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If Hamilton and Jefferson could see our nation now, which of the two would feel like...

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melissazamora7 | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:32 PM via web

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If Hamilton and Jefferson could see our nation now, which of the two would feel like their ideal was realized, or neither?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM (Answer #1)

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For the most part, Hamilton would feel that his ideal had been realized in economic terms while Jefferson would be more likely to be pleased with the political system.  

Hamilton wanted a nation in which manufacturing and business dominated the economy.  Jefferson believed in a nation of small farmers who did not work for anyone else.  We are clearly not a nation of small, independent farmers, so Hamilton's vision is closer to our present reality.

Jefferson wanted a society in which all people (slaves aside) were equal while Hamilton wanted more of a hierarchical society.  Today's society is aggressively egalitarian.  We do, of course, have inequalities of wealth, but we firmly believe in the idea that all people are equal.  This would be more in line with Jefferson's ideals.

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