Alexander Hamilton’s key part in getting American independence from the British as well as creating the United States is undeniable. Hamilton was a heroic soldier who worked on the frontlines during the revolutionary war, he was also the most trusted aide of Washington’s, the author of the Federalist Papers, as well as the founder of America’s first central bank, Hamilton’s short-lived life was a series of towering accomplishments.
That was long ignored by historians who had a tendency to highlight Jefferson’s support to the birth of the new republic as well as Hamilton’s stubborn and, as they understood it, self-interested ambition.
Ron Chernow reveals that both depictions have more than an iota of truth. Hamilton was a larger-than-life person: to accurately take his measure, one needs to say the entire story of his life. This is precisely what this book summary.
From Hamilton’s tormented childhood as an illegitimate orphan in the Caribbean to his political, literary, as well as his military professions in America, his intense arguments with rivals, stormy love life and disastrous early death, this is the tale of a talented and complicated man whose legacy resonates into the present.
Chapter 1 – Hamilton had a difficult beginning in life; however, his brain excelled through early on.
Alexander Hamilton was given birth to the Caribbean island of Nevis. The date –January 11th – is recorded; however, we can’t be certain of the year: some sources mention 1755, while others mention1757. Hamilton’s mother was not married during that time, and her son Hamilton was stigmatized as a bastard. It was a difficult beginning to life; however, things were going to become worse.
Hamilton’s father left his partner as well as kids when Hamilton was 11 years. Two years after, after relocating to the island of Saint Croix, Hamilton together with his mother got a fever. Hamilton would survive it; his mother wasn’t really fortunate. Deprived and orphaned, Alexander and James, his two-year-old brother was left alone in the world.
However, it wasn’t all disaster. A bookish child from a tender age, Hamilton consumed numerous volumes in both English and French, the French language a gift from his francophone mother. His learning will be very useful for him in the future: as a teenager, he got a job to work as a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a New York-based trading company that did business in the American colonies and more afield. This was the place where Hamilton first learned the advanced points of monetary exchange rates, trade policy, as well as international relations.
When Hamilton wasn’t working, he could normally be seen holding a book. An opportunity contact with a church minister is known as Henry Knox, a current arrival in Saint Croix, paved new ways. Taking a liking to Hamilton, Knox gave him access to his huge private library. It was in the collection of Knox’s that Hamilton ultimately encountered a volume that motivated him to pick the pen himself. Similar to a lot of young men before him, Hamilton was attracted to poetry –especially the vain and sentimental type–however, he was also told to make reports at work.
Hamilton shortly formed a strong voice as a writer. Although he could have barely known it during that period, this would be his way out of the Caribbean. In the year 1772, he wrote his father a letter. In the story, he told the heart-wrenching tale of how a hurricane had devastated Saint Croix. The text was really captivating that Knox not only published it; however, he used the letter as an illustration of Hamilton’s gifts to solicit funds for his education. The money he got was used to pay for Hamilton’s move to the American colonies.
Chapter 2 – The American colonies were on the edge of revolution already when Hamilton got there.
Hamilton arrived in Boston around the year 1772. He started his education at Elizabethtown Academy in New Jersey before proceeding to King’s College in New York to study law. However, there were a lot of distractions to keep him from his studies. Revolution was about to happen. Associations between the colonies as well as Britain had been strained for a while. In the year 1773, things came to an end. That was the year Hamilton joined King’s College; however, it would be remembered in history for a different reason: the Boston Tea Party.
The direct reason for the strains between Britain as well as its American colonies was easy: new taxes, as well as tea taxes, had been levied without discussing with the masses of the colonial areas. A lot of people believed that, if they were to be the focuses of taxation, they ought to as well be represented in the British parliament. Rage at this injustice got to a fever pitch when aspiring revolutionaries attacked ships anchored in the Boston harbor and discarded their cargos of tea into the water.
Shortly, the streets of New York were occupied with demonstrators. Hamilton was fast to become part of them. Soon after, the young law student delivered his first public speech. He supported the Tea Party and told colonists to unite in a boycott of the entire British goods in a speech really fluent it left the audience amazed. It was a defining moment in the life of Hamilton: he had turned into a star of the young independence movement.
The anti-British feeling was operating high; however, not everybody was in support of the revolution. For instance, Samuel Seabury, the Anglican cleric, wrote a pamphlet under his pen name “A Westchester Farmer” claiming that revolution would bring destruction to colonial farmers.
Hamilton wasn’t only a talented writer; also, he possessed a fierce polemical streak. Making use of the anonym “A Friend to America,” he wrote a fiery 35-page contradiction of Seabury’s position which was published in the year 1774 in New York Gazetteer. Seabury’s response wasn’t long in coming. Hamilton replied as well, this time around he dashed off an 80-page reply titled The Farmer Refuted that showed the venomous pattern for which he would become really famous.
February 1775 was when the essay was published. Two months after, colonists came across British forces on the battlefield in Lexington and Concord. That was the first-ever military battle in the coming War of Independence.
Chapter 3 – Hamilton’s wit as well as energy fascinated George Washington, and he made him his right-hand man.
Now, the revolution was in full motion. Hamilton had already displayed his gifts on the ideological battlefield as a gifted polemical writer; however, he wasn’t pleased to stay as a man of letters: desiring to show himself in the theater of war, he became part of a New York militia.
It didn’t take time before he witnessed his first action. August of 1775, Hamilton as well as 15 other volunteers belonging to an artillery militia firm protected Manhattan’s huge artillery from opponent capture while under attack from the British warship Asia. It was a brave action showing Hamilton’s gifts in this new position. Soon enough, his superiors saw this, and by March of 1776, he was put in charge of that exact company.
But, he wouldn’t remain there for a long time. The Continental Army as well its general, George Washington, got to New York in April. The Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress in June. However, the new republic was under attack: British forces in Long Island, New York, seemed determined to break through the revolutionaries’ defenses, and by August, the loss of the city looked unavoidable. Washington persuaded civilians to leave while his forces engaged British troops before choosing a tactical retreat during late 1776.
Hamilton’s ability both on the battlefield and off the battlefield had caught Washington’s attention during these hectic months, and he’d been promoted to aide-de-camp – a type of confidential personal assistant. In his new duty, Hamilton went together with the general anywhere he went and wrote private letters, orders, as well as requests to Congress on Washington’s behalf. January of 1777, he had become crucial and played a part looking like that of a chief of staff.
While Hamilton was working with Washington, he came across other top revolutionaries such as John Laurens, an abolitionist from South Carolina who shared the general’s extreme hatred for slavery. Laurens as well as Hamilton soon became great friends. The closeness of their relationship is obvious from their letters. As a matter of fact, it was really close that some historians claim they may have had a sexual relationship as well.
Hamilton had gotten far since his humble start in the Caribbean; however, his determined nature wasn’t content. What he wanted the most was a position of command.
Chapter 4 – Hamilton’s encounter of the war was tangled with his love life as well as his wish to make a reputation for himself.
The new duty of Hamilton’s as Washington’s aide-de-camp offered him an insider’s perspective of the current revolution. He not just wrote – and usually composed –the majority of the general’s outgoing correspondence; however, he also read the letters Washington got from Congress, other generals, as well as diplomats.
It was a crash course in the military as well as political matters and in the ways of the universe. However, an intellect such as Hamilton wasn’t contented with that. He used his nights reading literary, historical, and philosophical works by candlelight. Anytime Hamilton wasn’t reading, he was writing: his work from this time contains a 6,000-word essay talking about a 12-step program about how to rule a nation.
However, Hamilton wasn’t just a bookish type of person – he also possessed an ardent nature that sent him in search of beautiful women. This part of his nature was really obvious that the wife of Washington’s even named her wild tomcat after him! His opportunity to start a family had come after encountering General Philip Schuyler of New York.
During early 1780, Schuyler’s daughter Elizabeth, or Eliza in short, came to see her father, who was now positioned in Washington’s headquarters in Morristown. Hamilton was shortly writing romantic letters to entice her. In April of 1780, Eliza’s father agreed to Hamilton’s marriage proposal, and both of them got wedded in December that year.
Hamilton had now off the battlefield for a while, and he was prepared to going back to frontline duty. In the year 1781, a chance to do exactly that showed itself in Yorktown, Virginia. This was where, on a peninsula enclosed on three sides by water, that the lion’s share of British forces had their army camp. When Washington got to know that French warships were on the way to help the revolutionaries, he concluded that the time for a key offensive had come. He put Hamilton in control of a light infantry battalion and relocated his troops into an attacking position.
Hamilton commanded the first charge, made a way through British defensive lines, and making a way for the remaining of the Continental Army. The offensive was a knock-out blow, and British forces would never get back the edge in the American Revolutionary War. Hamilton had accomplished in making a reputation for himself. After his epic activities at Yorktown, Hamilton became a sign of the revolution against British rule.
Chapter 5 – During the end of the war, once more, Hamilton took up his pen and became part of the Continental Congress.
They won the war; however, there was still a lot to do. Now, the question was how to fix the disparities among the Thirteen Colonies as well as look for a political framework where all of them agree. Hamilton played a key role in looking for an answer; however, first and foremost, there were other issues to deal with. In the year 1782; Hamilton became a citizen of New York. Hamilton was a 27-year-old married war veteran and the father of a young kid called Philip.
He went back to King’s College to find his studies. That didn’t take time: in only six months, he’d passed the bar. Also, Hamilton had gone back to writing, publishing the first four of his five “Continentalist” essays, works whereby he used philosophy and history to make his argument on how to best rule a nation.
Legislators were really impressed by the essays that they choose to tell him to represent New York as a delegate to the Continental Congress. Hamilton accepted; however, he had his work remove for him. Congress wasn’t strong, and its members regularly blocked important legislation. Also, the states were extremely indebted and not able to pay the salaries of soldiers of the Continental Army. Popular strife was an actual prospect. In the year1783, angry soldiers even marched on Philadelphia, forcing members of Congress to run away from the city!
However, there was a silver lining – James Madison from Virginia, a like-minded delegate from Virginia that Hamilton had become friendly. Just like Hamilton, Madison trusted in a strong central government and a standing army. These two men had some other things in common like; both of them were young leaders who had made their names supporting the cause of every state instead of only one of them. Also, they agreed that Congress had to fix its debt issue and look for a means of controlling unruly individual states.
To a lot of people, the matter of the Thirteen Colonies must have looked hopeless; however, Hamilton was a practical man. He went back to New York and, using his experience of trade to good utilization, set about fixing the state’s main issue: the lack of access to credit in the post-war years. In the year 1784, the Bank of New York – an institution that offered credit – was created mostly thanks to Hamilton!
Chapter 6 – Hamilton was helpful in drafting as well as defending the new Constitution.
What kind of government must the Thirteen Colonies use? In the year 1787, the Constitutional Convention was assembled to figure out a solution. Now, Hamilton was working in the New York legislature, and once more elected as a delegate. He took his bags and went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hamilton was a top advocate of a strong central government – a status putting him at odds with the other New York delegates and a lot of others at the Convention. Conflicts of this type threatened to ruin the whole endeavor, also; the Convention was gridlocked in weeks. That was Hamilton’s time to shine. He went to the assembly floor and gave his popular, uninterrupted six-hour speech talking about his vision of a centralized executive and senate with strong mechanisms for taking out bad apples.
It was an intelligent argument, and Hamilton was chosen as one of five members –together with Madison – of a newly formed Committee of Style to draft the last text of the Constitution. He would be just the only New Yorker representative to sign it. Surprisingly, he was only 32 years old.
It was one thing writing the Constitution, having the entire 13 states endorse it was a different situation completely. Its supporters required a person who could persuade the skeptics. It was a task with Hamilton in charge. Working together with Madison as well as the skilled diplomat and future Chief Justice John Jay, he started drafting the Federalist Papers – a list of 85 essays, and it was published under the pen name Publius in a lot of several newspapers.
Therefore, what did the Papers comprise? Madison wrote 29 essays about the history of democracy, as well as confederations and Jay, included five extra on the topic of international relations. Hamilton played the part of a writer and project supervisor, writing 51 essays on the various aspects of government, the executive, as well as the judiciary. In general, Madison together with Hamilton wrote some 175,000 words within only seven months!
Although Madison as well as Hamilton were later regarded as representing opposite parts of the ideological spectrum, at this period they were in agreement: both men had the same pessimistic opinion of humanity and came to the conclusion that humans being what they were, only a strong government could give security. The Papers were praised as a stunning success and played a vital part in the final ratification of the Constitution.
A new republic had given birth to; the United States of America. It was now time to rule the nation.
Chapter 7 – Hamilton saw himself at the center of power after Washington was made the first president of the new republic.
Drafting as well as ratifying the Constitution had been a divisive situation. Now that the United States had been created, it was high time to unite the country. However, how were they going to achieve that? Well, it was essential that the nation’s first president was a person who stood beyond party politics. According to Hamilton, that left only one person in the hat: George Washington. After a hard-fought campaign in the year 1789, Hamilton’s chosen nominee defeated the more polemical John Adams, who was elected as the vice-president.
Building a country from scratch took a while, and Washington managed things on his own during the first few months of his presidency. When it was time to choose a cabinet, he chose Hamilton as his Treasury Secretary. Other delegates comprised Henry Knox who was chosen as Secretary of War, Edmund Randolph who was chosen as Attorney General, and Thomas Jefferson who was chosen Secretary of State. Different from the other cabinet members, Jefferson had used the time before his appointment abroad – he had been working in France as an ambassador. His absence during the efforts of the Continental Congress as well as the Constitutional Convention signified that a lot of people regarded him with a degree of suspicion. For instance, Hamilton thought that if Jefferson could be trusted to protect a country he hadn’t assisted growth with his own hands.
If Jefferson stuck out due to his time in Europe, Hamilton stuck out for another cause: his work ethic. Although his colleagues managed somewhat small departments, Hamilton’s Treasury grew very fast. He was sworn in 11th of September 1789 on Saturday, he went to his office the following day, working late till night.
Hamilton thought that the only means the newly formed government could acquire popular legitimacy was to hit the ground running. Just like the other departments, the Treasury needed to make things up as it proceeded. However, there were other reasons. The states had collected a lot of debts to fund the war effort, and the person in charge of handling this weighed greatly on the Treasury. Also, there was the department’s key responsibility– collecting taxes, an unpopular duty at the best of times!
Congress asked for a report on the country’s public credit ten days after Hamilton’s confirmation. It was a huge task, and he was given only 110 days to finish it up. Although he did; however, his work on the debt crisis would also make him acquire new foes.
Chapter 8 – Hamilton had usually got people annoyed; however, his answer to the debt crisis brought him real foes.
Economic problems appeared huge during the republic’s early years. Fixing them was a thorny problem. As always, Hamilton had a lot of ideas in his head; however, his proposals weren’t generally popular. As a matter of fact, it was a conflict over economic policy that brought him a new foe: Thomas Jefferson, someone he would cross swords for his remaining life.
The national debt was the ongoing argument between the two men. The first duty of Hamilton’s as Treasury Secretary was to handle the heap of debt the federal states had accumulated in the Revolutionary War. Hamilton noticed just one answer: the US government needed to take up responsibility for the whole debts and devote to paying the debt back itself. He claimed that it wouldn’t just relieve the states; however, it would also show the international banks that it was safe to invest their money in the United States; hence, appealing to foreign credit.
Jefferson as well as his other Virginians, among them James Madison, were shocked. Virginia had paid off the majority of its debts already. According to them, Hamilton’s idea implied that the state would need to bear the responsibility of other states’ debts. Also, if it did what he suggested, it would be enforced into raising taxes on export products such as whiskey. That struck Virginians as not just unfair but possibly terrible. The battle lines had been drawn.
There were other clashes too. The memory of the soldiers that were unpaid marching on Philadelphia in the year 1783 was new in the minds of politicians. To avoid a reoccurrence, the republic would require a capital from which the government could safely perform its business. Hamilton thought the present de facto capital – New York – was more than appropriate. That didn’t settle really well with Virginians, residents of the biggest and wealthiest state in the United States. These people still imagined a capital city on the banks of the Potomac River in their own state.
These problems were addressed at a private dinner that Jefferson, Madison, as well as Hamilton were present. What was discussed while the three men ate stays unclear: no other person was present in the room, and no records of the discussion were saved. But, what we are aware of is that by its conclusion Hamilton had sacrificed his idea to make New York become the capital of the United States in order for his debt plan to go through.
Chapter 9 – Hamilton supervised the founding of a national coastguard as well as the country’s first central bank.
Handling the country’s debt crisis was a response to a pre-existing issue. As soon as that had been completed, however, Hamilton had the liberty to commit himself to more constructive jobs: the founding of two national institutions that would form the economic future of the United States.
The first task was a national coastguard. That might look like a weird priority; however, Hamilton’s reasoning was clever. Say the government was to finance Hamilton’s debt idea, it required new sources of income. One means in which that can be done was to tax imported goods such as whiskey. Hamilton grew up in the Caribbean, where smuggling was rampant. He understood that declaring that taxes were required to be paid and ensuring that individuals paid them were two separate things. The only means to prevent importers from attacking them was to form a coast guard to patrol the country’s borders.
Once more, Hamilton got into opposition. As soon as the coastguard had been founded, seven out of eight Treasury workers worked outside the capital for it. Critics asserted that this offered Hamilton excessive influence– nevertheless, he was now the only government official able to collect data in all states. Hamilton disregarded his rivals and steamed ahead. Eventually, his plan was successful: the coastguard fetched in new revenue, and immediately, the United States had a strong budget surplus.
The next thing on Hamilton’s plan was the establishment of a central bank. Even though Jefferson, Madison, and Adams believed the United States must stay as a mainly agricultural economy, Hamilton believed that a commercial, the free-market policy would be beneficial for the nation. If he was to accomplish that, he understood, the United States would require a national currency to make doing business across state lines very much easier. And that was a thing a central bank could perform. Better still, it’d as well be able to extend credit as well as deal with the Treasury’s debts.
Hamilton wanted to make the bank be in private hands to prevent politicians meddling in its business, while at the same time also offering the government some agency. He suggested that the government must become a smaller stockholder in the new ten-million-dollar bank; hence, obtaining a vote in choosing its directors. Once more, Madison tried to prevent Hamilton’s plan; however, he couldn’t hinder it from becoming law. In February of 1791, the central bank was founded after 39 votes in support and 20 against.
Chapter 10 – Hamilton encountered an uncertain future during the end of Washington’s presidency.
Jefferson as well as Hamilton’s arguments carried on all through Washington’s first tenure. After Washington’s was re-elected in the year 1793, they clashed once again. The problem this time was the fight between Britain as well as France: Should the United States support the French or stay neutral?
Hamilton came out for the latter choice. Some 75% of the Treasury’s funds were gotten from customs on British goods. An association with the French, he told Washington, would undermine the republic’s finances. Whereas Jefferson, recalled his time as ambassador in France fondly and believed the United States was indebted to its support to France –nevertheless, that country had supported the colonists in the War of Independence. Once more, Hamilton succeeded, but, and the United States stayed neutral in the fight.
These conflicts were now really frequent that the cabinet was gradually dividing into two opposing parts: the Democratic-Republicans as well as the Federalists. The former camp, represented by both Jefferson and Madison, supported the rights of states, and the latter represented by both Hamilton and John Adams, supported a stronger federal government. The division couldn’t be fixed, and eventually, Jefferson stepped down from the cabinet and contested for president himself. His odds against Washington, an indication of the revolution, would have been thin. Luckily for Jefferson, he would meet a different contender.
During the end of his second tenure, Washington chose to resign. Hamilton wrote the well-known sendoff address to the people of America which Washington delivered in the year 1796. It was a modest speech where the former president talked about all the things he’d learned during his time in the office and gave his advice to the country as it moved forward. Eventually, John Adams chose to contest against Jefferson. It was a close fight, and Adams won with a little gap. However, like how Adams had become vice-president after losing to Jefferson; hence, Jefferson was now made Adam’s vice-president.
Hamilton saw himself more and more isolated. Adams hated his power over Washington and his ambition as well as scandalous private life, calling him “bastard” secretly. Jefferson’s low view of Hamilton, meanwhile, was known. Mentioning financial as well as personal reasons, Hamilton resigned from the administration in the year 1795. It was the start of an era in the political wastelands.
Chapter 11 – Hamilton barely endured a public scandal and bounced back by joining the army again.
Back then in the year 1791, Hamilton was a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia – and he had begun a relationship with a woman known as Maria Reynolds. Reynolds had informed Hamilton that her husband had left her without any penny. Hamilton offered her $30, and Reynolds called him into her bed. The relationship lasted for one year. Hamilton didn’t know that Reynolds’ husband James was aware of the affair –a fact he later used to blackmail Hamilton into offering him $1,300.
Six years after, the affair came back to haunt Hamilton. In the year 1797, the journalist James Thomson Callender got the information of the fling and published a lot of pamphlets talking about the specific of the affairs as well as James Reynolds’ extortion. Hamilton saw himself in the middle of a public scandal. He reacted in the manner he understood best: writing.
August of that year, he wrote a pamphlet of 95 pages long where he confessed to the relationship, however; denied accusations that he’d used Treasury money to pay off Reynolds. But; the damage had been done already. Hamilton’s image was damaged, and his pamphlet had embarrassed his wife Elizabeth more.
Things seemed hopeless for Hamilton; however, he wasn’t done. Faraway situations gave him a way to a new public duty. In the year 1798, relations between the United States as well as France broke down. The French Revolution was unsuccessful, and Napoleon had taken control of the nation. His imperial ambitions made him clash with the United States, whose international trade was being ruined by French privateers working in North American port towns. It was a chance really good to resist for Hamilton.
Hamilton rushed out a pamphlet blaming Jefferson’s faction – the Jeffersonians – of showing the French lots of leniencies and advising the government to get ready for war. Privately, he wrote letters to members of the cabinet that he was aware had the president’s attention. His gamble worked, and the Adams government arranged a provisional army of 10,000 men.
Hamilton advised Washington to take over these forces. Washington, the 66-year-old former president accepted; however, on one term– that Hamilton as well join. Hamilton; however, set his own conditions, requesting to be made second in command! Washington accepted the deal, and Hamilton saw his way back into high office.
Chapter 12 – The clash between Adams as well as Hamilton ruled the 1800 presidential election.
Adams’ choice to choose the scandal-plagued Hamilton as second-in-command weakened his image. Overnight, he turned into a figure of mockery, and his virtue was publicly questioned. But, the affair died down as it got clear that US troops would not go into war with the French in what became called the “Quasi-War.” Adams dispatched a diplomatic envoy to France, and the fight was resolved before a shot was fired. However, Hamilton as well as Adam’s relationship was irreparable.
The following presidential election happened in 1800. Hamilton saw it as an opportunity to conquer his rivals, particularly Jefferson – a politician he thought was set on undoing his work of founding a strong federal government. When it was declared that the election was to be a contest between both Adams and Jefferson, Hamilton devised an idea to remove both candidates in a single stroke.
This is how it worked. The electoral system was made in a certain way that the presidential, as well as vice-presidential nominees, could change positions if their party won the election. Adams, carrying on the Federalists’ ticket, had picked Charles C. Pinckney as his future vice-president. Hamilton risked that if he could sway only one Federalist member of the Electoral College to vote against Adams, he’d have the opportunity to disrupt the party’s ticket as well as put Pinckney into office.
In order to do that, he once more held his pen. He wrote a harsh critique of Adams and spread it among the other Federalists. But, before that could change anybody’s, Hamilton’s letter was leaked to the press. Magazines that supported the Democratic-Republicans started printing choice snippets, and also the Federalists were involved in another scandal again. Hamilton replied by publishing a pamphlet of 54 pages of his own in October of 1800. In the pamphlet, he labeled Adams as vain, unstable, and also power-hungry.
The idea failed. By undermining the Federalists’ presidential nominee, Hamilton assisted the Democratic-Republicans to win the election. He had put power in the capacity of his political foes. The repercussions would be extreme.
Chapter 13 – After the election of 1800, Hamilton was forced to support an old foe in order to conquer a new threat.
Aaron Burr was Jefferson’s contender in the 1800 election, another of Hamilton’s many foes. The son of a notable family, Burr had belonged to the exact social groups as Hamilton for as long as both men could recall. They had their first clash when Burr chose to run against Hamilton’s father-in-law, Philip Schuyler, in a senatorial election.
It wasn’t much that Burr won the election that had upset Hamilton as the manner he’d done it. The battle had been severely contested, and Burr had tried really hard to discredit Schuyler. Also, Hamilton didn’t like Burr personally. According to him, Burr wasn’t principled and basically mentioned what he believed people wished to hear instead of defending his values just like Hamilton.
However, Jefferson’s decision was a savvy one. Burr, a citizen of the northeast, he was ideally positioned to assist the Democratic-Republicans to win states like New York. All thanks to Jefferson’s own fame in the south and Hamilton’s disastrous choice to undermine Adams, both of them danced home to victory against the Federalists in the year 1800.
But, there was a silver lining for Hamilton. Recall how the electoral system signified that the vice-presidential runner could become a president and vice versa? Well, Jefferson as well as Burr ended up tied. The only thing that was required was was one vote in the Electoral College to fix the problem; however, it couldn’t be seen. That signified that the choice was assigned to Congress, which at this moment was still ruled by Federalists.
Hamilton was one of the most honest and famous Federalists in the nation, and individuals were ardent to know what his thought about the issue was. His reply surprised a lot of people. In spite of his several clashes with Jefferson, Hamilton mentioned that he’d support his old foe. The reason why he said that was easy: although much he disagreed with Jefferson on the important matters of the day, he respected his principled nature. Conversely, Burr believed to be a bit beyond an opportunist.
Hamilton as well as Burr were now pitted against each other, and that wouldn’t be the last time their mutual hatred led into open conflict.
Chapter 14 – Hamilton experienced a terrible personal loss immediately after the election of 1800.
Hamilton’s scheming during the election of 1800 separated a lot of former allies. George Washington, Hamilton’s old friend had died in the year 1799. Once more, Hamilton was isolated again. His critics as well as foes recognized a weakness. According to them, Hamilton had usually been an extremely flawed person: power-hungry, very closely related to England, and a nonentity in the style of Caesar. The only thing Hamilton could do was have faith that history would acknowledge his key part in giving the country its independence and forming its government.
However, politics weren’t the only concern of Hamilton’s. His marriage to Eliza Schuyler hadn’t only assisted him develop his career: also, that it made him a family man as well as a father of six kids. In the year 1801, Eliza was pregnant once again. Philip their oldest son was 19. Sadly, for the Hamiltons, he resembled his father, particularly in his vicious temper. That would shortly lead to a disaster.
In the year 1801, a young Democratic-Republic lawyer known as George Eacker delivered a speech in which he condemned Hamilton’s reputation. As stated by Eacker, Hamilton had made the Quasi-War seem serious to frighten the public and reinforce support for the Federalists. Philip was annoyed. When he eventually came across him in the Park Theatre in New York, he made a scene. In turn, Eacker referred to Philip as well as one of his friends as “rascals” – an insult that usually led in a duel.
The three men kept on with their argument in a close tavern. Eacker didn’t give up. While he left, he mentioned that he expected to hear from Philip. The young man tried to resolve the situation; however, Eacker wouldn’t move. That left only a choice: a duel.
Hamilton told his son to turn the other cheek and shoot his pistol into the air. However, when the day arrived, Eacker was the first person to fire, striking Philip right above the right hip. It was a serious injury. He used the night in bed with his parents near him. In just 14 hours, he passed away. Disaster had befallen the family once more. They decided to name their seventh kid Philip in honor of his dead brother.
Chapter 15 – Hamilton’s political as well as personal dispute with Burr ended in a disastrous due.
As we’ve realized, when the pressure came on, Hamilton took Jefferson’s side against Burr. That wasn’t the final time the two men met. As a matter of fact, their rivalry became really serious that it would end up leading to Hamilton’s death.
However, before we talk about that, let’s go back a bit. The following presidential election happened around the year 1804. After Jefferson chose to drop Burr from the Democratic-Republican ticket, Burr went back to New York where he decided on standing as a gubernatorial candidate. Hamilton, barely a man to run from reigniting fight, though it was his responsibility to stop Burr from turning into the next New York governor.
His active campaign saw him travel around the state delivering speeches and speaking to voters. Burr, he asserted, was an opportunist who didn’t have any actual principles. That, as far as Burr regarded it, amounted to slander. Resolute to maintain his honor, he wrote Hamilton a letter which left small doubt that his aim was to fix the issue in a duel. It could have been possible for Hamilton to de-escalate the matter if he’d wished to; however, his scornful response only made the matter worse.
Burr eventually asked for a duel to defend his honor, and Hamilton agreed. On the 11th of July 1804 was when the long-standing rivals met, in Weehawken in New Jersey at the exact location where Hamilton’s son had been critically shot three years before. Hamilton meant to do what he’d previously tole Philip to do and fire his shot into the air, a plan he told to Burr in a letter.
But, Burr, decline to reply in kind. Burr’s shot landed at Hamilton in his lower abdomen, leading to huge damage to his internal organs. Mortally injured, he was taken back to New York City. Hamilton saw his family for the last time before dying in the early hours of the 12th of July. News of Hamilton’s death was received by an outpouring of public grief in New York. For a lot of contemporaries, his death was similar to that of Washington.
Hamilton was only shy of 50 when he passed away. His time on earth may have been quite short; however, his accomplishments were huge. Hamilton’s work was what assisted birth a new nation and offers it the institutions which govern it up till now
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Book Review
The account of Alexander Hamilton is an interesting story of a boy who came from practically nothing to attain the top ranks of power in the war for American independence and form the country of the United States of America. He was active in drafting the constitution and, as the first US Secretary of the Treasury, he formed institutions and structures that are still present up till now.