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Alexander Hamilton: Know your Founding Father

bballcrook21
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7/6/2016 2:25:39 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Wanted by Skepsikyma

"I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man." - Alexander Hamilton

Founding father Alexander Hamilton was born circa January 11, 1755 or 1757 (the exact date is unknown), on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies. Hamilton's parents were Rachel Fawcett Lavien, who was of British and French Huguenot descent, and James Hamilton, a Scottish trader. At the time of Alexander's birth, Rachel was married to John Lavien, a much older merchant whom she had been pressured to wed by her parents when she was a teenager. They had a son, Peter together. Lavien was abusive to Rachel and had spent nearly all the money she had inherited when her father died in 1745. During their tumultuous relationship, by Danish law, he even had her imprisoned for several months for adultery.

When she was released, instead of returning to her husband and son, the independent-minded Rachel fled the troubled marriage and moved to St. Kitts. It was there she met and moved in with James Hamilton, with whom she had another son James, Alexander's older brother who was born in 1753. After moving back to St. Croix, James Sr. abandoned the family when Alexander was a boy, leaving Rachel and her sons impoverished. John Adams would one day come to characterize Hamilton's rise from humble beginnings by describing the young Hamilton as "the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler."

Determined to improve his lot in life, Hamilton took his first job at the tender age of 11, not long after his father left. But the family was soon dealt another sad blow. After working tirelessly to make ends meet, his mother became ill and died in 1768 at the age of 38.

Working as an accounting clerk in an mercantile in St. Croix, the bright and ambitious young lad quickly impressed his employer. Through this early experience, Alexander Hamilton was first exposed to international commerce (including the importing of slaves) and learned about the business of money and trade. Hamilton's boss, a businessman named Nicolas Cruger, so valued Hamilton's acumen when it came to accounting that he and other businessmen pooled their resources with a minister and newspaper editor named Hugh Knox to send Hamilton to America for an education. Hamilton had impressed Knox with his writing skills after Hamilton had a letter describing a ferocious hurricane had hit the island in 1772.

In 1773, when he was around 16 years old, Hamilton arrived in New York, where he enrolled in King's College (later renamed Columbia University). Despite his gratitude toward his generous patrons, with the American colonies on the brink of a revolution, Hamilton was drawn more to political involvement than he was to academics. In 1774, he wrote his first political article defending the Patriots' cause against the interests of pro-British Loyalists.

A quick learner, Hamilton deemed himself quite capable of becoming a self-made man. Intent on learning through hands-on experience, he left King's College before graduating to join forces with the Patriots in their protest of British-imposed taxes and commercial business regulations.

Hamilton's political agenda entailed establishing a stronger federal government under a new Constitution. In 1787, while serving as a New York delegate, he met in Philadelphia with other delegates to discuss how to fix the Articles of Confederation, which were so weak that they could not persist in keeping the Union intact. During the meeting, Hamilton expressed his view that a reliable ongoing source of revenue would be crucial to developing a more powerful and resilient central government.

Hamilton didn't have a strong hand in writing the Constitution, but he did heavily influence its ratification, or approval. In collaboration with James Madison and John Jay, Hamilton wrote 51 of 85 essays under the collective title The Federalist (later known as The Federalist Papers). In the essays, he artfully explained and defended the newly drafted Constitution prior to its approval. In 1788, at the New York Ratification Convention in Poughkeepsie, where two-thirds of delegates opposed the Constitution, Hamilton was a powerful advocate for ratification, effectively arguing against the anti-Federalist sentiment. His efforts succeeded when New York agreed to ratify, and the remaining eight states followed suit.

When George Washington was elected president of the United States in 1789, he appointed Alexander Hamilton as the first secretary of the treasury. At the time, the nation was facing great foreign and domestic debt due to expenses incurred during the American Revolution.

Ever a proponent for a strong central government, during his tenure as treasury secretary, Hamilton butted heads with fellow cabinet members who were fearful of a central government holding so much power. Lacking their state loyalties, Hamilton went so far as to turn down New York"s opportunity to house the nation's capital in favor of securing backing for his economic program, dubbed the "dinner table bargain."

It was Hamilton's belief that the Constitution gave him the authority to create economic policies that strengthened the central government. His proposed fiscal policies initiated the payment of federal war bonds, had the federal government assume states' debts, instituted a federal system for tax collection and would help the United States establish credit with other nations.

State loyalists were outraged by Hamilton's suggestions, until a compromise was reached during a dinner conversation between Hamilton and Madison on June 20, 1790. Hamilton agreed that a site near the Potomac would be established as the nation's capital, and Madison would no longer block Congress, particularly its Virginia representatives, from approving policies that promoted a more powerful central government over individual states' rights.

Hamilton stepped down from his position as secretary of the treasury in 1795, leaving behind a far more secure U.S. economy to back a strengthened federal government.

During the 1800 presidential elections, Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic Republican, and John Adams, a Federalist, were vying for the presidency. At the time, presidents and vice presidents were voted for separately, and Aaron Burr, intended to be Jefferson's vice president on the Democratic-Republican ticket, actually tied Jefferson for the presidency.

Choosing Thomas Jefferson as the lesser of two evils, Hamilton went to work supporting Jefferson's campaign, and in so doing undermined the attempts of Federalists to garner a tie-breaking win for Burr. Ultimately, the House of Representatives chose Jefferson as president, with Burr as his vice president. However, the standoff had damaged Jefferson's trust in Burr.

During his first term, Jefferson often left Burr out of discussions on party decisions. When Jefferson ran for re-election in 1804, he decided to remove Burr from his ticket. Burr then opted to run independently for the New York governorship, but lost. Frustrated and feeling marginalized, Burr hit his boiling point when he read in a newspaper that Hamilton had called Burr "the most unfit and dangerous man of the community."

Burr was infuriated. Convinced that Hamilton had ruined yet another election for him, Burr demanded an explanation. When Hamilton refused to comply, Burr, further enraged, challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton begrudgingly accepted, believing that in doing so he would assure his "ability to be in [the] future useful."

The duel, which began at dawn on July 11, 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey, would rob Hamilton of that ability entirely. When both men drew their guns and shot, Hamilton was fatally wounded, but Hamilton's bullet missed Burr. Hamilton, injured, was brought back to New York City, where he died the next day, on July 12, 1804.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
Skepsikyma
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7/6/2016 2:33:53 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:25:39 AM, bballcrook21 wrote:
Wanted by Skepsikyma

His Federalist Papers are some of the most beautiful and astute political documents ever written.

Also: http://assets.bwbx.io...
http://images.8tracks.com...
http://imadeamerica.com...
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
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7/6/2016 2:34:42 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:33:53 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:25:39 AM, bballcrook21 wrote:
Wanted by Skepsikyma

His Federalist Papers are some of the most beautiful and astute political documents ever written.

Also: http://assets.bwbx.io...
http://images.8tracks.com...
http://imadeamerica.com...

Based memes.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
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7/6/2016 5:07:55 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/6/2016 5:07:08 AM, triangle.128k wrote:
At 7/6/2016 2:25:39 AM, bballcrook21 wrote:

You could actually write like this about all the founding fathers and publish it as a book.

Naaah, a book isn't more forum posts on this site :P
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
PetersSmith
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7/12/2016 4:59:17 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/6/2016 2:25:39 AM, bballcrook21 wrote:
Wanted by Skepsikyma

You forgot the part where he spoke at length about his desire for the US to be an elective monarchy, and hinting at it a few times in the Federalist Papers.
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bsh1
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7/16/2016 7:56:20 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Well done summary.
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bballcrook21
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7/16/2016 10:56:19 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/16/2016 2:52:23 PM, Godgirl wrote:
Lin-Manuel Miranda made a musical based on his [Alaxander Hamilton's] life. It's pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, it's really famous. A couple hundred bucks per ticket, I think.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
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7/16/2016 10:56:26 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/16/2016 7:56:20 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Well done summary.

Thank you!
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
Godgirl
Posts: 500
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7/17/2016 12:44:19 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/16/2016 10:56:19 PM, bballcrook21 wrote:
At 7/16/2016 2:52:23 PM, Godgirl wrote:
Lin-Manuel Miranda made a musical based on his [Alaxander Hamilton's] life. It's pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, it's really famous. A couple hundred bucks per ticket, I think.

Yeah, I wish I had the money to see it.
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
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7/17/2016 12:45:21 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/17/2016 12:44:19 AM, Godgirl wrote:
At 7/16/2016 10:56:19 PM, bballcrook21 wrote:
At 7/16/2016 2:52:23 PM, Godgirl wrote:
Lin-Manuel Miranda made a musical based on his [Alaxander Hamilton's] life. It's pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, it's really famous. A couple hundred bucks per ticket, I think.

Yeah, I wish I had the money to see it.

I think it's going to be here in Chicago soon enough. I assume it will since Chicago is such a large city.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
Godgirl
Posts: 500
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7/17/2016 12:47:26 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/17/2016 12:45:21 AM, bballcrook21 wrote:
At 7/17/2016 12:44:19 AM, Godgirl wrote:
At 7/16/2016 10:56:19 PM, bballcrook21 wrote:
At 7/16/2016 2:52:23 PM, Godgirl wrote:
Lin-Manuel Miranda made a musical based on his [Alaxander Hamilton's] life. It's pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, it's really famous. A couple hundred bucks per ticket, I think.

Yeah, I wish I had the money to see it.

I think it's going to be here in Chicago soon enough. I assume it will since Chicago is such a large city.

But I don't really have hundreds of dollars just lying around. And if I went to see it without my friends they'd probably murder me brutally.
Godgirl
Posts: 500
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7/20/2016 11:36:09 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Kind of a shame that the only thing I learned about him in school was "he disagreed with Thomas Jefferson".