Hamilton correctly foresaw the evolution of modern-day America, a sharp contrast to Thomas Jefferson's slave-based agrarian version. In Hamilton's early days as the first Treasury Secretary, he believed that the federal government should assume the remaining Revolutionary War debt held by the states, a view opposed by Jefferson and James Madison. Another disagreement concerned the location of the nation's capital, with Hamilton favoring New York, the others a Southern site. Hamilton conceded on the capital and prevailed on the issue of federal debt. As a result, he established the financial credibility of the U.S. and, to the dismay of Jefferson and Madison, a strong federal government.
This brilliant book could enhance Hamilton's reputation and diminish Jefferson's. While Jefferson had a poet's vision of early America, Hamilton got it more right.
Enjoy this excerpt. By Stephen B. Shepard, Editor-In-Chief