Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton
Jefferson and Hamilton’s ideas and ideals differ about economics. The Jefferson and Hamilton debate changed a nation in the early stages of development. Hamilton’s economic plan for the nation included establishing a national bank like that in England to maintain public credit. All of Hamilton’s arguments would strengthen the federal government’s power at the expense of the states. Jefferson and his political party opposed these reforms. Jefferson feared that the bank of the United States represented too much English influence and Jefferson argued that the constitution did not give congress the power to establish a bank. Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic- Republican Party emerged as complete opposites of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party. Contrasting ideas about paying the debt, English influence and the supporting sides show their polar opposition.
The first contrasting ideal between Jefferson and Hamilton was paying off the American national debt that was left after the Revolutionary War. Jefferson’s belief about paying off the debt was a belief that the nation’s future must not lay with the Federalist bankers and merchants but with plain Democratic- Republican farm folk to be labors to the nation. Thomas Jefferson was a Southern planter who owned slaves and had strong allies with small farmers. Jefferson knew what a labor was and how it affected the economy both financially and safely. This difference was important because Jefferson wanted America to labor by growing crops and making goods so America could gain money by exporting it to other countries for money or gold.
This idea would pay off the national debt slowly instead of paying it off all at once and run a nation based on its credit. On the other hand, Hamilton’s belief about paying the debt was to pay it off by establishing a National Bank with a firm credit with other nations so America could receive goods from them. Hamilton’s plan would help America in the short run to start a financial run and to get America more organized with the nation’s money. This difference was important because Hamilton wanted to start a financial pace by going off credit. The method of going off credit will tell other countries that America would buy goods but pay it off with payments. For these reasons Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s ideas about paying off the national debt were clearly different from each other.
The second dissimilar ideal between Jefferson and Hamilton was the amount of English influence involved in trying to form a national bank. Jefferson believed America might go by the standards of England by establishing a monarchy so one person can have total control over the people. The English monarchy established a bank so England could pay the things that they needed to pay off. The Bank of England also controlled the money that was coming in from exported goods. The difference was important because it shows how the American people left England and won their independence and then they went back to the things of England.
The American people did not want to go back to the way things were when in England. Conversely, Hamilton’s belief about English influence was that it helped the newly born America to start up. In speeches and debates Hamilton promoted the Bank stating that it will make America strong like England. Hamilton believed that financially America would benefit from having a national bank. This difference was important because the arguments between Jefferson and Hamilton were starting up a nation. Hamilton wanted to become an industrial power so other countries will not overlook America as being weak. For these reasons Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s ideas about English influence clearly contrasted from each other.
The third divergent ideal between Jefferson and Hamilton was their impact on a nation such as north and south. Jefferson’s belief about impacting the nation was that he was all about serving the common man and by respecting the laborers of America. This difference was important because these sides would have to vote and the popular side would win. This would lead America to be a working nation.
In opposition Hamilton’s belief about impacting a nation was that he supported the wealthy class. Hamilton married into a wealthy family. He supported the wealthy because he was wealthy as well as his family but also because he would have powerful supporters. The difference was important because at the time the North was wealthy and the government would lead into a prosperous nation. For these reason Jefferson and Hamilton’s ideas about impacting a nation clearly diverged from each other.
The United States at this time needed these two men so the people would grasp different options out in the world. Jefferson and Hamilton were two
completely different men from different political parties’ views for the nation. Jefferson wanted to make America a working nation by not establishing a national bank and by making America into its own nation. Hamilton wanted to build a nation off of credit and rely on the wealthy people to pay off a national debt. In these ways America needs both men but when it comes down to becoming a better nation one would have to pick either Hamilton’s ideas or Jefferson’s ideals.