Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was brilliant businessman who came into the Treasury department with many ideas on how to stabilize the struggling American economy. He was a thirty-four year old native of the West Indies, who was a crucial part of President Washington's cabinet. His ideas and philosophies helped to pave th4e way for the Bank of America and the Treasury.

As one of his first acts as Secretary of Treasury, Hamilton was determined to reverse the financial problems that plagued the government and country under the recently revised Articles of Confederation. His plan involved favoring the wealthier members of society, who would in turn give money and moral support to the government. The government would then prosper and the benefits would be reaped by all.

Hamilton was also dead set on sustaining the national credit. He needed the support of the masses in order to advance his economic plans. His plan of action in this case was "funding at par," which involved the federal government paying off its debts at face value, plus accumulated interest, which came to a total of fifty-four million dollars, a very substantial amount of money at that time. While still backing his national debt plans, Hamilton also suggested that Congress pay the debts of the individual states, equaling some twenty-one million dollars.

This idea of "assumption" was believed by Hamilton to be an obligation of Congress because the debts occurred during the country's fight for independence. Hamilton also believed that paying off the State's debts would create more unity in among the States.

With the government trying to pay both national, and local state debts, they shortly fell into a seventy-five million dollar overall debt. Hamilton did not see this as a problem, but more of an advantage to the growing American economy. His philosophy was that the more countries that America owed money, the more people who had a personal stake in the prosperity of the United States.

Hamilton also strongly urged for a Bank of the United States. Modeled after the Bank of England, Hamilton wanted a powerful private institution where the government would be the prime shareholder and in which the Treasury would deposit its excess money. In addition, the bank would print paper money that was in great demand at the time. Hamilton did succumb to obstacles by Thomas Jefferson, who believed that the bank was unconstitutional and not necessary. Hamilton overcame these obstacles by proclaiming that, "what the constitution did not forbid, it permitted." And invoked the clause that congress could pass laws that were necessary and proper for the better of the United States.

In conclusion, Hamilton was a brilliant businessman with many ideas about how the financial end of the government should be run. He went through many actions to reach his goals and was successful in the majority of them.