When the revolutionary war was over, the American colonists found themselves free of British control.
Now that they were free, they wanted to create their own system of government where the tyranny and the arbitrariness of the British monarchy of old, would be diminished. Originally, The Articles of Confederation thinly united the thirteen states. This document had given the central government no power to do what was needed. The central government had no power to tax they only had the power to ask the states for money.Order now
They also had no money to pay for an army to settle domestic disputes or fight off invaders. These weaknesses and others in The Articles of Confederation caused the people to consider amending the Articles that would correct these wrongs and at the same time protecting the interests of the states. So in 1787, the states sent delegates to a convention in Philadelphia to amend the Articles. It did not take long for the delegates to scrap the Articles and to start writing a new document, the Constitution.
Even this new document created controversy. The American people were divided into two groups: the federalists, with Alexander Hamilton as the leader, and the anti-federalists or Jeffersonians because they were led by Thomas Jefferson. The federalists believed that the Constitution itself was good enough where as the Jeffersonians thought that it would not protect the rights of the people. But both however decided that the government should be based on the principles of federalism.
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, to help the ratification of it and to insure the rights of the people. The Federalist, a series of papers, was written to get support of the Constitution in New York. These papers were written under the pseudonym, Publius. The papers were actually written by three men: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.
Hamilton was the leader of these three for he had written 51 of the 85 The Federalist papers. Through their efforts the New York legislature ratified the Constitution. Even after the Constitution was ratified, the two factions remained divided for several reasons. One reason was the creation of a national bank.
Hamilton was very supportive of a national bank and Jefferson was against the idea of a national bank. The descendants of these first two factions are seen today in the Democrats and the Republicans. Alexander Hamilton accomplished many great things for the United States including: calling for a stronger central government, setting up a national bank and a plan for economic growth and inadvertently starting the two-party system.
Alexander Hamilton the Revolutionary and the Pater Familias
Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 (or 1757 according to Hamilton) on the West Indies Island of Nevis in the town Charleston.
He was born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucitt Lavien and James Hamilton, who would later abandon the family in 1765. A local clergyman, Reverend Hugh Knox, raised funds to send Alexander away to school in 1773. He entered Kings College (Columbia University) in 1774. At the age of 19 he wrote a pamphlet, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress.
This was in response to a Torys pamphlet that called the Continental Congress a parcel of upstart lawless Committee-men.1 Alexander defended in his pamphlet that the Congress was an august body of men famed for their patriotism and abilities.
In the Revolutionary War, he distinguished himself in the eyes of General Washington, and in 1777, Washington asked him to be one of his six aide-de-camps (secretaries) with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Hamiltons main job was to, as Washington said, think for me, as well as execute orders.
He rode beside Washington in the battles at Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth.
Alexander married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780, with whom he had eight children. Hamilton had just wanted to lead a simple life and care for his family or in his words retire a simple citizen and good pater familias (father of the family.) Sometimes Alexander Hamilton would have a hard time in accomplishing this, as he was always away from home fighting for a new cause.
Alexander Hamilton the Lawyer
Alexander turned to law at the end