiding hand, we got both.
We are now about to throw all of it away, and in certain respects, already have.
Cincinatus: Wrong ...
Yashcheritsiy: Spoken like someone with a superficial knowledge of the founders, at best.
From the Article: A lot of people living in the United States in 1790 believed (as a lot of people do today) that the debts incurred during the American Revolution should just be ignored. What modern people would think of as the United States didn't begin until 1789. The debts run up before that time were under a different government, so why should the new government be responsible for that debt?Hamilton was indeed a big government guy.
Alexander Hamilton ... believed that the new nation needed a good reputation on the international scene. If the United States was known to honor its debts, it would find it easier to get loans. Hamilton pointed out that this would be especially useful in a national emergency. Moreover, Hamilton wanted the federal government to take up all the state debt as well. He believed that it would help foster kinship among Americans by uniting them against a common problem.
Hamilton attempted to pay off the revolutionary war debt with a whiskey excise tax. The tax fell on a limited population (farmers living in the frontier) and was punitive in amount, and stifled commerce. It was met with what is now known as the Whiskey Tax Rebellion. The war resulted in Washington taking the field in an unsuccessful attempt to quash the rebellion in Pennsylvania. The war dragged on until the tax was repealed; the government failed to break even on the levy (the cost of the war exceeded the tax receipts). Distillation enterprises were driven from Pennsylvania and North Carolina to Kentucky and Tennessee (which were not members of the Union at the time), and underground in North Carolina and Virginia -- situations that persist to this day.
Hamilton believed in a strong federal government to the detriment of states rights. He favored free enterprise, but regarded it as an tool to fund his beloved government. He implemented draconian taxes, believed in unnecessary government regulations, and would have loved the modern day IRS.
I strongly admire our Founding Fathers and owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude, but they, including Hamilton, were not entirely without fault.
Wrong. I spent a good portion of my academic life studying the Founders. There's a very good reason that Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists bitterly opposed him.
Debt is debt, regardless of the reason it is incurred or the color of the fruit it bears. But I do agree that there is a difference be "specific" debt and the "continual" debt we have now.
I have no condemnation of Hamilton; his ideals were of a different time, and that was the point of my post.
You obviously don’t know Jefferson or Hamilton as well as you like to think. Go read up on the Anti-Federalists and get back to me.
While I admire Hamilton in many ways and for many things, I also give much credence to what Thomas Jefferson said about debt:
I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
When all government shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will become as oppressive as the government from which we separated.
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
Precisely. And they were hardly a monolithic group who all saw eye to eye and marched in lock-step. More often than not, they spent their time squabbling with each other, both privately and publicly.
Also, there weren't too many tears shed at the time when Jefferson's political ally Aaron Burr shot and killed Hamilton.
I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared.
In his private life he was quite profligate. Always had to have the finest wines, books, furniture and scientific instruments from Europe. As a result he went deeply into debt, thus being unable to free any of his slaves since he had had mortgaged them.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Difficult to imagine a better description of a slaveowner. A parasite indeed.
You’re right. Hamilton is the GOPe, and Jefferson is the tea party.
Well, even the great apostle Paul, in recognition of the extent to which he failed to live up to God’s perfection, cried out, “Oh wretched man that I am...”
Don't Know Much About History "'We're raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate," David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, "I know how much these young peopleeven at the most esteemed institutions of higher learningdon't know." Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. "It's shocking."
He's right. This week, the Department of Education released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which found that only 12% of high-school seniors have a firm grasp of our nation's history. And consider: Just 2% of those students understand the significance of Brown v. Board of Education.
Mr. McCullough began worrying about the history gap some 20 years ago, when a college sophomore approached him after an appearance at "a very good university in the Midwest." She thanked him for coming and admitted, "Until I heard your talk this morning, I never realized the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast." Remembering the incident, Mr. McCullough's snow-white eyebrows curl in pain. "I thought, 'What have we been doing so wrong that this obviously bright young woman could get this far and not know that?'
......."History is a source of strength," he says. "It sets higher standards for all of us." But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.
One problem is personnel. "People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively," Mr. McCullough argues. "Because they're often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing." The great teachers love what they're teaching, he says, and "you can't love something you don't know anymore than you can love someone you don't know."
Another problem is method. "History is often taught in categorieswomen's history, African American history, environmental historyso that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what."........
However, unlike Paul TJ was not noted for humility.
If you spend your life preaching about the evils of slavery from a high moral platform, but make no effort at all to remove yourself from participation in the institution, it is not unreasonable to point out the hypocrisy.
Washington, OTOH, did not make a great show of opposition to slavery, but did spend his retirement getting his affairs in order so that all his slaves could be freed on his death, with careful provision for their training in a trade or support for the elderly.
I know which character I consider more worthy of honor.
It’s my understanding that in those days, debts were inheritable. His father’s estate debt, to be specific. That’s why Jefferson was so far in debt. That, and the fact that at some point, loans borrowed in scrip were later made payable only in specie (gold) that nobody had.
What I noticed in “public education” U.S. history classes, Jefferson’s voluminous utterings on the danger of public debt were always, always dismissed with his personal debt situation, to brand him as hypocritical, but of course (surprise) leaving out the true facts of the matter.
Sounds to me like the “liberal” version of Jefferson is a bit skewed. Hm.
Washington was peerless, no doubt.
But even Jefferson saw the inevitable harvest that must come of their compromise of their own stated ideals.
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.”
Read something this morning, that if true, needs to be realized when anyone talks about raising taxes or the problem with California’s fiscal situtation.
It’s a big scam. California has roughly 500 billions in investments and assets that are included in the CAFR aka comprehensive annual financial report, but studiously avoided when it pertains to debts and taxes. Read this and tell me what you think.
I don’t think it is accurate to blame TJ’s financial problems on debts inherited from his father.
Pop died in 1773, TJ lived to 1826. His financial situation at death surely can’t be blamed on what happened 50+ years earlier.
I’m not sure your claims about payment of debts incurred in scrip by gold are correct. Early America, largely due to Hamilton, generally had a stable currency. The scrip era was mostly during colonial and revolutionary days.
>Sadly, today we live under Jeffersonian democracy as you so eloquently stated. The plantation still exists.<
You are wrong. Jefferson would not recognize what our nation has become today. “Nation of yeoman farmers” that regulates and taxes our every breath, that meddles in the affairs of country after country?
How on earth do you defend that outrageous position?
By the way, that “plantation” is voluntary. Anyone can simply walk away easily, by paying attention in school.
Oh I certainly believe it and have suspected for years. Those assets include natural resources, land, etc. Mulholland spent years and years screwing the gullible in California for their water rights for a pittance in perpetuity. Likewise, about half the siphon-off of Hoover goes to Kallie IIRC. Land, assets in options/leases, oil drilling. Of course liberals won’t ever give that up, and they will lie, obfuscate, omit, cheat and steal to protect it.
Your link lost me when it started talking about the state employees’ pension funds as available for paying off current deficits.
It is well known that state pension funds, particularly in CA, not only do not have excess funds available, but are in fact wildly underfunded. To an extent that would be criminal if perpetrated by a private business.
Sorry, but no. TR’s assertion that Hamilton “would have loved how the Grand Experiment turned out” is almost assuredly not true, as is your own assertion that Hamilton “would have loved the modern day IRS.”
This is especially the case given Hamilton’s own defence of a Constitution which specifically forbade an income tax (at that time), as well as his specific arguments in Federalists #33 and 34 in favour of concurrent taxation power versus entire subordination the states to the federal government on the issue of taxation.
Personally, I view the difference between Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians as one of industry and commerce vs. landed wealth. In a sense, Hamilton represented the development of capitalism as we understand it today while Jefferson represented pre-capitalist landholder values.
You'll pardon if I'm less than impressed by your assertion. I've met many people with advanced degrees in subjects who spent a good portion of their academic lives studying these subjects - and yet who were obliviously clueless about them.
Would you mind FReepmailing me some of your papers?
There's a very good reason that Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists bitterly opposed him."
Well, there were very well-defined political reasons why Jefferson and the anti-Feds opposed him, but this is not the same as saying that they were good reasons.
Jefferson and his agrarian worldview opposed Hamilton and his view of commerce and industry. The former naturally favoured the large-landholding slave owners in the plantation states, while the latter favoured the free man capitalistic manufacturer and merchant. It's not surprising that slave owners would oppose a group whose worldview was increasingly coming to value free labour (in the sense of "free to take their labour where they can get the best value for it) over and against "free" labour (in the sense of getting to compel it from someone else by force).
Most Revolutionary War officers were Federalists. The people who bled for years were hardly disposed to create a home grown version of the tyranny they fought. Watching soldiers die from malnutrition, disease, inadequate clothing because of the hapless Confederation government left a mark on their psyche they were determined to correct.
It is believed he set the trigger, then accidentally brushed it causing his weapon to fire before he was on target (Burr).
Burr then shot him dead.
I think comparing the founders in modern day political terms is foolish. Remember these were highly educated men with very different backgrounds building a concept for a country without precedent. And they took considerable personal risk to do so.
They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
I would have any one of them as President in a heartbeat, or any other executive position for that matter, if they were alive today.
They could think, and they had values. They could write and express their ideas in ways few today can do without agents and helpers.
We were blessed to have them all, including the ones whose personal lives had 18th century baggage.
Not true. Before adopting a position you should do a little research. Hamilton was a major contributor to The Federalist. He would not have disagreed with the notion of States retaining their sovereignty, nor would he have wanted what has happened to this country over time. Saying that he was for a stronger national government than other revolutionary contemporaries is a strawman. It’s like saying that Washington wanted the extinction of cherry trees because he chopped one down. (I know that is a myth by the, to save you the trouble.)
For the past couple months, after discovering that all the bank tellers that I dealt with had no idea as to who that was on the ten-dollar bill, I have asked people--where appropriate--about that drawing on the bill, and I would estimate that maybe 5 percent knew that it was Alexander Hamilton.
As for the others, when told who it was (although the name appears below the engraving), usually I got a blank stare. They had no idea as to the role Alexander Hamilton played in our country's history. Yep, the teachers are doing a bang-up job in teaching the children about the Founding Fathers.
The pensions are “underfunded”, indeed - and that means (surprise!) by legislation that taxpayers will be tapped to make up the shortfall.
Money is fungible, and what the CAFR documents is that (apparently) California is sitting on billions of dollars (outside of pension programs) that are not being counted.
While it has long been my wish to have a pony too, why shouldn’t the pension funds be tapped to pay off pensioners, versus raising taxes to exorbitant rates on others who have neither the means nor the inclination to fund these programs?
Pension funds are, in theory anyway, funds set aside to pay for present and future pensions. Raiding them to pay current general fund expenses is a really bad idea. Works for this year, but makes future problems much greater.
Similarly with most if not all of the other funds mentioned, I assume. The money might be there, but it is already committed by law to certain uses.
Now one might make a good case that some of these other uses are things the state shouldn’t be doing anyway, but I can guarantee you each of them has a rabid special interest group willing to go to the mattresses in its defense.
Regarding Hamilton’s advocating the Federal assumption of war debt, you said:
“I’m sure in his time, most in government were on the plus side of honorable.....”
“True, he felt it was for the collective good will and camaraderie, etc. and that it would foster a common will..”
I have never seen a quote of this sort from Hamilton, and you certainly cannot ‘channel’ Hamilton.
Hamilton’s motivation was to transfer wealth through debt which would be paid by a federal bank from one class of people to another.
I’d take any one of them over Barack ORomney!
Let's examine a quick summary of Hamilton and see if you are right.
Alexander Hamilton was probably the strongest supporter of the trend towards aristocratic government. By early 1789 he was the treasurer of the U.S. and continually used all his influence to work toward a aristocracy.
According to Hamilton himself, only the “well bred and rich” as he expressed it, were to be recognized in governmental circles. “Lower” people, as he called them, were to have little or no part in government and would be held in check by “coercion of laws and coercion of arms”.
Hamilton's party became known as the Federalists and attempted to install a more powerful federal government (aristocracy) as opposed to Thomas Jefferson's Anti-federalist party which was pushing for state's rights.
This Democratic-Republican Party was founded in opposition to the Federalist party. Together with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison founded the Democratic-Republican Party, a forerunner to the Democratic Party.
Their Platform centered on the rights of states, agricultural interests, and decentralized government.
This was in direct opposition to Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and the Federalists.
Hamilton did not write Article I Section 8, “to pay the debts . . . “ It was included largely as an inducement to the States. Most were wallowing in horrible war debt and if they joined the Constitutional Union they would find relief.
“Difficult to imagine a better description of a slaveowner. A parasite indeed.”
In 1785, Thomas Jefferson established his Land Ordinance, which included a provision for the abolition of slavery.
It was defeated by a single vote in Congress.
Thomas Jefferson developed an anti-slavery clause in the first draft of the Declaration. The clause was removed by John Adams (MA), Benjamin Franklin (MA), Robert R. Livingston (NY), and Roger Sherman (CT).
The parasites were living in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.
Ever wonder why?
“Jefferson would not recognize what our nation has become today”
Jefferson might well be at home with what our nation has become today; perhaps right with the Occupy Wall Street rabble rousers. It was Jefferson who said a country needs a revolution every 20 years. .
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure”
But I do agree that the rights of individual states would take precedence over a centralized federal power in a Jeffersonian democracy. Whether that would result in periodic tumults who is to say?
Then again, Jefferson put his trust in a better people than we are today.
I understand your appreciation of Jefferson. I just don’t have much faith in mob-democracy. Although Jefferson was dismayed at its excesses, he never renounced the French Revolution entirely.
Alexander Hamilton and George Washington were the hands that steadied this nation in its founding.
Jefferson didn’t distinguish himself during the Revolotionary War: From http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/jefferson/section7.rhtml
“Unhappily, Jefferson shared no large part of the glory at the time. In fact, he was roundly criticized in Virginia for his fumbling administration and for the near-debacles that had almost led to his capture. A formal inquiry into his conduct as governor ensued, and although he was later cleared of all suspicion, the resulting stain on his integrity was significant. Jefferson, convinced that the inquiry had been precipitated by a jealous Patrick Henry, cut all ties with his former ally and resolved to be forever done with the trials of public office.
Thus, at the age of thirty-eight, Jefferson retired to Monticello with the intention of leaving political life permanently behind.’
Some might say that, but it more truly fits into a misrepresentation of Hamilton's true motivation.
I don't think that there is one in 100 students today that can explain banking, particularly as it was used by Hamilton and his statist friends.
In 1790, Alexander Hamilton recommended indiscriminate assumption of individual state debt, and the creation of national debt.
Why? Good will? Of course not!
At issue was the fate of debt certificates or notes issued by the Continental Congress and the states during the Revolution.
These notes had circulated as money and had, by their rapid multiplication, quickly lost value. Speculators bought them up at depressed values (10% or less of face value), expecting a new federal regime with enhanced taxing powers to pay off the notes at rates closer to face value.
These proposals, funding creation of new public debt in the course of paying off the old debt, and assumption, federal payment of state debts, were the heart and soul of Hamilton's nationalist movement.
The logic was impeccable: By the mid-1780s, the states were sopping up their debts by retiring them at rates close to their actual market value. If this process were finished, there would be less reason for nationalists in the Confederation Congress to press for a new taxing power (the impost). It became critical for the advocates of centralized government to put through a new plan of government as soon as possible. They had succeeded and were now addressing, through funding and assumption, one of their key goals.
Aside from redistributing wealth from the general public to bondholders, and between different classes of bondholders, assumption was meant to hasten the reduction of the State governments .
Hence, one Senator said,
Hamiltons spokesmen scarce disguise their design, which is to create a mass of debts which will justify them in seizing all the sources of Government, thus annihilating the State Legislatures and creating an empire on the basis of consolidation.
Hamilton, just like John Adams and the rest of their party, were moving toward dismantling the basis of the Constitution.....liberty, justice, states rights, and equality before the law.
Actually, I believe this ordinance applied only to the new territories north of the Ohio, and of course the Northwest Ordinance a few years later did abolish slavery in this area. So I fail to see how the failure of this provision made a bit of difference.
Obviously, Congress under the Articles of Confederation had no authority to make laws regarding slavery inside a State.
In the Declaration Tom put in a clause blaming the British for slavery, as if it had been forced on America. It was removed in committee, but if not there is zero doubt Congress as a body would have approved it.
How were the middle and northern state gentlemen you reference parasites? In what way were they living at ease by the forcible exploitation of others?
John Adams was an attorney. Benjamin Franklin was a wealthy retired printer and businessman. Livingston and Sherman were lawyers and politicians.
One of my relatives killed Hamilton. He thought it was the right thing to do at the time.
The tax fell on a limited population (farmers living in the frontier) and was punitive in amount, and stifled commerce. It was met with what is now known as the Whiskey Tax Rebellion.
I also recall that the reason that whiskey was often made in those areas is that Corn and other cereals were very easily damaged and wasted by weather, poor storage conditions and rodent predation.
Turning your corn into whiskey insured a product that could travel long distances and would be well received and paid for. Thereby benefiting the farmers and the merchants who took the risk of transporting the whiskey from farm to markets on the east coast.
The Whiskey TAX was a not only an affront to the farmers but literally took the money needed by the farmer to continue to buy needed supplies to survive on the frontier. It’s no wonder they fought back. And in some ways the Whiskey Rebellion might have damaged beyond repair the fragile new nation of the United States of America.
Also Hamilton is also known as the Father of the Revenue Cutter Service that eventually became the Coast Guard we know today.
Hamilton was also the father of the Bank of the United States, which has died and been resurrected a couple of times to emerge in today's form now known as the Federal Reserve.
It is the Fed and its ability to print fiat currency on behalf of this country that has created the massive federal bureaucracy, crushing debt load, and financial crisis that is threatening our freedoms today.
This turns out to be a long and learned thread, yet all I could think of was “Don’t get into a duel with someone who is a better shot that you.”
Well, it's nice to see that the Federalist/Anti-Federalist, Hamilton/Jefferson debate continues on after >225 years. However, the point the author of the article was attempting to make was the lesson Hamilton taught about fiscal responsibility, and the need for a new nation to pay off its debts (otherwise, other nations would not be willing to loan money in times of national emergency, for one good reason).
Before I continue, please note that I do not like Jefferson; there are many reasons for this, but the one that put the tin hat on it for me was his having started the rumor that President Washington was suffering from age-related dementia. Although TJ had always been a rumor-monger (he took notes during dinners of what people were saying), this was over the line. Washington confronted him in 1796 about this, and Jefferson denied it (lied). Washington knew the truth, and never spoke to TJ again after this.
Hamilton was, as Adams said, '...the bastard son of a Scottish peddler..." and maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. He was running an import-export business on his own in St. Croix at the age of 14. His background was in business...he was weaned on it.
Hamilton was not only brilliant, but incredibly brave. As a gallant NY Artillery officer and former chief of staff for Gen. Washington (although there was no such term then), he was rewarded by the General with the most dangerous command and assignment at Yorktown. Jefferson's record during the RevWar was--how shall we say it--a bit less valiant.
And to those posters who try to portray Hamilton as the 18th century equivalent of big government Barack Obama, I say, with all due respect, bollocks. The Whiskey Tax was ill-conceived and a msitake, to be sure, (it put much too much burden on the farmers west of the Appalachians) but Hamilton thought it was the best measure at the time since he felt he could not raise import taxes any more.
"Assumption" of the national debt by the new federal government had been a contentious issue for some time, and early in Washington's first term he told Hamilton and Jefferson to compromise and get it done. They had dinner together on Maiden Lane in NYC (Jefferson's apartment), and I believe Madison was in attendance. Jefferson may have had many reasons for being against assumption, but one was surely the fact that Virginia was one of the few nascent states that had paid off a good deal of its debt, and he felt the other states should do the same.
Ultimately, assumption won, and Hamilton had to allow Jefferson's demand that the capitol of the new country be moved south--first to Philadelphia and then to a new place on the Potomac.
With all this being said, big gummint back then was very different from the behemoth that we have now. Hamilton AND Jefferson would be aghast at what is going on now.
Hamilton's vision for this country was a forward-looking one of dynamic trade and economic growth; Jefferson's was backward-looking and agrarian. Jefferson was born into the landed gentry of Virginia; Hamilton was an orphan who worked his way up via his brains and bravery.The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...