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Who Is Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton represented New York at the Constitutional Convention and staunchly supported the creation of a unified and powerful central government. Hamilton was a leader of the Federalist Party who transcended loyalty to local states or regions, and instead opted to focus on strengthening the nation through the implementation of a fully functioning federal government. Like many Federalist members, Hamilton was a great skeptic of the individual, concluding that a successful nation needed an able central government to properly enforce the code of law, taxation, and protection against other countries.

Although Hamilton was the first delegate chosen to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, his vote and word were rendered powerless due to disagreeing votes by New York delegates John Lansing and Robert Yates. Hamilton's wishes of an empowered central government were made controversial due to his alleged admiration of the British Monarchy. Hamilton proposed a "lifelong" President and Senate which would remain in power until death or corruption had tainted the office.

The Federalist Party was constantly in debate with prominent Anti-Federalist members George Mason and Thomas Jefferson over the inclusion of individual liberties within the United States Constitution. Hamilton, a staunch supporter of a potent national government, believed that the inclusion of civil liberties within the Constitution was superfluous for individual rights are inherently or implicitly included in the documents.

As a result of previous authoritative rule, many of the delegates at the Convention supported a balance of powers between Federal and State governments, while maintaining a series of rights awarded to the individual citizen. Aware of his position and lacking political savvy, Hamilton decided against the proposal of his intended Constitution which included similar clauses such as: Senators were to be elected based on the country's population, the President should be elected based on a difficult multi-stage process, the Supreme Court was to have jurisdiction over lawsuits involving the United States, the President was to have absolute veto power, and State governors were to be appointed by the national government.

When the Convention concluded, Alexander Hamilton was not pleased with the drafted Constitution. Although Hamilton still yearned for an empowered form of central government, he still signed the document and urged his fellow supporters to do the same. Hamilton viewed the Constitution as a vast improvement over the previously adopted Articles of Confederation and decided to compromise with his opposition.

Immediately following the adoption, Hamilton rallied a group together and attempted to spark a ratification process through the creation of Federalist publications. Hamilton recruited James Madison and John Jay to write articles stressing the importance of a powerful Federal Government with the ability to raise taxes. The Federalist Papers contained 85 articles documenting the need for America to possess constant funding and pointing out the weaknesses of the American Constitution.

The intentions of the Federalist Papers were to interpret the Constitution to the masses while attempting to sway votes and sentiment towards a ratification process. Although Madison jumped ship and later created the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers were influential in sparking the ratification process of the early Constitutions.

Shortly after the Federalist Papers stopped circulation, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. Appointed by George Washington, Hamilton was viewed as an economic genius and is regarded as greatly contributing in the structural creation and cabinet roles of the United States Government.

Hamilton's greatest contributions come in the form of finance and the institution of novel taxes such as excise levies on whiskey. Alexander Hamilton was constantly perturbed by the nation's debt and the organization of proper national funding. Through Hamilton's efforts, the First National Bank was created and the American financial system was greatly streamlined through extensive reports on manufacturing, public credit, and debt.

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