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The Early Republic

The government in 1789:


-President George Washington
-VP John Adams
-Sec. of State Thomas Jefferson
-Sec. of Treasury Alexander Hamilton

*John Adams gets upset over the lack of duties that he has. He feels worthless as
Vice President.
*Alexander Hamilton really takes control of this government.

George Washington-people don’t know how to address him, but finally decide on
President. He is just a “common man”.
-He doesn’t know how to act. He ends up deciding to act higher than others.

Hamilton’s role in the government begins to draw a line in the government and
parties start to form. He becomes the leader of the Federalist party. The other
party is the Anti-federalists.

Alexander Hamilton:
-had a very humble background
-born out of wedlock on a small island in the Caribbean (around 1755)
-grows up extremely poor
-When he was 13, he and his mother both get extremely sick. His mother died,
but he was able to overcome the disease.
-He lives with relatives and as he is growing up, he realizes he has good skills in
business management
-at 17, he moves to New York and he lives with relatives who send him to King’s
College and gets to see how much intellect he has
-Revolutionary starts and he becomes an avid Patriot and he starts writing
pamphlets supporting the Patriot cause
-He decides to join the Continental Army and very quickly becomes an aid to
George Washington (1776-77, 21 years old)
-He idolizes Washington and sees him as a father figure
-He runs for election in the Continental Congress and becomes a member during
the writing of the articles of confederation
-Knowing Washington really helps him out
-He is very ambitious and really wants to advance in the world
-although he is a prominent man, with much intelligence, he does not have very
many friends
**Policies:
Report on Public Credit-1790: His idea on how the National debt should be
managed because the US is still in a big amount of debt. He says a national debt
is not bad, if it’s managed properly. Hamilton says there should always be a tax,
but nothing oppressive and it will tie the people to the government. He thinks it’s
a good way for the government to assert its authority. Also, he says government
should start helping out the wealthy. *Debt: mainly owed to British merchants,
and also to American citizens. They will give them new bonds that have higher
interest. But the majority of Americans that own these bonds are very wealthy
Americans. National government will take the state debt. This is very popular
with states with a lot of debt, but one’s without debt do not like this plan. He
begins working with Madison and Jefferson to get southern congressmen on
board with his plan because of the states that are against it. Because of
compromise, this report is accepted.

Report on Manufacturers-1791: Hamilton is calling for high protective tariffs. He


wants to protect the U.S. industry. He wants the U.S. to become more of an
industrial power which these high tariffs will do. He wants to bring immigrants to
the country so they can see the job openings in the United States. He feels that
this is a very big strength of the United States. He wants a lot of Americans
involved in agriculture and a lot in industry so it will be a good balance. This will
help with the growth of new cities and a better market for our agricultural goods.
These tariffs are passed, but not as high as he would have hoped.

Report on the National Bank: Most controversial. He calls for the creation of a
National Bank of the U.S. This would be where the United States would put its
money. This bank would issue paper currency. It would issue one uniform
currency. It would be backed from all the private assets and all the governments’
money. It would be centered in Philadelphia with other smaller branches. Money
could be transferred from these states and it would just be transferred on paper
that says what needs to be transferred. It creates a lot of disagreement within the
American government. James Madison goes against it because it’s not in the
Constitution, and many others follow him. Article 1: Section 8 (Necessary and
Proper), Congress is authorized to make all laws that are necessary and proper.
Jefferson is one of his main enemies and he says the 10th amendment… Hamilton
says we should create it in the Constitution and congress authorizes the creation
of the bank of the United States in 1791.

Whiskey Tax: tax proposed by Alexander Hamilton. It is a revenue tax just on


whiskey. He wants to do this mainly to assert the governments’ power to tax
individual citizens. He thinks this would be the best way to create respect for the
national government. This was very upsetting to the people because whiskey was
very popular.