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Alexander Hamilton - Essay Example

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Recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America (US), Alexander Hamilton was a primary contributor to the drafting of the Constitution (Burt). He was born on January 11, 1757 in Nevis, British West Indies. Although orphaned and left destitute at the age of twelve, Hamilton went to the North American Colonies in 1771 where he pursued his studies at King's College ("Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia").
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Alexander Hamilton Recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United s of America (US), Alexander Hamilton was a primary contributor to the drafting of the Constitution (Burt). He was born on January 11, 1757 in Nevis, British West Indies. Although orphaned and left destitute at the age of twelve, Hamilton went to the North American Colonies in 1771 where he pursued his studies at King's College ("Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia").
During the American Revolution, Hamilton served as captain of artillery. Being noticed by George Washington, he was assigned as Washington's secretary and aide-de-camp ("Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia"). He became well-known for his contribution to the Federalist Paper (1787), which he along with other politicians attempted to persuade the voters of New York state convention to ratify the constitution (Burt).
Hamilton served as Secretary of Treasury during the Washington administration from September 1789 until January 1795. During his stint, hew was deemed to have significantly helped position the US under a sound economic regime. He presented a comprehensive financial program to the first Congress ("Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia"). To illustrate this point, his works such as the Report on Public Credit (1790) proposed to the federal government the redemption of confederation government securities and full payment of debt accumulated by the Continental Congress. As part of his financial program, this provision resolved and nationalized financial chaos inherited from the Revolution (Foner & Garraty).
Apart from this, Hamilton also generated the Report on Manufactures (1791), wherein he impelled the federal government to encourage manufactures and proposed protective laws including the imposition of tariff on imported manufactured goods and series of excise tax both for the purpose of preserving of home market and generating revenue for the government to pay its debt (Burt). Moreover, he helped found the Bank of the United States, which is patterned after the Bank of England (Foner & Garraty), as well as the Bank of New York. He proposed for the creation of this national bank to help the government meet its financial obligations and generate revenue from interest on loans and enable the government to create a national currency through issuance of public credit ("Wikipedia").
Albeit his propositions were met by massive opposition, as his policies were deemed to alienate agrarian interest and bring about concentration of power in federal government, the Congress adopted the Hamiltonian program ("Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia").
In view of the above, it can be seen that Hamilton played a critical role in shaping domestic and foreign policy during the first decade from the founding of the Republic. He is credited with the establishment of public credit, foundations of American capitalism and the stock and commodity exchanges. He was among the first to recognize the need for larger transformations of industry and capitalism specifically the trend toward larger-scale manufacturing financed through credit ("Wikipedia").
Despite the various controversies he faced throughout his political career, Hamilton is regarded as one of the key political figures in the history of the nation through advocating the principles of strong centralized government and supporting the establishment of strong business institutions, and commitment to economic growth ("Wikipedia").

Works Cited
Burt, D. The Chronology of American Literature. Houghton Mifflin Company.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press. 2003.
Foner, E. and J.A. Garraty. The Reader's Companion to American History. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Wikipedia. 06 March 2006 Read More
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