Would Alexander Hamilton have been an effective president of the United States?  

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If we look at this question solely from the standpoint of ideas and of intelligence, Alexander Hamilton would likely have made a very good president.  If, however, we look at it from the standpoint of personality and politics, he would not have.

Alexander Hamilton was a brilliant man.  He wrote most of the essays that became the Federalist Papers.  He was the one who devised the economic plan that became the basis for the economic development of the United States in the early years after the ratification of the Constitution.  He was a very smart man who had lots of good ideas.

However, that is not all there is to being a president.  Hamilton was also very difficult to like.  He was seen as a very arrogant man who rubbed many the wrong way.  He was blunt and very good at making people dislike him.  Between this and his contempt for the common people (he favored a monarchy of sorts), he would not have made a good president for the early United States.

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elmk99 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Hamilton was an effective statesman and was a competent lawyer. However, in his short life, and as evidenced by his untimely death, he made many enemies. He was certainly no stranger to explosive confrontations and even though his political genius as the secretary of the treasury in washington's term, he would have been viewed as more of a political liability at the end of his life/career. The evidence that the nation was very fragmented between the federalists and the a antifederalists, can be seen between his and Jeffersons relationship as secretary of state and treasury. At the time he would have run, I think that the nation as a while was still not ready for as big as a centralized government as he advocated. The shift from the individual state autonomy at the time was still very tenuous. Washington struck a good balance between the federalist and antifederalists ideals at the time, John Adams following in his footsteps as well, but Jeffersons successful bid as an avid antifedalist for the presidency denotes the that the country's ideals, Wichita I think would have been the nail in the coffin for any chance of presidency that Hamilton would have had.

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