Thought for Today

“To model our political system upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.”

Alexander Hamilton (1788)

Alexander Hamilton portrait by John Trumbull 1806.jpgHamilton was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. He took the lead in the funding of the states’ debts by the Federal government, as well as the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch,[1]:3–4 a strong commercial economy, with a national bank and support for manufacturing, plus a strong military. This was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Democratic-Republican Party. They favored strong states based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as too friendly toward Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.

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