U.S. History 1
6 April 2013
Everyone makes mistakes every once in a while, but doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t fix them. That’s why a pencil is made with an eraser in its other end. When drafting the constitution, the founding fathers included this pencil in the form of the elastic clause. This would later come to be seen as a way to get by laws and rules mentioned in the constitution. When George Washington was selected on April 1789, he formed a presidential cabinet consisting of the secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson; secretary of war, Henry Fox; and secretary of treasury, Alexander Hamilton. He also chose Edmund Rudolph to be attorney general, in order to gain trust with the Anti-Federalist, and Samuel Osgood to be postmaster general, to avoid the conflicts with Massachusetts. Alexander Hamilton arguably had the toughest job in the cabinet. At the time, the United States owed $12 million to foreigners and $44 million to Americans that they borrowed to fund the war. So Alexander Hamilton proposed to things. First, he wanted to enact a 5 percent tariff on imports which would act as an ice breaker. His second proposal was to create a national bank for the United States. In 1792, Hamilton’s Bank of the United States passed congress with a twenty year charter as a private institution. Jefferson was not found of the idea of a national bank though. He fought against it by telling George Washington that creating such an institution was not mentioned in the constitution. Hamilton simply countered that the constitution didn’t mention they couldn’t do it. In the end, Washington sided with Hamilton stating that a national bank that would maintain a dependable currency would benefit everyone. And the elastic clause made it legal as long if it was necessary and proper while providing for the general welfare. The hostility between Jefferson and Hamilton would remain throughout Washington’s first term. But they weren’t the...