Alexander Hamilton





Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was the first U.S. secretary of the treasury and one of the founders of America’s political party; the Federalists. He is a famous figure in the U.S history. He is remembered for many great contributions to the early United States and for his duel in 1804 with Aaron Burr which led to in his death.

According to scholars, Alexander Hamilton was born on 11th January 1755 in the Nevis Island in British West Indies. His early education was short-lived and at the age of twelve and started working as a clerk at a general store. In 1772, he joined Kings College in New York City, but he did not graduate because of his desire fame and success in his early life .

The American Revolution of 1775 – 83 presented Hamilton a chance he desired and in 1777 he was made a lieutenant in the Continental Army and also an assistant to George Washington who was then the commanding general. Alexander Hamilton, therefore, became one of George Washington’s best advisers whose responsibility was to draft important letters, go to important military missions, and write reports. In 1782, he became a lawyer through apprenticeship. Working for Washington gave him a different view on the Congress and its weakness. He, therefore, tried to bring out a strong central government.

Alexander Hamilton made several contributions to the U.S. history. Hamilton was one of the architects of America’s Economic System (1789-1793). As a lawyer in the New York, he was asked by the nation’s first president – George Washington- to be the first secretary of the Treasury. He came up with a national bank that was able to pay off state’s debts and created a federal system of collecting taxes . He helped to rectify the financial chaos that arose from the revolution. Hamilton’s Federalist Party advocated for a strong national government and sought to increase national government power. However, he received much opposition from his followers who was Anti-Federalist.

Another significant contribution of Hamilton was that he became influential in the ratification of the US Constitution. He understood that the government was instituted under the Articles of Confederation had major flaws that could undermine the nation’s stability. The Constitution separated power among the federal government and the state governments. Hamilton together with James Madison and John Jay wrote series of articles called ‘Publius’ which argued their political ideas and position. Hamilton also made a contribution to the political economy of the U.S. He treated economics as a human science that necessitated far-sightedness due to changing circumstances. He, therefore, believed in a diversified economy that engaged in commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture to protect the nation. On the modern economy, Hamilton believed in banks as regulating agency and that tax systems should not choke the production system.

Another major feature of Hamilton’s political philosophy is his emphasis on energetic government. His belief was to have a proactive government regarding military and economic affairs, to exercise authority directly to the people, and have the power over the lower governments such as state level . He also believed that separation of powers within the government could create inefficiency within the government. Hence, a strong government was able to provide stability over a broad geographical area of the U.S.

Alexander Hamilton remains one of the leading figures in American political philosophies due to his achievements in a realistic understanding of politics, government challenges, and constitution insights.

Work Cited

Evans, Jonathan. Alexander Hamilton: Father of American Banking. 01 February 2016. November 2016.

Flaumenhaft, Harvey. The Effective Republic: Administration and Constitution in the Thought of Alexander Hamilton. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. , 1992.

Flexer, James Thomas. The Young Hamilton: A Biography. . Boston: Little, Brown: Fordham University Press, 1978.

Hendrickson, Robert. Hamilton I, 1757-1789. New York: Mason Charter, 1976.

Rossiter, Clinton. Alexander Hamilton and the Constitution . New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964.