Alexander Hamilton - 3

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 61
  • Published: February 15, 2013
Read full document
Text Preview
Alexander Hamilton
“Alexander Hamilton, American” by Richard Brookhiser tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s journey to the presidency and the influence he had on America. Born in the Caribbean islands to James Hamilton and Rachel Lavein, Hamilton was unlike many of his fellow Founding Fathers in that he did not come from a wealthy, stable home. At a young age Hamilton and his brother were left orphaned after the passing of his mother and the abandonment of his father. When he was just a teenager, a merchant named Nicholas Cruger hired Hamilton as a clerk and quickly noticed his brilliance. Hamilton was exceptionally good at business and mathematics. Though Hamilton loved his work, he dreamed of traveling the world and visiting what is now the United States. With the help of Reverend Hugh Knox and Cruger, Hamilton was able to interview with the president of the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University. However, his interview did not go well and he was denied acceptance. After being rejected by the College of New Jersey, Hamilton was granted the liberty of independent study at King’s College in New York City and rapidly progressed through all of his courses. With the aspiration of becoming a doctor, Hamilton enrolled in several science courses but later realized he was more captivated by history and debating.

During the revolutionary war Hamilton produced anonymous pamphlets respectively speaking out against King George III. When Hamilton heard of the battle of Lexington and Concord, he and some college friends began to put together a small, volunteer militia, training young men to fight. Hamilton’s militia knowledge did not go unnoticed and he was appointed as a captain in the Continental Army by March 1776. His excellent work and leadership as a captain caught the eye of General George Washington who then promoted him to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Washington relied heavily on Hamilton and grew very partial to him in the four years that he was employed. Hamilton learned a great deal through his friendship with Washington which allowed him to further establish his name and political beliefs. On December 14, 1780, Hamilton married, Betsey, the daughter of General Philip Schuyler, bringing him military connections and wealth. After his retirement from the military, Hamilton and Betsey moved to New York where they had their first out of eight children. In pursuit of becoming a lawyer, Hamilton studied hard and passed the bar exam in October 1882, allowing him to practice law in New York. Not beginning work right away as a lawyer, Hamilton found himself as a congressman for eight months before he returned to New York and set up his legal practice in his home. Hamilton was elected to serve as a New York assemblyman in 1786 where his main focus was having a delegate sent to Philadelphia too amend the Articles of Confederation. The delegates had divided into two groups- those who preferred the New Jersey Plan and those who preferred the Virginia Plan. Though Hamilton personally favored the Virginia Plan, his famous speech was a five hour long speech expressing why the New Jersey Plan was better and offered a plan to create a stronger government. Hamilton was not a fan of state governments and thought the perfect country would be one without states. Knowing it was impossible to achieve this, he came up with a new government system that limited the state’s power and put the primary control in the hands of the main government. He also came up with the idea for a government with three branches-legislative, judicial, and executive. To convince others to get on board with his idea, Hamilton began to write The Federalist Papers. Obviously, Hamilton’s plan worked and New York voted for ratification to the constitution. President Washington chose Hamilton as the Secretary of the Treasury in his cabinet and he spent five years there before retiring in 1795.

After a lifetime of success, the year 1797 was a...
tracking img