Student Reader

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804) was an orphan with neither education nor financial resources, but he became America's leading economic theorist.

meriwether lewis charles willson peale portrait
Alexander Hamilton
by Charles Willson Peale, ~1790-5

As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton applied his ideas about strong central government to economic policy and set America on the path to global financial power. Hamilton strengthened international credibility by ensuring the repayment of war debts, convinced Congress to create a national bank, and anticipated the industrial future by promoting manufacturing. Hamilton's career began following the adoption of the United States Constitution. In that position, he worked with Senator Robert Morris, the financier of the American Revolution. Hamilton and Morris shared a common goal of putting the new country on a sound financial basis. The financial future of the new nation, as well as much of its philosophy of government, evolved during social occasions in Philadelphia. The Morrises and Alexander Hamilton undoubtedly socialized with each other frequently.

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