Of all the founding fathers of the American nation, Alexander Hamilton remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial characters. In his role as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton submitted a financial plan to Congress designed to reduce the national debt by creating a national bank and encouraging economic diversification and the establishment of a manufacturing economy. But more than 200 years later, questions remain over the plan’s effectiveness and Hamilton’s motives.
No, it didn't
Hamilton's financial plan was designed to benefit existing capitalists and the monied classes at the expense of the average American. Hamilton was not acting in the interests of the country, but pursuing personal gain through his own ideals. Far from a patriot, Hamilton was far more closely wedded to ideology and self-promotion than the advancement of the American nation.
Hamilton's tax plan was un-American
Instead of building a nation that subscribed to the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and anyone could lift themselves out of poverty, Hamilton's financial plan was designed to benefit existing capitalists and large businesses at the expense of the average American.
Hamilton's financial plan was an exercise in self-preservation and self-promotion.
Hamilton's inner circle benefited enormously
Hamilton's financial plan disproportionate benefitted the country's wealthy elite, many of whom were Hamilton's close friends and allies.
Yes, it did
Hamilton's financial plan was instrumental in establishing political and economic stability across the young nation. It successfully achieved its aims by laying the foundation for the emergence of a thriving and prosperous modern economy.
Hamilton's fiscal policies carried political aims
The most pressing threats to the nation in 1790 were political. Hamilton's financial plan carried political objectives through careful fiscal planning.
Hamilton's plan laid the foundation for a prosperous economy
Within a century of Hamilton's financial plan, the US had gone from a new nation to the world's largest economy. This is a phenomenal achievement, attributable in no small part to Hamilton's financial plan.
Alexander Hamilton was not the architect of the financial plans submitted to Congress in 1790 and 1791. Therefore, the debate is irrelevent.
It wasn't Hamilton's plan
Hamilton was merely the executor of George Washington's policies. To understand the political and fiscal motives behind the financial plan, one would be better served by examining George Washington's than Hamilton's.
We will never know
A lack of evidence means that we will never know Hamilton's true motives or aims for his financial plan.
Alexander Hamilton died too soon
Hamilton died before he could publish a retrospective memoir reflecting on his time as Treasury Secretary.
This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 16:35 UTC