How Did Alexander Hamilton Influence American Politics

1964 Words 8 Pages
The Federalist Era of American politics reduced many of the Founding Fathers to gladiators of their particular causes and the outcome of the American experiment. Power in this era meant absolute victory for your view of the future of the United States. The men at the forefront of this Thunderdome-esque fight to death were Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams. Alexander Hamilton was a self-made man. Born in the West Indies out of wedlock, Hamilton took it upon himself to learn about trade and eventually worked his way into the world’s elite. Hamilton’s view of America’s future was a one of a Northern-based, merchant centric empire ruled by the elite. This idea clashed heavily with that of Thomas Jefferson and …show more content…
This action was viewed by Hamilton’s opponents as a way to make the states subservient and inferior to the federal government. Their argument was completely justified as this was Hamilton’s viewpoint, which was further cemented by his establishment of a national bank. This lead to much debate between the emerging parties of the time. Hamilton, however, won the argument with the claim that it was “necessary and proper” and therefore completely justified. After Hamilton left the office of Secretary of State, he still had a major influence on American politics. John Adams, who was Washington’s vice president and a leading member of Hamilton’s own party, ran for president after Washington decided not to run for reelection. Hamilton, disliking Adams, ran a secretive campaign against him in order to get a different Federalist in office, however, this backfired completely and caused Adams to win the presidency and Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton’s arch-nemesis, to become vice president. In the very beginning of the Adams presidency, America was forced into a conflict with France in an event that Adams dubbed the “XYZ affair.” This marked the start of the Quasi-War and a major point of contention between …show more content…
Thomas Jefferson’s view for America’s future was the complete opposite of Hamilton’s. Jefferson believed that the United States should be an agricultural society with government concentrated on the state and local level. Jefferson was one of the most influential Founding Fathers as he was the writer of the Declaration of Independence. It was because of Jefferson’s intellect and prominence in the Southern states that George Washington appointed to him as the nation’s first Secretary of State. It was in Washington’s cabinet that much of the nation’s differing views of government and politics came to a head. The debate of a national bank was one that Jefferson and Hamilton were on opposing ends of. Hamilton, as stated previously, argued that the federal government had the Constitutional right to create the bank until the “Necessary and Proper” Clause. On the other hand, Jefferson was a strict constructionist believing that this idea would set a dangerous precedent and lead the federal government down a road of boundless power. This and assumption controversy caused Jefferson to take some very questionable measures by secretly working against his own administration. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison created the Republican Party due to growing power that the Federalists had at the time. This Southern centric proto-party was based on the idea of securing and

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