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The Life and Influence of Alexander Hamilton on America

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Alexander Hamilton started off on the Island of St. Croix. His father left when he was young, and his mother was unable to really support the family. Because of this Hamilton started work in a mercantile business at the age of 10. There was a hurricane in the Caribbean that he wrote about which got him noticed and sent to school in New York in 1772 (Ripper 2008, pg. 124). He served in the war as a part of the artillery company and was soon promoted by General Washington to lieutenant colonel. In 1780 he married Elizabeth Schuyler, who came from a wealthy family. He ended up becoming a lawyer, and for years he was unstoppable.

For 20 years he “promoted a vision of America that joined government, the people, and finances in a secular trinity,” and there was such a big significance of this that he ended up becoming the face of the $10 bill (Ripper 2008, pg. 124). He believed in having more federal union, which in turn caused him to advocate for the Constitutional Convention. Even though he didn’t play a huge role in the convention, he paired up with James Madison and John Jay to write the best essays in support of the Constitution which helped ensure its ratification. Besides helping establish that, he helped build the Bank of New York, and became the Secretary of the Treasury. He was a big promoter of manufacturing, banking, and large-scale trading. He was able to get President Washington and Congress to adopt the “Bank of the United States (1791), the assumption of all the state and national debts that arose from the War of Independence (1790), close relations with Britain and weaker relations with France, and excise tax on liquor of 7 cents per gallon (1791), and expanded presidential powers” (Ripper 2008, pg. 125).

The people that benefitted from Hamilton’s plans were mostly middle states and New England, not the south. Hamilton’s excise tax on liquor got people in the west to side with Jefferson in thinking that Federal government was too strong for the nation.

Eventually people that didn’t pay taxes had to go to court, but those people started a rebellion n in return. Hamilton and the governor of Virginia with a militia to stop the rebellion, and Hamilton believed that the “martial display of force was exactly what the federal government needed” (Ripper 2008, pg. 127). One of the only things Jefferson and Hamilton were able to agree on was the relocation of the capital to permanently be on the Potomac River in “exchange for passage of Hamilton’s request to have the government assume the public debt” (Ripper 2008, pg. 128). In 1795 Hamilton left Washington to return to practicing law. On July 11, 1804 Hamilton took part in a duel between Aaron Burr to settle a dispute where he was shot and eventually died the next day. Hamilton wasn’t the best in politics, but he sure did have a big influence in the finances of the newly independent nation.

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