Alexander Hamilton, one of the founders of the United States, led the Federalist movement in the years following the Revolution. In this capacity, he became the champion of the country’s industrialization and the strengthening of the central power.
High-Level Political Analyses
Born in 1755 in a poor family on the island of Nevis (in the British West Indies), Alexander Hamilton became an aide-de-camp to George Washington during the American Revolution, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and then settled as a lawyer.
He was sent as a delegate for New York to the Philadelphia Convention in charge of giving the country a constitution
. He was sent as a delegate for New York to the Philadelphia Convention in charge of giving the country a Constitution. From October 27, 1787 to August 15, 1788, as the ratification process began, Hamilton and his friend James Madison, the son of a Virginian plantation owner, published high-level political analyses in various newspapers in order to inspire the members of the Convention and to inform the general public. These articles (85 in total) were ultimately collected under the title of the Federalist Papers.
Champion of Free Enterprise
During George Washington's presidency, the first US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton created the Bank of the United States, the embryo of a central bank, on July 4, 1791. The public snatched up shares of the bank.
On May 17, 1792, following Hamilton’s initiative, the negotiators of shares and banking securities came together to prevent some speculators’ harmful actions. Their meeting took place at 68 Wall Street, New York. This is origin of the current stock exchange.
Alexander Hamilton opposed Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson's bucolic dream of an America composed of small, free, and equal landowners. Instead, he dreamt of a powerful State directed by New England's rich business oligarchy.
In a well-known report (the Report on Manufactures), Hamilton explained the principle of customs protection and a vigorous industrial policy in order to promote the emergence of a modern economy.
His recommendations would later be taken up by the German economist Friedrich List, who would justify protectionism in countries in the process of industrialization.
But he himself would not go further in their implementation.
On July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton met American vice-president Aaron Burr in a duel with a pistol. He had described his opponent as a dangerous man who could not be trusted, which was absolutely true.
Opposed on principle to the duel, Hamilton fired a shot into the air. His opponent responded by shooting him in the abdomen. Hamilton died after thirty hours of agony. With him, the United States lost a talented economist and a worthy political leader.