Alexander Hamilton

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Why should we continue to remember Alexander Hamilton in the twenty-first century?

We should continue to remember Alexander Hamilton in the twenty-first century because he was a key figure in the American Revolution and in the founding and shaping of our modern structure of government. He helped defeat the British armies and worked closely with George Washington. After the war, he helped design the system of checks and balances we use today. He steered the fledgling economy of the US and turned it into a viable nation.

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Alexander Hamilton's contributions to the founding of the United States of America were considerable and their benefits are enduring.

Hamilton made many contributions before the government was set up as we know it today. His service in the Revolutionary War was significant, but is not widely remembered today. He led an artillery company as an active participant in battles at Trenton and Princeton. Once the patriots won independence, he wrote fifty-one out of the eighty-five Federalist Papers and helped convince other lawmakers to accept the new US Constitution. This document structured the separation of powers and established the crucial checks and balances among the judicial, executive, and legislative branches. It also established the separation of powers of state and federal governments. These structures continue to guide the US government. Hamilton successfully defended his preferred method of rule against state-based models supported by Thomas Jefferson and other Democratic-Republicans.

Once George Washington was elected, Hamilton became the Secretary of the Treasury. His work established a national economy that moved away from a mostly agrarian-driven model to establish a central bank, solidify international trade, and create a physical infrastructure that allowed the new nation to prosper and industry to gain momentum. He also consolidated states's debts from the Revolutionary War into the federal budget. He advocated for the establishment of the US Mint and the regularization of US currency.

Hamilton remains an inspirational figure, having come to the American colonies as an orphan from the British West Indies and rising to prominence and influence in forming a new and independent nation.

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