Who had better ideas, Jefferson or Hamilton?

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The answer to this question is, of course, a matter of opinion.  I will set out the main ideas of each man and let you decide which of them had better ideas.

Thomas Jefferson believed that all people (or at least all white men) should be equal. He believed very strongly in democracy and he believed that you could only have a good democracy if everyone who had a say in the government was equal to everyone else.  To Jefferson, this meant that the United States needed to be a country of small farmers. He believed that pretty much everyone had to have their own small farm so that they would not depend on anyone else for their livelihood.  He felt that a person who depended on someone else (like a worker) could not be equal to their boss.  He believed that such people would be controlled by their bosses.  This would give their bosses too much power in the government because they could tell many people how to vote.  For these reasons, Jefferson wanted almost all Americans to be small farmers.

Alexander Hamilton was not so interested in equality.  He thought that people were naturally going to form hierarchies because some people are simply smarter and more talented than others. He thought that the most important thing was for the country to become wealthy.  He believed that we needed an industrial economy in order for this to happen. Therefore, he proposed policies that would help American industries grow.  He did not care if a few people became rich and powerful. He felt that this was the only way for the country to become wealthy.  He preferred an unequal, but wealthy country.

So, which of these sounds better to you?  Do you like the idea of a country that is rich but unequal, or one that is not as rich, but where everyone is more equal?

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