Americas Vision Hamilton or Jefferson

Topics: United States, Thomas Jefferson, United States Constitution Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were completely at odds in their vision on how America was to develop. Hamilton wanted to concentrate power in a centralized federal government with limited access and Jefferson wished to diffuse it among all the eligible freemen of the time. Alexander Hamilton feared anarchy and distrusted popular rule while Jefferson feared tyranny and thought in terms of liberty and freedom. Thomas Jefferson was an agrarian soul who favored popular rule. He placed his trust in the land and the people who farmed it and desired that America would remain a nation of farmers. He emphasized liberty, democracy, and social welfare and believed that the main purpose of government was to assure freedom of its individual citizens. He had a fear of tyranny and distrusted centralized power, especially from an aristocracy or a moneyed class. Thomas Jefferson favored the spread of power ranging from the federal level to state and local levels. Jefferson stated, “I have never observed men’s honesty to increase with their riches.” Alexander Hamilton, on the other side, distrusted popular rule and emphasized law, order, authority and property. Alexander Hamilton wanted to promote commerce and industry through a strong central government. He also would diversify American economic life by encouraging shipping and creating manufacturing by legislative directive. Hamilton also believed that a republican style of government could only succeed by the direction of a governing class. He believed that to preserve order and the alliance between business and government, the moneyed class and the wealthy aristocracy should hold all the power. Another matter the two men disagreed on was the establishment of a national bank. Hamilton wanted a national bank so he could forge a relationship between business and the federal government. Jefferson, on the other hand, thought that such a bank would encourage people to leave agriculture for guesswork...
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