Biography of Alexander Hamilton

On the British territory of Nevis in 1957, Alexander Hamilton was born. He immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, where he is now regarded as one of the nation's confusing dads. He is best known for his contributions to the American Revolutionary War, the constitution's writing, his role as the nation's first secretary of the treasury, and—most significantly—the development of the American Financial System. This essay aims to explain how Hamilton affected Washington's presidency and his national accomplishments.

Americans cannot deny Hamilton's contribution to the growth and establishment of the United States as a great country. Much of the policies during Washington's administration were due to Hamilton's enthusiasm and his influence to the general public. In late 1772, Hamilton arrived in the colonies and attended Kings College in New York City. While in the college, Hamilton was in the frontline in protesting against British imperial policy which violated the freedom of the nation. Between 1774 and 1775, he wrote several pamphlets challenging the views of the loyalist Samuel Seabury. Hamilton's achievement impressed senior officers such as William Alexander who was the lord starling who recruited him as one of his military aides.

Hamilton had a significant influence on George Washington's administration after his election as the first nation's president. He was the most valuable staff member in Washington and served various roles in his government. For example, he had a task of writing letters to state politicians, Congress, and continental Army officers. Furthermore, Washington made him his aide. Throughout his life, Hamilton principal purpose was to make America a great nation and break the discordant element furnished by the thirteen States. Most importantly, his actions in public were steadily and sharply directed by his zeal to unite the country. Therefore, his influence on Washington's administration was tremendous, and in most cases, he acted as Washington's adviser. Much of the Washington policy is credited to Hamilton, for example, his genius policy as a Secretary of the treasury, as a cabinet bureaucrat, and his involvement in the Constitutional Convention are just but a few significant contributions to the country.

. One of the great works of Hamilton was in directing a tremendous public view in support of a national structure. Although he faced a lot of sentiments from his rival Jefferson, Hamilton remained consistent with whatever he believed on until he was able to defeat his enemies. In the history of America, no diplomat has ever exerted much influence on the public mind as Hamilton did. Most notably, Hamilton was the first teacher in the college of national politics because he believed in passing the political knowledge he had gained on his work. As one of the founders of America, his significant contribution was his tireless campaign for a constitution. In 1787, he served as senior New York's delegates to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. During the convention period, Hamilton proposed that senators and other state officers serve the country for life.

Hamilton was a crucial participant in the revolutionary war against the British. When news reached him on the battle of Lexington and Concord, Hamilton together with Robert Troup began to prepare for war. With the assistance of some of his Kings College professor, he was able to recruit some of the college men whereby he taught them the skills required for battle such as shooting. After that, with the help of his math teacher, Hamilton commenced practicing artillery, and on the night of August 1775, together with his colleagues, Hamilton achieved victory on the battlefield after capturing one cannon at a British stockade General George Washington who was the commander in chief admired his success, and by 1776, he elected him as a captain in the continental battalion. As a leader of the troop, he showed a lot of competence in administrative and logistical duties in the period of revolutionary war. Hamilton troop participated in many battles and in 1777 his army played a significant role at the Battle of Princeton.

Hamilton valor and his success at the battle of Princeton attracted the attention of Washington, and immediately, Washington appointed him as his aide. In addition to that, his commitments and success saw Washington promoting him to the Lieutenant –colonel rank when he was barely 21 years old. During his service for Washington, his primary roles included: writing letters to the congressmen, state officials and also headed coordinated supplies and munitions movements. Because of his body structure characterized by lean stature, most people commonly referred him by his nickname" Little Lion”. With time Washington affection towards him grew and his trust for the young lieutenant –colonel increased. When he was at the service of Washington, he did not participate in the military battle. However, in 1778, the British smashed his troop at the Battle of Philadelphia and during this disastrous event; he stayed with Washington at the Valley Forge.

At the battle of Monmouth against British, Hamilton almost lost his life when his enemies shot his horse under him. After this fight, Washington assigned him a role in pursuing the infamous Benedict Arnold criminals. The friendship ties that existed between him and Washington assisted him in solidifying his political beliefs. In July of 1781, the British battalion attacked New York which led to Washington giving a command to Hamilton and his troop. He courageously led his men to the battlefield where the British eventually retreated. With time, Washington appointed Hamilton as the representative of the State of New York. During his season in office, he played a significant role in the drafting of the peace treaty between the United States and the British that saw the end of the revolutionary war. He also suggested the banning of the naval activity that was taking place between the United States and the Great British but the Congress turned down his proposal which later proved disastrous during the war of 1812.

Hamilton played a significant role in the structuring the American government inspired by his believes in a centrally governed country. In his views, he thought that a national government could help in uniting the nation and disliked the state-administered institution that was present in America arguing that they had divided the country. However, forming a national government was nearly impossible because many Americans preferred the State government over the federal government. On realizing this, Hamilton drafted a proposal on the amendment of the constitution of a more centrally governed nation while maintaining the individuality of the states. In most instances, his actions mirrored his preferences for the British system. For example, he advocated for a British system of government claiming that the system would help in uniting America under a more centralized monarchy ruled by a king or a queen.

Hamilton further proposed for a new American government with three arms: Judiciary branch, the executive branch, and the Legislative Congress. He argues that the three branches would work in harmony to achieving a more united nation and also by having the breakdown; there will be balances in power. The executive branch would comprise of the president serving for life be elected by the electoral colleges. He defends his preference of a lifetime president whereby he said that limiting the president's term for few years would deny him the opportunity of achieving his policy goals for the good of the country and more so the presidency office would be faced with stabilities. Moreover, Hamilton suggested that the Congress should consist of the upper chamber and the lower house. In his idea, the upper chamber also called the Senate members should be the nation's elite aristocrats while the more moderate committee known as the assembly would present democracy for the Americans. Finally, Hamilton suggested that the judiciary arm would include the supreme and national courts with the entire federal judge serving on life term basis.

By carefully looking at Hamilton's choice of the government, it is clear that he adored the British system. However, the delegates in Philadelphia agreed on his decision of the state. Therefore, the face of the Americans government consisted of two branches with the upper representing the distinguished body and a lower office served democracy of the people of America. Hamilton did not entirely agree with the kind of government that his fellow congress members were advocating for and for that reason, he spent most of the time campaigning for the voting of a new constitution. In September 1787, the delegates brought the draft for signing, and although Hamilton still held believes and preferences for a centrally governed system, he even signed the draft.

After the Congress passed the new amendments as law, Hamilton still felt that a more centralized government would be the most efficient. Thus, he embarked on a campaign in New York calling for further amendments to the constitution. The task proved to be the most difficult in his entire life because most people were against a centralized government and feared that a national government could rob them their freedom and democracy. Hamilton faced more challenges in New York from Robert Yates and John Lansing who were campaigning against the amendment of the new constitution. To neutralize the effects of his rivals in New York, Hamilton resulted in writing a series of essays to further retaliate for his campaign on the constitution rectification. With the help of James Madison and John Jay, Hamilton wrote many articles which he published in magazines and as pamphlets throughout America.

His papers were commonly known to as federalist papers with all the authors using a pseudonym Publius. Hamilton divided the message of his Federalist papers into five categories. The first segment dealt with the advantages of having a centralized government. The second part showed the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation. Hamilton most emphasized in the third section of his articles where he discussed the strengths of the constitution. In the fourth segment, he defended the law from his rivals who viewed that rectifying the law would violate the Republican Principle. Finally, he focuses on the fifth part to give more information on the structure of a new government.Hamilton campaign attained victory as the Americans living in the New York voted for the amendments to the constitution. Therefore, the success of the ratification of the law in molding the America we have today can be attributed back to Hamilton's effort, his great campaigns and as a coordinating author of the federalist papers.

In 1788, Washington elected Hamilton to the national congress and while in this position, he influenced Washington to accept nomination as a first president of the United States under the newly ratified constitution. When Washington finally agreed to it, Hamilton embarked on a campaign for his election in the Electoral College. In April 1789, Washington was voted as the first president of America together with John Adams as his vice president. After he was elected, Washington appointed him as his Secretary of the treasury. In the America's history, he is attributed to be the most successful secretary to have ever served in that office. In Hamilton’s report, he concentrated on the possibility of American attaining an economic stability. Mainly, Hamilton focused on advising the government on what to do to eliminate the national debt. In this period, the country had debts close to forty million dollars which were becoming a significant challenge to the nation.

The expectations of many were that a new government always cancels debts. To solve that problem which had troubled America, Hamilton advised the government to pay the debts in all the States together with their interests. To defend his view, in his report Hamilton said that if the country failed its creditors, then America would be viewed as being unstable and also the creditors would lose interest in the country. To pay off all the debts, Hamilton raised in all the states tax which was highly opposed by his rivals. For example, James Madison who had once worked with Hamilton in writing the Federalist Papers was in the forefront to resist Hamilton's idea of increasing tax. However, with time Madison and Hamilton agreed. During Washington's presidency, the Southern part of America had a fear of tyranny from the North. To neutralize this perception, Hamilton convinced the president together with the Congress to move the capital to a Southern location near Virginia in the District of Columbia. Washington along with the Congress agreed to his proposals, and in exchange, the legislature enacted Hamilton's policies on debt and taxes. To appreciate his work as a Secretary of the Treasury, Washington awarded him an honorary Law degree from Dartmouth College.

After his proposal on clearing all the debts owed by all states, Hamilton focused his attention on the possibility of having a national bank in the United States of America. According to him, a national bank was necessary because, through it, the country's administrators would efficiently control Americans finances. Due to his role as a head of federal treasury, Hamilton had a significant say in the Congress and 1790; he presented a proposal to the Congress to have a national bank with a central branch and several regional branches throughout the nation. Hamilton also suggested that the federal bank would be an independent body with the government holding a fifth of the total shares. Moreover, he stipulated that the directors of the national bank would be required to submit a transaction report to the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure a smooth running and the credibility of these banks. The Congress agreed to Hamilton's proposal to have a national bank, but he received opposition from Thomas Jefferson and Madison. According to them, the federal bank would bring constitutional crises since the current constitution did does not cater for such entities. After that, a disaster on the interpretation of the constitution emerged with Jefferson arguing that the law does not provide to the new policy. In the end, Washington stepped in to settle the dispute whereby he conceded that the constitution should not be the barrier to well being of the Americans and at times if need be, it should be interpreted loosely.

By 1791, there were several currencies throughout America printed by different states and private banks. Hamilton felt the need to have standard National money to solve the problem of currency floating that was in America by that time. As a result, he crafted the mint policy and presented it to the Congress for approval. To his surprise, his proposal did not meet much opposition from his rivals, and immediately, the Congress passed it as a law. After the Congress passed the Mint Act, Hamilton commenced drafting his major fourth Treasury report which he majorly addressed the concerns of the future economy. In his statement, he argued that America should majorly focus on manufacturing sector other than the Agriculture sector. According to Hamilton, if America were a manufacturing nation, it would be more self-dependent in logistics and military industry. Hamilton also wrote that by establishing manufacturing industries the economic status of America would improve because the country would export its products to other nations.

To promote the manufacturing industries, Hamilton suggested that the country should invest in building proper roads and canals for easy transportation. However, his usual rival Jefferson harshly rejected his proposals who argued that America was better as an Agricultural based nation and by turning America to a manufacturing country, the country would lose its freedom and democracy in the corrupt industrialists. According to Jefferson, it was the farmers who helped in winning the Revolutionary war against the British, and by turning America into a manufacturing country then the government would be disregarding their effort. He termed Hamilton's proposals as unconstitutional, and according to him Hamilton was putting a barrier and preventing the government from financing and subsidizing private sectors. The continuing difference between Hamilton and Jefferson continued to widen whereby they even started attacking each other in national newspapers. As a Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton continued to receive more opposition from the Anti-Federalist whereby they also charged him for failing to keep proper track of government finances. Hamilton got a lot of pressure from his rivals, and in 1794 he resigned from the Secretary of the Treasury post.

As a teenager, Hamilton's talent was conspicuous and notable that he attracted the attention of many including George Washington. During his service as Washington staff, he made several writings addressing to Washington's management in support of the patriot cause. Hamilton's personality characterized with wit, diligence and charm attracted enthusiastic support who felt great faith in his work. He was one of the most treasured aides of Washington de-camp, and during his service, at the management, he had a role of report writing. Hamilton's book revealed his personality, and in most cases, he wrote to persuade unlike other writers of that time who wrote to show off. Moreover, he was well known for his mastery of vital writing skills whereby he could approach difficult and complicated issues without distorting the intended message.

After his resignation from the cabinet, Hamilton remained politically active, and in 1796, he assisted Washington writing a farewell letter to the nation. However, in 1798 France announced for a war and Washington had to resume to his duties. Due to his trust on Hamilton, he insisted that Hamilton should lead the battle. In the following year the old Washington died, and for a short period, Hamilton was the senior-ranking commander of the battalion. After Washington's death, Thomas Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr in the election held in 1800. Although some of the Federalists believed in Burr, Hamilton tirelessly campaigned for Jefferson because he thought that Burr was not in a position to lead because he had extreme and irregular ambitions. Nevertheless, his campaign was a success, and Jefferson became the next president.

After Burr lost to Jefferson, he decided to vie for the governorship in New York. However, this did not appease Hamilton and to ensure that he did not win Hamilton drafted a series of essays to criticize Burr plans for dividing the country. During that period, Burr received a lot of support from the Federalist who wanted to use the opportunity to secede the union. Although Burr had a strong influence on the Federalists, he lost the race which he highly blamed it on Hamilton. As a result, he challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 1804 where Burr shot him meeting his death at the age of 47.

In conclusion, Hamilton played a great role as one of the founder of America in building the nation that we have today. Much of the policies during Washington's administration were due to Hamilton's enthusiasm. For instance, he participated in drafting the constitution, leading the revolutionary war and in crafting of the American Financial System. Today his contributions to the financial system of America are recognized by having his portrait on the ten-dollar bill.


Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. Head of Zeus Ltd, 2016.

Mason, Alpheus Thomas, and Grier Stephenson. American constitutional law: introductory articles and selected cases. Routledge, 2015.

O'Toole, George JA. Honorable Treachery: A History of US Intelligence, Espionage, and Covert Action from the American Revolution to the CIA. Grove/Atlantic, Inc.,

Spannaus, Nancy, Christopher White, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas More, V. I. I. I. Henry, Thomas Gresham, John Milton, et al. The Political Economy of the American Revolution.Executive Intelligence Review, 2015.

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