Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) wanted the United States to have an extremely powerful central government. His brilliance and ambition helped shape America, but his pride led to his death in a fatal duel.
Hamilton served on George Washington's staff during the Revolutionary War. His service as an aide and French interpreter were valuable to Washington. Hamilton strongly believed America's war effort against Britain was hampered by its feeble and feckless central government. That government, which was set up under the Articles of Confederation, was replaced when the US Constitution was ratified in 1788.
Hamilton served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington. He used his position to strengthen national power at every opportunity. His tariff policy helped manufacturing and hindered agriculture. Under his direction, the national government assumed responsibility for debts incurred by states during the war. Hamilton was the driving force behind the establishment of a...
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