In the United States during the late 18th century, the American Colonies were struggling with their identity. The Revolutionary War had won Americans their collective freedom, but the best way to exercise it was the subject of much debate. One American, Alexander Hamilton, felt a need for a common, strong economic and political base for the states. This ideology stemmed from both his boyhood on the Island of St. Croix, and trying events during the Revolutionary War- influences that would later be instrumental in his publishing of the Federalist Papers.
Hamilton's boyhood on St. Croix was not that of a typical founding father. His mother took him and fled their home after his father refused a divorce, putting a label on his mother and his family wherever they went. This constant feeling of inferiority instilled in Hamilton a drive to succeed, and his way of feeding this drive was constant study. In fact, when he was deciding on colleges after coming to the United States, a major criterion was the college's willingness to allow him to cram work into a smaller time frame thus allowing him to graduate earlier (Decarolis 125). As a result he would eventually become one of the nation's most learned men; this, he felt, obligated him to publish The Federalist Papers and other
works that showed the ideology he had derived from his studies. St. Croix also had an impact on his political views later in life. The island was fueled by the slave trade and sugar plantations. On the surface one might see the basis for Hamilton's hatred for the institution, as a slave on a sugar plantation was subject to the most inhumane treatment of any during that period (Decarolis 77). Also, this triggered a need to fight injustice on a larger scale. Government was eventually the vehicle he used to accomplish this. Underneath, however, one also sees the formation of Hamilton's love for order (Chernow 33). Slaves greatly... [continues]
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