Identify and explain the significance of Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton played a significant role in the United States gaining independence from Britain. He was influential in writing and ratifying the US Constitution. He also built the US Treasury and consolidated the nation financially, and started the precursor to the Coast Guard.

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Alexander Hamilton fought in a total of eight Revolutionary War battles. He became both a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army and aide-de-camp to George Washington.

Hamilton was a Federalist responsible for writing the bulk of the Federalist Papers. In them, he defended the Constitution and rebutted Antifederalist concerns that it gave too much power to the federal government. Hamilton argued that failure to ratify the Constitution would result in anarchy. He was part of the compromise to include a Bill of Rights that led to the Constitution's ratification.

Hamilton served as the Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington's administration. He had the federal government assume the states's debts for the cost of the Revolutionary War. Needing to pay war debts to France for their help led to Hamilton levying an excise tax of 25% on alcohol sold in the United States. In turn, the tax on alcohol led to the Whiskey Rebellion. His Treasury work included the formation of the First Bank of the United States and the regularization of currency in the former colonies.

He founded the Revenue Cutter Service, the precursor of the US Coast Guard as a means to cut off smuggling and the consequent loss to federal revenue from uncollected tariffs. He founded the New York Evening Post which has endured to this day. During his lifetime, Hamilton used it as a tool of propaganda against his political enemies, chief among them Aaron Burr.

And lastly, Hamilton's death from a duel with former Vice-President Aaron Burr was sparked by Hamilton's interference in Burr's later bid to become the governor of New York.

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