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Hamilton vs. Jefferson. After Washington became president, two groups began to argue about what the new nation should do. Alexander Hamilton led the Federalist Party. Thomas Jefferson led the Democratic-Republicans.

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hamilton vs jefferson

Hamilton vs. Jefferson

After Washington became president, two groups began to argue about what the new nation should do.

Alexander Hamilton led the Federalist Party.

Thomas Jefferson led the Democratic-Republicans.

Washington got disgusted with the arguing. In his “Farewell Address” speech he warned that “the spirit of party” would destroy the country.

Washington called for national unity, but we’ve been arguing with each other ever since then.

who was alexander hamilton
Who was Alexander Hamilton?
  • Grew up poor and fatherless on a tiny, remote island.
  • His mom had to become a prostitute in order to put food on the table. She died when he was a teenager. His new guardian committed suicide. A hurricane destroyed his home.
  • Despite the hardship, his brains, work ethic and a little bit of luck led him to fame and wealth. He became Washington’s right hand man during the Revolutionary War.
hamilton s view of human nature
Hamilton’s View of Human Nature
  • His childhood + wartime experiences made Hamilton suspicious of people, especially the “common people” (the poor and uneducated).
  • Hamilton feared that democracy would give “the common people” too much power, which they would use badly. In his mind, being poor = proof of laziness and bad choices.
  • He wanted only the rich and educated to have power. In his mind, being rich = proof that you work hard and make good decisions.
hamilton s ideal economy manufacturing and trade
Hamilton’s Ideal Economy: Manufacturing and Trade.
  • Hamilton thought that the government should support manufacturing and trade by creating a National Bank.
  • The National Bank would loan tax money to big businesses, which would use it to build factories.
  • More factories = more wealth and technology = a stronger, richer United States.
britain vs france hamilton chose britain
Britain vs. France? Hamilton Chose Britain.
  • The USA was broke and weak. Britain and France were fighting each other and were bullying us to pick a side.
  • Hamilton picked Britain for 3 reasons:
    • They had more manufacturing than any other country; they had the best technology.
    • They kept the poor “in their place.”
    • The French Revolution, where the poor killed the rich and took over, scared Hamilton.
who was thomas jefferson
Who was Thomas Jefferson?
  • Born into a wealthy planter family.
  • A genius who started college at 16, spoke seven languages, was a noted scientist, and had the largest private library in the USA.
  • Author of the Declaration of Independence, in which he wrote that, “All men are created equal.”
  • Criticized slavery, but owned hundreds of slaves.
jefferson s view of human nature
Jefferson’s View of Human Nature
  • Most people are basically good.
  • The “common people” should have all the power, because most of them are simple, honest people.
  • Rich business people are corrupt. Hamilton and his followers were just as bad as the British king.
jefferson s ideal economy
Jefferson’s Ideal Economy
  • The “common people” (90% of Americans) made their living by farming. Almost nobody lived in cities.
  • The USA should stay a majority farming country, because farming is a simple, honest way to make a living.
britain vs france jefferson chose france
Britain vs. France? Jefferson chose France.
  • The “common people” took power in the French Revolution.
  • They killed their king and nobles.
  • Americans needed another Revolution to overthrow Hamilton and his rich friends, who had too much power.