Hamilton's Crusade

When the revolutionary war was over, the American colonists found themselves
free of British control. Now that they were free, they wanted to create their
own system of government where the tyranny and the arbitrariness of the British
monarchy of old, would be diminished. Originally, The Articles of Confederation
thinly united the thirteen states. This document had given the central
government no power to do what was needed. The central government had no power
to tax they only had the power to ask the states for money. They also had no
money to pay for an army to settle domestic disputes or fight off invaders.

These weaknesses and others in The Articles of Confederation caused the people
to consider amending the Articles that would correct these wrongs and at the
same time protecting the interests of the states. So in 1787, the states sent
delegates to a convention in Philadelphia to amend the Articles. It did not take
long for the delegates to scrap the Articles and to start writing a new
document, the Constitution. Even this new document created controversy. The

American people were divided into two groups: the federalists, with Alexander

Hamilton as the leader, and the anti-federalists or Jeffersonians because they
were led by Thomas Jefferson. The federalists believed that the Constitution
itself was good enough where as the Jeffersonians thought that it would not
protect the rights of the people. But both however decided that the government
should be based on the principles of federalism. The Bill of Rights was added to
the Constitution, to help the ratification of it and to insure the rights of the
people. The Federalist, a series of papers, was written to get support of the

Constitution in New York. These papers were written under the pseudonym, Publius.

The papers were actually written by three men: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison
and John Jay. Hamilton was the leader of these three for he had written 51 of
the 85 The Federalist papers. Through their efforts the New York legislature
ratified the Constitution. Even after the Constitution was ratified, the two
factions remained divided for several reasons. One reason was the creation of a
national bank. Hamilton was very supportive of a national bank and Jefferson was
against the idea of a national bank. The descendants of these first two factions
are seen today in the Democrats and the Republicans. Alexander Hamilton
accomplished many great things for the United States including: calling for a
stronger central government, setting up a national bank and a plan for economic
growth and inadvertently starting the two-party system. Alexander Hamilton the

Revolutionary and the Pater Familias Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11,

1755 (or 1757 according to Hamilton) on the West Indies Island of Nevis in the
town Charleston. He was born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucitt Lavien and James

Hamilton, who would later abandon the family in 1765. A local clergyman,

Reverend Hugh Knox, raised funds to send Alexander away to school in 1773. He
entered King's College (Columbia University) in 1774. At the age of 19 he
wrote a pamphlet, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress. This was in
response to a Tory's pamphlet that called the Continental Congress "...a
parcel of upstart lawless Committee-men."1 Alexander defended in his pamphlet
that the Congress was "...an august body of men famed for their patriotism and
abilities." In the Revolutionary War, he distinguished himself in the eyes of

General Washington, and in 1777, Washington asked him to be one of his six
aide-de-camps (secretaries) with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Hamilton's
main job was to, as Washington said, "...think for me, as well as execute
orders." He rode beside Washington in the battles at Brandywine, Germantown
and Monmouth. Alexander married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780, with whom he had
eight children. Hamilton had just wanted to lead a simple life and care for his
family or in his words "...retire a simple citizen and good pater familias
(father of the family.)" Sometimes Alexander Hamilton would have a hard time
in accomplishing this, as he was always away from home fighting for a new cause.

Alexander Hamilton the Lawyer Alexander turned to law at the end of the war to
support his new family. The New York Supreme Court passed an order in January of

1782 saying that those who had to cease their studies because of the war did not
have to have three years of clerkship. In October of 1782, he was admitted to
the bar association. However, since he was a delegate to Congress, he did not
start to practice law until November