how did alexander hamilton die

how did alexander hamilton die

how did alexander hamilton die
how did alexander hamilton die

Alexander Hamilton (* 11. Januar 1755 oder 1757 auf Nevis, Westindische Inseln, heute St. Kitts und Nevis; † 12. Juli 1804 in New York City) war ein US-amerikanischer Staatsmann, einer der Gründerväter der Vereinigten Staaten und deren erster Finanzminister. Außerdem gilt er als einer der ersten Staatstheoretiker der repräsentativen Demokratie und der
amerikanischen Schule der Ökonomie.

Hamilton wurde als illegitimes Kind auf der Karibikinsel Nevis geboren. Durch ein Stipendium von führenden Kaufleuten und dem Gouverneur von St. Croix, wo Hamilton zu dieser Zeit lebte, konnte er in New York am King’s College, der späteren Columbia University, studieren. Nach dem Ausbruch des Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskriegs schloss sich Hamilton der Militärkompanie Hearts of Oak an, wo er schnell zum Captain aufstieg. George Washington wurde auf ihn aufmerksam und ernannte ihn zu seinem Aide-de-camp, als der er brillierte. Er trat mit dem Wunsch, Ruhm auf dem Schlachtfeld zu finden, von dieser Position zurück, um das Kommando in der Schlacht bei Yorktown zu erhalten, in der sein Wunsch erfüllt wurde.

Er heiratete Elizabeth Schuyler, die Tochter des Generals Philip Schuyler. Nach dem Unabhängigkeitskrieg wurde er Anwalt, 1782 bis 1783 war er Mitglied des Kontinentalkongresses. Im Verfassungskonvent der Vereinigten Staaten befürwortete er die Wahl des Präsidenten und der Senatoren auf Lebenszeit und wollte eine – gegenüber den Einzelstaaten – starke Zentralregierung festschreiben. Hamilton setzte sich nur mit letzterer Forderung teilweise durch. In den Federalist Papers propagierte und verteidigte er die Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten zusammen mit John Jay und James Madison.

Im Kabinett Washington war er von 1789 bis 1795 Finanzminister. Auf diesem Posten schlug er dem Kongress in mehreren Berichten Finanzreformen vor, die maßgeblich zum Aufbau der Wirtschaft der jungen USA beitrugen. Er initiierte 1790 die Gründung der First Bank of the United States und schuf damit die Grundlage für das heutige Federal Reserve System. Er bevorzugte Industrie und Handel, womit er sich in den agrarischen Südstaaten keine Freunde machte. Um 1792 bildete sich um ihn die Föderalistische Partei, die Gegenpartei zur Demokratisch-Republikanischen Partei Thomas Jeffersons, seines größten politischen Gegners. Auch nach seinem Rücktritt am 31. Januar 1795 blieb Hamilton ein bedeutender Politiker, jedoch läutete seine Kritik an dem föderalistischen Kandidaten John Adams während der Präsidentschaftswahl 1800 sein politisches Ende ein. Hamilton starb am 12. Juli 1804 an einer Verwundung, die er am Vortage aus einem Duell mit seinem langjährigen politischen Rivalen, dem amtierenden Vizepräsidenten Aaron Burr davongetragen hatte.

1780 wurde er in die American Philosophical Society und 1791 in die American Academy of Arts and Sciences gewählt. Hamiltons Porträt befindet sich auf der 10-Dollar-Banknote.

how did alexander hamilton die

Über Hamiltons frühes Leben ist nur wenig bekannt, da Hamilton selbst gegenüber seiner eigenen Familie[2] nur wenig von seinem frühem Leben berichtete.[3] In den Büchern The Life of Alexander Hamilton (1840) und Life of Alexander Hamilton: A History of the Republic of the United States of America (7 Bände, 1857–1864) von Hamiltons Sohn John Church Hamilton sammelte dieser sein Wissen über seinen Vater. Seine Berichte werden jedoch oft bezweifelt. Restliches Wissen über Hamiltons Jugend stammt aus administrativen Aufzeichnungen aus der Karibik, wo Hamilton aufwuchs. Die bedeutendste Forschung auf diesem Gebiet erfolgte ab 1901 durch H. U. Ramsing und Gertrude Atherton. Ramsings Forschungen wurden 1939 im Personal-Historik Tiddskrift veröffentlicht, während Atherton ihre Entdeckungen für ihren Roman The Conqueror (1902) verwendete. Zu den wichtigsten Entdeckungen zählen die Identitäten von Hamiltons Mutter und von seinen Großeltern mütterlicherseits.[4] Weitere Dokumente fand der Historiker Harold Larson in den Archiven der Jungferninseln. Diese nutze er zusammen mit den Forschungen von Ramsing für einen Artikel im William and Mary Quarterly.[5] Über Hamiltons Studium ist aus den Aufzeichnungen seiner Freunde Hercules Mulligan und Robert Troup mehr bekannt, allerdings unterscheiden sich ihre „Narratives“ in mehreren bedeutenden Details.[6][7]

Mütterlicherseits war Hamilton Nachkomme von Hugenotten, die infolge der Revokation des Ediktes von Nantes durch Ludwig XIV. aus Frankreich auf die Insel Nevis geflohen waren. Väterlicherseits stammte er vom schottischen Clan Hamilton ab. Die Beziehung zwischen seinen Eltern Rachael Faucett (mehrere andere Schreibweisen sind auch möglich; anglisiert oft Fawcett) und James Hamilton war unehelich, was seine politischen Gegner auch nach seinem Tode verspotteten. Bis heute berühmt ist John Adams’ Beschreibung Hamiltons als „Bastardgör eines schottischen Händlers“ (englisch bastard brat of a Scotch Pedler).[8][9]

Außerdem wurde behauptet, dass seine Mutter und damit auch er teils schwarz seien. So bezeichnete der berühmte schwarze Gelehrte W. E. B. Du Bois Hamilton als „unseren“ und der afroamerikanische Abolitionist William Hamilton (1773–1836) behauptete, sein Sohn zu sein. Der Hamilton-Biograph Ron Chernow beauftragte den Genetiker Gordon Hamilton, der die DNS der Hamilton-Familie testete, auch die Nachfahren von Alexander Hamilton zu testen. Zur Zeit der Veröffentlichung seiner Biographie waren die Ergebnisse noch nicht bekannt.[10] In einem Interview aus dem Jahre 2016 mit dem Interviewer Brian Lamb im Sender C-SPAN teilte er mit, dass der Test ergebnislos war, Hamiltons Hautfarbe in Porträts würde aber auf eine schottische Abstammung hinweisen.[11]

Unter Historikern gilt das Geburtsdatum des 11. Januar als gesichert, doch gibt es bis heute Diskussionen über das Geburtsjahr. Hamilton selbst gab fast immer 1757 an – möglicherweise, um wegen seines für Zeitgenossen bereits fortgeschrittenen Alters nicht vom College abgewiesen zu werden. Hingegen weisen mehrere karibische Dokumente auf das Geburtsjahr 1755 hin.[12]

Im Januar 1766 verließ James Hamilton seine Familie, wofür die Motivation bis heute unbekannt ist. Alexander Hamilton, der mit seinem Vater auch später Briefwechsel führte, vermutete, dass sein Vater seine Familie nicht mehr unterstützen konnte.[13] Ein symbolisches Ende von Hamiltons Kindheit war der Tod seiner Mutter,[9] die an einem Fieber erkrankte, dem sie am 19. Februar 1768 erlag. Auch Alexander erkrankte, konnte sich aber bis zur Beerdigung seiner Mutter wieder erholen. Die Halbwaisen wurden in die Obhut ihres Vetters Peter Lytton gegeben, der jedoch nur ein Jahr später wegen des Todes seiner Frau Suizid beging. Weder dessen Besitztümer, noch die Peter Lyttons Vaters, der ebenfalls verstarb, noch die von Rachel Faucett fielen an Alexander oder seinen Bruder. Schließlich wurde Hamilton vom bedeutenden Kaufmann Thomas Stevens aufgenommen, dessen Sohn Edward Stevens sein Freund war. Da dieser Hamilton auch ähnlich sah, rankten sich mehrere Gerüchte um eine mögliche Vaterschaft von Thomas Stevens.[14]

Zwischen 1766 und 1767[15] begann er für das Unternehmen Beekman and Cruger auf St. Croix in Christiansted zu arbeiten. Dieses Unternehmen wurde von den New Yorkern Nicholas Cruger und Beekman betrieben, die Mitglieder bedeutender Kaufmannsfamilien waren. Schon bald zeigte sich Hamilton als talentierter Administrator. Neben Hamiltons Französischkenntnissen schätzt der Hamilton-Biograph Ron Chernow besonders Hamiltons Fleiß, seine Eigenständigkeit und seine Ambition als seine wichtigsten Qualitäten in der Arbeit für Cruger ein. Auch seine Arbeitgeber waren von Hamiltons Talent überzeugt; als Cruger 1771 fünf Monate in New York verbrachte, übertrug er Hamilton die Führung des Unternehmens. Es scheint, dass er in dieser Aufgabe brillierte. Seine Arbeit unter Beekman und Cruger verschaffte ihm wichtige Erfahrungen in Verwaltung und Handel, welche ihm während seiner Arbeit als Finanzminister zugutekamen. Hamilton selbst bezeichnete es als den wichtigsten Teil seiner Bildung und der Hamilton-Biograph Jacob Ernest Cooke verglich es mit einem modernen College-Abschluss.[16][17]

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  • Wahrscheinlich erhielt Hamilton nur Privatunterricht, möglicherweise von einer Jüdin oder seiner eigenen Mutter.[18] Dieser Unterricht scheint aber nicht besonders tiefgründig gewesen zu sein; ein Großteil der Bildung Hamiltons stammte wahrscheinlich vom Lesen der 34 Bücher seiner Mutter. Zu diesen gehörten wohl eine französische Übersetzung von Niccolò Machiavellis Der Fürst, Plutarchs Parallelbiographien, und insbesondere die Gedichte von Alexander Pope.[19][20] Zu den Zeitvertreiben Hamiltons zählte das Schreiben von Gedichten, die in der Royal Danish American Gazette veröffentlicht wurden. Anfangs handelten sie von Liebe, doch wechselte Hamilton seinen Fokus bald auf Religion. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass der presbyterianische Priester Hugh Knox, ein Freund Hamiltons, diesen Wechsel beeinflusste.[21] Auch schrieb Hamilton schon in seiner Kindheit viele Briefe. Der älteste noch überlebende Brief wurde an Edward Stevens, der im King’s College (der heutigen Columbia University) Medizin studierte, adressiert und am 11. November 1769 geschrieben. Hamilton beschrieb Unmut über seinen niedrigen sozialen Status und den Wunsch nach einem Krieg, in dem er sich beweisen könne.[22][23][24]

    Am 31. August verwüstete ein Hurrikan die Insel St. Croix, was Hamilton in einem Brief an seinen Vater beschrieb. Vermutlich auf Treiben von Knox wurde dieser Brief am 3. Oktober in der Royal Danish American Gazette veröffentlicht.[25] Chernow zufolge gäbe es zwei Gründe, warum der Brief die Leser erstaunte: Das verhältnismäßig junge Alter und der niedrige soziale Status von Hamilton und die Beschreibung des Hurrikans als eine Strafe Gottes. Der Brief soll die Oberschicht der Insel vom Talent Hamiltons überzeugt haben, weshalb sie ein Stipendium für ein Studium in den Dreizehn Kolonien finanzierte. Die Hauptspender waren wohl seine Arbeitgeber, seine Cousine Ann Lytton Venton und Thomas Stevens. Es wird angenommen, dass Hamilton schon im Oktober ein Schiff nach Boston bestieg, doch deuten Gedichte, die nach dem Oktober 1772 in der Royal Danish American Gazette veröffentlicht wurden, auf eine Reise nach dem Winter 1772/1773 hin.[26] Mehrere Historiker wie z. B. Jacob Ernest Cooke kritisieren jedoch die Darstellung des Briefes als Auslöser für das Stipendium als unrealistisch.[27]

    Nachdem Hamilton mit einem Schiff in Boston gelandet hatte, reiste er über Land nach New York City, wo er einen Teil seines Stipendiums von Kortright and Company erhielt. Dort war sein einziger Kontakt Edward Stevens, doch konnte er viele Kontakte zu späteren Anführern der Unabhängigkeitsbewegung und koloniale Eliten schaffen. Wegen Empfehlungsschreiben von Knox war er schon den bedeutendsten presbyterianischen Kirchenmännern New Yorks, John Rodgers und John M. Mason, bekannt. Zur politischen Elite, mit der er sich mit Hilfe der Empfehlungsschreiben von Knox befreundete, gehörten William Livingston, der erste Gouverneur von New Jersey während der Amerikanischen Revolution, und Elias Boudinot, später Präsident des Kontinentalkongresses und Repräsentant. Zu den Besuchern des Ortes Elizabeth, wo Hamilton die Elizabethtown Academy besuchte, gehörten William Alexander, Lord Stirling, später Generalmajor in der amerikanischen Armee während der Revolution, John Jay, später Außenminister während des Kontinentalkongress, Chief Justice und Gouverneur von New York, und William Duer, später bedeutender Spekulant. Auch schaffte sich Hamilton mit dem Sons-of-Liberty-Mitglied Hercules Mulligan Verbindungen zum radikaleren Teil der Gesellschaft. Wie die meisten kolonialen Eliten auf dem Wege zum Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg unterstützte Hamilton einen Ausgleich mit der britischen Krone.[28][29][30]

    Hamilton wurde zunächst Schüler an der vorbereitenden Elizabethtown Academy, um Latein, Griechisch und fortgeschrittene Mathematik, welche Pflicht für einen College-Beitritt waren, zu lernen.[31] Nachdem er die Elizabethtown Academy mit beeindruckenden Ergebnissen abgeschlossen hatte, musste er eines der neun Colleges der Dreizehn Kolonien auswählen. Eine offensichtliche Wahl war die Princeton University, wo Boudinot und Livingston Mitglieder des Board of Trustees waren. Unter der Führung von John Witherspoon entwickelte sich Princeton auch zu einer Universität der Whigs und Presbyterianer, was nach Mulligan der ausschlaggebende Faktor für Hamilton war. Hamilton stellte dort einen Aufnahmeantrag mit der Bitte, ein beschleunigtes Studium absolvieren zu dürfen, allerdings wurde dies abgelehnt, weshalb Hamilton ein anderes College wählen musste. Seine neue Wahl war das Kings College in New York, welches unter der Führung Myles Coopers zusammen mit der Stadt New York zu einer der Hochburgen der Tories und der britischen Kolonialmacht wurde. Dem Kings College trat Hamilton wahrscheinlich im Winter 1773/74 bei. Ihm wurde privater Unterricht unter Professoren erlaubt, um schneller einen Abschluss zu erhalten; so unterrichtete ihn der Professor Robert Harpur im September 1774 in der Mathematik. Wahrscheinlich berichtete ihm der Schotte Harpur auch von der Schottischen Aufklärung, die von Adam Smith und David Hume vorangetrieben wurde und Hamiltons ökonomische Ideen stark beeinflusste. Auch andere Figuren der Aufklärung wie Montesquieu waren Teil von Hamiltons Lektüre, doch studierte Hamilton anfangs eigentlich für einen Abschluss in der Medizin. Später wechselte er zu einem Jura-Studium.[32][33][34]

    In einem College-Debattier-Klub, u. A. mit Troup und Nicholas Fish, vertrat er nach Angaben Troups zuerst eine eher königstreue Position, doch wurde er bald Befürworter der Unabhängigkeit von der Kolonialmacht und nutzte den Klub um seine späteren antibritischen Essays zu revidieren. Des Weiteren berichtet Troup, dass die Boston Tea Party ausschlaggebend für den Meinungswechsel gewesen sei. Nachdem Paul Revere in New York davon berichtete, soll Hamilton direkt nach Boston gereist sein um eine Reportage zu schreiben, welche die Tea Party unterstützte. Chernow vermutet, dass damit das anonym veröffentlichte Defence and Destruction of the Tea im New York Journal gemeint war. Nach den sogenannten „Intolerable Acts“, in denen das Britische Parlament die Kolonien nach Meinung der Kolonisten hart für die Boston Tea Party bestrafte, wandte sich die Meinung der Öffentlichkeit selbst in der Tory-Hochburg New York gegen die Kolonialmacht. Als Reaktion auf sie sammelten sich die Kolonien im Kontinentalkongress, wo über Gegenaktionen entschieden werden sollte. Während Radikale einen Boykott britischer Güter anstrebten, sahen Moderate einen Boykott als zu provokativ an. Die radikalen Sons of Liberty sammelten sich auf freien Feldern vor New York, wo Hamilton laut der Biografien seines Sohns eine bewegende Rede hielt, die die Boston Tea Party unterstützte und ihn in der Bewegung etablierte. Neben der Biografie des John Church Hamilton existiert jedoch kein anderes Quellenmaterial über diese Rede, weshalb sie von einigen Historikern bezweifelt wird.[35] Die Aktionen des Kontinentalkongresses, welcher sich für ein komplettes Embargo gegen die britische Kolonialmacht entschied, schockierte jedoch viele Tories und insbesondere den Klerus der Kolonien. Z. B. schrieb der Episkopale Samuel Seabury unter dem Pseudonym „A Westchester Farmer“ loyalistische Essays gegen den Kontinentalkongress. Auf dessen Essay antwortete Hamilton unter dem Pseudonym „A Friend to America“ in den aufsehenerregenden Aufsätzen A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress (veröffentlicht am 15. Dezember 1774) und The Farmer Refuted (veröffentlicht am 23. Januar 1775)[36], in denen er Chernow zufolge erstmals sein Talent als Schriftsteller zeigte. Auch lassen die beiden anonymen Schriften erkennen, dass Hamilton sich in dem knappen Jahr, das seit seiner Ankunft in Boston verstrichen war, eingehend mit den politischen und wirtschaftlichen Problemen der Kolonien vertraut gemacht hatte. Elkins und McKitrick sehen in seiner Argumentation alle klassischen Whig-Argumente, ein breites Wissen über die ökonomische, militärische, und außenpolitische Lage der Kolonie, und die Argumente der Aufklärung, insbesondere die der Schottischen. Cooke kritisiert hingegen, dass Hamiltons Stil noch nicht das spätere Niveau erreicht hatte.[37][38][39][40][41] Nach dem literarischen Konflikt mit Seabury entwickelte sich Hamilton zu einem relativ reputablen patriotischen Essayisten: Zwei Essays, die den Quebec Act, einen der Intolerable Acts, kritisierten, wurden in der Presse von Rivington veröffentlicht.[42][43] Eine weitere Aufsatzreihe wurde vom 9. November 1775 bis zum 8. Februar 1776, also schon während Hamilton im Militär war, unter dem Namen Monitor Essays im New-York Journal von John Holt veröffentlicht.[44][24]

    John Church Hamilton berichtet, dass sein Vater schon im Winter 1774/75 anfing, sich mit Waffen bekannt zu machen. Als die Nachricht vom Kriegsausbruch durch die Gefechte von Lexington und Concord New York erreichte, trat Hamilton in eine Miliz ein. Er wurde einer Gruppe unter Führung Edward Flemings zugeordnet, die Robert Troup zufolge (der in die gleiche Miliz eintrat), grüne Uniformen und einen Hut mit der Aufschrift „Freedom or Death“ trug. In militärischen Aufzeichnungen ähneln die „Corsicans“ den Beschreibungen von Troup, Fish und Mulligan am meisten. Später, als Fleming zur militärischen Administration befördert wurde, änderten die „Corsicans“ ihren Namen wahrscheinlich zu „Hearts of Oak“. Während des Trainings zeigte sich Hamilton engagiert, weshalb er im Juni 1775 ein Offizierskandidat wurde.[45][46] Hamiltons erster Kampf war am 23. August 1775. Die Asia, ein Schiff der Krone, erreichte New York, was eine große Bedrohung für eine patriotische Batterie beim Fort George darstellte. Um die Kanonen der Batterie in Sicherheit zu bringen, meldete sich Hamilton zusammen mit 15 anderen freiwillig. Als das Schiff auf die Freiwilligen schoss, traf es ein nahegelegenes Gasthaus.[47]

    Am 23. Februar schlug der Colonel Alexander McDougall, der für die Verteidigung von New York eine Artilleriekompanie ausheben sollte, Hamilton als Captain vor. Nachdem er examiniert worden war, erhielt er den Rang am 14. März 1776. Laut Hercules Mulligan war diese Beförderung mit der Aushebung von 30 Männern verbunden, von denen sie 25 schon am ersten Tag rekrutiert haben sollen. Den Kern der neuen Truppe bildeten jedoch die Hearts of Oak. Später kommandierte Hamilton 86 Männer, unter denen er für sein Engagement sehr populär war. Er war sehr streng in militärischen Formalien wie der Uniform oder dem korrekten Aufmarsch während militärischer Paraden. Hamiltons erste militärische Aktion als Captain war seine Beteiligung an der Befestigung von New York, welches nach der Belagerung von Boston das Ziel britischer Angriffe wurde. Dort nahm er an mehreren Scharmützeln vor dem eigentlichen britischen Angriff teil, doch kämpfte er nicht in der ersten Schlacht in New York, der Schlacht von Long Island. Erst bei der Landung bei Kips Bay und in der darauffolgenden Schlacht von Harlem Heights, in denen gelandete britische Truppen New York erobern konnten, kämpfte er mit seiner Kompanie und verlor seine gesamte schwere Artillerie. In diesen Schlachten soll Hamilton das erste Mal die Aufmerksamkeit von General Washington auf sich gezogen haben. Darauf zog Hamilton mit dem Rest der Armee zurück nach White Plains, wo die Kontinentalarmee erneut in der Schlacht von White Plains geschlagen wurde. Nach einem darauffolgenden Rückzug durch New Jersey begann Washington auf dringenden Rat seiner Offiziere seine Armee auf kleinere Scharmützel auszulegen (die sogenannte Fabian strategy, benannt nach dem antiken Feldherrn Fabius), da die britische Armee in offenen Schlachten einen klaren Vorteil hatte. Hamilton unterstützte dies – schon in The Farmer Refuted verwies er Seabury auf diese Strategie. Während des Rückzugs zeichnete sich Hamilton in den Augen Washingtons insbesondere bei der Überquerung des Raritan River, während derer Hamiltons Kompanie der Armee Deckung gab, besonders aus. Die nächsten größeren militärischen Auseinandersetzungen waren die Schlacht von Trenton am 26. Dezember und die Schlacht von Princeton am 3. Januar 1777, zwei bedeutende amerikanische Siege. Die Hearts of Oak waren an diesen Schlachten beteiligt, doch spielten sie keine bedeutende Rolle.[48][49]

    Hamilton entwickelte sich während der ersten Jahre des Krieges zu einem relativ bekannten Soldaten und zog die Aufmerksamkeit einflussreicher Generäle wie Lord Stirling, McDougall, Nathanael Greene und Henry Knox auf sich. Von ihnen hatten manche ihm angeboten, ihr Aide-de-camp zu werden, was Hamilton jedoch ablehnte um Anführer einer Kompanie zu sein und Ruhm auf dem Schlachtfeld zu gewinnen. Erst ein Angebot George Washingtons am 20. Januar 1777 überzeugte ihn, seinen Posten zu verlassen und für Washington zu arbeiten. Offiziell wurde Hamiltons Mitgliedschaft in Washingtons „Familie“, wie sein Offiziersstab genannt wurde, erst am 1. März. Auch wurde er zum Lieutenant Colonel befördert.[50]

    Unter den insgesamt 32 Aide-de-camps Washingtons war Hamilton neben Robert Hanson Harrison, Tench Tilghman und John Laurens einer der bedeutendsten. Manche Historiker bewerten ihn sogar als den wichtigsten, der einem modernen Chief of Staff ähnelt. Als Washingtons Adjutant musste man hauptsächlich Briefe für ihn entwerfen. Unter Hamiltons Entwürfen waren einige sehr bedeutende, wie zum Beispiel Briefe an den Kongress. Aus seiner Feder stammte z. B. ein Befehl an den Kongress, Philadelphia vor einem britischen Angriff zu evakuieren.[51] Des Weiteren diente Hamilton als ein Diplomat für Washington. Beispielsweise wurde er im November 1777, nach dem amerikanischen Sieg in der Schlacht von Saratoga, zu Horatio Gates, dem siegreichen General, entsandt, um Gates von der Verschiebung einiger Truppen zu Washington überzeugen. Zwar zeigte sich Gates zuerst als resistent, allerdings überzeugte Hamilton ihn schließlich von der Verschiebung zweier Brigaden. In den eigentlichen militärischen Entscheidungen der Kontinentalarmee spielte er, wie die anderen Aide-de-camps, keine Rolle, da sie Washington nicht berieten. Ihm wurden jedoch kleinere militärische Aufgaben zugewiesen, wie die Evakuierung der Vorräte von Philadelphia, damit sie nicht in britische Hände fielen.[52][53][54]

    Hamilton schaffte sich unter den Aide-de-camps mehrere Kontakte. Sein engster Freund war John Laurens, der Sohn des Henry Laurens, dessen Briefwechsel ungewöhnlich informell für Hamilton war. Einige Historiker vermuten sogar eine homosexuelle Beziehung zwischen Hamilton und Laurens. Eine weitere Freundschaft bauten sich Laurens und Hamilton mit dem Marquis de La Fayette auf, einem französischen Adeligen, der freiwillig in der Kontinentalarmee diente.[55] Auch außerhalb der Armee war der Posten als Aide-de-camp eine gute Möglichkeit sich mit Angehörigen der Elite, die sich mit Washington trafen, wie dem General und Mitglied des Kontinentalkongress Philip Schuyler bekanntzumachen. Zusammen mit ihrem Vater reiste Elizabeth Schuyler an, der Hamilton den Hof machte. Nach einer Verlobung im März 1780 heirateten sie am 14. Dezember 1780 im Haus der Schuylers in Albany. Damit verbündete sich Hamilton mit der in New York einflussreichen Schuyler-Familie und deren Anführer, Philip Schuyler. Er befreundete sich auch mit seiner Schwägerin Angelica Schuyler Church, die mit dem britischen Parlamentarier John Barker Church verheiratet war. Oft wurde er einer romantischen Beziehung zu ihr beschuldigt.[56][57][58]

    Während seiner Arbeit als Aide-de-camp wiederholte und las er mehrere Werke, die er in seinem Notizbuch beschrieb. Im Buch notierte er Kommentare zu vielen antiken Büchern, wie Plutarchs Doppelbiografien, Demosthenes’ Reden und Ciceros Werke. Besonders Plutarchs Biografien des Romulus und des Theseus, zweier Monarchen, sowie des römischen Königs Numa Pompilius und Lykurgs, zweier Gesetzgeber, beeinflussten Hamiltons Weltbild. Beim Lesen der antiken Texte legte er seinen Fokus auf die politischen, aber auch wirtschaftlichen, kulturellen und religiösen Institutionen der damaligen Gesellschaft.[59] Auch neuere Werke wie die von David Hume, Michel de Montaigne, Francis Bacon und Thomas Hobbes gehörten zu seiner Lektüre. Eine seiner bedeutendsten Lektüren war das von Malachy Postlethwayt geschriebene Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Geografie, Politik und Wirtschaft von Europa, das ein Großteil von Hamiltons Wissen über Handel bildete.[60][61] Im Zeitraum von 1780 bis 1781 schrieb Hamilton drei Essays in Form von Briefen an drei verschiedene Adressaten und sechs Essays namens The Continentalist Essays unter dem Pseudonym A. B. im New-York Packet[62], die Hamiltons damalige politische Überzeugungen, den Nationalismus, darstellen.(a) In diesen bespricht Hamilton drei Themen: Die Schwäche und die möglichen Reformen zur Stärkung des Kontinentalkongresses, Finanzreformen und seine generellen Ansichten über die menschliche Natur. Der fundamentale Fehler des Kongresses sei seine Machtlosigkeit gegenüber den Staaten; er habe keine Entscheidungsmacht über Krieg oder Frieden, da die Staaten die Macht über die Armeen besaßen, die aber in die Hände des Kongresses gehöre. Weitaus wichtiger für Hamilton war aber die potentielle Krise im Frieden: Der Kongress gebe den Staaten zu viel Macht über die Kasse. Ein weiteres fundamentales Problem sei das Fehlen einer starken Exekutive, doch das wichtigste Ziel Hamiltons war eine Reform, um die Finanzlage der Nation wieder auf den rechten Weg zu bringen. Um diese Probleme zu besprechen und um Reformen einzuleiten um sie zu beseitigen, sollte man einen Verfassungskonvent berufen. Des Weiteren schlägt Hamilton genaue Finanzreformen vor und unterstützt die Aktionen des neuen Superintendant of Finance Robert Morris.[63][64]

    Während des Dienstes als Aide-de-camp suchte Hamilton Ruhm als Anführer auf dem Schlachtfeld zu erlangen. Als sich der Krieg seinem Ende zuneigte, forderte er vergebens von Washington einen Posten im Feld. Nach einem kleinen Streit mit Washington im Februar 1781 legte er seinen Posten nieder. Vermutlich erwartete Hamilton, dass Washington ihn direkt zum Anführer eines Bataillons machen würde, allerdings erfüllte Washington diese Erwartungen nicht. Trotzdem forderte Hamilton dies hartnäckig in mehreren Briefen und Besuchen.[65] Um seine Forderungen durchzusetzen drohte Hamilton schließlich mit einem Rücktritt von seinem Posten als Lieutenant Colonel, worauf Washington ihm sofort den Befehl über ein Bataillon Leichter Infanterie übertrug.[66][67]

    Dieses Bataillon würde Hamilton in der Schlacht von Yorktown anführen. Washington plante nämlich, zusammen mit der alliierten französischen Flotte unter dem Comte de Grasse und dem Comte de Rochambeau, die britische Position in Yorktown unter der Führung von Lord Cornwallis zu erobern und den Unabhängigkeitskrieg mit dieser Schlacht zu gewinnen. Wie der Rest der Armee, die nahe New York stationiert war, musste Hamiltons Bataillon erst verschoben werden. Dafür wurde fast der gesamte September gebraucht. Zur Verteidigung hatte Cornwallis zehn Redouten erbaut, die das Hauptziel der amerikanischen und französischen Angriffe wurden. Am 6. Oktober begannen französische Ingenieure, zwei Gräben zu graben um Cornwallis abzuschneiden. Um sie fertigzustellen mussten die Redouten Nummer neun und zehn, die am nächsten zu den französischen und amerikanischen Positionen waren, eingenommen werden. Den Angriff auf die Redoute zehn führte Hamilton an und eroberte sie in einigen Minuten. Auch Redoute neun wurde von französischen Truppen unter dem Comte de Rochambeau eingenommen und die Gräben wurden fertiggestellt, worauf Cornwallis kapitulierte. De facto hörte der Krieg damit auf, de jure endete er aber erst mit dem Vertrag von Paris im Jahre 1783. Im März 1782 gab Hamilton seinen militärischen Posten auf.[68][69]

    Hamilton wohnte ab dem März 1782 in der Schuyler Mansion, dem Landhaus der Schuyler-Familie in Albany, wo er ein Selbststudium der Jura begann. Im Selbststudium lernte er hauptsächlich aus englischen Lehrbüchern wie William Blackstones Commentaries on the Laws of England, da New Yorks Gesetz dem englischen noch stark ähnelte. Auch studierte er das Werk von Rechtsphilosophen wie Emer de Vattel. Wie es damals üblich war, verfasste Hamilton selbst ein Lehrbuch namens Practical Proceedings in the Supreme Court of New York, welches zu einem Standardwerk zur Gesetzgebung New Yorks wurde. Hamilton konnte schon im Juli desselben Jahres sein Examen absolvieren. Eine Petition Aaron Burrs ermöglichte es ihm, die eigentlich erforderliche Ausbildung eines Anwalt zu überspringen. Auf Grund seiner Arbeit im Kontinentalkongress eröffnete er erst im November des nächsten Jahres eine Anwaltskanzlei in der Wall Street.[70][71]

    Hamilton wurde einer der erfolgreichsten Anwälte in New York, möglicherweise sogar zu dem Erfolgreichsten. Grund dafür waren teils seine Verbindungen zur Schuyler-Familie, aber auch seine Fähigkeiten als Anwalt. James Kent bezeichnete ihn z. B. noch 1832 als den besten Anwalt, den er je in seiner Karriere als Richter hörte. Ambrose Spencer verglich Hamiltons Denkfähigkeit mit der Daniel Websters und bewertete Hamiltons Kreativität als unermesslich größer. Zusammen mit anderen Anwälten wie Aaron Burr und Kaufmännern wie Melancton Smith war er als „Neuer New Yorker“ eine Repräsentation des boomenden New York.[72] Zu seinen Klienten gehörten sowohl einfache Bürger als auch Mitglieder der Elite New Yorks wie Isaac Sears, Laurence Kortright, John Holt und Benjamin Walker.[73][74]

    Bedeutend war Hamiltons Verteidigung ehemaliger Loyalisten, die nach dem Krieg in New York unter Gesetzen wie dem Confiscation Act, dem Citation Act und dem Trespass Act mehr und mehr diskriminiert wurden. Dabei sticht der Fall Rutgers v. Waddington besonders heraus. Hamiltons Klient, Joshua Waddington, wurde unter dem Trespass Act verklagt. Hamilton argumentierte, dass der Trespass Act gegen den Vertrag von Paris und gegen die Verfassung von New York verstößt und deshalb als nichtig erklärt werden sollte. Damit forderte er Judicial Review, was die Öffentlichkeit empörte. Außerdem unterstützte Hamilton ehemalige Loyalisten in zwei Essays unter dem Pseudonym Phocion.[75] Dieser war ein antiker athenischer General, der als besonders gnädig gegenüber seinen Feinden galt.[76][77][78][79][80]

    1784 war Hamilton ein Mitbegründer der Bank of New York (Heute Bank of New York Mellon), die zusammen mit der Bank of North America einer der ersten US-amerikanischen Banken war. Die Charter der Bank verfasste er selbst.[81] Er wurde auch einer der Mitbegründer der Society of the Cincinnati, einer Gesellschaft für ehemalige Offiziere während dem Unabhängigkeitskrieg. Oft wurde die Gesellschaft als bestenfalls snobistisch und schlimmstenfalls aristokratisch kritisiert. Mit der New York Manumission Society engagierte sich Hamilton im Abolitionismus. Wie bei fast allen seiner Zeitgenossen kann man dies als hypokritisch betrachten. Z. B. gibt es Beweise, dass er selbst mit Sklaven handelte und welche besaß.[82][83][84][85]

    Robert Morris entschied sich, in jedem Staat einen „Kontinentalen Empfänger für Steuern“ (englisch Continental receiver of taxes) einzusetzen. Am 2. Mai 1782 bot er Hamilton den Posten für New York an, wofür er mit 0, 25 % der eingesammelten Steuern aus New York belohnt werden würde. Dies lehnte Hamilton ab. Darauf bot Morris ihm einen Anteil der einzutreibenden Steuern an, was von Hamilton akzeptiert wurde. Außerdem würde er in der State Legislature von New York für Morris Finanzreformen werben. In diesem Posten, den er vier Monate lang bekleidete, verschärfte sich Hamiltons Kritik der Schwäche des Kontinentalkongress und der Stärke der Staaten, die oft Steuern für den Kontinentalkongress für eigene Zwecke verwendeten.[86][87]

    Die State Legislature von New York ernannte den mit der mächtigen Schuyler-Familie verbündeten Hamilton im Juli 1782 zu einem Abgeordneten im Kontinentalkongresses. Er folgte dem politischen Programm, dass er schon als Aide-de-camp vertreten hatte, also den Nationalismus. Unter den wenigen aktiven Mitgliedern des Kontinentalkongress fand er Verbündete in Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris (nicht verwandt) und James Madison, mit denen er Wortführer der Nationalisten wurde. Oft frustrierte Hamilton die Schwäche seiner Position, Reformen durchzusetzen. Ein Beispiel ist der nationalistische Vorschlag, die Konföderationsartikel zu ändern um einen Zoll von 5 % einzuführen. Obwohl jeder andere Staat zustimmte, konnte der kleine Staat Rhode Island ein Veto gegen den Zoll einlegen und ihn verhindern.[88]

    Der zweite Versuch der Nationalisten, einen Zoll zu verabschieden, gang als Newburgh-Verschwörung in die Geschichte ein. Sie begann, als die Kontinentalarmee dem Kontinentalkongress vorschlug, ihren fehlenden Sold in einer Pauschale zu bezahlen. Nationalisten sahen die Petition als Möglichkeit, den Zoll doch noch durchzusetzen, da er gebraucht werden würde um das nötige Geld für die Forderungen der Offiziere zu gewinnen. Diese Petition reichte jedoch nicht aus, um den Kongress von der Pauschale (Und damit vom Zoll) zu überzeugen. Deshalb wandten sich die Nationalisten an eine Gruppe junger und radikalisierter Offizieren an, dessen Führungspersönlichkeit Horatio Gates war. Einer der Offiziere der „Gates-Kabale“, wahrscheinlich John Armstrong, drohte im „Newburgh-Adress“ mit Gewalt, falls die Petition nicht erfüllt wird und berief eine Versammlung am 11. März 1783. Hamilton bat Washington, die hungernde Armee anzuführen um Gutes und System aus der wirren Situation zu kreieren. Washington, der den Auslöser der Unruhen im Kontinentalkongress sah, berief seine eigene Versammlung am 15. März, in der er die Offiziere von Loyalität zum Kontinentalkongress überzeugte. Die Vorkommnisse überzeugten den Kontinentalkongress vom Zoll, allerdings lehnte ihn Hamilton auf Grund der vielen Kompromisse ab. Erneut wurde der Zoll von vielen Staaten abgelehnt; Der Zoll wurde auch von den Nationalisten aufgegeben. Nach dem Friedensschluss zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und Großbritannien kollabierten die Nationalisten, da das Interesse an einer starken Nationalregierung vorerst zusammen mit dem Krieg endete.[89][90][91][92]

    Im Januar 1788 wurde er erneut ernannt. Da eine neue Verfassung bald ratifiziert werden würde, hatte Hamilton nur wenig Interesse am Kontinentalkongress. Sein einziges Ziel war es, eine Pension für seinen Freund Baron von Steuben zu verabschieden.[93]

    Im April 1786 wurde Hamilton mit 332 Stimmen in das New York House of Delegates gewählt. Er wurde vierter von 16 Kandidaten im New York County. Sein Amt trat er am 12. Januar 1787 an. Zusammen mit seinem Schwiegervater hatte er eine konservative, nationalistische Basis an Kaufmännern in New York und Grundbesitzern in Upstate New York erbaut. Er galt als ein guter Redner, doch konnte er wegen der klaren Mehrheit, die den Gouverneur George Clinton unterstützte, nur wenig Einfluss auf die Gesetzgebung üben. Zu seinen Zielen gehörte die Unterstützung von Loyalisten, der Unabhängigkeit von Vermont von New York und die Durchsetzung der finanziellen Politik, die er schon im Kontinentalkongress angestrebt hatte.[94][95][96]

    1786 wurde Hamilton von der New York State Legislature gewählt, zusammen mit fünf anderen New York in der Annapolis Convention zu repräsentieren. Diese war nach dem Vorbild der Mount Vernon Conference aufgebaut, in der Virginia und Maryland ohne Beistand des Kontinentalkongress einen Handelsdisput um den Potomac River lösten. Zur Annapolis Convention wurden hingegen alle Staaten der Konföderation eingeladen um weitere Dispute zu schlichten. Viele zeigten sich apathisch zum Konvent: Nur 12 Delegierte aus fünf Staaten wohnten dem Konvent bei. Von den sechs New Yorkern, die am Konvent teilnehmen sollten, reisten nur Hamilton und Egbert Benson nach Annapolis. Nicht mal Maryland, in dem Annapolis liegt, sandte Delegierte. Die Delegierten, die in Annapolis trotzdem mitwirkten, waren deshalb ausschließlich Nationalisten, deren Führung John Dickinson, James Madison und Hamilton übernahmen. Das Thema des Konvents war deshalb nicht lediglich die Schlichtung von Disputen zwischen den einzelnen Staaten, sondern die Schwäche des Kontinentalkongresses. Das Ergebnis des Konvents war eine von Hamilton verfasste Schrift[97], die an alle Staaten und den Kontinentalkongress gesandt wurde. Die Versammelten sahen die Dispute zwischen den Bundesstaaten als Symptome der unter den Konföderationsartikeln schwachen Nationalregierung. Vorgeschlagen wurde ein erneuter Konvent Mai nächsten Jahres in Philadelphia, während dem mögliche Änderungen (englisch: Amendments) zu den Konföderationsartikeln besprochen werden sollten.[98][99][100][101]

    Alleine hätte der Konvent möglicherweise nicht viel bewirkt, allerdings brachte die Shays’ Rebellion, eine Rebellion von Bauern in Massachusetts, die strukturellen Schwächen des Kontinentalkongresses zum Vorschein und überzeugte die Staaten und den Kontinentalkongress vom im Annapolis-Konvent vorgeschlagenen Konvent. Hamilton äußerte sich erst später im Federalist-Artikel Nr. 6 über die Revolte. Es wäre kein „Bürgerkrieg“ in Massachusetts ausgebrochen, falls die Bauern nicht hoffnungslos verschuldet gewesen seien. Später führte er auch die hohe Besteuerung durch die Regierung von Massachusetts, die mit den Steuergeldern ihre Schulden zahlen wollte, als Grund für den Aufstand auf.[102][103]

    Statt Änderungen an den Konföderationsartikeln erarbeiteten die Delegierten eine komplett neue Verfassung. Dabei herrschten zwei Konzepte vor: Der Virginia-Plan und der New-Jersey-Plan. Der Virginia-Plan, vorgeschlagen von Edmund Randolph und entworfen größtenteils durch Madison, sah ein Zweikammerparlament vor. Die Sitze der Staaten in der Legislative sollten nach Bevölkerung proportioniert werden. Ein Präsident sollte eine Amtszeit von 7 Jahren erhalten. Der New Jersey-Plan, konzipiert durch William Paterson um die Konföderationsartikel nur zu „korrigieren“, schlug ein unikamerales Parlament vor, in dem alle Staaten gleich repräsentiert werden sollten. Statt einem Präsidenten sollte ein mehrköpfiges Komitee die Nation führen. Generell unterstützten größere Staaten den Virginia-Plan, während kleinere den New Jersey-Plan befürworteten.[104][105]

    Die clintonistische Mehrheit in der State Assembly von New York sandte Hamilton zusammen mit den Clintonisten John Lansing und Robert Yates nach Philadelphia. Dort hatten die Staaten jeweils eine Stimme. Hamilton würde von Lansing und Yates immer überstimmt werden; Er konnte mit seiner Stimme den Konvent also nicht verändern. Auch hielt er fast keine Reden. Erst am 18. Juni äußerte er sich in einer fünf- oder sechsstündigen Rede, die eine Alternative zu beiden Plänen bot. Er schlug ein Zweikammerparlament vor, mit einem Oberhaus – Dem Haus der Elite, indirekt durch Grundbesitzer auf Lebenszeit gewählt – und einem Unterhaus – Dem Haus der einfachen Menschen, gewählt durch jeden auf eine Amtszeit von drei Jahren. Die Exekutive würde ein indirekt auf Lebenszeit gewählter Präsident sein, der alle Gouverneure ernennen würde. Beide Posten sollten ein Veto über Gesetze der Legislative halten. Alle Politiker, die auf Lebenszeit gewählt werden würden, sollten vor dem Supreme Court dem Amt enthoben werden können. Hamiltons Rede wurde von den anderen Delegierten gepriesen, aber nicht näher in Betracht gezogen. Zu groß war die Angst vor einem gewählten Monarchen (englisch elective monarch), dem der Leiter der Exekutive zu sehr ähnelte. Hamilton konnte jedoch die Macht der nationalen Regierung zum Diskussionsthema machen. Nach dem Konvent wurde die Rede zum Paradebeispiel für Hamilton als einen autoritären, elitären Monarchisten. Viele Historiker sehen diese Rede eher als ein Versuch, den Virginia-Plan als vergleichsweise moderat erscheinen zu lassen.[106][107][108][109][110]

    Auf die Rede folgten nur gelegentliche Bemerkungen während dem Konvent, die oft Verzweiflung über den Verlauf der Konvention ausdrückten. Ab dem 26. Juni pendelte er zwischen New York und Philadelphia. Am 6. Juli verließen die über den Verlauf des Konvents frustrierten Yates und Lansing den Konvent permanent und nahmen damit auch Hamilton seine Stimmkraft, da er ohne sie nicht abstimmen konnte. Während der Verhandlung des Großen Kompromiss war er nicht anwesend. Im Committee of Style and Arrangement glättete er den Stil der Verfassung. Schließlich unterschrieb am 17. September mit den anderen Delegierten die Verfassung.[111][112]

    Nach dem Verfassungskonvent engagierte sich Hamilton in der Ratifizierungsdebatte in New York, die durch einen Federkrieg zwischen Föderalisten und Anti-Föderalisten geprägt wurde. Aus diesem „Propagandatraktat“, wie es Forrest McDonald bezeichnete, gang einer der wichtigsten politischen Schriften des frühen Amerika heraus: Die Federalist Papers, eine Zusammenarbeit von Hamilton, John Jay und James Madison. Da Jay aufgrund einer plötzlichen Erkrankung nur fünf Essays schreiben konnte, mussten Madison und Hamilton gemeinsam (Hamilton 51, Madison 29) die anderen 80 Artikel schreiben.[113][114] Trotz bedeutender Opposition zur Verfassung konnten Föderalisten den Umkreis vom Politiker Melancton Smith überzeugen, die Verfassung anzunehmen.[115][116][117][118]

    Die neue Verfassung sah den Posten des Präsidenten vor, für den der populäre Washington prädestiniert war. Die von den Staaten entsandten Wahlmänner sollten zwei Stimmen erhalten. Der Zweitplatzierte, John Adams, wurde Vizepräsident. Hamilton, der den föderalistischen Adams eigentlich unterstützte, hegte die Sorge, dass Adams ein Patt mit Washington erreichen könnte, was eine Peinlichkeit fürs neue Electoral College wäre. Er bat sieben oder acht Wahlmänner, jemand anderen als Adams zu wählen, um dieses Szenario zu vermeiden. Adams missverstand diese Aktion, die er als „dunkle und dreckige Intrige“ (englisch dark and dirty Intrigue) bezeichnete, als Angriff auf ihn.[119][120] Washington gewann die Wahl einstimmig. John Adams wurde mit 34 von 69 Wahlmännern Vizepräsident.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    Ernannt wurde Hamilton am 11. September 1789, neun Tage nachdem das Finanzministerium geschaffen wurde.[121]

    Die Verfassung schuf kein Kabinett, weshalb das Vorgehen Hamiltons und der anderen Mitglieder in Washingtons Kabinett (Außenminister Thomas Jefferson, Kriegsminister Henry Knox und Justizminister Edmund Randolph) ihre Ministerien für die Zukunft definierte.[122] Besonders die spezifischen Aufgaben der Ministerien waren umstritten, so nahm Hamilton an fast jeder Angelegenheit teil. Sein Einfluss als Berater war so groß, dass einige Historiker ihn als „Ministerpräsidenten des Staatspräsidenten“ Washington betrachten.[123]

    Zehn Tage nachdem Hamilton zum Finanzminister ernannt worden war, am 21. September, forderte der Kongress einen Bericht über den nationalen Kredit (englisch Report on Public Credit), wofür ihm eine Frist von 110 Tagen eingeräumt wurde.[124] Das Thema des Berichts wurden die immensen Schulden der Vereinigten Staaten, die schon seit Hamiltons Mitgliedschaft im Kontinentalkongress zu den größten Problemen der Nationalregierung gehörten. Man konnte die Schulden in drei Kategorien einteilen: Schulden der Bundesstaaten, Schulden der Nationalregierung, deren Gläubiger ausländisch waren, und Schulden der Nationalregierung, deren Gläubiger inländisch waren.[125]

    Hinsichtlich der ausländischen Schulden, die fast alle aus der Amerikanischen Revolution stammten, herrschte der Konsens, dass sie wichtiger als inländische Schulden seien und deshalb zuerst abgezahlt werden müssten; doch war dies ohne eine Steuererhöhung nicht möglich. Hamiltons löste das Problem teilweise mit einer Verschiebung der Frist für die Zahlung an Frankreich, um zuerst die Schulden bei holländischen Kaufleuten zu bezahlen.[126] Ein Teil der inländischen Schulden bestand aus Schuldscheinen, mit denen Soldaten während der Revolution bezahlt worden waren. In der Überzeugung, dass sie nie zurückgezahlt werden würden oder aus schlichter Geldnot verkauften viele Veteranen die Schuldscheine an Spekulanten.[127] Vorgeschlagen wurde Diskriminierung, also statt die Spekulanten für die gekauften Schuldscheine zu bezahlen, die Soldaten als ursprüngliche Empfänger der Schuldscheine zu bezahlen. Die Popularität des Vorschlages lässt sich mit der Unbeliebtheit der Spekulanten, auch Blutsauger genannt, erklären.[128] Der Rest der inländischen Schulden bestand hauptsächlich aus Anleihen, den „loan office certificates“.[129] Die Schulden der Bundesstaaten stammten wie die der Nationalregierung noch aus der Revolution. Hier zeigte sich eine klare Differenz zwischen Staaten mit noch hohen Schulden (z. B. South Carolina und Massachusetts) und Staaten, die ihre Schulden schon bezahlt hatten (z. B. Virginia und North Carolina).[130] Klären musste Hamilton auch die Frage, ob man die Schulden schlicht zurückzahlen oder aber finanzieren, also auf einer niedrigen Ebene halten sollte. Befürworter der direkten Zurückzahlung sahen Schulden als Fluch an, der unverzüglich mit allen möglichen Mitteln beendet werden sollte, während Befürworter einer Finanzierung Schulden als einen Segen ansahen, welcher mit dem richtigen Management wirtschaftliches Wachstum und Stabilität sicherte.[131]

    Hamilton sah das Fehlen von Geld als einen der wichtigsten Auslöser dieser Probleme. Als Lösung schlug er im Bericht vor, Schulden an die Regierung in Geld umzuwandeln, was jeder Klasse der Gemeinschaft helfen würde, falls die Schulden gut finanziert seien.[132] Darauf erklärte er eine Diskriminierung als zerstörend für die Reputation der Regierung, da sie Spekulanten, die Vertrauen in die Regierung hatten, bestrafte, während sie die Soldaten, die kein Vertrauen zeigten, belohnte.[133] Er schlug eine Zentralisierung der Schulden unter der Nationalregierung vor, was ein Chaos mehrerer überlappender Schuldenpolitiken verhinderte. Ein weiteres Argument für diesen Plan gründete in dem Problem, dass Staaten mit hohen Schulden höhere Steuern als Staaten mit niedrigen Schulden erhoben, was eine Immigration in letztere auslöste.[134] Die ausländischen Schulden mit nur 4 oder 5 % Zinsen sollten direkt übernommen werden, inländische Schulden erhielten eine kompliziertere Behandlung: Gläubiger sollten mehrere Optionen erhalten, ihre Schulden einzufordern, z. B. Land im Frontier-Gebiet. Außerdem sah der Bericht neue Steuern auf z. B. Tee, Wein, Kaffee und Whiskey vor. Zum Schluss befürwortete Hamilton die Finanzierung von Schulden.[135]

    Der Bericht wurde am 14. Januar 1790 dem Repräsentantenhaus vorgelesen. Er wurde kontrovers aufgenommen; mehrere Politiker sahen ihn als Versuch an, der Nationalregierung mehr Macht zu geben oder als korrupten Pakt mit Spekulanten. Die Debatte begann am 8. Februar mit Hamiltons Plan, die Spekulanten für die Schuldscheine, die sie von Veteranen gekauft hatten, zu bezahlen. Dabei erwies sich James Madison, von dem Hamilton Unterstützung erwartet hatte, in einer Rede am 11. Februar als Gegner des Plans, den er als Verrat an den Veteranen sah. Trotzdem wurde Hamiltons Plan mit 36 gegen 13 Stimmen angenommen.[136] Die Debatte ging über zu Hamiltons Plan, die Schulden der Staaten unter der Nationalregierung zu zentralisieren. Hier zeigte sich ein klarer Schnitt zwischen Staaten mit noch hohen Schulden (z. B. South Carolina und Massachusetts), die vom Plan profitierten, und Staaten, die ihre Schulden schon bezahlt hatten (z. B. Virginia und North Carolina), die den verschuldeten Staaten nicht helfen wollten. Besonders die agrarisch geprägten Südstaaten, angeführt von den Virginiern Madison und dem Außenminister Jefferson, der erst jüngst von seiner Gesandtschaft im Königreich Frankreich zurückgekehrt war, lehnten diesen Plan ab. Trotz vehementen Debattierens von Seiten Hamiltons wurde die Assumption Bill am 12. April mit 31 zu 29 abgelehnt, zwei Wochen später endeten alle Debatten über den Plan.[137]

    Zur gleichen Zeit versuchten Madison und Jefferson den Kongress davon zu überzeugen, einen Platz am südlichen Potomac River als Hauptstadt vorzusehen, doch besaßen auch sie dafür keine Mehrheit im Kongress. Beide Parteien sahen einen Kompromiss als den besten Weg, ihre jeweiligen Vorschläge durchzusetzen. Laut Jefferson traf er in dieser Zeit auf einen bedrängten Hamilton, der behauptete, dass er im Falle der Ablehnung der Assumption Bill wahrscheinlich zurücktreten müsste. Weiter behauptet Jefferson, dass sie sich zusammen mit Madison am darauffolgenden Tag, dem 20. Juli, trafen. Dabei entschieden sie sich, gemeinsam den Residence Act und die Assumption Bill zu unterstützen. Sie wurden jeweils am 10. und 26. Juli verabschiedet.[138]

    Am 9. August forderte der Kongress einen weiteren Bericht,[139] den Hamilton der Befürwortung einer National-Bank widmete. Anders als viele seiner Zeitgenossen befürwortete Hamilton, beeinflusst von den Theorien Adam Smiths und Malachy Postlethwayts sowie der aufkeimenden Banken Europas, eine National-Bank.[140][141]

    Sein erstes Argument für eine National-Bank war, dass Geld in Truhen von Einzelpersonen nichts für die Wirtschaft erreiche, während Geld in Banken dank den mehreren Funktionen einer Bank die Wirtschaft ankurbeln würde. Darauf sprach er Papiergeld an, das wegen des inflationierten, wertlosen Papiergeldes, der Continentals, unbeliebt war. Da es der amerikanischen Wirtschaft aber an Geld fehlte (z. B. wurden im Süden schon Tabakrezepte als Geld genutzt), wollte Hamilton das Papiergeld wieder einführen. Um die Probleme der Continentals zu vermeiden, sollte die National-Bank Papiergeld drucken, das für Münzen eintauschbar wäre. Dies würde eine automatische Selbstkorrektion auslösen: Falls die Bank zu viel Geld druckte, würden Bürger ihr Papiergeld gegen Münzen eintauschen, worauf die Bank ein Teil des Papiergeldes zurückziehen werde. Um Korruption vorzubeugen, sollten die Direktoren regelmäßig ausgetauscht werden.[142][143]

    Am 14. Dezember 1790 wurde der Bericht dem Repräsentantenhaus vorgelesen,[144] am 20. Januar 1791 folgte ein Vorschlag für die Gründung einer National-Bank, die 20 Jahre lang bestehen und in Philadelphia gebaut werden sollte. Erneut kam ein Großteil der Kritik aus den agrarischen Südstaaten, die befürchteten, dass eine National-Bank die Händler der Nordstaaten zu mächtig machen würde. Madison griff in Reden am 2. und 8. Februar 1791 den Vorschlag auf der Basis an, dass eine National-Bank gegen die Verfassung verstoße. Trotzdem wurde er am 8. Februar mit 39 zu 20 angenommen; bemerkenswert ist die heftige Debatte zwischen den nördlichen Staaten, die generell dafür stimmten, und den südlichen Staaten, die einhellig dagegen stimmten.[145][146] Madison versuchte, Washington zu überzeugen, sein Veto einzulegen, worauf er sein Kabinett zu Hilfe rief. Jefferson und Randolph unterstützten ein Veto, doch überzeugte Hamilton Washington in einer Abhandlung von 15.000 Wörtern von der Unterschrift unter das Gründungsdokument der First Bank of the United States. Diese Abhandlung gilt als eine der ersten Beschreibungen der „implizierten Mächte“ (englisch implied powers), die nicht in der Verfassung beschrieben werden, aber der Regierung trotzdem zur Verfügung stehen. Später zitierte Daniel Webster diese Verteidigung der National-Bank im Fall McCulloch v. Maryland.[147]

    Um der amerikanischen Wirtschaft weiter gegen den Mangel an Geld zu helfen, schlug Hamilton im Report on the Mint am 28. Januar 1791 die Gründung einer Münzprägeanstalt und eine Münzreform vor. Die Dollar sollten auf dem Dezimal-System basieren und bimetallisch sein. Mit dem Münzgesetz von 1792 wurden diese Reformen durchgesetzt, die United States Mint wurde kompromissweise dem Außenministerium Jeffersons zugeordnet, der Hamiltons Einfluss und Kompetenzen argwöhnisch gegenüberstand.[148]

    Im Mutterland Amerikas, England, begann im späten 18. Jahrhundert die Industrielle Revolution, was einen wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung auslöste. Hamilton befürchtete, dass die USA, falls sie nicht auch eine Industrialisierung durchgehen würden, wirtschaftlich abgehängt würden. Um dies zu verhindern, gewährte Hamilton schon 1789 Subventionen an die Industrie, z. B. an die New York Manufacturing Society und, wichtiger, die Society for the Encouragement of Useful Manufactures (gekürzt S. U. M.). Er wurde hierbei vom assistierenden Finanzminister Tench Coxe unterstützt.[149] Am 15. Januar 1790 forderte der Kongress einen Report on Manufactures, den er erst fast zwei Jahre später, am 5. Dezember 1791, vorlegte. Die Motivation für diesen Bericht war militärisch; im Falle eines Krieges sollten die USA nicht vom Handel mit anderen Mächten abhängig sein, doch nutzte Hamilton ihn als Plattform für einen Plan zur Industrialisierung.[150]

    Von Anfang an betonte Hamilton, dass sein neues industrielles System das damals vorherrschende Agrarsystem nicht ersetzten, sondern daneben existieren würde. Trotzdem griff er das ökonomische System des Agraismus, gestützt von Adam Smiths Wohlstand der Nationen, an. Hamilton schildert in einem großen Teil des Textes, wie er sich die industrielle Wirtschaft vorstellte: eine chancengleiche Meritokratie. Der Handel solle, anders als bei Smith vorgesehen, reguliert werden, doch sollten diese Regularien nicht extrem sein, da Hamilton ohnehin ein Laissez-faire bevorzugte, aber eine Kontrolle der Wirtschaft für das neu gegründete Amerika auf Grund der aggressiven Handelspolitik der europäischen Mächte als unausweichlich ansah. Darauf werden Waren aufgeführt, deren Herstellung unterstützt werden sollte (u. a. Kupfer, Kohle, Holz, Weizen, Seide und Glas), und erörtert, auf welche Weise sie unterstützt werden sollten. Dabei bevorzugte er Incentives. Dem eigentlichen Thema, Wirtschaft in der Kriegszeit, widmete er nur zwei Paragraphen. Seine Vorschläge wurden hauptsächlich vom ersten Artikel der Konstitution, spezieller von der ersten Klausel des achten Abschnitts, die besagt, dass der Kongress für Verteidigung und Wohlfahrt sorgen muss (englisch provide for the common defense and general welfare), begründet.[151] Der Kongress beachtete den Bericht kaum, trotzdem war er von immenser Bedeutung für die amerikanische Schule der Ökonomie.[152]

    Im frühen Amerika waren politische Parteien, Fraktionen genannt, universell verhasst. Z. B. sagte, laut James Kent, Hamilton im Federalist, in seinen Reden und zu Kent selbst, dass Fraktionen die USA ruinieren würden. Trotzdem bildeten sich u. a. auf Grund der Fragen der Außenpolitik und der Reformen Hamiltons zwei klare Fraktionen: die Unterstützer von Madison und Jefferson, genannt Republikaner (später Demokratische Republikaner), und die Unterstützer von Hamilton, genannt Föderalisten. Laut Jefferson wollten die Republikaner dem Senat und damit der (von den Einzelstaaten beherrschten) Legislative mehr Macht geben, während die Föderalisten dem Präsidenten und damit der Exekutive mehr Macht geben wollten. Stanley Elkins und Eric McKitrick datieren in The Age of Federalism die Gründung der Parteien auf 1792,[153] doch sehen einige, u. a. John Marshall in seiner Biographie George Washingtons, die Anfänge politischer Parteien in der Diskussion um eine National-Bank, also 1791. In diese Zeit fallen auch Ausflüge Jeffersons in den Norden, um Alliierte wie den neuen New Yorker Senator Aaron Burr zu rekrutieren, der Hamiltons Schwiegervater Philip Schuyler in der Wahl zum Senat 1790 und 1791 besiegte. Die neu gegründeten Parteien waren nicht offiziell, sie konnten auf ihre Mitglieder keinen Druck ausüben. Ein Großteil der US-Amerikaner trauten politischen Parteien noch nicht und betrachteten sie manchmal sogar als eine Verschwörung, weshalb Politiker ihre Mitgliedschaft in diesen verneinten.[154]

    Nach der allmählichen Bildung der Parteien wurde der politische Machtkampf zwischen Jefferson und Hamilton extremer, die Parteien entwarfen ein dämonisches Bild voneinander: Föderalisten sollten Konterrevolutionäre, Republikaner Anarchisten sein.[155] Jefferson griff Hamilton in mehreren Gesprächen mit Washington an; u. a. die Furcht, dass Hamilton mit dem Finanzministerium die Regierung übernehmen werde, und die Behauptung, dass Hamilton Monarchist sei, wurden oft angesprochen. Dass Washington nicht überzeugt wurde, interpretierte Jefferson so, dass Hamilton Washington um den Finger gewickelt habe. Er begann, einen Rücktritt in Betracht zu ziehen.[156]

    Auch in den Zeitungen wurde der Machtkampf zwischen Hamilton und Jefferson ausgefochten: Hamilton wurde von John Fennos semioffizieller Gazette of the United States unterstützt, im Gegenzug wurde die Gazette finanziell von Hamilton unterstützt.[157] Jefferson wurde von Philip Freneaus National Gazette unterstützt,[158] in der besonders Madison aktiv war.[159][160]

    Washington bewertete die Kämpfe in seinem Kabinett negativ; in mehreren Briefen an Hamilton versuchte er ihn zu beschwichtigen. Hamilton ignorierte sie und schrieb mehrere Essays zu seiner Verteidigung, während Republikaner weiter Angriffe führten.[161] Auch im Kongress wurde Hamilton angegriffen, hauptsächlich von den Virginern William Branch Giles und Madison, die mehrere erfolglose Untersuchungskommissionen gegen Hamilton durchsetzten.[162]

    Die Französische Revolution wurde in Amerika nach einer anfänglich herzlichen Begrüßung seit Beginn der Schreckensherrschaft kontrovers betrachtet: Föderalisten sahen die Revolution als Warnung, wie eine Revolution in Terror enden könnte, während Republikaner und ein großer Teil der Bevölkerung in ihr eine Wiederholung der amerikanischen Revolution sahen.[163] Die Frage, ob man die Revolution unterstützen sollte, wurde nach der Kriegserklärung Frankreichs an Großbritannien ein wichtiges Thema, denn der Handel mit beiden Nationen war für die amerikanische Landwirtschaft sowie Industrie wichtig. Hamilton und Jefferson unterstützten daher gemeinsam eine Neutralitätserklärung, doch konnten sie sich nicht auf genaue Details einigen: Jefferson wollte sie als Verhandlungsinstrument mit anderen Nationen nutzen, während Hamilton eine direkte Erklärung der Neutralität bevorzugte. Hamilton überzeugte Washington, der am 22. April die Neutralität offiziell bekanntgab.[164] Eine diplomatische Krise, ausgelöst vom französischen Botschafter Edmond-Charles Genêt (nach der Politik des revolutionären Frankreich genannt Citizen Genêt), der die pro-revolutionäre Stimmung in der US-Bevölkerung anzuheizen versuchte, verschärfte die Spannungen zwischen Jefferson und Hamilton, wobei Washington weiter zu Hamilton hielt.[165] Die Kämpfe im Kabinett erstreckten sich bis zum 31. Dezember 1793, als Jefferson zurücktrat und durch den Justizminister Edmund Randolph ersetzt wurde, neuer Justizminister wurde William Bradford. Auch Hamilton begann, einen Rücktritt in Betracht zu ziehen.[166][167]

    Trotz der pro-britischen Haltung der amerikanischen Außenpolitik griff die britische Regierung unter William Pitt amerikanische Handelsschiffe auf dem Weg nach Frankreich an. Dies löste Empörung aus; es wurde eine Armee mit 20.000 Mann vorbereitet und Hamilton empfahl Handelsposten, sich zu befestigen.[168] Oliver Ellsworth schlug vor, einen Bevollmächtigten zu entsenden, um einen kriegsverhindernden Vertrag auszuhandeln. Ein offensichtlicher Kandidat, den auch Ellsworth unterstützte, war Hamilton, doch zweifelte Washington, ob Hamilton durch die Öffentlichkeit unterstützt werden würde. Auch Hamilton fand, dass die Anfeindungen durch Republikaner ihn von der diplomatischen Mission abhielten. Sein Vorschlag war der oberste Richter John Jay, was Washington annahm. Das grobe Ziel Jays entschied sich in einem Treffen der führenden Föderalisten, dank Hamiltons Einfluss sollte der Jay-Vertrag, wie er später genannt wurde, auch kommerzielle Themen behandeln.[169]

    Im März 1791 verabschiedete der Senat mit gemeinsamer Unterstützung von Madison und Hamilton eine Steuer auf alkoholische Getränke, die schon im Report on Public Credit erwähnt wurde.[170] Die neue Steuer wurde besonders im westlichen Pennsylvania, wo Brauereien einen wichtigen Teil der lokalen Kultur und Wirtschaft bildeten, trotz einer Senkung der Steuern verhasst. Eine Rebellion brach aus, als zwei Steuereintreiber von insgesamt 500 Männern angegriffen wurden, woraufhin sich am 1. August auf Braddock’s Field 6000 Rebellen unter Führung von David Bradford sammelten. Nach dem Vorbild der Französischen Revolution stellte man Guillotinen auf.[171]

    Hamiltons Meinung über die Revolte wird in einem Brief an Washington und in mehreren Artikeln deutlich, die unter dem Pseudonym Tully zwischen dem 23. August im American Daily Advertiser veröffentlicht wurden. Der Verrat, als der er ihn sah, sollte mit militärischer Macht niedergeschlagen werden. Edmund Randolph befürwortete zusammen mit führenden Politikern aus Pennsylvania eine friedlichere Politik der Aussöhnung mit den Rebellen. Washington wählte einen Kompromissweg zwischen den beiden Parteien; drei Bevollmächtigte, darunter William Bradford, sollten mit den Rebellen verhandeln. Falls die Rebellen sich nicht bis zum 1. September auflösten, sollte eine Miliz entsandt werden. Die Bevollmächtigten erreichten nichts. Auf Hamiltons Vorschlag bestand die Miliz aus 6000 Pennsylvaniern und jeweils 2000 Mann aus New Jersey, Virginia und Maryland. Am 4. Oktober trafen Hamilton, welcher den abwesenden Kriegsminister Henry Knox ersetzte, und Präsident Washington persönlich auf die Miliz in Carlisle. Von dort aus kehrte im späten Oktober Washington auch wieder zurück, das Kommando überließ er Henry Lee III. Darauf marschierte die Armee nach West-Pennsylvania, dem Zentrum der Rebellion, wo sie wenig Widerstand begegnete.[172]

    Hamilton wurde in der republikanischen Presse als despotischer Tyrann dargestellt, besonders von Benjamin Franklin Bache und William Findley. Trotzdem wurde die unblutige Zerschlagung der Revolte generell gut aufgenommen, sie verursachte den Sieg der Föderalisten in den Midterm Elections.[173]

    Am 1. Dezember 1794 gab Hamilton bekannt, dass er von seinem Posten als Finanzminister am 31. Januar zurücktreten werde. Sein Entschluss wurde wahrscheinlich von der Fehlgeburt seiner Frau geprägt, die laut ihm von seiner Abwesenheit während der Whiskey-Rebellion ausgelöst wurde.[174]

    Schulden waren noch immer eines der größten Probleme der Republik, die 55 % ihres Einkommen für den Schuldendienst aufwenden musste. Um dieses Problem zu lösen, bot der Kongress nur kurzzeitige Lösungen anstatt einem Generalplan, der das Problem abschließend lösen würde. Hamilton verärgerte dieses Verhalten; er verfasste einen Bericht an den Kongress namens Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit, der einen eigenen Plan bot und am 19. Januar 1795 vorgestellt wurde. Der Bericht beschrieb einen Plan, die Schulden innerhalb von 30 Jahren abzuzahlen. Die vorgeschlagenen Reformen wurden innerhalb nur eines Monats vom Kongress angenommen. Nicht angenommen wurden Änderungen, die Aaron Burr vorgeschlagen und welche Hamilton stark kritisiert hatte.[175]

    Der Jay-Vertrag erreichte die Regierung am 7. März 1795. Er wurde am stärksten von Republikanern für die immensen Zugeständnissen zu Großbritannien kritisiert, doch erreichte er das föderalistische Ziel: Frieden mit Großbritannien. Er wurde nach einer Änderung des 12. Artikels vom Senat angenommen, doch zögerte Washington aus Furcht von Kritik der Öffentlichkeit, den Vertrag zu unterschreiben. Hamilton versuchte ihn in einem Brief, der die Artikel des Vertrags einzeln analysierte, zu überzeugen. Auch verfasste er zusammen mit Rufus King eine Reihe von Artikeln mit dem Titel The Defence unter dem Pseudonym Camillus, welche den Vertrag verteidigten. Zeitgleich schrieb Hamilton Essays unter dem Pseudonym Philo Camillus, in denen er Camillus rühmt und die Gegner des Vertrags als Kriegsfalken darstellt.[176]

    Republikaner stellten die Verfassungsmäßigkeit des Vertrages in Frage. Da der Vertrag auch kommerzielle Themen behandelte, wollten Republikaner, dass er auch vom Repräsentantenhaus angenommen wird, was jedoch sowohl von Hamilton in seinen letzten beiden The Defence-Essays als auch von Historikern verurteilt und abgelehnt wurde. Des Weiteren forderten Republikaner, dass Washington die bisher geheimen Anweisungen für Jay veröffentlicht, was ebenfalls abgelehnt wurde. Schließlich versuchten sie, die Geldmittel, die für den Vertrag nötig waren, nicht bereitzustellen, was aber mit 51 zu 48 Stimmen abgelehnt wurde.[177]

    Oliver Wolcott junior, der neue Finanzminister, Timothy Pickering, der neue Außenminister, James McHenry, der neue Kriegsminister, und auch Washington, der von seinem neuen Kabinett enttäuscht wurde, baten Hamilton oftmals um Rat. Der wahrscheinlich wichtigste Fall folgte der Entscheidung Washingtons, sich nicht zum dritten Mal zur Präsidentschaftswahl zu stellen, was einen Präzedenzfall schuf, der sehr viel später in den 22. Zusatzartikel zur Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten mündete. Um diese Entscheidung zu erklären, wollte er eine Farewell Adress veröffentlichen, die er Hamilton verfassen ließ. Als Manuskript wurde eine Farewell Adress genutzt, die von Madison am Ende von Washingtons erster Amtszeit verfasst worden war, und ein zusätzlicher Teil über die großen Änderungen auf Gebieten wie z. B. der Außenpolitik, verfasst von Washington selbst, doch forderte Washington eine komplett neue Form. Ziel war ein zeitloses Dokument, das alle Amerikaner inspirieren sollte. Es wurde erstmals am 19. September 1796 in Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser veröffentlicht, worauf es schnell als politisches Meisterwerk angesehen und weit verbreitet wurde.[178]

    Hamilton stellte sich trotz seiner Bedeutung in der Föderalistischen Partei nicht zur Wahl, wahrscheinlich weil seine Kontroversität einen Sieg gefährdet hätte. Statt seiner wurde der ehemalige Vizepräsident Washingtons John Adams als föderalistischer Kandidat nominiert, dessen Vizepräsidentschaftskandidat Thomas Pinckney wurde. Als republikanischer Kandidat wurde Thomas Jefferson mit Aaron Burr als Vizepräsidentschaftskandidat nominiert. Die Möglichkeit, dass sein Erzrivale zum Präsidenten gewählt werden könnte, wollte Hamilton unbedingt verhindern, weshalb er statt des neuenglischen Adams den Südkaroliner Pinckney unterstützte, der mehr Stimmen im Süden gewinnen würde. Da Adams aber immer noch von vielen Föderalisten unterstützt wurde, konnte Hamilton Pinckney nicht direkt unterstützen und schrieb stattdessen mehrere Artikel unter dem Pseudonym Phocion. Diese charakterisierten Jefferson als scheinheiligen Abolitionisten, der gegen seine Überzeugungen Sklaven besitze; auch wurde er beschuldigt, sexuelle Beziehungen mit einer seiner Sklavinnen, Sally Hemings, zu führen. Südliche Sklavenhalter sollten, so Hamiltons Kalkül, Angst bekommen und statt für Jefferson für Pinckney (nicht für Adams, der Abolitionist war) stimmen. Das Konzept ging nicht auf. Adams wurde zum Präsidenten, Jefferson zum Vizepräsidenten gewählt.[179]

    Schon von Anfang an war die Beziehung zwischen Hamilton und Adams kühl, zum Teil wegen der Wahl, zum Teil auch aufgrund persönlicher Differenzen. Adams sah Hamilton als hochnäsigen Weiberhelden an, Hamilton sah Adams als Puritaner und als überempfindlich an.[180]

    Im Sommer 1791 entwickelte Hamilton eine sexuelle Beziehung mit Maria Reynolds, die von der Abwesenheit von Hamiltons Frau Eliza profitierte. James Reynolds, der Ehemann Maria Reynolds, betrieb bald Chantage. Es ist bis heute unbekannt, ob Reynolds die sexuelle Beziehung Marias zu Hamilton für diese Chantage eingefädelt hatte.[181] Die Affäre endete im Sommer 1792, als Hamilton sie als eine zu große politische Gefahr ansah.[182]

    Die Situation spitzte sich zu, als James Reynolds zusammen mit seinem Freund Jacob Clingman, dem ehemaligen Schreiber Frederick Muhlenbergs, wegen Betrugs verhaftet wurde. Es ging um die Weitergabe vertraulicher Informationen über die Politik der Zentralbank an Spekulanten. Clingman sagte aus, dass Hamilton den Betrug gemeinsam mit ihnen begangen habe, wobei mehrere Briefe Hamiltons an Reynolds als Beweis dienen sollten. Zusammen mit James Monroe und Abraham B. Venable untersuchte Muhlenberg Clingmans Anschuldigungen. James Reynolds deutete seine Chantage gegen Hamilton nur an und forderte eine Freilassung für mehr Informationen, die auch Maria Reynolds nur in unvollständiger Form gab. Als Reynolds aus Philadelphia floh, wurden die Beschuldigungen in den Augen der Ermittler bestätigt. Monroe, Venable und Muhlenberg sahen eine Untersuchung Hamiltons als letzten Schritt vor einer Information des Präsidenten über den Vorfall. Sie konfrontierten ihn am 15. Dezember. Nachdem sie Stillschweigen zugesagt hatten, enthüllte Hamilton seine Affäre mit Maria Reynolds, um die Anschuldigungen wegen Betrugs zu entkräften.[183]

    Im Sommer 1797 veröffentlichte der skandalsuchende Journalist James T. Callender The History of the United States for 1796, in der er (unterstützt durch Papiere von Monroe) behauptete, dass Hamilton mit James Reynolds Betrug betrieben hätte. So wie bei Monroe, Venable und Muhlenberg bewies Hamilton seine Unschuld durch die Enthüllung seiner Affäre mit Maria Reynolds, diesmal in der Öffentlichkeit durch die Flugschrift Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V & VI of „The History of the United States for the Year 1796,“ In which the Charge of Speculation Against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted. Written by Himself, besser bekannt als Reynolds Pamphlet. Nach der Flugschrift war die Reputation Hamiltons stark geschwächt, doch blieb er eine wichtige politische Figur. Hamilton und auch seine Familie beschuldigte Monroe, der in ihren Augen Rache für seine Abberufung vom Posten des Botschafters in Frankreich gesucht hatte. Diese Beschuldigungen eskalierten fast zu einem Duell, doch wurde dies von Monroes Freund Aaron Burr verhindert.[184]

    Nach dem Jay-Vertrag eskalierten die Spannungen mit der Französischen Republik; der amerikanische Botschafter Charles Cotesworth Pinckney wurde aus Frankreich ausgewiesen. Adams und auch Hamilton wollten die diplomatische Beziehung zu Frankreich durch eine Delegation verbessern und gleichzeitig das amerikanische Militär stärken. Die Föderalisten Pinckney und John Marshall wurden, trotz Protesten durch führende Föderalisten, u. a. auch Adams Kabinett, mit dem Republikaner Elbridge Gerry zur Aushandlung eines Vertrags ähnlich dem Jay-Vertrag zur Verhinderung eines Krieges entsandt. Marshall, Pinckney und Gerry kamen im August 1797 an und wurden im Oktober offiziell vom französischen Außenminister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord empfangen. Drei Vertreter der französischen Seite, ursprünglich nur als X, Y und Z bekannt, aber später als Jean Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy und Lucien Hauteval offenbart, forderten enorme Zugeständnisse von den Vereinigten Staaten als Bedingung für die Fortsetzung der Friedensverhandlungen. Die von den französischen Vertretern gestellten Bedingungen beinhalteten 50.000 Pfund Sterling, ein 12-Millionen-Dollar-Darlehen von den Vereinigten Staaten und ein Bestechungsgeld von 250.000 Dollar an Talleyrand. Auch forderte man eine formelle Entschuldigung von Adams für antifranzösische Äußerungen. Während die Forderungen Marshall und Pinckney empörten, mahnte Gerry zu Geduld. Nachrichten von der Delegation erreichten die Regierung erst am 4. März 1798; die Regierung war schockiert. Als erstes hielt Adams eine Rede an den Kongress, die die Ereignisse beschrieb und militärische Vorbereitungen forderte. Wenig später wurden die Papiere der XYZ-Affäre, wie sie später genannt wurde, auf Betreiben der Republikaner, die erwarteten, dass die Papiere Frankreich in ein besseres Licht rücken würden, veröffentlicht. Unwissentlich spielten sie den Föderalisten, deren Popularität nach der Veröffentlichung der empörenden Papiere stieg, in die Hände.[185]

    Dank der XYZ-Affäre sahen mehrere Föderalisten, besonders Hamilton, einen Krieg mit Frankreich als ernstzunehmende Möglichkeit, weshalb man eine Armee vorbereitete. Es gingen Gerüchte um, dass Frankreich eine Armee von 50.000 Mann über den Atlantik schicken wolle, um eine Invasion vorzunehmen. Frankreich war außerdem mit seiner Kolonie Louisiana westlicher Nachbar der amerikanischen Republik. Viele erwarteten daher eine Wiederholung des Revolutionskrieges, mit dem ehemaligen Präsidenten Washington im Oberkommando. Jedoch forderte Washington, dass Alexander Hamilton, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney und Henry Knox, möglichst in dieser Reihenfolge, die Befehlskette bilden sollten. Adams wollte aber Pinckney und Knox über Hamilton platzieren, was Washington nicht akzeptierte. Schließlich gab Adams nach, und Hamilton, der schon zum Inspector General ernannt worden war, trat seine Position hinter Washington an, in der Erwartung, dass der kränkliche Ex-Präsident ihm die tatsächliche Führung des Feldzugs überlassen würde. Die Manipulation Washingtons durch Hamilton war einer der Anfänge der späteren Kämpfe zwischen Adams und Hamilton.[186] Als Inspector General erarbeitete Hamilton mit Pinckney, Washington und dem Kriegsminister James McHenry in mehreren Treffen im November und Dezember 1798 die Zusammenstellung der neuen Armee. In diesen Treffen wurden Hamilton große Teile der Entscheidungsmacht überlassen, doch fühlte er eine Machtlosigkeit wie im Unabhängigkeitskrieg; Bürokraten im Kongress stellten zu wenig Mittel bereit, was den einfachen Soldaten unzufrieden machen würde. Hamilton schlug vor, das gesamte französische Gebiet auf der westlichen Seite des Mississippi in amerikanische Hände zu bringen und auch die Spanische Kolonie Florida. Des Weiteren schlug er die Gründung einer Militärakademie vor (die allerdings erst 1802 durch Präsident Jefferson als United States Military Academy erfolgte). Verdächtigt wurde er, die Armee auch zur Einschüchterung der republikanischen Opposition missbrauchen zu wollen, zumal der Marsch nach Süden durch Virginia geführt hätte. Er solle sogar beabsichtigt haben, anschließend noch das spanische Mexiko und ganz Zentralamerika zu erobern. Folglich nannten Republikaner und auch Adams, die seine Vorschläge als sehr militaristisch und machiavellistisch bewerteten, ihn abwertend Bonaparte oder auch Little Mars.[187] (Ironischerweise sollten Jahre später Hamiltons Expansionsziele friedlich auf dem Vertragswege erreicht werden, und zwar ausgerechnet durch seinen schärfsten Rivalen Jefferson, mit dem Louisiana Purchase von 1803, während den ebenfalls geplanten Erwerb Floridas erst Adams’ Sohn John Quincy Adams, mit dem Adams-Onís-Vertrag von 1819, erreichte; die von Jefferson angestrebte Annexion Kubas hingegen unterblieb[188] und die im Krieg von 1812 versuchte Eroberung Kanadas scheiterte. Jefferson war es schließlich auch, der gegen seine öffentlich verlautbarte Überzeugung und ganz in Hamiltons Sinne die Zentralregierung stärkte.)

    Die Streitigkeiten zwischen Republikanern und Föderalisten eskalierten nach der XYZ-Affäre. Die Föderalisten nutzten ihre Mehrheit im Kongress aus, um sich durch die Alien and Sedition Acts einen Vorteil zu verschaffen. Diese verboten die Veröffentlichung falscher, skandalträchtiger oder boshafter Schriften über die Regierung, doch wurde dies fast nur genutzt, um republikanische Verleger zu verfolgen. Es handelte sich um eine drastische Einschränkung der Pressefreiheit. Wegen der Angriffe auf ihn u. a. durch Callendar unterstützte Hamilton das Gesetz und nutzte es, um David Frothingham verhaften zu lassen.[189] Vorhersehbarerweise empörten die Alien and Sedition Acts die Republikaner, die sie durch Nullifikation in den State Legislatures von Kentucky und Virginia angriffen. Zuerst wurde das Gesetz, das von Madison verfasst worden war, am 16. November 1798 in Kentucky angenommen; das Gesetz in Virginia, das von Jefferson geschrieben worden war, wurde erst am 24. Dezember angenommen. Die Föderalisten sahen diese als schockierend an.[190]

    Frankreich versuchte, sich den USA anzunähern, um einen Krieg zu vermeiden, was Adams mit der Nominierung von William Vans Murray als Botschafter in Frankreich akzeptierte. Die Entscheidung Adams, es nicht zu einem unberechenbaren Krieg kommen zu lassen, überraschte beide politische Parteien und besiegelte Adams politisches Schicksal. Führende Föderalisten, auch aus Adams Kabinett, und vor allem Hamilton, der die Bedrohung durch Frankreich als Begründung für seine Armee (und weitreichenden Eroberungspläne) brauchte, zeigten sich schockiert. Zwar einigte sich die Föderalistische Partei, den Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth und den Gouverneur North Carolinas William Davie zusammen mit Vans Murray zu senden, doch bewirkte dieser innenparteiische Streit die politische Trennung zwischen Adams und Hamilton.[191] Am 15. Oktober 1800 hielt Adams ein letztes Treffen mit seinem Kabinett über die Botschaft, worauf er am nächsten Tag die Abreise von Vans Murray, Ellsworth und Davie im frühen November befahl. Darauf versuchte Hamilton ein letztes Mal, Adams von der Bedeutung einer Armee zur Verteidigung gegen Frankreich zu überzeugen, doch wies Adams die Idee zurück, dass Frankreich eine akute Bedrohung darstelle, was auch Washington selbst als wenig wahrscheinlich ansah. Dieses Treffen bedeutete den endgültigen Bruch Adams mit Hamilton. Als Washington über Hamiltons weitreichende Pläne informiert wurde, zeigte er sich schockiert und beschloss, sich zukünftig aus der Politik herauszuhalten. Nur wenig später besiegelte der Tod Washingtons das Ende der Armee, die trotz der durch Hamilton aufgebauten Qualität Mitte Juni 1800 demobilisiert wurde.[192]

    Als wahlentscheidener Swing State galt Hamiltons Wirkungsort New York in der Präsidentschaftswahl als besonders wichtig, doch wählte dort nur die von Föderalisten kontrollierte State Legislature, welche jedoch am 1. Mai neu gewählt wurde. Die Republikaner, durch den Vizepräsidentschaftskandidaten Aaron Burr organisiert, betrieben einen energischen Wahlkampf, den die durch Hamilton angeführten Föderalisten nicht übertreffen konnten; die Republikaner erreichten einen Erdrutschsieg, durch den Adams eine zweite Amtszeit verwehrt blieb. Mit Jefferson als Nachfolger begann die Epoche der sogenannten Virginia dynasty, welche durch seine beiden engsten Mitarbeiter und späteren Nachfolger Madison und Monroe fortgesetzt wurde. Möglicherweise wegen dieser Niederlage feuerte Adams kurz darauf seine Minister, die er als hamiltonistische Verräter sah, verbunden mit persönlichen Angriffen auf Hamilton.[193]

    Am 1. August 1800 schrieb Hamilton einen angreifenden Brief an Adams, den er wegen einer fehlenden Antwort von Adams am 1. Oktober erneuerte. Wieder beantwortete Adams den Brief nicht. Wie bei der Präsidentschaftswahl 1796 unterstützte Hamilton eigentlich den Vizepräsidentschaftskandidaten, diesmal Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Die Hoch-Föderalisten, wie die Unterstützer von Hamilton genannt wurden, erwarteten einen kritischen offenen Brief an Adams, welcher Föderalisten von der Wahl für Adams abhalten und für eine Wahl Pinckneys gewinnen sollte. Zugleich wurde aber befürchtet, dass ein solcher Brief nur die Risse in der Föderalistischen Partei vergrößern würde. Der Brief, betitelt Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States, bestätigte die Befürchtungen: Er stellte Adams als paranoiden Verrückten dar, rief aber trotzdem zu seiner Wahl auf, um einen Sieg Jeffersons zu verhindern. Die Kritik am Brief war aber so stark, dass selbst Hoch-Föderalisten sich von Hamilton distanzierten. Ein Einfluss auf die Wahl ist bezweifelbar.[194]

    Jefferson und Burr, den die republikanische Partei auf Grund seines Erfolges in den New Yorker Wahlen zum Vizepräsidentschaftskandidaten ernannte, erhielten beide 73 Stimmen, in welchem Falle das Repräsentantenhaus die Wahl entscheiden müsste. Zwar hatten die Republikaner in der Wahl das Repräsentantenhaus gewonnen, doch übernahmen sie es erst im Januar, weshalb die Föderalisten das Repräsentantenhaus in einer Lame-Duck-Session kontrollierten. Sie wollten für Burr stimmen, doch weil jeder Staat einzeln wählen und man eine Mehrheit von neun Stimmen zum Sieg brauchen würde, bestand im Repräsentantenhaus ein Patt von acht Stimmen für Jefferson gegen sechs Stimmen für Burr, mit zwei Enthaltungen. Anders als viele Föderalisten sah Hamilton Burr sehr kritisch, weshalb er die Föderalisten von seiner Wahl abbringen wollte. Die beiden einstigen Offiziere kannten sich seit langem und hatten als Rechtsanwälte in New York oft vor Gericht gegeneinander gestanden, allerdings bei der Gründung der „Manhattan Company“ zum Bau neuer Frischwasserleitungen 1799 auch zusammengearbeitet. Erst nach 35 Wahlgängen trugen Hamiltons Bemühungen Früchte: Das Repräsentantenhaus entschied sich mit zehn Stimmen für Jefferson bei fünf Stimmen für Burr, mit einer Enthaltung.[195] Jefferson und Burr wurden am 4. Juni 1801 als Präsident und Vizepräsident inauguriert.

    Nach der Wahl von Jefferson zog sich Hamilton von der nationalen Ebene auf die regionale und juristische Ebene zurück. Er konzentrierte sich auch auf seine Familie, für die er von 1800 bis 1802 den Besitz Grange bauen ließ. Auf Einfluss seines Finanzministers Albert Gallatin behielt Jefferson Hamiltons Finanzplan, jedoch wollte er mehrere Nominierungen Adams zu Richterpositionen aufheben, was zum Gerichtsfall Marbury v. Madison führte. Um sich in New York eine Plattform gegen Jefferson zu schaffen, gründete Hamilton mit einigen Investoren aus den Reihen der Föderalisten die New-York Evening Post, deren Editor William Coleman wurde.[196]

    Philip Hamilton, in den sein Vater große Erwartungen steckte, lieferte sich am 22. November 1801 ein Duell mit dem republikanischen Anwalt George Eacker, der Alexander Hamilton kritisiert hatte. Ihm wurde von seinem Vater empfohlen, seinen Schuss nicht oder in die Luft zu feuern. Getreu diesem Rat schoss Philip Hamilton zuerst nicht, doch tötete ihn Eacker. Der Tod seines Sohnes traf Hamilton sehr, er trauerte monatelang und konnte erst nach vier Monaten auf Beileidsbekundungen antworten. Beeinflusst davon und, wie ihm unterstellt wurde, vom Atheismus der Französischen Revolution und dem Deismus Jeffersons, wandte er sich wieder dem Christentum zu.[197]

    Hamiltons Anwaltspraxis litt unter seiner Beschäftigung als Inspector General, da Klienten, trotz seiner Qualität als Anwalt, Anwälte mit mehr Zeit bevorzugten. Nach der Auflösung der Armee konnte er aber seiner Anwaltspraxis mehr Zeit widmen. Noch vor der Wahl in New York verteidigte er zusammen mit Aaron Burr im aufsehenerregenden Mordfall People v. Weeks erfolgreich Levi Weeks, dem vorgeworfen wurde, seine Verlobte ermordet zu haben.[198] Mehrmals verteidigte Hamilton föderalistische Verleger, die aufgrund des Regierungswechsels verfolgt wurden. Vorzuheben ist der Fall People v. Croswell, wo er den föderalistischen Verleger Harry Croswell im Januar 1803 gegen eine Anklage wegen Diffamierung verteidigte. Hier argumentierte er, dass auch die Wahrheit der diffamierenden Aussagen in Betracht gezogen werden müsse, was der Richter Morgan Lewis jedoch ablehnte. Mitte Februar 1804 forderte er vor dem Obersten Gerichtshof von New York einen erneuten Prozess für Croswell, was ungeachtet der Stärke von Hamiltons Argument abgelehnt wurde.[199]

    Vizepräsident Burr wurde für die Wahl von 1804 von den Republikanern nicht wieder als Jeffersons Vizepräsidentschaftskandidat aufgestellt. Dies bedeutete das politische Ende Burrs in der republikanischen Partei. Schon vor Ablauf seiner Amtszeit Anfang 1805 suchte er daher einen Neuanfang in New York, wo er unterstützt von einer Koalition aus Föderalisten und einigen Republikanern zum Gouverneur gewählt werden wollte. Nur um den Preis, sich mit den eigentlich republikanisch gesinnten Burrites verbünden zu können, glaubten viele Föderalisten, in New York noch einmal eine Mehrheit erlangen zu können. Um diese Koalition zu bilden, soll Burr der sogenannten Essex Junto um Timothy Pickering, die eine Sezession von Neu-England zum Ziel hatte, den Anschluss New Yorks an den neuen Staat versprochen haben. (Spätere Historiker haben jedoch nicht nur das Ausmaß dieser Verschwörung relativiert, sondern auch Burrs Beteiligung bestritten.[200]) Trotzdem verlor Burr die Wahl klar gegen den republikanischen Kandidaten Morgan Lewis. Burr und seine Unterstützer sahen den Grund für seine Niederlage in einer Intrige Hamiltons, die die extremen Föderalisten von der Wahl Burrs abhielt. Zwar hatte Hamilton sich schon im ersten Caucus der Föderalisten gegen eine Kandidatur Burrs gewandt, doch bezweifeln Historiker, dass dies die Wahl entschied. Ein Bericht darüber, wie Hamilton bei einem Abendessen in Albany Despektierliches über Burr geäußert haben soll, fand den Weg in die Presse. Vizepräsident Burr sah sich derart in seiner Ehre verletzt, dass er Hamilton zum Duell forderte.[201] Diese Form der Beilegung von Ehrenstreitigkeiten wurde in den USA gesellschaftlich noch weithin akzeptiert – sowohl Burr als auch Hamilton hatten sich schon zuvor Duellen gestellt. In New York war das Duellieren jedoch verboten, so dass sich Duellanten üblicherweise am anderen Ufer des Hudson im Wald von Weehawken im Staat New Jersey trafen, wo auch Philip Hamiltons Duell stattgefunden hatte.

    Beim Duell am Morgen des 11. Juli 1804 verwundete Burr Hamilton mit einem Schuss in den Unterleib tödlich. Der genaue Ablauf ist bis heute Gegenstand zahlreicher Spekulationen. Hamilton hatte in den Tagen vor dem Duell nicht nur sein Testament aufgesetzt, sondern in einigen persönlichen Bemerkungen auch seinen Entschluss niedergeschrieben, mindestens mit der ersten seiner Duellkugeln nicht auf den Gegner zu zielen, sondern den ersten Schuss zu vergeuden – um Burr zu beschwichtigen, aber auch, da ein Duell seinen religiösen Überzeugungen grundsätzlich zuwider sei. Hamilton hätte dadurch seinen eigenen Tod in Kauf genommen oder willentlich herbeigeführt.[202] Burrs Sekundant William P. Van Ness behauptete, dass Hamilton mehrere Sekunden vor Burr feuerte (und weit verfehlte), während Hamiltons Sekundant Nathaniel Pendleton behauptete, dass Burr zuerst feuerte und Hamiltons Schuss nur unfreiwillig durch die Kugel von Burr ausgelöst wurde. Eine Untersuchung der Pistolen 1976 ergab, dass Hamiltons Pistole leichter abzuziehen war. Möglich ist deshalb, dass Hamiltons Schuss nur unabsichtlich während des Zielens auf Burr gefeuert wurde. Dagegen spricht aber eine Aussage Hamiltons an Pendleton vor dem Duell, in der er behauptet, dass er keinen Hair-Trigger, wie dieser Abzug genannt wurde, nutze.[203]

    Hamiltons Tod wurde in New York mit Bestürzung aufgenommen. Sein Trauerzug wurde von Tausenden begleitet; Hamiltons Freund Gouverneur Morris hielt eine Trauerrede, bei ihm saßen die trauernden und mitleiderregenden Söhne von Hamilton. Selbst der Demokratisch-Republikanische Rat der Stadt ordnete einen Trauertag an.[204] Hamiltons letzte Ruhestätte befindet sich auf dem Friedhof der Trinity Church in New York.

    Der Aufstieg Alexander Hamiltons vom Waisenkind aus der Karibik zum Gründervater der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika wurde von Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sohn puerto-ricanischer Eltern, mit dem erfolgreichen Hip-Hop-Musical Hamilton auf die Bühne gebracht. Das Broadway-Stück entwickelte sich zu einem Zuschauermagneten und gewann einen Grammy Award, einen Pulitzer-Preis sowie elf Tony Awards.[205][206] Eine Aufzeichnung des Musicals erschien am 3. Juli 2020 bei Disney+.

    Schon 1931 entstand der Film Alexander Hamilton auf Grundlage des gleichnamigen Theaterstücks.

    Hamilton wandelte 1790 als Finanzminister die Schulden der Einzelstaaten der USA in Bundesschulden um. Jene sollten mit hohen Einnahmen durch gemeinsame Importzölle beglichen werden. Hamilton zufolge entstanden diese Schulden im amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg gegen die Briten.

    Der deutsche Finanzminister und spätere Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz verglich im Mai 2020 eine Kreditaufnahme der EU im Umfang von 500 Milliarden Euro wegen der COVID-19-Pandemie, um die erhöhte Gefahr von Staatskonkursen mit Hilfe von deutschen und französischen Zahlungen im südlichen Europa zu minimieren, mit der Tat Hamiltons.[207]

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    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American revolutionary and statesman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the administration of President George Washington. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ American Revolutionary War debts, as well as establishing the nation’s first two de facto central banks (i.e. the Bank of North America and the First Bank of the United States), a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense.

    Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis. He was orphaned as a child and taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education. While a student, his opinion pieces supporting the Continental Congress were published under a nom de plume, and he also addressed crowds on the subject. He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. As an artillery officer in the new Continental Army he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign. In 1777, he became a senior aide to Commander in Chief General George Washington, but returned to field command in time for a pivotal action securing victory at the Siege of Yorktown, effectively ending hostilities.

    After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York before returning to politics. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York. He helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation.

    Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington’s first Cabinet. To this day he remains the youngest U.S. cabinet member to take office since the beginning of the Republic. Hamilton successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states’ debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States (i.e. the First Bank of the United States). These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. He opposed administration entanglement with the series of unstable French revolutionary governments. Hamilton’s views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York. He called for mobilization under President John Adams in 1798–99 against French First Republic military aggression, and became Commanding General of the U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, and Hamilton was outraged by Adams’ diplomatic approach to the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams’ re-election helped cause the Federalist Party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college, and Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.

    Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

    Hamilton is generally regarded as an astute and intellectually brilliant administrator, politician and financier, if often impetuous. His ideas are credited with laying the foundation for American government and finance.

    Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands (then part of the British West Indies). Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. (1753–1786)[3] were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette,[note 1] a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent,[10] and James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman who was the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Grange in Ayrshire.[11] Speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence. Rachel Faucette was listed as white on tax rolls.[12][13]

    It is not certain whether Hamilton’s birth was in 1755 or 1757.[14] Most historical evidence, after Hamilton’s arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton’s own writings.[15][16] Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton’s mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.[1]

    Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or perhaps wished to avoid standing out as older.[1] If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have simply included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother’s death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.[17] Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not entirely reliable. Richard Brookhiser noted that “a man is more likely to know his own birthday than a probate court.”[15]

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  • Hamilton’s mother had been married previously on St. Croix[18] in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark, to a Danish[6] or German merchant,[19][20] Johann Michael Lavien. They had one son, Peter Lavien.[18] In 1750, Faucette left her husband and first son; then traveled to Saint Kitts where she met James Hamilton.[18] Hamilton and Faucette moved together to Nevis, her birthplace, where she had inherited a seaside lot in town from her father.[1]

    James Hamilton later abandoned Rachel Faucette and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to “spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy… after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion.”[11] Thereafter, Rachel moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned.[21] This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood.[22] In probate court, Faucette’s “first husband seized her estate”[11] and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family’s books and returned them to Hamilton.[23]

    Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England.[24] He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated.[23] James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens.[25] Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton’s biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests.[23] However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported.[26] Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with “Your very Affectionate Father.”[27][28]

    Hamilton, despite being only in his teenage years, proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea.[29] He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane that had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772.[30] The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh Knox, a tutor and mentor to Hamilton, submitted the letter for publication in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that “for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto,” and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic “fire-and-brimstone sermon” viewing the hurricane as a “divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity.”[31] The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.[32]

    The Church of England denied membership to Alexander and James Hamilton Jr.—and education in the church school—because their parents were not legally married. They received “individual tutoring”[1] and classes in a private school led by a Jewish headmistress.[33] Alexander supplemented his education with the family library of 34 books.[34]

    In October 1772 Hamilton arrived by ship in Boston and proceeded from there to New York City. He took lodgings with the Irish-born Hercules Mulligan who, as the brother of a trader known to Hamilton’s benefactors, assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support.[35][36] Later in 1772, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He there came under the influence of William Livingston, a local leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.[37][38][39]

    Hamilton entered Mulligan’s alma mater King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student”, again boarding with Mulligan until officially matriculating in May 1774.[40] His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton’s clarity in concisely explaining the patriots’ case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton’s first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King’s College.[41] Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.[42][43]

    Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies.[44] Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act,[45] and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of “The Monitor” for Holt’s New York Journal.[46] Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.[47]

    Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during the British occupation of the city.[48] When the war ended, after some months of self-study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.[49] Hamilton was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the reconstituted Columbia College in 1788 for his work in reopening the college and placing it on firm financial footing. Hamilton was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.[50]

    In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King’s College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans,[51] later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.

    He drilled with the company, before classes, in the graveyard of nearby St. Paul’s Chapel. Hamilton studied military history and tactics on his own and was soon recommended for promotion.[52] Under fire from HMS Asia, he led the Hearts of Oak with support from Hercules Milligan and the Sons of Liberty on a successful raid for British cannons in the Battery, the capture of which resulted in the unit becoming an artillery company thereafter.[53]: 13 

    Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain.[54] The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, notably at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.[55][56]

    Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows;[56] 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.[57]

    Hamilton was invited to become an aide to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and another general, perhaps Nathanael Greene or Alexander McDougall.[58] He declined these invitations, believing his best chance for improving his station in life was glory on the battlefield. Hamilton eventually received an invitation he felt he could not refuse: to serve as Washington’s aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[59] Washington believed that “Aides de camp are persons in whom entire confidence must be placed and it requires men of abilities to execute the duties with propriety and dispatch.”[60]

    Hamilton served four years as Washington’s chief staff aide. He handled letters to Congress, state governors, and the most powerful generals of the Continental Army; he drafted many of Washington’s orders and letters at the latter’s direction; he eventually issued orders from Washington over Hamilton’s own signature.[61] Hamilton was involved in a wide variety of high-level duties, including intelligence, diplomacy, and negotiation with senior army officers as Washington’s emissary.[62][63]

    During the war, Hamilton became the close friend of several fellow officers. His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette[64] and to John Laurens, employing the sentimental literary conventions of the late eighteenth century and alluding to Greek history and mythology,[65] have been read by Jonathan Ned Katz as revelatory of a homosocial or even homosexual relationship.[66] Biographer Gregory D. Massey amongst others, by contrast, dismisses all such speculation as unsubstantiated, describing their friendship as purely platonic camaraderie instead and placing their correspondence in the context of the flowery diction of the time.[67]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff.[68] He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington’s headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, “thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn’t get his desired command.”[69]

    On July 31, Washington relented and assigned Hamilton as commander of a battalion of light infantry companies of the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments and two provisional companies from Connecticut.[70] In the planning for the assault on Yorktown, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, which were to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops in taking Redoubts No. 9 and No. 10 of the British fortifications at Yorktown. Hamilton and his battalions took Redoubt No. 10 with bayonets in a nighttime action, as planned. The French also suffered heavy casualties and took Redoubt No. 9. These actions forced the British surrender of an entire army at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the de facto end of the war, although small battles continued for two more years until the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the departure of the last British troops.[71][72]

    After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York.[73] Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782.[74] Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote,

    “The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress…the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace.”[75]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton had become frustrated with the decentralized nature of the wartime Continental Congress, particularly its dependence upon the states for voluntary financial support that was not often forthcoming. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to collect taxes or to demand money from the states. This lack of a stable source of funding had made it difficult for the Continental Army both to obtain its necessary provisions and to pay its soldiers. During the war, and for some time after, Congress obtained what funds it could from subsidies from the King of France, from aid requested from the several states (which were often unable or unwilling to contribute), and from European loans.[76]

    An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia’s rescission of its own ratification of this amendment ended the Rhode Island negotiations.[77][78]

    While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged.[79] By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers.[80] In 1782, after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army’s pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.[80]

    Several congressmen, including Hamilton, Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris (no relation), attempted to use this Newburgh Conspiracy as leverage to secure support from the states and in Congress for funding of the national government. They encouraged MacDougall to continue his aggressive approach, implying unknown consequences if their demands were not met, and defeated proposals designed to end the crisis without establishing general taxation: that the states assume the debt to the army, or that an impost be established dedicated to the sole purpose of paying that debt.[81]

    Hamilton suggested using the Army’s claims to prevail upon the states for the proposed national funding system.[82] The Morrises and Hamilton contacted General Henry Knox to suggest he and the officers defy civil authority, at least by not disbanding if the army were not satisfied. Hamilton wrote Washington to suggest that Hamilton covertly “take direction” of the officers’ efforts to secure redress, to secure continental funding but keep the army within the limits of moderation.[83][84] Washington wrote Hamilton back, declining to introduce the army.[85] After the crisis had ended, Washington warned of the dangers of using the army as leverage to gain support for the national funding plan.[83][86]

    On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally.[81] Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against[87]—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers’ pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton’s robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.[88]

    In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob.[83] Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there.[89] Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[89]

    Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783.[90] When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor’s Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.[91][53]: 64–69 

    In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing[update] banks in America.[92] Hamilton was one of the men who restored King’s College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation as too weak to be effective, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more effectual, more financially independent federal government.[93]

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    In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler.[94]: 191 [95] Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government.[96][97] Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.[94]: 195 

    Early in the Convention Hamilton made a speech proposing a President-for-Life; it had no effect upon the deliberations of the convention. He proposed to have an elected president and elected senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse; this idea contributed later to the hostile view of Hamilton as a monarchist sympathizer, held by James Madison.[98] According to Madison’s notes, Hamilton said in regards to the executive, “The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emoluments so great, that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad… Let one executive be appointed for life who dares execute his powers.”[99]

    Hamilton argued, “And let me observe that an executive is less dangerous to the liberties of the people when in office during life than for seven years. It may be said this constitutes as an elective monarchy… But by making the executive subject to impeachment, the term ‘monarchy’ cannot apply…”[99] In his notes of the convention, Madison interpreted Hamilton’s proposal as claiming power for the “rich and well born”. Madison’s perspective all but isolated Hamilton from his fellow delegates and others who felt they did not reflect the ideas of revolution and liberty.[100]

    During the convention, Hamilton constructed a draft for the Constitution based on the convention debates, but he never presented it. This draft had most of the features of the actual Constitution. In this draft, the Senate was to be elected in proportion to the population, being two-fifths the size of the House, and the President and Senators were to be elected through complex multistage elections, in which chosen electors would elect smaller bodies of electors; they would hold office for life, but were removable for misconduct. The President would have an absolute veto. The Supreme Court was to have immediate jurisdiction over all lawsuits involving the United States, and state governors were to be appointed by the federal government.[101]

    At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also.[102] Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution.[94]: 206  He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document’s ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.[103]

    Members of Hamilton’s faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton’s faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state’s right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached.[103][104] Hamilton’s arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton’s rhetoric.[104] The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.[105]

    In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

    Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to defend the proposed Constitution. He made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation.[106] The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.[106]

    Hamilton wrote the first paper signed as Publius, and all of the subsequent papers were signed under the name.[94]: 210  Jay wrote the next four papers to elaborate on the confederation’s weakness and the need for unity against foreign aggression and against splitting into rival confederacies, and, except for Number 64, was not further involved.[107][94]: 211  Hamilton’s highlights included discussion that although republics have been culpable for disorders in the past, advances in the “science of politics” had fostered principles that ensured that those abuses could be prevented (such as the division of powers, legislative checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors [Numbers 7–9]).[107] Hamilton also wrote an extensive defense of the constitution (No. 23–36), and discussed the Senate and executive and judicial branches in Numbers 65–85. Hamilton and Madison worked to describe the anarchic state of the confederation in numbers 15–22, and have been described as not being entirely different in thought during this time period—in contrast to their stark opposition later in life.[107] Subtle differences appeared with the two when discussing the necessity of standing armies.[107]

    In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York’s laws within the grants. Ethan Allen’s militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.

    During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.

    By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction.[108] As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:

    One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky [at that time still a part of Virginia], for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont.

    In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York’s claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

    President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton’s advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[109] Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit.[110] So, the great enterprise in Hamilton’s project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.[111]

    Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790.[112] Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence.[112] The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt.[113] While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.[114][94]: 244–45 

    In the report, Hamilton felt that the securities should be paid at full value to their legitimate owners, including those who took the financial risk of buying government bonds that most experts thought would never be redeemed. He argued that liberty and property security were inseparable and that the government should honor the contracts, as they formed the basis of public and private morality. To Hamilton, the proper handling of the government debt would also allow America to borrow at affordable interest rates and would also be a stimulant to the economy.[113]

    Hamilton divided the debt into national and state, and further divided the national debt into foreign and domestic debt. While there was agreement on how to handle the foreign debt (especially with France), there was not with regards to the national debt held by domestic creditors. During the Revolutionary War, affluent citizens had invested in bonds, and war veterans had been paid with promissory notes and IOUs that plummeted in price during the Confederation. In response, the war veterans sold the securities to speculators for as little as fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar.[113][115]

    Hamilton felt the money from the bonds should not go to the soldiers who had shown little faith in the country’s future, but the speculators that had bought the bonds from the soldiers. The process of attempting to track down the original bondholders along with the government showing discrimination among the classes of holders if the war veterans were to be compensated also weighed in as factors for Hamilton. As for the state debts, Hamilton suggested consolidating them with the national debt and label it as federal debt, for the sake of efficiency on a national scale.[113]

    The last portion of the report dealt with eliminating the debt by utilizing a sinking fund that would retire five percent of the debt annually until it was paid off. Due to the bonds being traded well below their face value, the purchases would benefit the government as the securities rose in price.[116]: 300  When the report was submitted to the House of Representatives, detractors soon began to speak against it. Some of the negative views expressed in the House were that the notion of programs that resembled British practice were wicked, and that the balance of power would be shifted away from the representatives to the executive branch. William Maclay suspected that several congressmen were involved in government securities, seeing Congress in an unholy league with New York speculators.[116]: 302  Congressman James Jackson also spoke against New York, with allegations of speculators attempting to swindle those who had not yet heard about Hamilton’s report.[116]: 303 

    The involvement of those in Hamilton’s circle such as Schuyler, William Duer, James Duane, Gouverneur Morris, and Rufus King as speculators was not favorable to those against the report, either, though Hamilton personally did not own or deal a share in the debt.[116]: 304 [94]: 250  Madison eventually spoke against it by February 1790. Although he was not against current holders of government debt to profit, he wanted the windfall to go to the original holders. Madison did not feel that the original holders had lost faith in the government, but sold their securities out of desperation.[116]: 305  The compromise was seen as egregious to both Hamiltonians and their dissidents such as Maclay, and Madison’s vote was defeated 36 votes to 13 on February 22.[116]: 305 [94]: 255 

    The fight for the national government to assume state debt was a longer issue, and lasted over four months. During the period, the resources that Hamilton was to apply to the payment of state debts was requested by Alexander White, and was rejected due to Hamilton’s not being able to prepare information by March 3, and was even postponed by his own supporters in spite of configuring a report the next day (which consisted of a series of additional duties to meet the interest on the state debts).[94]: 297–98  Duer resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and the vote of assumption was voted down 31 votes to 29 on April 12.[94]: 258–59 

    During this period, Hamilton bypassed the rising issue of slavery in Congress, after Quakers petitioned for its abolition, returning to the issue the following year.[117]

    Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass.[94]: 263  Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by means of a “pill” that “would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them”.[94]: 263  The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.[94]: 263 

    Hamilton’s Report on a National Bank was a projection from the first Report on the Public Credit. Although Hamilton had been forming ideas of a national bank as early as 1779,[94]: 268  he had gathered ideas in various ways over the past eleven years. These included theories from Adam Smith,[118] extensive studies on the Bank of England, the blunders of the Bank of North America and his experience in establishing the Bank of New York.[119] He also used American records from James Wilson, Pelatiah Webster, Gouverneur Morris, and from his assistant treasury secretary Tench Coxe.[119] He thought that this plan for a National Bank could help in any sort of financial crisis.[120]

    Hamilton suggested that Congress should charter the National Bank with a capitalization of $10 million, one-fifth of which would be handled by the government. Since the government did not have the money, it would borrow the money from the bank itself, and repay the loan in ten even annual installments.[53]: 194  The rest was to be available to individual investors.[121] The bank was to be governed by a twenty-five-member board of directors that was to represent a large majority of the private shareholders, which Hamilton considered essential for his being under a private direction.[94]: 268  Hamilton’s bank model had many similarities to that of the Bank of England, except Hamilton wanted to exclude the government from being involved in public debt, but provide a large, firm, and elastic money supply for the functioning of normal businesses and usual economic development, among other differences.[53]: 194–95  The tax revenue to initiate the bank was the same as he had previously proposed, increases on imported spirits: rum, liquor, and whiskey.[53]: 195–96 

    The bill passed through the Senate practically without a problem, but objections to the proposal increased by the time it reached the House of Representatives. It was generally held by critics that Hamilton was serving the interests of the Northeast by means of the bank,[122] and those of the agrarian lifestyle would not benefit from it.[94]: 270  Among those critics was James Jackson of Georgia, who also attempted to refute the report by quoting from The Federalist Papers.[94]: 270  Madison and Jefferson also opposed the bank bill. The potential of the capital not being moved to the Potomac if the bank was to have a firm establishment in Philadelphia was a more significant reason, and actions that Pennsylvania members of Congress took to keep the capital there made both men anxious.[53]: 199–200 The Whiskey Rebellion also showed how in other financial plans, there was a distance between the classes as the wealthy profited from the taxes.[123]

    Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat.[53]: 200  Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members.[53]: 200–01  The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.[94]: 271 

    Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the ‘necessary and proper’ clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers “can all be carried into execution without a bank.”[94]: 271–72  Along with Randolph and Jefferson’s objections, Washington’s involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.[53]: 202–03  In response to the objection of the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, Hamilton stated that “Necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conductive to”, and the bank was a “convenient species of medium in which they (taxes) are to be paid.”[94]: 272–73  Washington would eventually sign the bill into law.[94]: 272–73 

    In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton’s ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.[53]: 197 [124]

    Because the most circulated coins in the United States at the time were Spanish currency, Hamilton proposed that minting a United States dollar weighing almost as much as the Spanish peso would be the simplest way to introduce a national currency.[125] Hamilton differed from European monetary policymakers in his desire to overprice gold relative to silver, on the grounds that the United States would always receive an influx of silver from the West Indies.[53]: 197  Despite his own preference for a monometallic gold standard,[126] he ultimately issued a bimetallic currency at a fixed 15:1 ratio of silver to gold.[53]: 197 [127][128]

    Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage.[129] This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris’s Nova Constellatio coins in 1783.[130] He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor.[53]: 198 [119] One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.[53]: 198 

    By 1792, Hamilton’s principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents.[126] The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.[126]

    Smuggling off American coasts was an issue before the Revolutionary War, and after the Revolution it was more problematic. Along with smuggling, lack of shipping control, pirating, and a revenue unbalance were also major problems.[131] In response, Hamilton proposed to Congress to enact a naval police force called revenue cutters in order to patrol the waters and assist the custom collectors with confiscating contraband.[132] This idea was also proposed to assist in tariff controlling, boosting the American economy, and promote the merchant marine.[131] It is thought that his experience obtained during his apprenticeship with Nicholas Kruger was influential in his decision-making.[133]

    Concerning some of the details of the “System of Cutters”,[134] [note 2] Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia.[132][135] Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured;[132] and provisions were made for the employees’ food supply and etiquette when boarding ships.[132] Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.[131]

    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison’s tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton’s that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).[136]

    In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits.[137][138] The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor.[138] In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption.[138] He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.[137]

    Opposition initially came from Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives protesting the tax. William Maclay had noted that not even the Pennsylvanian legislators had been able to enforce excise taxes in the western regions of the state.[137] Hamilton was aware of the potential difficulties and proposed inspectors the ability to search buildings that distillers were designated to store their spirits, and would be able to search suspected illegal storage facilities to confiscate contraband with a warrant.[139] Although the inspectors were not allowed to search houses and warehouses, they were to visit twice a day and file weekly reports in extensive detail.[137] Hamilton cautioned against expedited judicial means, and favored a jury trial with potential offenders.[139] As soon as 1791, locals began to shun or threaten inspectors, as they felt the inspection methods were intrusive.[137] Inspectors were also tarred and feathered, blindfolded, and whipped. Hamilton had attempted to appease the opposition with lowered tax rates, but it did not suffice.[140]

    Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.[141]

    Hamilton’s next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States’ independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791.[94]: 274, 277  In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory, respectively.[53]: 233  Hamilton also refuted Smith’s ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries.[53]: 244  Hamilton also thought that the United States, being a primarily agrarian country, would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe.[142] In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists’ interest would be advanced by manufactures,[94]: 276  and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.[53]: 233 [94]: 276 

    Hamilton argued that developing an industrial economy is impossible without protective tariffs.[143] Among the ways that the government should assist manufacturing, Hamilton argued for government assistance to “infant industries” so they can achieve economies of scale, by levying protective duties on imported foreign goods that were also manufactured in the United States,[144] for withdrawing duties levied on raw materials needed for domestic manufacturing,[94]: 277 [144] and pecuniary boundaries.[94]: 277  He also called for encouraging immigration for people to better themselves in similar employment opportunities.[144][145] Congress shelved the report without much debate (except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally as a legal basis for his extensive programs).[146]

    In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to examine The Passaic Falls as a possible location for a manufacturing center. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin’s hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile-long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
    [147]

    The location at Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey was selected due to access to raw materials, it being densely inhabited, and having access to water power from the falls of the Passaic.[53]: 231  The factory town was named Paterson after New Jersey’s Governor William Paterson, who signed the charter.[53]: 232 [148] The profits were to derive from specific corporates rather than the benefits to be conferred to the nation and the citizens, which was unlike the report.[149] Hamilton also suggested the first stock to be offered at $500,000 and to eventually increase to $1 million, and welcomed state and federal government subscriptions alike.[94]: 280 [149] The company was never successful: numerous shareholders reneged on stock payments, some members soon went bankrupt, and William Duer, the governor of the program, was sent to debtors’ prison where he died.[150] In spite of Hamilton’s efforts to mend the disaster, the company folded.[148]

    Hamilton’s vision was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Jeffersonian Republican party. They favored strong state governments based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national government supported by a national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as insufficiently devoted to republicanism, too friendly toward corrupt Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.[151]

    The American two-party system began to emerge as political parties coalesced around competing interests. A congressional caucus, led by Madison, Jefferson and William Branch Giles, began as an opposition group to Hamilton’s financial programs. Hamilton and his allies began to call themselves Federalists. The opposition group, now called the Democratic-Republican Party by political scientists, at the time called itself Republicans.[152][153]

    Hamilton assembled a nationwide coalition to garner support for the Administration, including the expansive financial programs Hamilton had made administration policy and especially the president’s policy of neutrality in the European war between Britain and revolutionary France. Hamilton publicly denounced the French minister Edmond-Charles Genêt (he called himself “Citizen Genêt”) who commissioned American privateers and recruited Americans for private militias to attack British ships and colonial possessions of British allies. Eventually, even Jefferson joined Hamilton in seeking Genêt’s recall.[154] If Hamilton’s administrative republic was to succeed, Americans had to see themselves first as citizens of a nation, and experience an administration that proved firm and demonstrated the concepts found within the United States Constitution.[155] The Federalists did impose some internal direct taxes but they departed from most implications of the Hamilton administrative republic as risky.[156]

    The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored the series of unstable revolutionary governments in France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.[157]

    The opposition between Hamilton and Jefferson is the best known and historically the most important[weasel words] in American political history.[original research?] Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s incompatibility was heightened by the unavowed wish of each to be Washington’s principal and most trusted advisor.[158]

    An additional partisan irritant to Hamilton was the 1791 United States Senate election in New York, which resulted in the election of Democratic-Republican candidate Aaron Burr, previously the New York state attorney general, over Senator Philip Schuyler, the Federalist incumbent and Hamilton’s father-in-law. Hamilton blamed Burr personally for this outcome, and negative characterizations of Burr began to appear in his correspondence thereafter. The two men did work together from time to time thereafter on various projects, including Hamilton’s army of 1798 and the Manhattan Water Company.[159]

    When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to have the French ambassador who was raising privateers and mercenaries on American soil, “Citizen” Genêt, recalled.[160]: 336–41  However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.[94]: 327–28 

    To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay’s instructions. The result was Jay’s Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land.[161] The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain.[160]: Ch 9  Historian George Herring notes the “remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains” produced by the Treaty.[162]

    Several European states had formed a League of Armed Neutrality against incursions on their neutral rights; the Cabinet was also consulted on whether the United States should join the alliance, and decided not to. It kept that decision secret, but Hamilton revealed it in private to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, without telling Jay or anyone else. His act remained unknown until Hammond’s dispatches were read in the 1920s. This “amazing revelation” may have had limited effect on the negotiations; Jay did threaten to join the League at one point, but the British had other reasons not to view the League as a serious threat.[160]: 411 ff [163]

    Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months’ notice,[164] in the wake of his wife Eliza’s miscarriage[165] while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion.[166] Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included in a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary.[167] Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.[168]

    Hamilton’s resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter’s draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton’s.[169][170]

    In the election of 1796, under the Constitution as it stood then, each of the presidential electors had two votes, which they were to cast for different men. The one who received the most votes would become president, the second-most, vice president. This system was not designed with the operation of parties in mind, as they had been thought disreputable and factious. The Federalists planned to deal with this by having all their Electors vote for John Adams, then vice president, and all but a few for Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina.[171]

    Adams resented Hamilton’s influence with Washington and considered him overambitious and scandalous in his private life; Hamilton compared Adams unfavorably with Washington and thought him too emotionally unstable to be president.[172] Hamilton took the election as an opportunity: he urged all the northern electors to vote for Adams and Pinckney, lest Jefferson get in; but he cooperated with Edward Rutledge to have South Carolina’s electors vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. If all this worked, Pinckney would have more votes than Adams, Pinckney would become president, and Adams would remain vice president, but it did not work. The Federalists found out about it (even the French minister to the United States knew), and northern Federalists voted for Adams but not for Pinckney, in sufficient numbers that Pinckney came in third and Jefferson became vice president.[173] Adams resented the intrigue since he felt his service to the nation was much more extensive than Pinckney’s.[174]

    In the summer of 1797, Hamilton became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.[175] Six years earlier, in the summer of 1791, 34-year-old Hamilton became involved in an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds. According to Hamilton’s account Maria approached him at his house in Philadelphia, claiming that her husband James Reynolds was abusive and had abandoned her, and she wished to return to her relatives in New York but lacked the means.[94]: 366–69  Hamilton recorded her address and subsequently delivered $30 personally to her boarding house, where she led him into her bedroom and “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. The two began an intermittent illicit affair that lasted approximately until June 1792.[176]

    Over the course of that year, while the affair was taking place, James Reynolds was well aware of his wife’s unfaithfulness, and likely orchestrated it from the beginning. He continually supported their relationship to extort blackmail money regularly from Hamilton. The common practice of the day for men of equal social standing was for the wronged husband to seek retribution in a duel, but Reynolds, of a lower social status and realizing how much Hamilton had to lose if his activity came into public view, resorted to extortion.[177] After an initial request of $1,000[178] to which Hamilton complied, Reynolds invited Hamilton to renew his visits to his wife “as a friend”[179] only to extort forced “loans” after each visit that, the most likely colluding Maria, solicited with her letters. In the end, the blackmail payments totaled over $1,300 including the initial extortion.[94]: 369  Hamilton at this point may have been aware of both spouses being involved in the blackmail,[180] and he welcomed and strictly complied with James Reynolds’ request to end the affair.[176][181]

    In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans’ unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to Democratic-Republican congressman James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence incriminating Hamilton in illicit activity as Treasury Secretary. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792.[176] Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both of the Reynolds, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio agreed on their honor to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.[94]: 366–69 

    In the summer of 1797, however, the “notoriously scurrilous” journalist James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796.[53]: 334  The pamphlet contained accusations, based on documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792, that James Reynolds had been an agent of Hamilton. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All but Monroe complied with Hamilton’s request. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in indelicate detail for the time. Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but never forgave Monroe.[182] Although Hamilton faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.[53]: 334–36 

    During the military build-up of the Quasi-War of 1798–1800, and with the strong endorsement of Washington (who had been called out of retirement to lead the Army if a French invasion materialized), Adams reluctantly appointed Hamilton a major general of the army. At Washington’s insistence, Hamilton was made the senior major general, prompting Henry Knox to decline appointment to serve as Hamilton’s junior (Knox had been a major general in the Continental Army and thought it would be degrading to serve beneath him).[183][184]

    Hamilton served as inspector general of the United States Army from July 18, 1798, to June 15, 1800. Because Washington was unwilling to leave Mount Vernon unless it were to command an army in the field, Hamilton was the de facto head of the army, to Adams’s considerable displeasure. If full-scale war broke out with France, Hamilton argued that the army should conquer the North American colonies of France’s ally, Spain, bordering the United States.[185] Hamilton was prepared to march the army through the Southern United States if necessary.[186]

    To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He urged them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton complained to him for slowness, and urged Wolcott to tax houses instead of land.[187] The eventual program included taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states and requiring assessment of houses, and a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution though this time Americans were taxing themselves through their own representatives.[188] This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania nevertheless, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.[189]

    Hamilton aided in all areas of the army’s development, and after Washington’s death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace.[190] There was no longer a direct threat for the army Hamilton was commanding to respond to.[191] Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.[192]

    In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party’s own nominee, John Adams.[94]: 392–99  In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.[193]

    Aaron Burr had won New York for Jefferson in May; now Hamilton proposed a rerun of the election under different rules—with carefully drawn districts and each choosing an elector—such that the Federalists would split the electoral vote of New York.[note 3] (John Jay, a Federalist who had given up the Supreme Court to be Governor of New York, wrote on the back of the letter the words, “Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt,” and declined to reply.)[194]

    John Adams was running this time with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina (the elder brother of candidate Thomas Pinckney from the 1796 election). Hamilton now toured New England, again urging northern electors to hold firm for Pinckney in the renewed hope of making Pinckney president; and he again intrigued in South Carolina.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton’s ideas involved coaxing middle-state Federalists to assert their non-support for Adams if there was no support for Pinckney and writing to more of the modest supports of Adams concerning his supposed misconduct while president.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton expected to see southern states such as the Carolinas cast their votes for Pinckney and Jefferson, and would result in the former being ahead of both Adams and Jefferson.[94]: 394–95 

    In accordance with the second of the aforementioned plans, and a recent personal rift with Adams,[53]: 351  Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that was highly critical of him, though it closed with a tepid endorsement.[94]: 396  He mailed this to two hundred leading Federalists; when a copy fell into the Democratic-Republicans’ hands, they printed it. This hurt Adams’s 1800 reelection campaign and split the Federalist Party, virtually assuring the victory of the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Jefferson, in the election of 1800; it diminished Hamilton’s position among many Federalists.[195]

    Jefferson had beaten Adams, but both he and Aaron Burr had received 73 votes in the Electoral College (Adams finished in third place, Pinckney in fourth, and Jay received one vote). With Jefferson and Burr tied, the United States House of Representatives had to choose between the two men.[53]: 352 [94]: 399  Several Federalists who opposed Jefferson supported Burr, and for the first 35 ballots, Jefferson was denied a majority. Before the 36th ballot, Hamilton threw his weight behind Jefferson, supporting the arrangement reached by James A. Bayard of Delaware, in which five Federalist Representatives from Maryland and Vermont abstained from voting, allowing those states’ delegations to go for Jefferson, ending the impasse and electing Jefferson president rather than Burr.[53]: 350–51 

    Even though Hamilton did not like Jefferson and disagreed with him on many issues, he viewed Jefferson as the lesser of two evils. Hamilton spoke of Jefferson as being “by far not so a dangerous man”, and that Burr was a “mischievous enemy” to the principal measure of the past administration.[196] It was for that reason, along with the fact that Burr was a northerner and not a Virginian, that many Federalist Representatives voted for him.[197]

    Hamilton wrote many letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise.[53]: 352 [94]: 401  The Federalists rejected Hamilton’s diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr.[53]: 353 [94]: 401  Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency,[198] Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.[199]

    Soon after the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York—in which Morgan Lewis, greatly assisted by Hamilton, defeated Aaron Burr—the Albany Register published Charles D. Cooper’s letters, citing Hamilton’s opposition to Burr and alleging that Hamilton had expressed “a still more despicable opinion” of the Vice President at an upstate New York dinner party.[200][201] Cooper claimed that the letter was intercepted after relaying the information, but stated he was “unusually cautious” in recollecting the information from the dinner.[202]

    Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper’s letter out of cowardice.[94]: 423–24  After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.[94]: 426 

    The concept of honor was fundamental to Hamilton’s vision of himself and of the nation.[203] Historians have noted, as evidence of the importance that honor held in Hamilton’s value system, that Hamilton had previously been a party to seven “affairs of honor” as a principal, and to three as an advisor or second.[204] Such affairs were often concluded prior to reaching their final stage, a duel.[204]

    Before the duel, Hamilton wrote an explanation of his decision to duel while at the same time intending to “throw away” his shot.[205] Hamilton viewed his roles of being a father and husband, putting his creditors at risk, placing his family’s welfare in jeopardy and his moral and religious stances as reasons not to duel, but he felt it impossible to avoid due to having made attacks on Burr which he was unable to recant, and because of Burr’s behavior prior to the duel. He attempted to reconcile his moral and religious reasons and the codes of honor and politics. He intended to accept the duel in order to satisfy his morals, and throw away his fire to satisfy his political codes.[206][200][note 4] His desire to be available for future political matters also played a factor.[200] A week before the duel, at an annual Independence Day dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati, both Hamilton and Burr were in attendance. Separate accounts confirm that Hamilton was uncharactaristaclly effusive while Burr was by conrast uncharactaristiaclly withdrawn. Accounts also agree that Burr became roused when Hamilton, again uncharactaristically, sang a favorite song. Long thought to have been a different tune, recent scholarship indicates that it was “How Stands the Glass Around”, an anthem sung by military troops about fighting and dying in war:[207]

    How stands the glass around?
     For shame, ye take no care, me boys!
    How stands the glass around?
     Let mirth and wine abound
    The trumpets sound!
    The colours, they are flying, boys
    To fight, kill or wound
     may we still be found
     content with our hard fare, me boys
     on the cold ground

    Why, soldiers, why
     should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why
     whose business ’tis to die?
    What? Sighing? Fie!
    Damn fear, drink on, be jolly boys!
    ’Tis he, you and I
     cold, hot, wet or dry
     we’re always bound to follow, boys
     and scorn to fly

    ’Tis but in vain
     (I mean not to upbraid you, boys)
    ’Tis but in vain
     for soldiers to complain
    Should next campaign
     send us to Him that made us, boys
     we’re free from pain
    But should we remain
     a bottle and kind landlady
     cures all again

    The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey.[209] Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, three years earlier.[210] Lots were cast for the choice of position and which second should start the duel. Both were won by Hamilton’s second, who chose the upper edge of the ledge for Hamilton facing the city to the east, toward the rising sun.[211] After the seconds had measured the paces Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol “as if to try the light” and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured.[212] Hamilton also refused the hairspring setting for the dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.[213]

    Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, delivering what proved to be a fatal wound. Hamilton’s shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr’s head.[171] Neither of the seconds, Pendleton nor Van Ness, could determine who fired first,[214] as each claimed that the other man had fired first.[213]

    Soon after, they measured and triangulated the shooting, but could not determine from which angle Hamilton had fired. Burr’s shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen above his right hip. The bullet ricocheted off Hamilton’s second or third false rib, fracturing it and causing considerable damage to his internal organs, particularly his liver and diaphragm, before becoming lodged in his first or second lumbar vertebra.[94]: 429 [215] The biographer Ron Chernow considers the circumstances to indicate that, after taking deliberate aim, Burr fired second,[216] while the biographer James Earnest Cooke suggests that Burr took careful aim and shot first, and Hamilton fired while falling, after being struck by Burr’s bullet.[217]

    The paralyzed Hamilton was immediately attended by the same surgeon who tended Phillip Hamilton, and ferried to the Greenwich Village boarding house of his friend William Bayard Jr., who had been waiting on the dock. After final visits from his family and friends and considerable suffering for at least 31 hours, Hamilton died at two o’clock the following afternoon, July 12, 1804,[218][219] at Bayard’s home just below the present Gansevoort Street.[220] The city fathers halted all business at noon two days later for Hamilton’s funeral, the procession route of about two miles organized by the Society of the Cincinnati had so many participants of every class of citizen that it took hours to complete, and was widely reported nationwide by newspapers.[221] Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy at his funeral and secretly established a fund to support his widow and children.[222] Hamilton was buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan.[223]

    While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. They were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.[224]

    Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton had eight children, though there is often confusion because two sons were named Philip:

    After Hamilton’s death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander’s letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton,[227] and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander’s memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.[228]

    Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth’s sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife’s older sister Angelica who, three years before Hamilton’s marriage to Elizabeth had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica’s fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton’s relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws.[229][230] Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth’s younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.[231]

    As a youth in the West Indies, Hamilton was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the “New Light” evangelical type (as opposed to the “Old Light” tradition); he was taught there by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.[232] He wrote two or three hymns, which were published in the local newspaper.[233] Robert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was “in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning”.[234]: 10 

    According to Gordon Wood, Hamilton dropped his youthful religiosity during the Revolution and became “a conventional liberal with theistic inclinations who was an irregular churchgoer at best”; however, he returned to religion in his last years.[235] Chernow wrote that Hamilton was nominally an Episcopalian, but:

    [H]e was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God who intervened in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God’s existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice.[236]

    Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[237] During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as “the atheist”, and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible.[237]: 316  After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of “some strong feeling of the mind” to elect “fit men” to office, and advocating “Christian welfare societies” for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God’s mercy.[note 5]

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[238] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[239] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[239] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[238]

    Hamilton’s birthplace on the island of Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one quarter of Charlestown’s white population by the 1720s.[1] He came into contact with Jews on a regular basis; as a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress, and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew.[234]

    Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.”[240] He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence:

    The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan? The man who will draw this conclusion, will look for the solution in the Bible. He who will not draw it ought to give us another fair solution.[241]

    Based on the phonetic similarity of “Lavien” to a common Jewish surname, it has often been suggested that the first husband of Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, a German or Dane named Johann Michael Lavien,[6] was Jewish or of Jewish descent.[242] On this foundation, historian Andrew Porwancher, a self-acknowledged “lone voice” whose “findings clash with much of the received wisdom on Hamilton”, has promoted a theory that Hamilton himself was Jewish.[243] Porwancher argues that Hamilton’s mother (French Huguenot on her father’s side[244]) must have converted to Judaism before marrying Lavien, and that even after her separation and bitter divorce from Lavien, she would still have raised her children by James Hamilton as Jews.[243][245] Reflecting the consensus of modern historians, historian Michael E. Newton wrote that “there is no evidence that Lavien is a Jewish name, no indication that John Lavien was Jewish, and no reason to believe that he was.”[20] Newton traced the suggestions to a 1902 work of historical fiction by novelist Gertrude Atherton.[20]

    Hamilton’s interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, as seen in scholarly studies and court decisions.[246] Although the Constitution was ambiguous as to the exact balance of power between national and state governments, Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states.[247] As Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Jefferson—the country’s first de facto central bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other federal powers, under Congress’s constitutional authority to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and to do anything else that would be “necessary and proper” to enact the provisions of the Constitution.[248]

    On the other hand, Jefferson took a stricter view of the Constitution. Parsing the text carefully, he found no specific authorization for a national bank. This controversy was eventually settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCulloch v. Maryland, which in essence adopted Hamilton’s view, granting the federal government broad freedom to select the best means to execute its constitutionally enumerated powers, specifically the doctrine of implied powers.[248] Nevertheless, the American Civil War and the Progressive Era demonstrated the sorts of crises and politics Hamilton’s administrative republic sought to avoid.[249][how?]

    Hamilton’s policies as Secretary of the Treasury greatly affected the United States government and still continue to influence it. His constitutional interpretation, specifically of the Necessary and Proper Clause, set precedents for federal authority that are still used by the courts and are considered an authority on constitutional interpretation. The prominent French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who spent 1794 in the United States, wrote, “I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton”, adding that Hamilton had intuited the problems of European conservatives.[250]

    Opinions of Hamilton have run the gamut as both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson viewed him as unprincipled and dangerously aristocratic. Hamilton’s reputation was mostly negative in the eras of Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy. The older Jeffersonian view attacked Hamilton as a centralizer, sometimes to the point of accusations that he advocated monarchy.[251] By the Progressive era, Herbert Croly, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt praised his leadership of a strong government. Several nineteenth- and twentieth-century Republicans entered politics by writing laudatory biographies of Hamilton.[252]

    In more recent years, according to Sean Wilentz, favorable views of Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars, who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive.[253] Modern scholars favoring Hamilton have portrayed Jefferson and his allies, in contrast, as naïve, dreamy idealists.[253]

    The lineage of Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery has been perpetuated in the United States Army in a series of units nicknamed “Hamilton’s Own”. It was carried as of 2010 by the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment. In the Regular Army, it is the oldest unit and the only one with credit for the Revolutionary War.[254]

    A number of Coast Guard vessels have been given a designation after Alexander Hamilton, including:

    A number of vessels in the U.S. Navy have borne the designation USS Hamilton, though some have been named for other men. The USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) was the second Lafayette-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine.

    Since the beginning of the American Civil War, Hamilton has been depicted on more denominations of U.S. currency than anyone else. He has appeared on the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $1,000 notes. Hamilton also appears on the $500 Series EE Savings Bond.

    Hamilton’s portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall.[257] In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of Harriet Tubman. It was later decided to leave Hamilton on the $10, and replace Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the $20.[258]

    The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi.[259] The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City.[260] On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.[261]

    The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr. It was built on Hamilton’s 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house “The Grange” after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000.[262] Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House), where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses.[262]

    The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011,[263] and is maintained by the National Park Service for public visitation .[264][265][266]

    Columbia University, Hamilton’s alma mater, has official memorials to Hamilton on its campus in New York City. The college’s main classroom building for the humanities is Hamilton Hall, and a large statue of Hamilton stands in front of it.[267][268] The university press has published his complete works in a multivolume letterpress edition.[269] Columbia University’s student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates is named the Alexander Hamilton Society.[270] Its undergraduate liberal arts college, Columbia College, also hands out the Alexander Hamilton Medal as its highest award to accomplished alumni and to those who have offered exceptional service to the school.[271]

    Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.[272]

    The main administration building of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is named Hamilton Hall to commemorate Hamilton’s creation of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, one of the predecessor services of the United States Coast Guard.[273]

    The U.S. Army’s Fort Hamilton (1831) in Brooklyn at the entrance to New York Harbor is named after Hamilton. It is the fourth oldest installation in the nation, after: West Point (1778), Carlisle Barracks (1779), and Fort Leslie J McNair (1791).

    In 1880, Hamilton’s son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.[274][275]

    The Hamilton Club in Brooklyn, NY commissioned William Ordway Partridge to cast a bronze statue of Hamilton that was completed in 1892 for exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition and later installed in front of the club on the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets in 1893. The club was absorbed by another and the building demolished, and so the statue was removed in 1936 to Hamilton Grange National Memorial, then located on Convent Avenue in Manhattan. Though the home it stood in front of on Convent Avenue was itself relocated in 2007, the statue remains at that location.

    A bronze statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, dated 1905–06, overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey.

    In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.[276]

    Construction for Hudson River Day Line of the PS Alexander Hamilton was completed in 1924. When the Alexander Hamilton retired from service as a passenger steamboat in 1971 it was one of the last operating sidewheel steamboats in the country. It was the last sidewheeler to traverse the Hudson River, and probably the East Coast. Its retirement signaled the end of an era.[277]

    In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939.[278] It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993.[278][279] The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.[278]

    Connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx is the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, an eight-lane steel arch bridge that carries traffic over the Harlem River, near his former Grange estate. It connects the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and the Cross-Bronx Expressway, as part of Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The bridge opened to traffic on January 15, 1963, the same day that the Cross-Bronx Expressway was completed.

    In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.[280]

    A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.[281]

    At Hamilton’s birthplace in Charlestown, Nevis, the Alexander Hamilton Museum was located in Hamilton House, a Georgian-style building rebuilt on the foundations of the house where Hamilton was once believed to have been born and to have lived during his childhood.[282] The Nevis Heritage Centre, located next door (to the south) of the museum building, is the current site of the museum’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit.[citation needed] The wooden building, historically of the same age as the museum building, was known locally as the Trott House, as Trott was the surname of the family that owned the house in recent times. Evidence gradually accumulated that the wooden house was the actual historical home of Hamilton and his mother, and in 2011, the wooden house and land were acquired by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.

    Numerous American towns and cities, including Hamilton, Kansas; Hamilton, Missouri; Hamilton, Massachusetts; and Hamilton, Ohio; were named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. In eight states, counties have been named for Hamilton:[283]

    Hamilton is not known to have ever owned slaves, although members of his family were slave owners. At the time of her death, Hamilton’s mother owned two slaves named Christian and Ajax, and she had written a will leaving them to her sons; however, due to their illegitimacy, Hamilton and his brother were held ineligible to inherit her property, and never took ownership of the slaves.[284]: 17  Later, as a youth in St. Croix, Hamilton worked for a company trading in commodities that included slaves.[284]: 17  During his career, Hamilton did occasionally handle financial transactions involving slaves as the legal representative of his own family members, and one of Hamilton’s grandsons interpreted some of these journal entries as being purchases for himself.[285][286] His son John Church Hamilton maintained the converse in the 1840 biography of his father: “He never owned a slave; but on the contrary, having learned that a domestic whom he had hired was about to be sold by her master, he immediately purchased her freedom.”[287]

    By the time of Hamilton’s early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolutionary War in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.[284]

    At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that “their natural faculties are as good as ours.”[288] Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions.[284]: 22  Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture’s revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt.[284]: 23  Hamilton’s suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804, when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere’s first independent state with a majority Black population, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.[284]: 23 

    Hamilton has been portrayed as the “patron saint”[citation needed] of the American School of economic philosophy that, according to one historian, dominated economic policy after 1861.[289] His ideas and work influenced the 18th century German economist Friedrich List,[290] and Abraham Lincoln’s chief economic advisor Henry C. Carey, among others.

    Hamilton firmly supported government intervention in favor of business, after the manner of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as early as the fall of 1781.[291][292][293] In contrast to the British policy of international mercantilism, which he believed skewed benefits to colonial and imperial powers, Hamilton was a pioneering advocate of protectionism.[294] He is credited with the idea that industrialization would only be possible with tariffs to protect the “infant industries” of an emerging nation.[143]

    Political theorists credit Hamilton with the creation of the modern administrative state, citing his arguments in favor of a strong executive, linked to the support of the people, as the linchpin of an administrative republic.[295][296] The dominance of executive leadership in the formulation and carrying out of policy was, in his view, essential to resist the deterioration of republican government.[297] Some scholars point to similarities between Hamiltonian recommendations and the development of Meiji Japan after 1860 as evidence of the global influence of Hamilton’s theory.[298]

    Hamilton has appeared as a significant figure in popular works of historical fiction, including many that focused on other American political figures of his time. In comparison to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton attracted relatively little attention in American popular culture in the 20th century,[299] apart from his portrait on the $10 bill.


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    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American revolutionary and statesman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the administration of President George Washington. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ American Revolutionary War debts, as well as establishing the nation’s first two de facto central banks (i.e. the Bank of North America and the First Bank of the United States), a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense.

    Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis. He was orphaned as a child and taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education. While a student, his opinion pieces supporting the Continental Congress were published under a nom de plume, and he also addressed crowds on the subject. He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. As an artillery officer in the new Continental Army he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign. In 1777, he became a senior aide to Commander in Chief General George Washington, but returned to field command in time for a pivotal action securing victory at the Siege of Yorktown, effectively ending hostilities.

    After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York before returning to politics. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York. He helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation.

    Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington’s first Cabinet. To this day he remains the youngest U.S. cabinet member to take office since the beginning of the Republic. Hamilton successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states’ debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States (i.e. the First Bank of the United States). These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. He opposed administration entanglement with the series of unstable French revolutionary governments. Hamilton’s views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York. He called for mobilization under President John Adams in 1798–99 against French First Republic military aggression, and became Commanding General of the U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, and Hamilton was outraged by Adams’ diplomatic approach to the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams’ re-election helped cause the Federalist Party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college, and Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.

    Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

    Hamilton is generally regarded as an astute and intellectually brilliant administrator, politician and financier, if often impetuous. His ideas are credited with laying the foundation for American government and finance.

    Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands (then part of the British West Indies). Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. (1753–1786)[3] were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette,[note 1] a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent,[10] and James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman who was the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Grange in Ayrshire.[11] Speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence. Rachel Faucette was listed as white on tax rolls.[12][13]

    It is not certain whether Hamilton’s birth was in 1755 or 1757.[14] Most historical evidence, after Hamilton’s arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton’s own writings.[15][16] Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton’s mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.[1]

    Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or perhaps wished to avoid standing out as older.[1] If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have simply included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother’s death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.[17] Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not entirely reliable. Richard Brookhiser noted that “a man is more likely to know his own birthday than a probate court.”[15]

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  • Hamilton’s mother had been married previously on St. Croix[18] in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark, to a Danish[6] or German merchant,[19][20] Johann Michael Lavien. They had one son, Peter Lavien.[18] In 1750, Faucette left her husband and first son; then traveled to Saint Kitts where she met James Hamilton.[18] Hamilton and Faucette moved together to Nevis, her birthplace, where she had inherited a seaside lot in town from her father.[1]

    James Hamilton later abandoned Rachel Faucette and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to “spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy… after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion.”[11] Thereafter, Rachel moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned.[21] This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood.[22] In probate court, Faucette’s “first husband seized her estate”[11] and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family’s books and returned them to Hamilton.[23]

    Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England.[24] He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated.[23] James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens.[25] Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton’s biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests.[23] However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported.[26] Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with “Your very Affectionate Father.”[27][28]

    Hamilton, despite being only in his teenage years, proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea.[29] He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane that had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772.[30] The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh Knox, a tutor and mentor to Hamilton, submitted the letter for publication in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that “for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto,” and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic “fire-and-brimstone sermon” viewing the hurricane as a “divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity.”[31] The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.[32]

    The Church of England denied membership to Alexander and James Hamilton Jr.—and education in the church school—because their parents were not legally married. They received “individual tutoring”[1] and classes in a private school led by a Jewish headmistress.[33] Alexander supplemented his education with the family library of 34 books.[34]

    In October 1772 Hamilton arrived by ship in Boston and proceeded from there to New York City. He took lodgings with the Irish-born Hercules Mulligan who, as the brother of a trader known to Hamilton’s benefactors, assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support.[35][36] Later in 1772, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He there came under the influence of William Livingston, a local leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.[37][38][39]

    Hamilton entered Mulligan’s alma mater King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student”, again boarding with Mulligan until officially matriculating in May 1774.[40] His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton’s clarity in concisely explaining the patriots’ case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton’s first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King’s College.[41] Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.[42][43]

    Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies.[44] Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act,[45] and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of “The Monitor” for Holt’s New York Journal.[46] Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.[47]

    Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during the British occupation of the city.[48] When the war ended, after some months of self-study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.[49] Hamilton was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the reconstituted Columbia College in 1788 for his work in reopening the college and placing it on firm financial footing. Hamilton was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.[50]

    In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King’s College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans,[51] later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.

    He drilled with the company, before classes, in the graveyard of nearby St. Paul’s Chapel. Hamilton studied military history and tactics on his own and was soon recommended for promotion.[52] Under fire from HMS Asia, he led the Hearts of Oak with support from Hercules Milligan and the Sons of Liberty on a successful raid for British cannons in the Battery, the capture of which resulted in the unit becoming an artillery company thereafter.[53]: 13 

    Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain.[54] The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, notably at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.[55][56]

    Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows;[56] 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.[57]

    Hamilton was invited to become an aide to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and another general, perhaps Nathanael Greene or Alexander McDougall.[58] He declined these invitations, believing his best chance for improving his station in life was glory on the battlefield. Hamilton eventually received an invitation he felt he could not refuse: to serve as Washington’s aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[59] Washington believed that “Aides de camp are persons in whom entire confidence must be placed and it requires men of abilities to execute the duties with propriety and dispatch.”[60]

    Hamilton served four years as Washington’s chief staff aide. He handled letters to Congress, state governors, and the most powerful generals of the Continental Army; he drafted many of Washington’s orders and letters at the latter’s direction; he eventually issued orders from Washington over Hamilton’s own signature.[61] Hamilton was involved in a wide variety of high-level duties, including intelligence, diplomacy, and negotiation with senior army officers as Washington’s emissary.[62][63]

    During the war, Hamilton became the close friend of several fellow officers. His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette[64] and to John Laurens, employing the sentimental literary conventions of the late eighteenth century and alluding to Greek history and mythology,[65] have been read by Jonathan Ned Katz as revelatory of a homosocial or even homosexual relationship.[66] Biographer Gregory D. Massey amongst others, by contrast, dismisses all such speculation as unsubstantiated, describing their friendship as purely platonic camaraderie instead and placing their correspondence in the context of the flowery diction of the time.[67]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff.[68] He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington’s headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, “thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn’t get his desired command.”[69]

    On July 31, Washington relented and assigned Hamilton as commander of a battalion of light infantry companies of the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments and two provisional companies from Connecticut.[70] In the planning for the assault on Yorktown, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, which were to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops in taking Redoubts No. 9 and No. 10 of the British fortifications at Yorktown. Hamilton and his battalions took Redoubt No. 10 with bayonets in a nighttime action, as planned. The French also suffered heavy casualties and took Redoubt No. 9. These actions forced the British surrender of an entire army at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the de facto end of the war, although small battles continued for two more years until the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the departure of the last British troops.[71][72]

    After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York.[73] Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782.[74] Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote,

    “The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress…the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace.”[75]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton had become frustrated with the decentralized nature of the wartime Continental Congress, particularly its dependence upon the states for voluntary financial support that was not often forthcoming. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to collect taxes or to demand money from the states. This lack of a stable source of funding had made it difficult for the Continental Army both to obtain its necessary provisions and to pay its soldiers. During the war, and for some time after, Congress obtained what funds it could from subsidies from the King of France, from aid requested from the several states (which were often unable or unwilling to contribute), and from European loans.[76]

    An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia’s rescission of its own ratification of this amendment ended the Rhode Island negotiations.[77][78]

    While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged.[79] By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers.[80] In 1782, after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army’s pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.[80]

    Several congressmen, including Hamilton, Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris (no relation), attempted to use this Newburgh Conspiracy as leverage to secure support from the states and in Congress for funding of the national government. They encouraged MacDougall to continue his aggressive approach, implying unknown consequences if their demands were not met, and defeated proposals designed to end the crisis without establishing general taxation: that the states assume the debt to the army, or that an impost be established dedicated to the sole purpose of paying that debt.[81]

    Hamilton suggested using the Army’s claims to prevail upon the states for the proposed national funding system.[82] The Morrises and Hamilton contacted General Henry Knox to suggest he and the officers defy civil authority, at least by not disbanding if the army were not satisfied. Hamilton wrote Washington to suggest that Hamilton covertly “take direction” of the officers’ efforts to secure redress, to secure continental funding but keep the army within the limits of moderation.[83][84] Washington wrote Hamilton back, declining to introduce the army.[85] After the crisis had ended, Washington warned of the dangers of using the army as leverage to gain support for the national funding plan.[83][86]

    On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally.[81] Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against[87]—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers’ pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton’s robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.[88]

    In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob.[83] Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there.[89] Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[89]

    Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783.[90] When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor’s Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.[91][53]: 64–69 

    In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing[update] banks in America.[92] Hamilton was one of the men who restored King’s College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation as too weak to be effective, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more effectual, more financially independent federal government.[93]

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler.[94]: 191 [95] Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government.[96][97] Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.[94]: 195 

    Early in the Convention Hamilton made a speech proposing a President-for-Life; it had no effect upon the deliberations of the convention. He proposed to have an elected president and elected senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse; this idea contributed later to the hostile view of Hamilton as a monarchist sympathizer, held by James Madison.[98] According to Madison’s notes, Hamilton said in regards to the executive, “The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emoluments so great, that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad… Let one executive be appointed for life who dares execute his powers.”[99]

    Hamilton argued, “And let me observe that an executive is less dangerous to the liberties of the people when in office during life than for seven years. It may be said this constitutes as an elective monarchy… But by making the executive subject to impeachment, the term ‘monarchy’ cannot apply…”[99] In his notes of the convention, Madison interpreted Hamilton’s proposal as claiming power for the “rich and well born”. Madison’s perspective all but isolated Hamilton from his fellow delegates and others who felt they did not reflect the ideas of revolution and liberty.[100]

    During the convention, Hamilton constructed a draft for the Constitution based on the convention debates, but he never presented it. This draft had most of the features of the actual Constitution. In this draft, the Senate was to be elected in proportion to the population, being two-fifths the size of the House, and the President and Senators were to be elected through complex multistage elections, in which chosen electors would elect smaller bodies of electors; they would hold office for life, but were removable for misconduct. The President would have an absolute veto. The Supreme Court was to have immediate jurisdiction over all lawsuits involving the United States, and state governors were to be appointed by the federal government.[101]

    At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also.[102] Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution.[94]: 206  He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document’s ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.[103]

    Members of Hamilton’s faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton’s faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state’s right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached.[103][104] Hamilton’s arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton’s rhetoric.[104] The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.[105]

    In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

    Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to defend the proposed Constitution. He made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation.[106] The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.[106]

    Hamilton wrote the first paper signed as Publius, and all of the subsequent papers were signed under the name.[94]: 210  Jay wrote the next four papers to elaborate on the confederation’s weakness and the need for unity against foreign aggression and against splitting into rival confederacies, and, except for Number 64, was not further involved.[107][94]: 211  Hamilton’s highlights included discussion that although republics have been culpable for disorders in the past, advances in the “science of politics” had fostered principles that ensured that those abuses could be prevented (such as the division of powers, legislative checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors [Numbers 7–9]).[107] Hamilton also wrote an extensive defense of the constitution (No. 23–36), and discussed the Senate and executive and judicial branches in Numbers 65–85. Hamilton and Madison worked to describe the anarchic state of the confederation in numbers 15–22, and have been described as not being entirely different in thought during this time period—in contrast to their stark opposition later in life.[107] Subtle differences appeared with the two when discussing the necessity of standing armies.[107]

    In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York’s laws within the grants. Ethan Allen’s militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.

    During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.

    By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction.[108] As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:

    One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky [at that time still a part of Virginia], for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont.

    In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York’s claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

    President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton’s advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[109] Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit.[110] So, the great enterprise in Hamilton’s project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.[111]

    Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790.[112] Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence.[112] The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt.[113] While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.[114][94]: 244–45 

    In the report, Hamilton felt that the securities should be paid at full value to their legitimate owners, including those who took the financial risk of buying government bonds that most experts thought would never be redeemed. He argued that liberty and property security were inseparable and that the government should honor the contracts, as they formed the basis of public and private morality. To Hamilton, the proper handling of the government debt would also allow America to borrow at affordable interest rates and would also be a stimulant to the economy.[113]

    Hamilton divided the debt into national and state, and further divided the national debt into foreign and domestic debt. While there was agreement on how to handle the foreign debt (especially with France), there was not with regards to the national debt held by domestic creditors. During the Revolutionary War, affluent citizens had invested in bonds, and war veterans had been paid with promissory notes and IOUs that plummeted in price during the Confederation. In response, the war veterans sold the securities to speculators for as little as fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar.[113][115]

    Hamilton felt the money from the bonds should not go to the soldiers who had shown little faith in the country’s future, but the speculators that had bought the bonds from the soldiers. The process of attempting to track down the original bondholders along with the government showing discrimination among the classes of holders if the war veterans were to be compensated also weighed in as factors for Hamilton. As for the state debts, Hamilton suggested consolidating them with the national debt and label it as federal debt, for the sake of efficiency on a national scale.[113]

    The last portion of the report dealt with eliminating the debt by utilizing a sinking fund that would retire five percent of the debt annually until it was paid off. Due to the bonds being traded well below their face value, the purchases would benefit the government as the securities rose in price.[116]: 300  When the report was submitted to the House of Representatives, detractors soon began to speak against it. Some of the negative views expressed in the House were that the notion of programs that resembled British practice were wicked, and that the balance of power would be shifted away from the representatives to the executive branch. William Maclay suspected that several congressmen were involved in government securities, seeing Congress in an unholy league with New York speculators.[116]: 302  Congressman James Jackson also spoke against New York, with allegations of speculators attempting to swindle those who had not yet heard about Hamilton’s report.[116]: 303 

    The involvement of those in Hamilton’s circle such as Schuyler, William Duer, James Duane, Gouverneur Morris, and Rufus King as speculators was not favorable to those against the report, either, though Hamilton personally did not own or deal a share in the debt.[116]: 304 [94]: 250  Madison eventually spoke against it by February 1790. Although he was not against current holders of government debt to profit, he wanted the windfall to go to the original holders. Madison did not feel that the original holders had lost faith in the government, but sold their securities out of desperation.[116]: 305  The compromise was seen as egregious to both Hamiltonians and their dissidents such as Maclay, and Madison’s vote was defeated 36 votes to 13 on February 22.[116]: 305 [94]: 255 

    The fight for the national government to assume state debt was a longer issue, and lasted over four months. During the period, the resources that Hamilton was to apply to the payment of state debts was requested by Alexander White, and was rejected due to Hamilton’s not being able to prepare information by March 3, and was even postponed by his own supporters in spite of configuring a report the next day (which consisted of a series of additional duties to meet the interest on the state debts).[94]: 297–98  Duer resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and the vote of assumption was voted down 31 votes to 29 on April 12.[94]: 258–59 

    During this period, Hamilton bypassed the rising issue of slavery in Congress, after Quakers petitioned for its abolition, returning to the issue the following year.[117]

    Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass.[94]: 263  Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by means of a “pill” that “would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them”.[94]: 263  The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.[94]: 263 

    Hamilton’s Report on a National Bank was a projection from the first Report on the Public Credit. Although Hamilton had been forming ideas of a national bank as early as 1779,[94]: 268  he had gathered ideas in various ways over the past eleven years. These included theories from Adam Smith,[118] extensive studies on the Bank of England, the blunders of the Bank of North America and his experience in establishing the Bank of New York.[119] He also used American records from James Wilson, Pelatiah Webster, Gouverneur Morris, and from his assistant treasury secretary Tench Coxe.[119] He thought that this plan for a National Bank could help in any sort of financial crisis.[120]

    Hamilton suggested that Congress should charter the National Bank with a capitalization of $10 million, one-fifth of which would be handled by the government. Since the government did not have the money, it would borrow the money from the bank itself, and repay the loan in ten even annual installments.[53]: 194  The rest was to be available to individual investors.[121] The bank was to be governed by a twenty-five-member board of directors that was to represent a large majority of the private shareholders, which Hamilton considered essential for his being under a private direction.[94]: 268  Hamilton’s bank model had many similarities to that of the Bank of England, except Hamilton wanted to exclude the government from being involved in public debt, but provide a large, firm, and elastic money supply for the functioning of normal businesses and usual economic development, among other differences.[53]: 194–95  The tax revenue to initiate the bank was the same as he had previously proposed, increases on imported spirits: rum, liquor, and whiskey.[53]: 195–96 

    The bill passed through the Senate practically without a problem, but objections to the proposal increased by the time it reached the House of Representatives. It was generally held by critics that Hamilton was serving the interests of the Northeast by means of the bank,[122] and those of the agrarian lifestyle would not benefit from it.[94]: 270  Among those critics was James Jackson of Georgia, who also attempted to refute the report by quoting from The Federalist Papers.[94]: 270  Madison and Jefferson also opposed the bank bill. The potential of the capital not being moved to the Potomac if the bank was to have a firm establishment in Philadelphia was a more significant reason, and actions that Pennsylvania members of Congress took to keep the capital there made both men anxious.[53]: 199–200 The Whiskey Rebellion also showed how in other financial plans, there was a distance between the classes as the wealthy profited from the taxes.[123]

    Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat.[53]: 200  Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members.[53]: 200–01  The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.[94]: 271 

    Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the ‘necessary and proper’ clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers “can all be carried into execution without a bank.”[94]: 271–72  Along with Randolph and Jefferson’s objections, Washington’s involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.[53]: 202–03  In response to the objection of the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, Hamilton stated that “Necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conductive to”, and the bank was a “convenient species of medium in which they (taxes) are to be paid.”[94]: 272–73  Washington would eventually sign the bill into law.[94]: 272–73 

    In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton’s ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.[53]: 197 [124]

    Because the most circulated coins in the United States at the time were Spanish currency, Hamilton proposed that minting a United States dollar weighing almost as much as the Spanish peso would be the simplest way to introduce a national currency.[125] Hamilton differed from European monetary policymakers in his desire to overprice gold relative to silver, on the grounds that the United States would always receive an influx of silver from the West Indies.[53]: 197  Despite his own preference for a monometallic gold standard,[126] he ultimately issued a bimetallic currency at a fixed 15:1 ratio of silver to gold.[53]: 197 [127][128]

    Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage.[129] This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris’s Nova Constellatio coins in 1783.[130] He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor.[53]: 198 [119] One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.[53]: 198 

    By 1792, Hamilton’s principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents.[126] The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.[126]

    Smuggling off American coasts was an issue before the Revolutionary War, and after the Revolution it was more problematic. Along with smuggling, lack of shipping control, pirating, and a revenue unbalance were also major problems.[131] In response, Hamilton proposed to Congress to enact a naval police force called revenue cutters in order to patrol the waters and assist the custom collectors with confiscating contraband.[132] This idea was also proposed to assist in tariff controlling, boosting the American economy, and promote the merchant marine.[131] It is thought that his experience obtained during his apprenticeship with Nicholas Kruger was influential in his decision-making.[133]

    Concerning some of the details of the “System of Cutters”,[134] [note 2] Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia.[132][135] Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured;[132] and provisions were made for the employees’ food supply and etiquette when boarding ships.[132] Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.[131]

    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison’s tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton’s that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).[136]

    In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits.[137][138] The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor.[138] In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption.[138] He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.[137]

    Opposition initially came from Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives protesting the tax. William Maclay had noted that not even the Pennsylvanian legislators had been able to enforce excise taxes in the western regions of the state.[137] Hamilton was aware of the potential difficulties and proposed inspectors the ability to search buildings that distillers were designated to store their spirits, and would be able to search suspected illegal storage facilities to confiscate contraband with a warrant.[139] Although the inspectors were not allowed to search houses and warehouses, they were to visit twice a day and file weekly reports in extensive detail.[137] Hamilton cautioned against expedited judicial means, and favored a jury trial with potential offenders.[139] As soon as 1791, locals began to shun or threaten inspectors, as they felt the inspection methods were intrusive.[137] Inspectors were also tarred and feathered, blindfolded, and whipped. Hamilton had attempted to appease the opposition with lowered tax rates, but it did not suffice.[140]

    Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.[141]

    Hamilton’s next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States’ independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791.[94]: 274, 277  In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory, respectively.[53]: 233  Hamilton also refuted Smith’s ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries.[53]: 244  Hamilton also thought that the United States, being a primarily agrarian country, would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe.[142] In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists’ interest would be advanced by manufactures,[94]: 276  and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.[53]: 233 [94]: 276 

    Hamilton argued that developing an industrial economy is impossible without protective tariffs.[143] Among the ways that the government should assist manufacturing, Hamilton argued for government assistance to “infant industries” so they can achieve economies of scale, by levying protective duties on imported foreign goods that were also manufactured in the United States,[144] for withdrawing duties levied on raw materials needed for domestic manufacturing,[94]: 277 [144] and pecuniary boundaries.[94]: 277  He also called for encouraging immigration for people to better themselves in similar employment opportunities.[144][145] Congress shelved the report without much debate (except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally as a legal basis for his extensive programs).[146]

    In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to examine The Passaic Falls as a possible location for a manufacturing center. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin’s hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile-long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
    [147]

    The location at Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey was selected due to access to raw materials, it being densely inhabited, and having access to water power from the falls of the Passaic.[53]: 231  The factory town was named Paterson after New Jersey’s Governor William Paterson, who signed the charter.[53]: 232 [148] The profits were to derive from specific corporates rather than the benefits to be conferred to the nation and the citizens, which was unlike the report.[149] Hamilton also suggested the first stock to be offered at $500,000 and to eventually increase to $1 million, and welcomed state and federal government subscriptions alike.[94]: 280 [149] The company was never successful: numerous shareholders reneged on stock payments, some members soon went bankrupt, and William Duer, the governor of the program, was sent to debtors’ prison where he died.[150] In spite of Hamilton’s efforts to mend the disaster, the company folded.[148]

    Hamilton’s vision was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Jeffersonian Republican party. They favored strong state governments based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national government supported by a national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as insufficiently devoted to republicanism, too friendly toward corrupt Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.[151]

    The American two-party system began to emerge as political parties coalesced around competing interests. A congressional caucus, led by Madison, Jefferson and William Branch Giles, began as an opposition group to Hamilton’s financial programs. Hamilton and his allies began to call themselves Federalists. The opposition group, now called the Democratic-Republican Party by political scientists, at the time called itself Republicans.[152][153]

    Hamilton assembled a nationwide coalition to garner support for the Administration, including the expansive financial programs Hamilton had made administration policy and especially the president’s policy of neutrality in the European war between Britain and revolutionary France. Hamilton publicly denounced the French minister Edmond-Charles Genêt (he called himself “Citizen Genêt”) who commissioned American privateers and recruited Americans for private militias to attack British ships and colonial possessions of British allies. Eventually, even Jefferson joined Hamilton in seeking Genêt’s recall.[154] If Hamilton’s administrative republic was to succeed, Americans had to see themselves first as citizens of a nation, and experience an administration that proved firm and demonstrated the concepts found within the United States Constitution.[155] The Federalists did impose some internal direct taxes but they departed from most implications of the Hamilton administrative republic as risky.[156]

    The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored the series of unstable revolutionary governments in France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.[157]

    The opposition between Hamilton and Jefferson is the best known and historically the most important[weasel words] in American political history.[original research?] Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s incompatibility was heightened by the unavowed wish of each to be Washington’s principal and most trusted advisor.[158]

    An additional partisan irritant to Hamilton was the 1791 United States Senate election in New York, which resulted in the election of Democratic-Republican candidate Aaron Burr, previously the New York state attorney general, over Senator Philip Schuyler, the Federalist incumbent and Hamilton’s father-in-law. Hamilton blamed Burr personally for this outcome, and negative characterizations of Burr began to appear in his correspondence thereafter. The two men did work together from time to time thereafter on various projects, including Hamilton’s army of 1798 and the Manhattan Water Company.[159]

    When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to have the French ambassador who was raising privateers and mercenaries on American soil, “Citizen” Genêt, recalled.[160]: 336–41  However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.[94]: 327–28 

    To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay’s instructions. The result was Jay’s Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land.[161] The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain.[160]: Ch 9  Historian George Herring notes the “remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains” produced by the Treaty.[162]

    Several European states had formed a League of Armed Neutrality against incursions on their neutral rights; the Cabinet was also consulted on whether the United States should join the alliance, and decided not to. It kept that decision secret, but Hamilton revealed it in private to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, without telling Jay or anyone else. His act remained unknown until Hammond’s dispatches were read in the 1920s. This “amazing revelation” may have had limited effect on the negotiations; Jay did threaten to join the League at one point, but the British had other reasons not to view the League as a serious threat.[160]: 411 ff [163]

    Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months’ notice,[164] in the wake of his wife Eliza’s miscarriage[165] while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion.[166] Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included in a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary.[167] Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.[168]

    Hamilton’s resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter’s draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton’s.[169][170]

    In the election of 1796, under the Constitution as it stood then, each of the presidential electors had two votes, which they were to cast for different men. The one who received the most votes would become president, the second-most, vice president. This system was not designed with the operation of parties in mind, as they had been thought disreputable and factious. The Federalists planned to deal with this by having all their Electors vote for John Adams, then vice president, and all but a few for Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina.[171]

    Adams resented Hamilton’s influence with Washington and considered him overambitious and scandalous in his private life; Hamilton compared Adams unfavorably with Washington and thought him too emotionally unstable to be president.[172] Hamilton took the election as an opportunity: he urged all the northern electors to vote for Adams and Pinckney, lest Jefferson get in; but he cooperated with Edward Rutledge to have South Carolina’s electors vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. If all this worked, Pinckney would have more votes than Adams, Pinckney would become president, and Adams would remain vice president, but it did not work. The Federalists found out about it (even the French minister to the United States knew), and northern Federalists voted for Adams but not for Pinckney, in sufficient numbers that Pinckney came in third and Jefferson became vice president.[173] Adams resented the intrigue since he felt his service to the nation was much more extensive than Pinckney’s.[174]

    In the summer of 1797, Hamilton became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.[175] Six years earlier, in the summer of 1791, 34-year-old Hamilton became involved in an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds. According to Hamilton’s account Maria approached him at his house in Philadelphia, claiming that her husband James Reynolds was abusive and had abandoned her, and she wished to return to her relatives in New York but lacked the means.[94]: 366–69  Hamilton recorded her address and subsequently delivered $30 personally to her boarding house, where she led him into her bedroom and “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. The two began an intermittent illicit affair that lasted approximately until June 1792.[176]

    Over the course of that year, while the affair was taking place, James Reynolds was well aware of his wife’s unfaithfulness, and likely orchestrated it from the beginning. He continually supported their relationship to extort blackmail money regularly from Hamilton. The common practice of the day for men of equal social standing was for the wronged husband to seek retribution in a duel, but Reynolds, of a lower social status and realizing how much Hamilton had to lose if his activity came into public view, resorted to extortion.[177] After an initial request of $1,000[178] to which Hamilton complied, Reynolds invited Hamilton to renew his visits to his wife “as a friend”[179] only to extort forced “loans” after each visit that, the most likely colluding Maria, solicited with her letters. In the end, the blackmail payments totaled over $1,300 including the initial extortion.[94]: 369  Hamilton at this point may have been aware of both spouses being involved in the blackmail,[180] and he welcomed and strictly complied with James Reynolds’ request to end the affair.[176][181]

    In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans’ unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to Democratic-Republican congressman James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence incriminating Hamilton in illicit activity as Treasury Secretary. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792.[176] Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both of the Reynolds, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio agreed on their honor to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.[94]: 366–69 

    In the summer of 1797, however, the “notoriously scurrilous” journalist James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796.[53]: 334  The pamphlet contained accusations, based on documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792, that James Reynolds had been an agent of Hamilton. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All but Monroe complied with Hamilton’s request. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in indelicate detail for the time. Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but never forgave Monroe.[182] Although Hamilton faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.[53]: 334–36 

    During the military build-up of the Quasi-War of 1798–1800, and with the strong endorsement of Washington (who had been called out of retirement to lead the Army if a French invasion materialized), Adams reluctantly appointed Hamilton a major general of the army. At Washington’s insistence, Hamilton was made the senior major general, prompting Henry Knox to decline appointment to serve as Hamilton’s junior (Knox had been a major general in the Continental Army and thought it would be degrading to serve beneath him).[183][184]

    Hamilton served as inspector general of the United States Army from July 18, 1798, to June 15, 1800. Because Washington was unwilling to leave Mount Vernon unless it were to command an army in the field, Hamilton was the de facto head of the army, to Adams’s considerable displeasure. If full-scale war broke out with France, Hamilton argued that the army should conquer the North American colonies of France’s ally, Spain, bordering the United States.[185] Hamilton was prepared to march the army through the Southern United States if necessary.[186]

    To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He urged them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton complained to him for slowness, and urged Wolcott to tax houses instead of land.[187] The eventual program included taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states and requiring assessment of houses, and a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution though this time Americans were taxing themselves through their own representatives.[188] This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania nevertheless, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.[189]

    Hamilton aided in all areas of the army’s development, and after Washington’s death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace.[190] There was no longer a direct threat for the army Hamilton was commanding to respond to.[191] Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.[192]

    In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party’s own nominee, John Adams.[94]: 392–99  In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.[193]

    Aaron Burr had won New York for Jefferson in May; now Hamilton proposed a rerun of the election under different rules—with carefully drawn districts and each choosing an elector—such that the Federalists would split the electoral vote of New York.[note 3] (John Jay, a Federalist who had given up the Supreme Court to be Governor of New York, wrote on the back of the letter the words, “Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt,” and declined to reply.)[194]

    John Adams was running this time with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina (the elder brother of candidate Thomas Pinckney from the 1796 election). Hamilton now toured New England, again urging northern electors to hold firm for Pinckney in the renewed hope of making Pinckney president; and he again intrigued in South Carolina.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton’s ideas involved coaxing middle-state Federalists to assert their non-support for Adams if there was no support for Pinckney and writing to more of the modest supports of Adams concerning his supposed misconduct while president.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton expected to see southern states such as the Carolinas cast their votes for Pinckney and Jefferson, and would result in the former being ahead of both Adams and Jefferson.[94]: 394–95 

    In accordance with the second of the aforementioned plans, and a recent personal rift with Adams,[53]: 351  Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that was highly critical of him, though it closed with a tepid endorsement.[94]: 396  He mailed this to two hundred leading Federalists; when a copy fell into the Democratic-Republicans’ hands, they printed it. This hurt Adams’s 1800 reelection campaign and split the Federalist Party, virtually assuring the victory of the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Jefferson, in the election of 1800; it diminished Hamilton’s position among many Federalists.[195]

    Jefferson had beaten Adams, but both he and Aaron Burr had received 73 votes in the Electoral College (Adams finished in third place, Pinckney in fourth, and Jay received one vote). With Jefferson and Burr tied, the United States House of Representatives had to choose between the two men.[53]: 352 [94]: 399  Several Federalists who opposed Jefferson supported Burr, and for the first 35 ballots, Jefferson was denied a majority. Before the 36th ballot, Hamilton threw his weight behind Jefferson, supporting the arrangement reached by James A. Bayard of Delaware, in which five Federalist Representatives from Maryland and Vermont abstained from voting, allowing those states’ delegations to go for Jefferson, ending the impasse and electing Jefferson president rather than Burr.[53]: 350–51 

    Even though Hamilton did not like Jefferson and disagreed with him on many issues, he viewed Jefferson as the lesser of two evils. Hamilton spoke of Jefferson as being “by far not so a dangerous man”, and that Burr was a “mischievous enemy” to the principal measure of the past administration.[196] It was for that reason, along with the fact that Burr was a northerner and not a Virginian, that many Federalist Representatives voted for him.[197]

    Hamilton wrote many letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise.[53]: 352 [94]: 401  The Federalists rejected Hamilton’s diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr.[53]: 353 [94]: 401  Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency,[198] Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.[199]

    Soon after the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York—in which Morgan Lewis, greatly assisted by Hamilton, defeated Aaron Burr—the Albany Register published Charles D. Cooper’s letters, citing Hamilton’s opposition to Burr and alleging that Hamilton had expressed “a still more despicable opinion” of the Vice President at an upstate New York dinner party.[200][201] Cooper claimed that the letter was intercepted after relaying the information, but stated he was “unusually cautious” in recollecting the information from the dinner.[202]

    Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper’s letter out of cowardice.[94]: 423–24  After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.[94]: 426 

    The concept of honor was fundamental to Hamilton’s vision of himself and of the nation.[203] Historians have noted, as evidence of the importance that honor held in Hamilton’s value system, that Hamilton had previously been a party to seven “affairs of honor” as a principal, and to three as an advisor or second.[204] Such affairs were often concluded prior to reaching their final stage, a duel.[204]

    Before the duel, Hamilton wrote an explanation of his decision to duel while at the same time intending to “throw away” his shot.[205] Hamilton viewed his roles of being a father and husband, putting his creditors at risk, placing his family’s welfare in jeopardy and his moral and religious stances as reasons not to duel, but he felt it impossible to avoid due to having made attacks on Burr which he was unable to recant, and because of Burr’s behavior prior to the duel. He attempted to reconcile his moral and religious reasons and the codes of honor and politics. He intended to accept the duel in order to satisfy his morals, and throw away his fire to satisfy his political codes.[206][200][note 4] His desire to be available for future political matters also played a factor.[200] A week before the duel, at an annual Independence Day dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati, both Hamilton and Burr were in attendance. Separate accounts confirm that Hamilton was uncharactaristaclly effusive while Burr was by conrast uncharactaristiaclly withdrawn. Accounts also agree that Burr became roused when Hamilton, again uncharactaristically, sang a favorite song. Long thought to have been a different tune, recent scholarship indicates that it was “How Stands the Glass Around”, an anthem sung by military troops about fighting and dying in war:[207]

    How stands the glass around?
     For shame, ye take no care, me boys!
    How stands the glass around?
     Let mirth and wine abound
    The trumpets sound!
    The colours, they are flying, boys
    To fight, kill or wound
     may we still be found
     content with our hard fare, me boys
     on the cold ground

    Why, soldiers, why
     should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why
     whose business ’tis to die?
    What? Sighing? Fie!
    Damn fear, drink on, be jolly boys!
    ’Tis he, you and I
     cold, hot, wet or dry
     we’re always bound to follow, boys
     and scorn to fly

    ’Tis but in vain
     (I mean not to upbraid you, boys)
    ’Tis but in vain
     for soldiers to complain
    Should next campaign
     send us to Him that made us, boys
     we’re free from pain
    But should we remain
     a bottle and kind landlady
     cures all again

    The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey.[209] Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, three years earlier.[210] Lots were cast for the choice of position and which second should start the duel. Both were won by Hamilton’s second, who chose the upper edge of the ledge for Hamilton facing the city to the east, toward the rising sun.[211] After the seconds had measured the paces Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol “as if to try the light” and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured.[212] Hamilton also refused the hairspring setting for the dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.[213]

    Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, delivering what proved to be a fatal wound. Hamilton’s shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr’s head.[171] Neither of the seconds, Pendleton nor Van Ness, could determine who fired first,[214] as each claimed that the other man had fired first.[213]

    Soon after, they measured and triangulated the shooting, but could not determine from which angle Hamilton had fired. Burr’s shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen above his right hip. The bullet ricocheted off Hamilton’s second or third false rib, fracturing it and causing considerable damage to his internal organs, particularly his liver and diaphragm, before becoming lodged in his first or second lumbar vertebra.[94]: 429 [215] The biographer Ron Chernow considers the circumstances to indicate that, after taking deliberate aim, Burr fired second,[216] while the biographer James Earnest Cooke suggests that Burr took careful aim and shot first, and Hamilton fired while falling, after being struck by Burr’s bullet.[217]

    The paralyzed Hamilton was immediately attended by the same surgeon who tended Phillip Hamilton, and ferried to the Greenwich Village boarding house of his friend William Bayard Jr., who had been waiting on the dock. After final visits from his family and friends and considerable suffering for at least 31 hours, Hamilton died at two o’clock the following afternoon, July 12, 1804,[218][219] at Bayard’s home just below the present Gansevoort Street.[220] The city fathers halted all business at noon two days later for Hamilton’s funeral, the procession route of about two miles organized by the Society of the Cincinnati had so many participants of every class of citizen that it took hours to complete, and was widely reported nationwide by newspapers.[221] Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy at his funeral and secretly established a fund to support his widow and children.[222] Hamilton was buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan.[223]

    While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. They were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.[224]

    Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton had eight children, though there is often confusion because two sons were named Philip:

    After Hamilton’s death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander’s letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton,[227] and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander’s memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.[228]

    Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth’s sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife’s older sister Angelica who, three years before Hamilton’s marriage to Elizabeth had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica’s fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton’s relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws.[229][230] Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth’s younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.[231]

    As a youth in the West Indies, Hamilton was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the “New Light” evangelical type (as opposed to the “Old Light” tradition); he was taught there by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.[232] He wrote two or three hymns, which were published in the local newspaper.[233] Robert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was “in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning”.[234]: 10 

    According to Gordon Wood, Hamilton dropped his youthful religiosity during the Revolution and became “a conventional liberal with theistic inclinations who was an irregular churchgoer at best”; however, he returned to religion in his last years.[235] Chernow wrote that Hamilton was nominally an Episcopalian, but:

    [H]e was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God who intervened in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God’s existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice.[236]

    Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[237] During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as “the atheist”, and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible.[237]: 316  After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of “some strong feeling of the mind” to elect “fit men” to office, and advocating “Christian welfare societies” for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God’s mercy.[note 5]

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[238] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[239] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[239] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[238]

    Hamilton’s birthplace on the island of Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one quarter of Charlestown’s white population by the 1720s.[1] He came into contact with Jews on a regular basis; as a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress, and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew.[234]

    Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.”[240] He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence:

    The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan? The man who will draw this conclusion, will look for the solution in the Bible. He who will not draw it ought to give us another fair solution.[241]

    Based on the phonetic similarity of “Lavien” to a common Jewish surname, it has often been suggested that the first husband of Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, a German or Dane named Johann Michael Lavien,[6] was Jewish or of Jewish descent.[242] On this foundation, historian Andrew Porwancher, a self-acknowledged “lone voice” whose “findings clash with much of the received wisdom on Hamilton”, has promoted a theory that Hamilton himself was Jewish.[243] Porwancher argues that Hamilton’s mother (French Huguenot on her father’s side[244]) must have converted to Judaism before marrying Lavien, and that even after her separation and bitter divorce from Lavien, she would still have raised her children by James Hamilton as Jews.[243][245] Reflecting the consensus of modern historians, historian Michael E. Newton wrote that “there is no evidence that Lavien is a Jewish name, no indication that John Lavien was Jewish, and no reason to believe that he was.”[20] Newton traced the suggestions to a 1902 work of historical fiction by novelist Gertrude Atherton.[20]

    Hamilton’s interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, as seen in scholarly studies and court decisions.[246] Although the Constitution was ambiguous as to the exact balance of power between national and state governments, Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states.[247] As Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Jefferson—the country’s first de facto central bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other federal powers, under Congress’s constitutional authority to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and to do anything else that would be “necessary and proper” to enact the provisions of the Constitution.[248]

    On the other hand, Jefferson took a stricter view of the Constitution. Parsing the text carefully, he found no specific authorization for a national bank. This controversy was eventually settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCulloch v. Maryland, which in essence adopted Hamilton’s view, granting the federal government broad freedom to select the best means to execute its constitutionally enumerated powers, specifically the doctrine of implied powers.[248] Nevertheless, the American Civil War and the Progressive Era demonstrated the sorts of crises and politics Hamilton’s administrative republic sought to avoid.[249][how?]

    Hamilton’s policies as Secretary of the Treasury greatly affected the United States government and still continue to influence it. His constitutional interpretation, specifically of the Necessary and Proper Clause, set precedents for federal authority that are still used by the courts and are considered an authority on constitutional interpretation. The prominent French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who spent 1794 in the United States, wrote, “I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton”, adding that Hamilton had intuited the problems of European conservatives.[250]

    Opinions of Hamilton have run the gamut as both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson viewed him as unprincipled and dangerously aristocratic. Hamilton’s reputation was mostly negative in the eras of Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy. The older Jeffersonian view attacked Hamilton as a centralizer, sometimes to the point of accusations that he advocated monarchy.[251] By the Progressive era, Herbert Croly, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt praised his leadership of a strong government. Several nineteenth- and twentieth-century Republicans entered politics by writing laudatory biographies of Hamilton.[252]

    In more recent years, according to Sean Wilentz, favorable views of Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars, who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive.[253] Modern scholars favoring Hamilton have portrayed Jefferson and his allies, in contrast, as naïve, dreamy idealists.[253]

    The lineage of Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery has been perpetuated in the United States Army in a series of units nicknamed “Hamilton’s Own”. It was carried as of 2010 by the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment. In the Regular Army, it is the oldest unit and the only one with credit for the Revolutionary War.[254]

    A number of Coast Guard vessels have been given a designation after Alexander Hamilton, including:

    A number of vessels in the U.S. Navy have borne the designation USS Hamilton, though some have been named for other men. The USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) was the second Lafayette-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine.

    Since the beginning of the American Civil War, Hamilton has been depicted on more denominations of U.S. currency than anyone else. He has appeared on the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $1,000 notes. Hamilton also appears on the $500 Series EE Savings Bond.

    Hamilton’s portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall.[257] In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of Harriet Tubman. It was later decided to leave Hamilton on the $10, and replace Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the $20.[258]

    The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi.[259] The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City.[260] On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.[261]

    The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr. It was built on Hamilton’s 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house “The Grange” after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000.[262] Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House), where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses.[262]

    The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011,[263] and is maintained by the National Park Service for public visitation .[264][265][266]

    Columbia University, Hamilton’s alma mater, has official memorials to Hamilton on its campus in New York City. The college’s main classroom building for the humanities is Hamilton Hall, and a large statue of Hamilton stands in front of it.[267][268] The university press has published his complete works in a multivolume letterpress edition.[269] Columbia University’s student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates is named the Alexander Hamilton Society.[270] Its undergraduate liberal arts college, Columbia College, also hands out the Alexander Hamilton Medal as its highest award to accomplished alumni and to those who have offered exceptional service to the school.[271]

    Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.[272]

    The main administration building of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is named Hamilton Hall to commemorate Hamilton’s creation of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, one of the predecessor services of the United States Coast Guard.[273]

    The U.S. Army’s Fort Hamilton (1831) in Brooklyn at the entrance to New York Harbor is named after Hamilton. It is the fourth oldest installation in the nation, after: West Point (1778), Carlisle Barracks (1779), and Fort Leslie J McNair (1791).

    In 1880, Hamilton’s son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.[274][275]

    The Hamilton Club in Brooklyn, NY commissioned William Ordway Partridge to cast a bronze statue of Hamilton that was completed in 1892 for exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition and later installed in front of the club on the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets in 1893. The club was absorbed by another and the building demolished, and so the statue was removed in 1936 to Hamilton Grange National Memorial, then located on Convent Avenue in Manhattan. Though the home it stood in front of on Convent Avenue was itself relocated in 2007, the statue remains at that location.

    A bronze statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, dated 1905–06, overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey.

    In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.[276]

    Construction for Hudson River Day Line of the PS Alexander Hamilton was completed in 1924. When the Alexander Hamilton retired from service as a passenger steamboat in 1971 it was one of the last operating sidewheel steamboats in the country. It was the last sidewheeler to traverse the Hudson River, and probably the East Coast. Its retirement signaled the end of an era.[277]

    In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939.[278] It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993.[278][279] The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.[278]

    Connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx is the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, an eight-lane steel arch bridge that carries traffic over the Harlem River, near his former Grange estate. It connects the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and the Cross-Bronx Expressway, as part of Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The bridge opened to traffic on January 15, 1963, the same day that the Cross-Bronx Expressway was completed.

    In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.[280]

    A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.[281]

    At Hamilton’s birthplace in Charlestown, Nevis, the Alexander Hamilton Museum was located in Hamilton House, a Georgian-style building rebuilt on the foundations of the house where Hamilton was once believed to have been born and to have lived during his childhood.[282] The Nevis Heritage Centre, located next door (to the south) of the museum building, is the current site of the museum’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit.[citation needed] The wooden building, historically of the same age as the museum building, was known locally as the Trott House, as Trott was the surname of the family that owned the house in recent times. Evidence gradually accumulated that the wooden house was the actual historical home of Hamilton and his mother, and in 2011, the wooden house and land were acquired by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.

    Numerous American towns and cities, including Hamilton, Kansas; Hamilton, Missouri; Hamilton, Massachusetts; and Hamilton, Ohio; were named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. In eight states, counties have been named for Hamilton:[283]

    Hamilton is not known to have ever owned slaves, although members of his family were slave owners. At the time of her death, Hamilton’s mother owned two slaves named Christian and Ajax, and she had written a will leaving them to her sons; however, due to their illegitimacy, Hamilton and his brother were held ineligible to inherit her property, and never took ownership of the slaves.[284]: 17  Later, as a youth in St. Croix, Hamilton worked for a company trading in commodities that included slaves.[284]: 17  During his career, Hamilton did occasionally handle financial transactions involving slaves as the legal representative of his own family members, and one of Hamilton’s grandsons interpreted some of these journal entries as being purchases for himself.[285][286] His son John Church Hamilton maintained the converse in the 1840 biography of his father: “He never owned a slave; but on the contrary, having learned that a domestic whom he had hired was about to be sold by her master, he immediately purchased her freedom.”[287]

    By the time of Hamilton’s early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolutionary War in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.[284]

    At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that “their natural faculties are as good as ours.”[288] Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions.[284]: 22  Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture’s revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt.[284]: 23  Hamilton’s suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804, when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere’s first independent state with a majority Black population, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.[284]: 23 

    Hamilton has been portrayed as the “patron saint”[citation needed] of the American School of economic philosophy that, according to one historian, dominated economic policy after 1861.[289] His ideas and work influenced the 18th century German economist Friedrich List,[290] and Abraham Lincoln’s chief economic advisor Henry C. Carey, among others.

    Hamilton firmly supported government intervention in favor of business, after the manner of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as early as the fall of 1781.[291][292][293] In contrast to the British policy of international mercantilism, which he believed skewed benefits to colonial and imperial powers, Hamilton was a pioneering advocate of protectionism.[294] He is credited with the idea that industrialization would only be possible with tariffs to protect the “infant industries” of an emerging nation.[143]

    Political theorists credit Hamilton with the creation of the modern administrative state, citing his arguments in favor of a strong executive, linked to the support of the people, as the linchpin of an administrative republic.[295][296] The dominance of executive leadership in the formulation and carrying out of policy was, in his view, essential to resist the deterioration of republican government.[297] Some scholars point to similarities between Hamiltonian recommendations and the development of Meiji Japan after 1860 as evidence of the global influence of Hamilton’s theory.[298]

    Hamilton has appeared as a significant figure in popular works of historical fiction, including many that focused on other American political figures of his time. In comparison to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton attracted relatively little attention in American popular culture in the 20th century,[299] apart from his portrait on the $10 bill.


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    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American revolutionary and statesman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the administration of President George Washington. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ American Revolutionary War debts, as well as establishing the nation’s first two de facto central banks (i.e. the Bank of North America and the First Bank of the United States), a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense.

    Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis. He was orphaned as a child and taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education. While a student, his opinion pieces supporting the Continental Congress were published under a nom de plume, and he also addressed crowds on the subject. He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. As an artillery officer in the new Continental Army he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign. In 1777, he became a senior aide to Commander in Chief General George Washington, but returned to field command in time for a pivotal action securing victory at the Siege of Yorktown, effectively ending hostilities.

    After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York before returning to politics. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York. He helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation.

    Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington’s first Cabinet. To this day he remains the youngest U.S. cabinet member to take office since the beginning of the Republic. Hamilton successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states’ debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States (i.e. the First Bank of the United States). These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. He opposed administration entanglement with the series of unstable French revolutionary governments. Hamilton’s views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York. He called for mobilization under President John Adams in 1798–99 against French First Republic military aggression, and became Commanding General of the U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, and Hamilton was outraged by Adams’ diplomatic approach to the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams’ re-election helped cause the Federalist Party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college, and Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.

    Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

    Hamilton is generally regarded as an astute and intellectually brilliant administrator, politician and financier, if often impetuous. His ideas are credited with laying the foundation for American government and finance.

    Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands (then part of the British West Indies). Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. (1753–1786)[3] were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette,[note 1] a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent,[10] and James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman who was the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Grange in Ayrshire.[11] Speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence. Rachel Faucette was listed as white on tax rolls.[12][13]

    It is not certain whether Hamilton’s birth was in 1755 or 1757.[14] Most historical evidence, after Hamilton’s arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton’s own writings.[15][16] Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton’s mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.[1]

    Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or perhaps wished to avoid standing out as older.[1] If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have simply included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother’s death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.[17] Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not entirely reliable. Richard Brookhiser noted that “a man is more likely to know his own birthday than a probate court.”[15]

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  • Hamilton’s mother had been married previously on St. Croix[18] in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark, to a Danish[6] or German merchant,[19][20] Johann Michael Lavien. They had one son, Peter Lavien.[18] In 1750, Faucette left her husband and first son; then traveled to Saint Kitts where she met James Hamilton.[18] Hamilton and Faucette moved together to Nevis, her birthplace, where she had inherited a seaside lot in town from her father.[1]

    James Hamilton later abandoned Rachel Faucette and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to “spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy… after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion.”[11] Thereafter, Rachel moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned.[21] This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood.[22] In probate court, Faucette’s “first husband seized her estate”[11] and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family’s books and returned them to Hamilton.[23]

    Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England.[24] He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated.[23] James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens.[25] Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton’s biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests.[23] However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported.[26] Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with “Your very Affectionate Father.”[27][28]

    Hamilton, despite being only in his teenage years, proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea.[29] He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane that had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772.[30] The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh Knox, a tutor and mentor to Hamilton, submitted the letter for publication in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that “for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto,” and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic “fire-and-brimstone sermon” viewing the hurricane as a “divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity.”[31] The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.[32]

    The Church of England denied membership to Alexander and James Hamilton Jr.—and education in the church school—because their parents were not legally married. They received “individual tutoring”[1] and classes in a private school led by a Jewish headmistress.[33] Alexander supplemented his education with the family library of 34 books.[34]

    In October 1772 Hamilton arrived by ship in Boston and proceeded from there to New York City. He took lodgings with the Irish-born Hercules Mulligan who, as the brother of a trader known to Hamilton’s benefactors, assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support.[35][36] Later in 1772, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He there came under the influence of William Livingston, a local leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.[37][38][39]

    Hamilton entered Mulligan’s alma mater King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student”, again boarding with Mulligan until officially matriculating in May 1774.[40] His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton’s clarity in concisely explaining the patriots’ case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton’s first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King’s College.[41] Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.[42][43]

    Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies.[44] Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act,[45] and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of “The Monitor” for Holt’s New York Journal.[46] Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.[47]

    Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during the British occupation of the city.[48] When the war ended, after some months of self-study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.[49] Hamilton was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the reconstituted Columbia College in 1788 for his work in reopening the college and placing it on firm financial footing. Hamilton was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.[50]

    In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King’s College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans,[51] later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.

    He drilled with the company, before classes, in the graveyard of nearby St. Paul’s Chapel. Hamilton studied military history and tactics on his own and was soon recommended for promotion.[52] Under fire from HMS Asia, he led the Hearts of Oak with support from Hercules Milligan and the Sons of Liberty on a successful raid for British cannons in the Battery, the capture of which resulted in the unit becoming an artillery company thereafter.[53]: 13 

    Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain.[54] The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, notably at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.[55][56]

    Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows;[56] 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.[57]

    Hamilton was invited to become an aide to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and another general, perhaps Nathanael Greene or Alexander McDougall.[58] He declined these invitations, believing his best chance for improving his station in life was glory on the battlefield. Hamilton eventually received an invitation he felt he could not refuse: to serve as Washington’s aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[59] Washington believed that “Aides de camp are persons in whom entire confidence must be placed and it requires men of abilities to execute the duties with propriety and dispatch.”[60]

    Hamilton served four years as Washington’s chief staff aide. He handled letters to Congress, state governors, and the most powerful generals of the Continental Army; he drafted many of Washington’s orders and letters at the latter’s direction; he eventually issued orders from Washington over Hamilton’s own signature.[61] Hamilton was involved in a wide variety of high-level duties, including intelligence, diplomacy, and negotiation with senior army officers as Washington’s emissary.[62][63]

    During the war, Hamilton became the close friend of several fellow officers. His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette[64] and to John Laurens, employing the sentimental literary conventions of the late eighteenth century and alluding to Greek history and mythology,[65] have been read by Jonathan Ned Katz as revelatory of a homosocial or even homosexual relationship.[66] Biographer Gregory D. Massey amongst others, by contrast, dismisses all such speculation as unsubstantiated, describing their friendship as purely platonic camaraderie instead and placing their correspondence in the context of the flowery diction of the time.[67]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff.[68] He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington’s headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, “thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn’t get his desired command.”[69]

    On July 31, Washington relented and assigned Hamilton as commander of a battalion of light infantry companies of the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments and two provisional companies from Connecticut.[70] In the planning for the assault on Yorktown, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, which were to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops in taking Redoubts No. 9 and No. 10 of the British fortifications at Yorktown. Hamilton and his battalions took Redoubt No. 10 with bayonets in a nighttime action, as planned. The French also suffered heavy casualties and took Redoubt No. 9. These actions forced the British surrender of an entire army at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the de facto end of the war, although small battles continued for two more years until the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the departure of the last British troops.[71][72]

    After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York.[73] Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782.[74] Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote,

    “The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress…the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace.”[75]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton had become frustrated with the decentralized nature of the wartime Continental Congress, particularly its dependence upon the states for voluntary financial support that was not often forthcoming. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to collect taxes or to demand money from the states. This lack of a stable source of funding had made it difficult for the Continental Army both to obtain its necessary provisions and to pay its soldiers. During the war, and for some time after, Congress obtained what funds it could from subsidies from the King of France, from aid requested from the several states (which were often unable or unwilling to contribute), and from European loans.[76]

    An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia’s rescission of its own ratification of this amendment ended the Rhode Island negotiations.[77][78]

    While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged.[79] By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers.[80] In 1782, after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army’s pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.[80]

    Several congressmen, including Hamilton, Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris (no relation), attempted to use this Newburgh Conspiracy as leverage to secure support from the states and in Congress for funding of the national government. They encouraged MacDougall to continue his aggressive approach, implying unknown consequences if their demands were not met, and defeated proposals designed to end the crisis without establishing general taxation: that the states assume the debt to the army, or that an impost be established dedicated to the sole purpose of paying that debt.[81]

    Hamilton suggested using the Army’s claims to prevail upon the states for the proposed national funding system.[82] The Morrises and Hamilton contacted General Henry Knox to suggest he and the officers defy civil authority, at least by not disbanding if the army were not satisfied. Hamilton wrote Washington to suggest that Hamilton covertly “take direction” of the officers’ efforts to secure redress, to secure continental funding but keep the army within the limits of moderation.[83][84] Washington wrote Hamilton back, declining to introduce the army.[85] After the crisis had ended, Washington warned of the dangers of using the army as leverage to gain support for the national funding plan.[83][86]

    On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally.[81] Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against[87]—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers’ pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton’s robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.[88]

    In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob.[83] Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there.[89] Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[89]

    Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783.[90] When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor’s Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.[91][53]: 64–69 

    In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing[update] banks in America.[92] Hamilton was one of the men who restored King’s College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation as too weak to be effective, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more effectual, more financially independent federal government.[93]

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler.[94]: 191 [95] Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government.[96][97] Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.[94]: 195 

    Early in the Convention Hamilton made a speech proposing a President-for-Life; it had no effect upon the deliberations of the convention. He proposed to have an elected president and elected senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse; this idea contributed later to the hostile view of Hamilton as a monarchist sympathizer, held by James Madison.[98] According to Madison’s notes, Hamilton said in regards to the executive, “The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emoluments so great, that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad… Let one executive be appointed for life who dares execute his powers.”[99]

    Hamilton argued, “And let me observe that an executive is less dangerous to the liberties of the people when in office during life than for seven years. It may be said this constitutes as an elective monarchy… But by making the executive subject to impeachment, the term ‘monarchy’ cannot apply…”[99] In his notes of the convention, Madison interpreted Hamilton’s proposal as claiming power for the “rich and well born”. Madison’s perspective all but isolated Hamilton from his fellow delegates and others who felt they did not reflect the ideas of revolution and liberty.[100]

    During the convention, Hamilton constructed a draft for the Constitution based on the convention debates, but he never presented it. This draft had most of the features of the actual Constitution. In this draft, the Senate was to be elected in proportion to the population, being two-fifths the size of the House, and the President and Senators were to be elected through complex multistage elections, in which chosen electors would elect smaller bodies of electors; they would hold office for life, but were removable for misconduct. The President would have an absolute veto. The Supreme Court was to have immediate jurisdiction over all lawsuits involving the United States, and state governors were to be appointed by the federal government.[101]

    At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also.[102] Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution.[94]: 206  He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document’s ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.[103]

    Members of Hamilton’s faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton’s faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state’s right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached.[103][104] Hamilton’s arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton’s rhetoric.[104] The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.[105]

    In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

    Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to defend the proposed Constitution. He made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation.[106] The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.[106]

    Hamilton wrote the first paper signed as Publius, and all of the subsequent papers were signed under the name.[94]: 210  Jay wrote the next four papers to elaborate on the confederation’s weakness and the need for unity against foreign aggression and against splitting into rival confederacies, and, except for Number 64, was not further involved.[107][94]: 211  Hamilton’s highlights included discussion that although republics have been culpable for disorders in the past, advances in the “science of politics” had fostered principles that ensured that those abuses could be prevented (such as the division of powers, legislative checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors [Numbers 7–9]).[107] Hamilton also wrote an extensive defense of the constitution (No. 23–36), and discussed the Senate and executive and judicial branches in Numbers 65–85. Hamilton and Madison worked to describe the anarchic state of the confederation in numbers 15–22, and have been described as not being entirely different in thought during this time period—in contrast to their stark opposition later in life.[107] Subtle differences appeared with the two when discussing the necessity of standing armies.[107]

    In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York’s laws within the grants. Ethan Allen’s militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.

    During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.

    By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction.[108] As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:

    One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky [at that time still a part of Virginia], for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont.

    In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York’s claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

    President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton’s advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[109] Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit.[110] So, the great enterprise in Hamilton’s project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.[111]

    Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790.[112] Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence.[112] The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt.[113] While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.[114][94]: 244–45 

    In the report, Hamilton felt that the securities should be paid at full value to their legitimate owners, including those who took the financial risk of buying government bonds that most experts thought would never be redeemed. He argued that liberty and property security were inseparable and that the government should honor the contracts, as they formed the basis of public and private morality. To Hamilton, the proper handling of the government debt would also allow America to borrow at affordable interest rates and would also be a stimulant to the economy.[113]

    Hamilton divided the debt into national and state, and further divided the national debt into foreign and domestic debt. While there was agreement on how to handle the foreign debt (especially with France), there was not with regards to the national debt held by domestic creditors. During the Revolutionary War, affluent citizens had invested in bonds, and war veterans had been paid with promissory notes and IOUs that plummeted in price during the Confederation. In response, the war veterans sold the securities to speculators for as little as fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar.[113][115]

    Hamilton felt the money from the bonds should not go to the soldiers who had shown little faith in the country’s future, but the speculators that had bought the bonds from the soldiers. The process of attempting to track down the original bondholders along with the government showing discrimination among the classes of holders if the war veterans were to be compensated also weighed in as factors for Hamilton. As for the state debts, Hamilton suggested consolidating them with the national debt and label it as federal debt, for the sake of efficiency on a national scale.[113]

    The last portion of the report dealt with eliminating the debt by utilizing a sinking fund that would retire five percent of the debt annually until it was paid off. Due to the bonds being traded well below their face value, the purchases would benefit the government as the securities rose in price.[116]: 300  When the report was submitted to the House of Representatives, detractors soon began to speak against it. Some of the negative views expressed in the House were that the notion of programs that resembled British practice were wicked, and that the balance of power would be shifted away from the representatives to the executive branch. William Maclay suspected that several congressmen were involved in government securities, seeing Congress in an unholy league with New York speculators.[116]: 302  Congressman James Jackson also spoke against New York, with allegations of speculators attempting to swindle those who had not yet heard about Hamilton’s report.[116]: 303 

    The involvement of those in Hamilton’s circle such as Schuyler, William Duer, James Duane, Gouverneur Morris, and Rufus King as speculators was not favorable to those against the report, either, though Hamilton personally did not own or deal a share in the debt.[116]: 304 [94]: 250  Madison eventually spoke against it by February 1790. Although he was not against current holders of government debt to profit, he wanted the windfall to go to the original holders. Madison did not feel that the original holders had lost faith in the government, but sold their securities out of desperation.[116]: 305  The compromise was seen as egregious to both Hamiltonians and their dissidents such as Maclay, and Madison’s vote was defeated 36 votes to 13 on February 22.[116]: 305 [94]: 255 

    The fight for the national government to assume state debt was a longer issue, and lasted over four months. During the period, the resources that Hamilton was to apply to the payment of state debts was requested by Alexander White, and was rejected due to Hamilton’s not being able to prepare information by March 3, and was even postponed by his own supporters in spite of configuring a report the next day (which consisted of a series of additional duties to meet the interest on the state debts).[94]: 297–98  Duer resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and the vote of assumption was voted down 31 votes to 29 on April 12.[94]: 258–59 

    During this period, Hamilton bypassed the rising issue of slavery in Congress, after Quakers petitioned for its abolition, returning to the issue the following year.[117]

    Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass.[94]: 263  Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by means of a “pill” that “would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them”.[94]: 263  The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.[94]: 263 

    Hamilton’s Report on a National Bank was a projection from the first Report on the Public Credit. Although Hamilton had been forming ideas of a national bank as early as 1779,[94]: 268  he had gathered ideas in various ways over the past eleven years. These included theories from Adam Smith,[118] extensive studies on the Bank of England, the blunders of the Bank of North America and his experience in establishing the Bank of New York.[119] He also used American records from James Wilson, Pelatiah Webster, Gouverneur Morris, and from his assistant treasury secretary Tench Coxe.[119] He thought that this plan for a National Bank could help in any sort of financial crisis.[120]

    Hamilton suggested that Congress should charter the National Bank with a capitalization of $10 million, one-fifth of which would be handled by the government. Since the government did not have the money, it would borrow the money from the bank itself, and repay the loan in ten even annual installments.[53]: 194  The rest was to be available to individual investors.[121] The bank was to be governed by a twenty-five-member board of directors that was to represent a large majority of the private shareholders, which Hamilton considered essential for his being under a private direction.[94]: 268  Hamilton’s bank model had many similarities to that of the Bank of England, except Hamilton wanted to exclude the government from being involved in public debt, but provide a large, firm, and elastic money supply for the functioning of normal businesses and usual economic development, among other differences.[53]: 194–95  The tax revenue to initiate the bank was the same as he had previously proposed, increases on imported spirits: rum, liquor, and whiskey.[53]: 195–96 

    The bill passed through the Senate practically without a problem, but objections to the proposal increased by the time it reached the House of Representatives. It was generally held by critics that Hamilton was serving the interests of the Northeast by means of the bank,[122] and those of the agrarian lifestyle would not benefit from it.[94]: 270  Among those critics was James Jackson of Georgia, who also attempted to refute the report by quoting from The Federalist Papers.[94]: 270  Madison and Jefferson also opposed the bank bill. The potential of the capital not being moved to the Potomac if the bank was to have a firm establishment in Philadelphia was a more significant reason, and actions that Pennsylvania members of Congress took to keep the capital there made both men anxious.[53]: 199–200 The Whiskey Rebellion also showed how in other financial plans, there was a distance between the classes as the wealthy profited from the taxes.[123]

    Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat.[53]: 200  Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members.[53]: 200–01  The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.[94]: 271 

    Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the ‘necessary and proper’ clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers “can all be carried into execution without a bank.”[94]: 271–72  Along with Randolph and Jefferson’s objections, Washington’s involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.[53]: 202–03  In response to the objection of the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, Hamilton stated that “Necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conductive to”, and the bank was a “convenient species of medium in which they (taxes) are to be paid.”[94]: 272–73  Washington would eventually sign the bill into law.[94]: 272–73 

    In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton’s ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.[53]: 197 [124]

    Because the most circulated coins in the United States at the time were Spanish currency, Hamilton proposed that minting a United States dollar weighing almost as much as the Spanish peso would be the simplest way to introduce a national currency.[125] Hamilton differed from European monetary policymakers in his desire to overprice gold relative to silver, on the grounds that the United States would always receive an influx of silver from the West Indies.[53]: 197  Despite his own preference for a monometallic gold standard,[126] he ultimately issued a bimetallic currency at a fixed 15:1 ratio of silver to gold.[53]: 197 [127][128]

    Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage.[129] This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris’s Nova Constellatio coins in 1783.[130] He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor.[53]: 198 [119] One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.[53]: 198 

    By 1792, Hamilton’s principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents.[126] The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.[126]

    Smuggling off American coasts was an issue before the Revolutionary War, and after the Revolution it was more problematic. Along with smuggling, lack of shipping control, pirating, and a revenue unbalance were also major problems.[131] In response, Hamilton proposed to Congress to enact a naval police force called revenue cutters in order to patrol the waters and assist the custom collectors with confiscating contraband.[132] This idea was also proposed to assist in tariff controlling, boosting the American economy, and promote the merchant marine.[131] It is thought that his experience obtained during his apprenticeship with Nicholas Kruger was influential in his decision-making.[133]

    Concerning some of the details of the “System of Cutters”,[134] [note 2] Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia.[132][135] Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured;[132] and provisions were made for the employees’ food supply and etiquette when boarding ships.[132] Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.[131]

    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison’s tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton’s that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).[136]

    In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits.[137][138] The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor.[138] In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption.[138] He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.[137]

    Opposition initially came from Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives protesting the tax. William Maclay had noted that not even the Pennsylvanian legislators had been able to enforce excise taxes in the western regions of the state.[137] Hamilton was aware of the potential difficulties and proposed inspectors the ability to search buildings that distillers were designated to store their spirits, and would be able to search suspected illegal storage facilities to confiscate contraband with a warrant.[139] Although the inspectors were not allowed to search houses and warehouses, they were to visit twice a day and file weekly reports in extensive detail.[137] Hamilton cautioned against expedited judicial means, and favored a jury trial with potential offenders.[139] As soon as 1791, locals began to shun or threaten inspectors, as they felt the inspection methods were intrusive.[137] Inspectors were also tarred and feathered, blindfolded, and whipped. Hamilton had attempted to appease the opposition with lowered tax rates, but it did not suffice.[140]

    Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.[141]

    Hamilton’s next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States’ independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791.[94]: 274, 277  In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory, respectively.[53]: 233  Hamilton also refuted Smith’s ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries.[53]: 244  Hamilton also thought that the United States, being a primarily agrarian country, would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe.[142] In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists’ interest would be advanced by manufactures,[94]: 276  and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.[53]: 233 [94]: 276 

    Hamilton argued that developing an industrial economy is impossible without protective tariffs.[143] Among the ways that the government should assist manufacturing, Hamilton argued for government assistance to “infant industries” so they can achieve economies of scale, by levying protective duties on imported foreign goods that were also manufactured in the United States,[144] for withdrawing duties levied on raw materials needed for domestic manufacturing,[94]: 277 [144] and pecuniary boundaries.[94]: 277  He also called for encouraging immigration for people to better themselves in similar employment opportunities.[144][145] Congress shelved the report without much debate (except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally as a legal basis for his extensive programs).[146]

    In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to examine The Passaic Falls as a possible location for a manufacturing center. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin’s hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile-long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
    [147]

    The location at Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey was selected due to access to raw materials, it being densely inhabited, and having access to water power from the falls of the Passaic.[53]: 231  The factory town was named Paterson after New Jersey’s Governor William Paterson, who signed the charter.[53]: 232 [148] The profits were to derive from specific corporates rather than the benefits to be conferred to the nation and the citizens, which was unlike the report.[149] Hamilton also suggested the first stock to be offered at $500,000 and to eventually increase to $1 million, and welcomed state and federal government subscriptions alike.[94]: 280 [149] The company was never successful: numerous shareholders reneged on stock payments, some members soon went bankrupt, and William Duer, the governor of the program, was sent to debtors’ prison where he died.[150] In spite of Hamilton’s efforts to mend the disaster, the company folded.[148]

    Hamilton’s vision was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Jeffersonian Republican party. They favored strong state governments based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national government supported by a national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as insufficiently devoted to republicanism, too friendly toward corrupt Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.[151]

    The American two-party system began to emerge as political parties coalesced around competing interests. A congressional caucus, led by Madison, Jefferson and William Branch Giles, began as an opposition group to Hamilton’s financial programs. Hamilton and his allies began to call themselves Federalists. The opposition group, now called the Democratic-Republican Party by political scientists, at the time called itself Republicans.[152][153]

    Hamilton assembled a nationwide coalition to garner support for the Administration, including the expansive financial programs Hamilton had made administration policy and especially the president’s policy of neutrality in the European war between Britain and revolutionary France. Hamilton publicly denounced the French minister Edmond-Charles Genêt (he called himself “Citizen Genêt”) who commissioned American privateers and recruited Americans for private militias to attack British ships and colonial possessions of British allies. Eventually, even Jefferson joined Hamilton in seeking Genêt’s recall.[154] If Hamilton’s administrative republic was to succeed, Americans had to see themselves first as citizens of a nation, and experience an administration that proved firm and demonstrated the concepts found within the United States Constitution.[155] The Federalists did impose some internal direct taxes but they departed from most implications of the Hamilton administrative republic as risky.[156]

    The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored the series of unstable revolutionary governments in France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.[157]

    The opposition between Hamilton and Jefferson is the best known and historically the most important[weasel words] in American political history.[original research?] Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s incompatibility was heightened by the unavowed wish of each to be Washington’s principal and most trusted advisor.[158]

    An additional partisan irritant to Hamilton was the 1791 United States Senate election in New York, which resulted in the election of Democratic-Republican candidate Aaron Burr, previously the New York state attorney general, over Senator Philip Schuyler, the Federalist incumbent and Hamilton’s father-in-law. Hamilton blamed Burr personally for this outcome, and negative characterizations of Burr began to appear in his correspondence thereafter. The two men did work together from time to time thereafter on various projects, including Hamilton’s army of 1798 and the Manhattan Water Company.[159]

    When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to have the French ambassador who was raising privateers and mercenaries on American soil, “Citizen” Genêt, recalled.[160]: 336–41  However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.[94]: 327–28 

    To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay’s instructions. The result was Jay’s Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land.[161] The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain.[160]: Ch 9  Historian George Herring notes the “remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains” produced by the Treaty.[162]

    Several European states had formed a League of Armed Neutrality against incursions on their neutral rights; the Cabinet was also consulted on whether the United States should join the alliance, and decided not to. It kept that decision secret, but Hamilton revealed it in private to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, without telling Jay or anyone else. His act remained unknown until Hammond’s dispatches were read in the 1920s. This “amazing revelation” may have had limited effect on the negotiations; Jay did threaten to join the League at one point, but the British had other reasons not to view the League as a serious threat.[160]: 411 ff [163]

    Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months’ notice,[164] in the wake of his wife Eliza’s miscarriage[165] while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion.[166] Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included in a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary.[167] Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.[168]

    Hamilton’s resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter’s draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton’s.[169][170]

    In the election of 1796, under the Constitution as it stood then, each of the presidential electors had two votes, which they were to cast for different men. The one who received the most votes would become president, the second-most, vice president. This system was not designed with the operation of parties in mind, as they had been thought disreputable and factious. The Federalists planned to deal with this by having all their Electors vote for John Adams, then vice president, and all but a few for Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina.[171]

    Adams resented Hamilton’s influence with Washington and considered him overambitious and scandalous in his private life; Hamilton compared Adams unfavorably with Washington and thought him too emotionally unstable to be president.[172] Hamilton took the election as an opportunity: he urged all the northern electors to vote for Adams and Pinckney, lest Jefferson get in; but he cooperated with Edward Rutledge to have South Carolina’s electors vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. If all this worked, Pinckney would have more votes than Adams, Pinckney would become president, and Adams would remain vice president, but it did not work. The Federalists found out about it (even the French minister to the United States knew), and northern Federalists voted for Adams but not for Pinckney, in sufficient numbers that Pinckney came in third and Jefferson became vice president.[173] Adams resented the intrigue since he felt his service to the nation was much more extensive than Pinckney’s.[174]

    In the summer of 1797, Hamilton became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.[175] Six years earlier, in the summer of 1791, 34-year-old Hamilton became involved in an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds. According to Hamilton’s account Maria approached him at his house in Philadelphia, claiming that her husband James Reynolds was abusive and had abandoned her, and she wished to return to her relatives in New York but lacked the means.[94]: 366–69  Hamilton recorded her address and subsequently delivered $30 personally to her boarding house, where she led him into her bedroom and “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. The two began an intermittent illicit affair that lasted approximately until June 1792.[176]

    Over the course of that year, while the affair was taking place, James Reynolds was well aware of his wife’s unfaithfulness, and likely orchestrated it from the beginning. He continually supported their relationship to extort blackmail money regularly from Hamilton. The common practice of the day for men of equal social standing was for the wronged husband to seek retribution in a duel, but Reynolds, of a lower social status and realizing how much Hamilton had to lose if his activity came into public view, resorted to extortion.[177] After an initial request of $1,000[178] to which Hamilton complied, Reynolds invited Hamilton to renew his visits to his wife “as a friend”[179] only to extort forced “loans” after each visit that, the most likely colluding Maria, solicited with her letters. In the end, the blackmail payments totaled over $1,300 including the initial extortion.[94]: 369  Hamilton at this point may have been aware of both spouses being involved in the blackmail,[180] and he welcomed and strictly complied with James Reynolds’ request to end the affair.[176][181]

    In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans’ unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to Democratic-Republican congressman James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence incriminating Hamilton in illicit activity as Treasury Secretary. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792.[176] Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both of the Reynolds, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio agreed on their honor to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.[94]: 366–69 

    In the summer of 1797, however, the “notoriously scurrilous” journalist James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796.[53]: 334  The pamphlet contained accusations, based on documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792, that James Reynolds had been an agent of Hamilton. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All but Monroe complied with Hamilton’s request. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in indelicate detail for the time. Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but never forgave Monroe.[182] Although Hamilton faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.[53]: 334–36 

    During the military build-up of the Quasi-War of 1798–1800, and with the strong endorsement of Washington (who had been called out of retirement to lead the Army if a French invasion materialized), Adams reluctantly appointed Hamilton a major general of the army. At Washington’s insistence, Hamilton was made the senior major general, prompting Henry Knox to decline appointment to serve as Hamilton’s junior (Knox had been a major general in the Continental Army and thought it would be degrading to serve beneath him).[183][184]

    Hamilton served as inspector general of the United States Army from July 18, 1798, to June 15, 1800. Because Washington was unwilling to leave Mount Vernon unless it were to command an army in the field, Hamilton was the de facto head of the army, to Adams’s considerable displeasure. If full-scale war broke out with France, Hamilton argued that the army should conquer the North American colonies of France’s ally, Spain, bordering the United States.[185] Hamilton was prepared to march the army through the Southern United States if necessary.[186]

    To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He urged them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton complained to him for slowness, and urged Wolcott to tax houses instead of land.[187] The eventual program included taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states and requiring assessment of houses, and a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution though this time Americans were taxing themselves through their own representatives.[188] This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania nevertheless, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.[189]

    Hamilton aided in all areas of the army’s development, and after Washington’s death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace.[190] There was no longer a direct threat for the army Hamilton was commanding to respond to.[191] Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.[192]

    In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party’s own nominee, John Adams.[94]: 392–99  In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.[193]

    Aaron Burr had won New York for Jefferson in May; now Hamilton proposed a rerun of the election under different rules—with carefully drawn districts and each choosing an elector—such that the Federalists would split the electoral vote of New York.[note 3] (John Jay, a Federalist who had given up the Supreme Court to be Governor of New York, wrote on the back of the letter the words, “Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt,” and declined to reply.)[194]

    John Adams was running this time with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina (the elder brother of candidate Thomas Pinckney from the 1796 election). Hamilton now toured New England, again urging northern electors to hold firm for Pinckney in the renewed hope of making Pinckney president; and he again intrigued in South Carolina.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton’s ideas involved coaxing middle-state Federalists to assert their non-support for Adams if there was no support for Pinckney and writing to more of the modest supports of Adams concerning his supposed misconduct while president.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton expected to see southern states such as the Carolinas cast their votes for Pinckney and Jefferson, and would result in the former being ahead of both Adams and Jefferson.[94]: 394–95 

    In accordance with the second of the aforementioned plans, and a recent personal rift with Adams,[53]: 351  Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that was highly critical of him, though it closed with a tepid endorsement.[94]: 396  He mailed this to two hundred leading Federalists; when a copy fell into the Democratic-Republicans’ hands, they printed it. This hurt Adams’s 1800 reelection campaign and split the Federalist Party, virtually assuring the victory of the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Jefferson, in the election of 1800; it diminished Hamilton’s position among many Federalists.[195]

    Jefferson had beaten Adams, but both he and Aaron Burr had received 73 votes in the Electoral College (Adams finished in third place, Pinckney in fourth, and Jay received one vote). With Jefferson and Burr tied, the United States House of Representatives had to choose between the two men.[53]: 352 [94]: 399  Several Federalists who opposed Jefferson supported Burr, and for the first 35 ballots, Jefferson was denied a majority. Before the 36th ballot, Hamilton threw his weight behind Jefferson, supporting the arrangement reached by James A. Bayard of Delaware, in which five Federalist Representatives from Maryland and Vermont abstained from voting, allowing those states’ delegations to go for Jefferson, ending the impasse and electing Jefferson president rather than Burr.[53]: 350–51 

    Even though Hamilton did not like Jefferson and disagreed with him on many issues, he viewed Jefferson as the lesser of two evils. Hamilton spoke of Jefferson as being “by far not so a dangerous man”, and that Burr was a “mischievous enemy” to the principal measure of the past administration.[196] It was for that reason, along with the fact that Burr was a northerner and not a Virginian, that many Federalist Representatives voted for him.[197]

    Hamilton wrote many letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise.[53]: 352 [94]: 401  The Federalists rejected Hamilton’s diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr.[53]: 353 [94]: 401  Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency,[198] Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.[199]

    Soon after the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York—in which Morgan Lewis, greatly assisted by Hamilton, defeated Aaron Burr—the Albany Register published Charles D. Cooper’s letters, citing Hamilton’s opposition to Burr and alleging that Hamilton had expressed “a still more despicable opinion” of the Vice President at an upstate New York dinner party.[200][201] Cooper claimed that the letter was intercepted after relaying the information, but stated he was “unusually cautious” in recollecting the information from the dinner.[202]

    Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper’s letter out of cowardice.[94]: 423–24  After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.[94]: 426 

    The concept of honor was fundamental to Hamilton’s vision of himself and of the nation.[203] Historians have noted, as evidence of the importance that honor held in Hamilton’s value system, that Hamilton had previously been a party to seven “affairs of honor” as a principal, and to three as an advisor or second.[204] Such affairs were often concluded prior to reaching their final stage, a duel.[204]

    Before the duel, Hamilton wrote an explanation of his decision to duel while at the same time intending to “throw away” his shot.[205] Hamilton viewed his roles of being a father and husband, putting his creditors at risk, placing his family’s welfare in jeopardy and his moral and religious stances as reasons not to duel, but he felt it impossible to avoid due to having made attacks on Burr which he was unable to recant, and because of Burr’s behavior prior to the duel. He attempted to reconcile his moral and religious reasons and the codes of honor and politics. He intended to accept the duel in order to satisfy his morals, and throw away his fire to satisfy his political codes.[206][200][note 4] His desire to be available for future political matters also played a factor.[200] A week before the duel, at an annual Independence Day dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati, both Hamilton and Burr were in attendance. Separate accounts confirm that Hamilton was uncharactaristaclly effusive while Burr was by conrast uncharactaristiaclly withdrawn. Accounts also agree that Burr became roused when Hamilton, again uncharactaristically, sang a favorite song. Long thought to have been a different tune, recent scholarship indicates that it was “How Stands the Glass Around”, an anthem sung by military troops about fighting and dying in war:[207]

    How stands the glass around?
     For shame, ye take no care, me boys!
    How stands the glass around?
     Let mirth and wine abound
    The trumpets sound!
    The colours, they are flying, boys
    To fight, kill or wound
     may we still be found
     content with our hard fare, me boys
     on the cold ground

    Why, soldiers, why
     should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why
     whose business ’tis to die?
    What? Sighing? Fie!
    Damn fear, drink on, be jolly boys!
    ’Tis he, you and I
     cold, hot, wet or dry
     we’re always bound to follow, boys
     and scorn to fly

    ’Tis but in vain
     (I mean not to upbraid you, boys)
    ’Tis but in vain
     for soldiers to complain
    Should next campaign
     send us to Him that made us, boys
     we’re free from pain
    But should we remain
     a bottle and kind landlady
     cures all again

    The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey.[209] Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, three years earlier.[210] Lots were cast for the choice of position and which second should start the duel. Both were won by Hamilton’s second, who chose the upper edge of the ledge for Hamilton facing the city to the east, toward the rising sun.[211] After the seconds had measured the paces Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol “as if to try the light” and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured.[212] Hamilton also refused the hairspring setting for the dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.[213]

    Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, delivering what proved to be a fatal wound. Hamilton’s shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr’s head.[171] Neither of the seconds, Pendleton nor Van Ness, could determine who fired first,[214] as each claimed that the other man had fired first.[213]

    Soon after, they measured and triangulated the shooting, but could not determine from which angle Hamilton had fired. Burr’s shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen above his right hip. The bullet ricocheted off Hamilton’s second or third false rib, fracturing it and causing considerable damage to his internal organs, particularly his liver and diaphragm, before becoming lodged in his first or second lumbar vertebra.[94]: 429 [215] The biographer Ron Chernow considers the circumstances to indicate that, after taking deliberate aim, Burr fired second,[216] while the biographer James Earnest Cooke suggests that Burr took careful aim and shot first, and Hamilton fired while falling, after being struck by Burr’s bullet.[217]

    The paralyzed Hamilton was immediately attended by the same surgeon who tended Phillip Hamilton, and ferried to the Greenwich Village boarding house of his friend William Bayard Jr., who had been waiting on the dock. After final visits from his family and friends and considerable suffering for at least 31 hours, Hamilton died at two o’clock the following afternoon, July 12, 1804,[218][219] at Bayard’s home just below the present Gansevoort Street.[220] The city fathers halted all business at noon two days later for Hamilton’s funeral, the procession route of about two miles organized by the Society of the Cincinnati had so many participants of every class of citizen that it took hours to complete, and was widely reported nationwide by newspapers.[221] Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy at his funeral and secretly established a fund to support his widow and children.[222] Hamilton was buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan.[223]

    While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. They were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.[224]

    Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton had eight children, though there is often confusion because two sons were named Philip:

    After Hamilton’s death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander’s letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton,[227] and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander’s memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.[228]

    Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth’s sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife’s older sister Angelica who, three years before Hamilton’s marriage to Elizabeth had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica’s fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton’s relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws.[229][230] Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth’s younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.[231]

    As a youth in the West Indies, Hamilton was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the “New Light” evangelical type (as opposed to the “Old Light” tradition); he was taught there by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.[232] He wrote two or three hymns, which were published in the local newspaper.[233] Robert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was “in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning”.[234]: 10 

    According to Gordon Wood, Hamilton dropped his youthful religiosity during the Revolution and became “a conventional liberal with theistic inclinations who was an irregular churchgoer at best”; however, he returned to religion in his last years.[235] Chernow wrote that Hamilton was nominally an Episcopalian, but:

    [H]e was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God who intervened in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God’s existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice.[236]

    Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[237] During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as “the atheist”, and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible.[237]: 316  After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of “some strong feeling of the mind” to elect “fit men” to office, and advocating “Christian welfare societies” for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God’s mercy.[note 5]

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[238] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[239] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[239] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[238]

    Hamilton’s birthplace on the island of Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one quarter of Charlestown’s white population by the 1720s.[1] He came into contact with Jews on a regular basis; as a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress, and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew.[234]

    Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.”[240] He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence:

    The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan? The man who will draw this conclusion, will look for the solution in the Bible. He who will not draw it ought to give us another fair solution.[241]

    Based on the phonetic similarity of “Lavien” to a common Jewish surname, it has often been suggested that the first husband of Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, a German or Dane named Johann Michael Lavien,[6] was Jewish or of Jewish descent.[242] On this foundation, historian Andrew Porwancher, a self-acknowledged “lone voice” whose “findings clash with much of the received wisdom on Hamilton”, has promoted a theory that Hamilton himself was Jewish.[243] Porwancher argues that Hamilton’s mother (French Huguenot on her father’s side[244]) must have converted to Judaism before marrying Lavien, and that even after her separation and bitter divorce from Lavien, she would still have raised her children by James Hamilton as Jews.[243][245] Reflecting the consensus of modern historians, historian Michael E. Newton wrote that “there is no evidence that Lavien is a Jewish name, no indication that John Lavien was Jewish, and no reason to believe that he was.”[20] Newton traced the suggestions to a 1902 work of historical fiction by novelist Gertrude Atherton.[20]

    Hamilton’s interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, as seen in scholarly studies and court decisions.[246] Although the Constitution was ambiguous as to the exact balance of power between national and state governments, Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states.[247] As Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Jefferson—the country’s first de facto central bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other federal powers, under Congress’s constitutional authority to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and to do anything else that would be “necessary and proper” to enact the provisions of the Constitution.[248]

    On the other hand, Jefferson took a stricter view of the Constitution. Parsing the text carefully, he found no specific authorization for a national bank. This controversy was eventually settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCulloch v. Maryland, which in essence adopted Hamilton’s view, granting the federal government broad freedom to select the best means to execute its constitutionally enumerated powers, specifically the doctrine of implied powers.[248] Nevertheless, the American Civil War and the Progressive Era demonstrated the sorts of crises and politics Hamilton’s administrative republic sought to avoid.[249][how?]

    Hamilton’s policies as Secretary of the Treasury greatly affected the United States government and still continue to influence it. His constitutional interpretation, specifically of the Necessary and Proper Clause, set precedents for federal authority that are still used by the courts and are considered an authority on constitutional interpretation. The prominent French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who spent 1794 in the United States, wrote, “I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton”, adding that Hamilton had intuited the problems of European conservatives.[250]

    Opinions of Hamilton have run the gamut as both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson viewed him as unprincipled and dangerously aristocratic. Hamilton’s reputation was mostly negative in the eras of Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy. The older Jeffersonian view attacked Hamilton as a centralizer, sometimes to the point of accusations that he advocated monarchy.[251] By the Progressive era, Herbert Croly, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt praised his leadership of a strong government. Several nineteenth- and twentieth-century Republicans entered politics by writing laudatory biographies of Hamilton.[252]

    In more recent years, according to Sean Wilentz, favorable views of Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars, who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive.[253] Modern scholars favoring Hamilton have portrayed Jefferson and his allies, in contrast, as naïve, dreamy idealists.[253]

    The lineage of Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery has been perpetuated in the United States Army in a series of units nicknamed “Hamilton’s Own”. It was carried as of 2010 by the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment. In the Regular Army, it is the oldest unit and the only one with credit for the Revolutionary War.[254]

    A number of Coast Guard vessels have been given a designation after Alexander Hamilton, including:

    A number of vessels in the U.S. Navy have borne the designation USS Hamilton, though some have been named for other men. The USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) was the second Lafayette-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine.

    Since the beginning of the American Civil War, Hamilton has been depicted on more denominations of U.S. currency than anyone else. He has appeared on the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $1,000 notes. Hamilton also appears on the $500 Series EE Savings Bond.

    Hamilton’s portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall.[257] In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of Harriet Tubman. It was later decided to leave Hamilton on the $10, and replace Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the $20.[258]

    The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi.[259] The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City.[260] On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.[261]

    The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr. It was built on Hamilton’s 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house “The Grange” after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000.[262] Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House), where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses.[262]

    The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011,[263] and is maintained by the National Park Service for public visitation .[264][265][266]

    Columbia University, Hamilton’s alma mater, has official memorials to Hamilton on its campus in New York City. The college’s main classroom building for the humanities is Hamilton Hall, and a large statue of Hamilton stands in front of it.[267][268] The university press has published his complete works in a multivolume letterpress edition.[269] Columbia University’s student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates is named the Alexander Hamilton Society.[270] Its undergraduate liberal arts college, Columbia College, also hands out the Alexander Hamilton Medal as its highest award to accomplished alumni and to those who have offered exceptional service to the school.[271]

    Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.[272]

    The main administration building of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is named Hamilton Hall to commemorate Hamilton’s creation of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, one of the predecessor services of the United States Coast Guard.[273]

    The U.S. Army’s Fort Hamilton (1831) in Brooklyn at the entrance to New York Harbor is named after Hamilton. It is the fourth oldest installation in the nation, after: West Point (1778), Carlisle Barracks (1779), and Fort Leslie J McNair (1791).

    In 1880, Hamilton’s son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.[274][275]

    The Hamilton Club in Brooklyn, NY commissioned William Ordway Partridge to cast a bronze statue of Hamilton that was completed in 1892 for exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition and later installed in front of the club on the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets in 1893. The club was absorbed by another and the building demolished, and so the statue was removed in 1936 to Hamilton Grange National Memorial, then located on Convent Avenue in Manhattan. Though the home it stood in front of on Convent Avenue was itself relocated in 2007, the statue remains at that location.

    A bronze statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, dated 1905–06, overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey.

    In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.[276]

    Construction for Hudson River Day Line of the PS Alexander Hamilton was completed in 1924. When the Alexander Hamilton retired from service as a passenger steamboat in 1971 it was one of the last operating sidewheel steamboats in the country. It was the last sidewheeler to traverse the Hudson River, and probably the East Coast. Its retirement signaled the end of an era.[277]

    In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939.[278] It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993.[278][279] The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.[278]

    Connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx is the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, an eight-lane steel arch bridge that carries traffic over the Harlem River, near his former Grange estate. It connects the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and the Cross-Bronx Expressway, as part of Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The bridge opened to traffic on January 15, 1963, the same day that the Cross-Bronx Expressway was completed.

    In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.[280]

    A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.[281]

    At Hamilton’s birthplace in Charlestown, Nevis, the Alexander Hamilton Museum was located in Hamilton House, a Georgian-style building rebuilt on the foundations of the house where Hamilton was once believed to have been born and to have lived during his childhood.[282] The Nevis Heritage Centre, located next door (to the south) of the museum building, is the current site of the museum’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit.[citation needed] The wooden building, historically of the same age as the museum building, was known locally as the Trott House, as Trott was the surname of the family that owned the house in recent times. Evidence gradually accumulated that the wooden house was the actual historical home of Hamilton and his mother, and in 2011, the wooden house and land were acquired by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.

    Numerous American towns and cities, including Hamilton, Kansas; Hamilton, Missouri; Hamilton, Massachusetts; and Hamilton, Ohio; were named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. In eight states, counties have been named for Hamilton:[283]

    Hamilton is not known to have ever owned slaves, although members of his family were slave owners. At the time of her death, Hamilton’s mother owned two slaves named Christian and Ajax, and she had written a will leaving them to her sons; however, due to their illegitimacy, Hamilton and his brother were held ineligible to inherit her property, and never took ownership of the slaves.[284]: 17  Later, as a youth in St. Croix, Hamilton worked for a company trading in commodities that included slaves.[284]: 17  During his career, Hamilton did occasionally handle financial transactions involving slaves as the legal representative of his own family members, and one of Hamilton’s grandsons interpreted some of these journal entries as being purchases for himself.[285][286] His son John Church Hamilton maintained the converse in the 1840 biography of his father: “He never owned a slave; but on the contrary, having learned that a domestic whom he had hired was about to be sold by her master, he immediately purchased her freedom.”[287]

    By the time of Hamilton’s early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolutionary War in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.[284]

    At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that “their natural faculties are as good as ours.”[288] Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions.[284]: 22  Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture’s revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt.[284]: 23  Hamilton’s suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804, when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere’s first independent state with a majority Black population, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.[284]: 23 

    Hamilton has been portrayed as the “patron saint”[citation needed] of the American School of economic philosophy that, according to one historian, dominated economic policy after 1861.[289] His ideas and work influenced the 18th century German economist Friedrich List,[290] and Abraham Lincoln’s chief economic advisor Henry C. Carey, among others.

    Hamilton firmly supported government intervention in favor of business, after the manner of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as early as the fall of 1781.[291][292][293] In contrast to the British policy of international mercantilism, which he believed skewed benefits to colonial and imperial powers, Hamilton was a pioneering advocate of protectionism.[294] He is credited with the idea that industrialization would only be possible with tariffs to protect the “infant industries” of an emerging nation.[143]

    Political theorists credit Hamilton with the creation of the modern administrative state, citing his arguments in favor of a strong executive, linked to the support of the people, as the linchpin of an administrative republic.[295][296] The dominance of executive leadership in the formulation and carrying out of policy was, in his view, essential to resist the deterioration of republican government.[297] Some scholars point to similarities between Hamiltonian recommendations and the development of Meiji Japan after 1860 as evidence of the global influence of Hamilton’s theory.[298]

    Hamilton has appeared as a significant figure in popular works of historical fiction, including many that focused on other American political figures of his time. In comparison to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton attracted relatively little attention in American popular culture in the 20th century,[299] apart from his portrait on the $10 bill.


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    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American revolutionary and statesman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the administration of President George Washington. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ American Revolutionary War debts, as well as establishing the nation’s first two de facto central banks (i.e. the Bank of North America and the First Bank of the United States), a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense.

    Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis. He was orphaned as a child and taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education. While a student, his opinion pieces supporting the Continental Congress were published under a nom de plume, and he also addressed crowds on the subject. He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. As an artillery officer in the new Continental Army he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign. In 1777, he became a senior aide to Commander in Chief General George Washington, but returned to field command in time for a pivotal action securing victory at the Siege of Yorktown, effectively ending hostilities.

    After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York before returning to politics. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York. He helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation.

    Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington’s first Cabinet. To this day he remains the youngest U.S. cabinet member to take office since the beginning of the Republic. Hamilton successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states’ debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States (i.e. the First Bank of the United States). These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. He opposed administration entanglement with the series of unstable French revolutionary governments. Hamilton’s views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York. He called for mobilization under President John Adams in 1798–99 against French First Republic military aggression, and became Commanding General of the U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, and Hamilton was outraged by Adams’ diplomatic approach to the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams’ re-election helped cause the Federalist Party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college, and Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.

    Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

    Hamilton is generally regarded as an astute and intellectually brilliant administrator, politician and financier, if often impetuous. His ideas are credited with laying the foundation for American government and finance.

    Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands (then part of the British West Indies). Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. (1753–1786)[3] were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette,[note 1] a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent,[10] and James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman who was the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Grange in Ayrshire.[11] Speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence. Rachel Faucette was listed as white on tax rolls.[12][13]

    It is not certain whether Hamilton’s birth was in 1755 or 1757.[14] Most historical evidence, after Hamilton’s arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton’s own writings.[15][16] Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton’s mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.[1]

    Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or perhaps wished to avoid standing out as older.[1] If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have simply included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother’s death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.[17] Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not entirely reliable. Richard Brookhiser noted that “a man is more likely to know his own birthday than a probate court.”[15]

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  • Hamilton’s mother had been married previously on St. Croix[18] in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark, to a Danish[6] or German merchant,[19][20] Johann Michael Lavien. They had one son, Peter Lavien.[18] In 1750, Faucette left her husband and first son; then traveled to Saint Kitts where she met James Hamilton.[18] Hamilton and Faucette moved together to Nevis, her birthplace, where she had inherited a seaside lot in town from her father.[1]

    James Hamilton later abandoned Rachel Faucette and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to “spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy… after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion.”[11] Thereafter, Rachel moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned.[21] This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood.[22] In probate court, Faucette’s “first husband seized her estate”[11] and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family’s books and returned them to Hamilton.[23]

    Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England.[24] He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated.[23] James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens.[25] Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton’s biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests.[23] However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported.[26] Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with “Your very Affectionate Father.”[27][28]

    Hamilton, despite being only in his teenage years, proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea.[29] He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane that had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772.[30] The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh Knox, a tutor and mentor to Hamilton, submitted the letter for publication in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that “for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto,” and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic “fire-and-brimstone sermon” viewing the hurricane as a “divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity.”[31] The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.[32]

    The Church of England denied membership to Alexander and James Hamilton Jr.—and education in the church school—because their parents were not legally married. They received “individual tutoring”[1] and classes in a private school led by a Jewish headmistress.[33] Alexander supplemented his education with the family library of 34 books.[34]

    In October 1772 Hamilton arrived by ship in Boston and proceeded from there to New York City. He took lodgings with the Irish-born Hercules Mulligan who, as the brother of a trader known to Hamilton’s benefactors, assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support.[35][36] Later in 1772, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He there came under the influence of William Livingston, a local leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.[37][38][39]

    Hamilton entered Mulligan’s alma mater King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student”, again boarding with Mulligan until officially matriculating in May 1774.[40] His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton’s clarity in concisely explaining the patriots’ case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton’s first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King’s College.[41] Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.[42][43]

    Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies.[44] Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act,[45] and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of “The Monitor” for Holt’s New York Journal.[46] Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.[47]

    Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during the British occupation of the city.[48] When the war ended, after some months of self-study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.[49] Hamilton was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the reconstituted Columbia College in 1788 for his work in reopening the college and placing it on firm financial footing. Hamilton was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.[50]

    In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King’s College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans,[51] later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.

    He drilled with the company, before classes, in the graveyard of nearby St. Paul’s Chapel. Hamilton studied military history and tactics on his own and was soon recommended for promotion.[52] Under fire from HMS Asia, he led the Hearts of Oak with support from Hercules Milligan and the Sons of Liberty on a successful raid for British cannons in the Battery, the capture of which resulted in the unit becoming an artillery company thereafter.[53]: 13 

    Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain.[54] The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, notably at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.[55][56]

    Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows;[56] 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.[57]

    Hamilton was invited to become an aide to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and another general, perhaps Nathanael Greene or Alexander McDougall.[58] He declined these invitations, believing his best chance for improving his station in life was glory on the battlefield. Hamilton eventually received an invitation he felt he could not refuse: to serve as Washington’s aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[59] Washington believed that “Aides de camp are persons in whom entire confidence must be placed and it requires men of abilities to execute the duties with propriety and dispatch.”[60]

    Hamilton served four years as Washington’s chief staff aide. He handled letters to Congress, state governors, and the most powerful generals of the Continental Army; he drafted many of Washington’s orders and letters at the latter’s direction; he eventually issued orders from Washington over Hamilton’s own signature.[61] Hamilton was involved in a wide variety of high-level duties, including intelligence, diplomacy, and negotiation with senior army officers as Washington’s emissary.[62][63]

    During the war, Hamilton became the close friend of several fellow officers. His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette[64] and to John Laurens, employing the sentimental literary conventions of the late eighteenth century and alluding to Greek history and mythology,[65] have been read by Jonathan Ned Katz as revelatory of a homosocial or even homosexual relationship.[66] Biographer Gregory D. Massey amongst others, by contrast, dismisses all such speculation as unsubstantiated, describing their friendship as purely platonic camaraderie instead and placing their correspondence in the context of the flowery diction of the time.[67]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff.[68] He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington’s headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, “thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn’t get his desired command.”[69]

    On July 31, Washington relented and assigned Hamilton as commander of a battalion of light infantry companies of the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments and two provisional companies from Connecticut.[70] In the planning for the assault on Yorktown, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, which were to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops in taking Redoubts No. 9 and No. 10 of the British fortifications at Yorktown. Hamilton and his battalions took Redoubt No. 10 with bayonets in a nighttime action, as planned. The French also suffered heavy casualties and took Redoubt No. 9. These actions forced the British surrender of an entire army at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the de facto end of the war, although small battles continued for two more years until the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the departure of the last British troops.[71][72]

    After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York.[73] Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782.[74] Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote,

    “The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress…the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace.”[75]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton had become frustrated with the decentralized nature of the wartime Continental Congress, particularly its dependence upon the states for voluntary financial support that was not often forthcoming. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to collect taxes or to demand money from the states. This lack of a stable source of funding had made it difficult for the Continental Army both to obtain its necessary provisions and to pay its soldiers. During the war, and for some time after, Congress obtained what funds it could from subsidies from the King of France, from aid requested from the several states (which were often unable or unwilling to contribute), and from European loans.[76]

    An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia’s rescission of its own ratification of this amendment ended the Rhode Island negotiations.[77][78]

    While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged.[79] By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers.[80] In 1782, after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army’s pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.[80]

    Several congressmen, including Hamilton, Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris (no relation), attempted to use this Newburgh Conspiracy as leverage to secure support from the states and in Congress for funding of the national government. They encouraged MacDougall to continue his aggressive approach, implying unknown consequences if their demands were not met, and defeated proposals designed to end the crisis without establishing general taxation: that the states assume the debt to the army, or that an impost be established dedicated to the sole purpose of paying that debt.[81]

    Hamilton suggested using the Army’s claims to prevail upon the states for the proposed national funding system.[82] The Morrises and Hamilton contacted General Henry Knox to suggest he and the officers defy civil authority, at least by not disbanding if the army were not satisfied. Hamilton wrote Washington to suggest that Hamilton covertly “take direction” of the officers’ efforts to secure redress, to secure continental funding but keep the army within the limits of moderation.[83][84] Washington wrote Hamilton back, declining to introduce the army.[85] After the crisis had ended, Washington warned of the dangers of using the army as leverage to gain support for the national funding plan.[83][86]

    On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally.[81] Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against[87]—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers’ pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton’s robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.[88]

    In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob.[83] Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there.[89] Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[89]

    Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783.[90] When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor’s Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.[91][53]: 64–69 

    In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing[update] banks in America.[92] Hamilton was one of the men who restored King’s College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation as too weak to be effective, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more effectual, more financially independent federal government.[93]

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler.[94]: 191 [95] Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government.[96][97] Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.[94]: 195 

    Early in the Convention Hamilton made a speech proposing a President-for-Life; it had no effect upon the deliberations of the convention. He proposed to have an elected president and elected senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse; this idea contributed later to the hostile view of Hamilton as a monarchist sympathizer, held by James Madison.[98] According to Madison’s notes, Hamilton said in regards to the executive, “The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emoluments so great, that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad… Let one executive be appointed for life who dares execute his powers.”[99]

    Hamilton argued, “And let me observe that an executive is less dangerous to the liberties of the people when in office during life than for seven years. It may be said this constitutes as an elective monarchy… But by making the executive subject to impeachment, the term ‘monarchy’ cannot apply…”[99] In his notes of the convention, Madison interpreted Hamilton’s proposal as claiming power for the “rich and well born”. Madison’s perspective all but isolated Hamilton from his fellow delegates and others who felt they did not reflect the ideas of revolution and liberty.[100]

    During the convention, Hamilton constructed a draft for the Constitution based on the convention debates, but he never presented it. This draft had most of the features of the actual Constitution. In this draft, the Senate was to be elected in proportion to the population, being two-fifths the size of the House, and the President and Senators were to be elected through complex multistage elections, in which chosen electors would elect smaller bodies of electors; they would hold office for life, but were removable for misconduct. The President would have an absolute veto. The Supreme Court was to have immediate jurisdiction over all lawsuits involving the United States, and state governors were to be appointed by the federal government.[101]

    At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also.[102] Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution.[94]: 206  He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document’s ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.[103]

    Members of Hamilton’s faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton’s faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state’s right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached.[103][104] Hamilton’s arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton’s rhetoric.[104] The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.[105]

    In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

    Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to defend the proposed Constitution. He made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation.[106] The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.[106]

    Hamilton wrote the first paper signed as Publius, and all of the subsequent papers were signed under the name.[94]: 210  Jay wrote the next four papers to elaborate on the confederation’s weakness and the need for unity against foreign aggression and against splitting into rival confederacies, and, except for Number 64, was not further involved.[107][94]: 211  Hamilton’s highlights included discussion that although republics have been culpable for disorders in the past, advances in the “science of politics” had fostered principles that ensured that those abuses could be prevented (such as the division of powers, legislative checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors [Numbers 7–9]).[107] Hamilton also wrote an extensive defense of the constitution (No. 23–36), and discussed the Senate and executive and judicial branches in Numbers 65–85. Hamilton and Madison worked to describe the anarchic state of the confederation in numbers 15–22, and have been described as not being entirely different in thought during this time period—in contrast to their stark opposition later in life.[107] Subtle differences appeared with the two when discussing the necessity of standing armies.[107]

    In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York’s laws within the grants. Ethan Allen’s militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.

    During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.

    By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction.[108] As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:

    One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky [at that time still a part of Virginia], for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont.

    In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York’s claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

    President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton’s advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[109] Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit.[110] So, the great enterprise in Hamilton’s project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.[111]

    Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790.[112] Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence.[112] The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt.[113] While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.[114][94]: 244–45 

    In the report, Hamilton felt that the securities should be paid at full value to their legitimate owners, including those who took the financial risk of buying government bonds that most experts thought would never be redeemed. He argued that liberty and property security were inseparable and that the government should honor the contracts, as they formed the basis of public and private morality. To Hamilton, the proper handling of the government debt would also allow America to borrow at affordable interest rates and would also be a stimulant to the economy.[113]

    Hamilton divided the debt into national and state, and further divided the national debt into foreign and domestic debt. While there was agreement on how to handle the foreign debt (especially with France), there was not with regards to the national debt held by domestic creditors. During the Revolutionary War, affluent citizens had invested in bonds, and war veterans had been paid with promissory notes and IOUs that plummeted in price during the Confederation. In response, the war veterans sold the securities to speculators for as little as fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar.[113][115]

    Hamilton felt the money from the bonds should not go to the soldiers who had shown little faith in the country’s future, but the speculators that had bought the bonds from the soldiers. The process of attempting to track down the original bondholders along with the government showing discrimination among the classes of holders if the war veterans were to be compensated also weighed in as factors for Hamilton. As for the state debts, Hamilton suggested consolidating them with the national debt and label it as federal debt, for the sake of efficiency on a national scale.[113]

    The last portion of the report dealt with eliminating the debt by utilizing a sinking fund that would retire five percent of the debt annually until it was paid off. Due to the bonds being traded well below their face value, the purchases would benefit the government as the securities rose in price.[116]: 300  When the report was submitted to the House of Representatives, detractors soon began to speak against it. Some of the negative views expressed in the House were that the notion of programs that resembled British practice were wicked, and that the balance of power would be shifted away from the representatives to the executive branch. William Maclay suspected that several congressmen were involved in government securities, seeing Congress in an unholy league with New York speculators.[116]: 302  Congressman James Jackson also spoke against New York, with allegations of speculators attempting to swindle those who had not yet heard about Hamilton’s report.[116]: 303 

    The involvement of those in Hamilton’s circle such as Schuyler, William Duer, James Duane, Gouverneur Morris, and Rufus King as speculators was not favorable to those against the report, either, though Hamilton personally did not own or deal a share in the debt.[116]: 304 [94]: 250  Madison eventually spoke against it by February 1790. Although he was not against current holders of government debt to profit, he wanted the windfall to go to the original holders. Madison did not feel that the original holders had lost faith in the government, but sold their securities out of desperation.[116]: 305  The compromise was seen as egregious to both Hamiltonians and their dissidents such as Maclay, and Madison’s vote was defeated 36 votes to 13 on February 22.[116]: 305 [94]: 255 

    The fight for the national government to assume state debt was a longer issue, and lasted over four months. During the period, the resources that Hamilton was to apply to the payment of state debts was requested by Alexander White, and was rejected due to Hamilton’s not being able to prepare information by March 3, and was even postponed by his own supporters in spite of configuring a report the next day (which consisted of a series of additional duties to meet the interest on the state debts).[94]: 297–98  Duer resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and the vote of assumption was voted down 31 votes to 29 on April 12.[94]: 258–59 

    During this period, Hamilton bypassed the rising issue of slavery in Congress, after Quakers petitioned for its abolition, returning to the issue the following year.[117]

    Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass.[94]: 263  Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by means of a “pill” that “would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them”.[94]: 263  The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.[94]: 263 

    Hamilton’s Report on a National Bank was a projection from the first Report on the Public Credit. Although Hamilton had been forming ideas of a national bank as early as 1779,[94]: 268  he had gathered ideas in various ways over the past eleven years. These included theories from Adam Smith,[118] extensive studies on the Bank of England, the blunders of the Bank of North America and his experience in establishing the Bank of New York.[119] He also used American records from James Wilson, Pelatiah Webster, Gouverneur Morris, and from his assistant treasury secretary Tench Coxe.[119] He thought that this plan for a National Bank could help in any sort of financial crisis.[120]

    Hamilton suggested that Congress should charter the National Bank with a capitalization of $10 million, one-fifth of which would be handled by the government. Since the government did not have the money, it would borrow the money from the bank itself, and repay the loan in ten even annual installments.[53]: 194  The rest was to be available to individual investors.[121] The bank was to be governed by a twenty-five-member board of directors that was to represent a large majority of the private shareholders, which Hamilton considered essential for his being under a private direction.[94]: 268  Hamilton’s bank model had many similarities to that of the Bank of England, except Hamilton wanted to exclude the government from being involved in public debt, but provide a large, firm, and elastic money supply for the functioning of normal businesses and usual economic development, among other differences.[53]: 194–95  The tax revenue to initiate the bank was the same as he had previously proposed, increases on imported spirits: rum, liquor, and whiskey.[53]: 195–96 

    The bill passed through the Senate practically without a problem, but objections to the proposal increased by the time it reached the House of Representatives. It was generally held by critics that Hamilton was serving the interests of the Northeast by means of the bank,[122] and those of the agrarian lifestyle would not benefit from it.[94]: 270  Among those critics was James Jackson of Georgia, who also attempted to refute the report by quoting from The Federalist Papers.[94]: 270  Madison and Jefferson also opposed the bank bill. The potential of the capital not being moved to the Potomac if the bank was to have a firm establishment in Philadelphia was a more significant reason, and actions that Pennsylvania members of Congress took to keep the capital there made both men anxious.[53]: 199–200 The Whiskey Rebellion also showed how in other financial plans, there was a distance between the classes as the wealthy profited from the taxes.[123]

    Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat.[53]: 200  Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members.[53]: 200–01  The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.[94]: 271 

    Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the ‘necessary and proper’ clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers “can all be carried into execution without a bank.”[94]: 271–72  Along with Randolph and Jefferson’s objections, Washington’s involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.[53]: 202–03  In response to the objection of the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, Hamilton stated that “Necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conductive to”, and the bank was a “convenient species of medium in which they (taxes) are to be paid.”[94]: 272–73  Washington would eventually sign the bill into law.[94]: 272–73 

    In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton’s ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.[53]: 197 [124]

    Because the most circulated coins in the United States at the time were Spanish currency, Hamilton proposed that minting a United States dollar weighing almost as much as the Spanish peso would be the simplest way to introduce a national currency.[125] Hamilton differed from European monetary policymakers in his desire to overprice gold relative to silver, on the grounds that the United States would always receive an influx of silver from the West Indies.[53]: 197  Despite his own preference for a monometallic gold standard,[126] he ultimately issued a bimetallic currency at a fixed 15:1 ratio of silver to gold.[53]: 197 [127][128]

    Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage.[129] This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris’s Nova Constellatio coins in 1783.[130] He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor.[53]: 198 [119] One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.[53]: 198 

    By 1792, Hamilton’s principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents.[126] The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.[126]

    Smuggling off American coasts was an issue before the Revolutionary War, and after the Revolution it was more problematic. Along with smuggling, lack of shipping control, pirating, and a revenue unbalance were also major problems.[131] In response, Hamilton proposed to Congress to enact a naval police force called revenue cutters in order to patrol the waters and assist the custom collectors with confiscating contraband.[132] This idea was also proposed to assist in tariff controlling, boosting the American economy, and promote the merchant marine.[131] It is thought that his experience obtained during his apprenticeship with Nicholas Kruger was influential in his decision-making.[133]

    Concerning some of the details of the “System of Cutters”,[134] [note 2] Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia.[132][135] Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured;[132] and provisions were made for the employees’ food supply and etiquette when boarding ships.[132] Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.[131]

    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison’s tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton’s that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).[136]

    In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits.[137][138] The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor.[138] In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption.[138] He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.[137]

    Opposition initially came from Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives protesting the tax. William Maclay had noted that not even the Pennsylvanian legislators had been able to enforce excise taxes in the western regions of the state.[137] Hamilton was aware of the potential difficulties and proposed inspectors the ability to search buildings that distillers were designated to store their spirits, and would be able to search suspected illegal storage facilities to confiscate contraband with a warrant.[139] Although the inspectors were not allowed to search houses and warehouses, they were to visit twice a day and file weekly reports in extensive detail.[137] Hamilton cautioned against expedited judicial means, and favored a jury trial with potential offenders.[139] As soon as 1791, locals began to shun or threaten inspectors, as they felt the inspection methods were intrusive.[137] Inspectors were also tarred and feathered, blindfolded, and whipped. Hamilton had attempted to appease the opposition with lowered tax rates, but it did not suffice.[140]

    Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.[141]

    Hamilton’s next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States’ independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791.[94]: 274, 277  In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory, respectively.[53]: 233  Hamilton also refuted Smith’s ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries.[53]: 244  Hamilton also thought that the United States, being a primarily agrarian country, would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe.[142] In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists’ interest would be advanced by manufactures,[94]: 276  and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.[53]: 233 [94]: 276 

    Hamilton argued that developing an industrial economy is impossible without protective tariffs.[143] Among the ways that the government should assist manufacturing, Hamilton argued for government assistance to “infant industries” so they can achieve economies of scale, by levying protective duties on imported foreign goods that were also manufactured in the United States,[144] for withdrawing duties levied on raw materials needed for domestic manufacturing,[94]: 277 [144] and pecuniary boundaries.[94]: 277  He also called for encouraging immigration for people to better themselves in similar employment opportunities.[144][145] Congress shelved the report without much debate (except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally as a legal basis for his extensive programs).[146]

    In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to examine The Passaic Falls as a possible location for a manufacturing center. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin’s hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile-long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
    [147]

    The location at Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey was selected due to access to raw materials, it being densely inhabited, and having access to water power from the falls of the Passaic.[53]: 231  The factory town was named Paterson after New Jersey’s Governor William Paterson, who signed the charter.[53]: 232 [148] The profits were to derive from specific corporates rather than the benefits to be conferred to the nation and the citizens, which was unlike the report.[149] Hamilton also suggested the first stock to be offered at $500,000 and to eventually increase to $1 million, and welcomed state and federal government subscriptions alike.[94]: 280 [149] The company was never successful: numerous shareholders reneged on stock payments, some members soon went bankrupt, and William Duer, the governor of the program, was sent to debtors’ prison where he died.[150] In spite of Hamilton’s efforts to mend the disaster, the company folded.[148]

    Hamilton’s vision was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Jeffersonian Republican party. They favored strong state governments based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national government supported by a national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as insufficiently devoted to republicanism, too friendly toward corrupt Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.[151]

    The American two-party system began to emerge as political parties coalesced around competing interests. A congressional caucus, led by Madison, Jefferson and William Branch Giles, began as an opposition group to Hamilton’s financial programs. Hamilton and his allies began to call themselves Federalists. The opposition group, now called the Democratic-Republican Party by political scientists, at the time called itself Republicans.[152][153]

    Hamilton assembled a nationwide coalition to garner support for the Administration, including the expansive financial programs Hamilton had made administration policy and especially the president’s policy of neutrality in the European war between Britain and revolutionary France. Hamilton publicly denounced the French minister Edmond-Charles Genêt (he called himself “Citizen Genêt”) who commissioned American privateers and recruited Americans for private militias to attack British ships and colonial possessions of British allies. Eventually, even Jefferson joined Hamilton in seeking Genêt’s recall.[154] If Hamilton’s administrative republic was to succeed, Americans had to see themselves first as citizens of a nation, and experience an administration that proved firm and demonstrated the concepts found within the United States Constitution.[155] The Federalists did impose some internal direct taxes but they departed from most implications of the Hamilton administrative republic as risky.[156]

    The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored the series of unstable revolutionary governments in France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.[157]

    The opposition between Hamilton and Jefferson is the best known and historically the most important[weasel words] in American political history.[original research?] Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s incompatibility was heightened by the unavowed wish of each to be Washington’s principal and most trusted advisor.[158]

    An additional partisan irritant to Hamilton was the 1791 United States Senate election in New York, which resulted in the election of Democratic-Republican candidate Aaron Burr, previously the New York state attorney general, over Senator Philip Schuyler, the Federalist incumbent and Hamilton’s father-in-law. Hamilton blamed Burr personally for this outcome, and negative characterizations of Burr began to appear in his correspondence thereafter. The two men did work together from time to time thereafter on various projects, including Hamilton’s army of 1798 and the Manhattan Water Company.[159]

    When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to have the French ambassador who was raising privateers and mercenaries on American soil, “Citizen” Genêt, recalled.[160]: 336–41  However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.[94]: 327–28 

    To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay’s instructions. The result was Jay’s Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land.[161] The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain.[160]: Ch 9  Historian George Herring notes the “remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains” produced by the Treaty.[162]

    Several European states had formed a League of Armed Neutrality against incursions on their neutral rights; the Cabinet was also consulted on whether the United States should join the alliance, and decided not to. It kept that decision secret, but Hamilton revealed it in private to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, without telling Jay or anyone else. His act remained unknown until Hammond’s dispatches were read in the 1920s. This “amazing revelation” may have had limited effect on the negotiations; Jay did threaten to join the League at one point, but the British had other reasons not to view the League as a serious threat.[160]: 411 ff [163]

    Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months’ notice,[164] in the wake of his wife Eliza’s miscarriage[165] while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion.[166] Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included in a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary.[167] Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.[168]

    Hamilton’s resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter’s draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton’s.[169][170]

    In the election of 1796, under the Constitution as it stood then, each of the presidential electors had two votes, which they were to cast for different men. The one who received the most votes would become president, the second-most, vice president. This system was not designed with the operation of parties in mind, as they had been thought disreputable and factious. The Federalists planned to deal with this by having all their Electors vote for John Adams, then vice president, and all but a few for Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina.[171]

    Adams resented Hamilton’s influence with Washington and considered him overambitious and scandalous in his private life; Hamilton compared Adams unfavorably with Washington and thought him too emotionally unstable to be president.[172] Hamilton took the election as an opportunity: he urged all the northern electors to vote for Adams and Pinckney, lest Jefferson get in; but he cooperated with Edward Rutledge to have South Carolina’s electors vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. If all this worked, Pinckney would have more votes than Adams, Pinckney would become president, and Adams would remain vice president, but it did not work. The Federalists found out about it (even the French minister to the United States knew), and northern Federalists voted for Adams but not for Pinckney, in sufficient numbers that Pinckney came in third and Jefferson became vice president.[173] Adams resented the intrigue since he felt his service to the nation was much more extensive than Pinckney’s.[174]

    In the summer of 1797, Hamilton became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.[175] Six years earlier, in the summer of 1791, 34-year-old Hamilton became involved in an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds. According to Hamilton’s account Maria approached him at his house in Philadelphia, claiming that her husband James Reynolds was abusive and had abandoned her, and she wished to return to her relatives in New York but lacked the means.[94]: 366–69  Hamilton recorded her address and subsequently delivered $30 personally to her boarding house, where she led him into her bedroom and “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. The two began an intermittent illicit affair that lasted approximately until June 1792.[176]

    Over the course of that year, while the affair was taking place, James Reynolds was well aware of his wife’s unfaithfulness, and likely orchestrated it from the beginning. He continually supported their relationship to extort blackmail money regularly from Hamilton. The common practice of the day for men of equal social standing was for the wronged husband to seek retribution in a duel, but Reynolds, of a lower social status and realizing how much Hamilton had to lose if his activity came into public view, resorted to extortion.[177] After an initial request of $1,000[178] to which Hamilton complied, Reynolds invited Hamilton to renew his visits to his wife “as a friend”[179] only to extort forced “loans” after each visit that, the most likely colluding Maria, solicited with her letters. In the end, the blackmail payments totaled over $1,300 including the initial extortion.[94]: 369  Hamilton at this point may have been aware of both spouses being involved in the blackmail,[180] and he welcomed and strictly complied with James Reynolds’ request to end the affair.[176][181]

    In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans’ unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to Democratic-Republican congressman James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence incriminating Hamilton in illicit activity as Treasury Secretary. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792.[176] Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both of the Reynolds, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio agreed on their honor to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.[94]: 366–69 

    In the summer of 1797, however, the “notoriously scurrilous” journalist James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796.[53]: 334  The pamphlet contained accusations, based on documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792, that James Reynolds had been an agent of Hamilton. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All but Monroe complied with Hamilton’s request. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in indelicate detail for the time. Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but never forgave Monroe.[182] Although Hamilton faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.[53]: 334–36 

    During the military build-up of the Quasi-War of 1798–1800, and with the strong endorsement of Washington (who had been called out of retirement to lead the Army if a French invasion materialized), Adams reluctantly appointed Hamilton a major general of the army. At Washington’s insistence, Hamilton was made the senior major general, prompting Henry Knox to decline appointment to serve as Hamilton’s junior (Knox had been a major general in the Continental Army and thought it would be degrading to serve beneath him).[183][184]

    Hamilton served as inspector general of the United States Army from July 18, 1798, to June 15, 1800. Because Washington was unwilling to leave Mount Vernon unless it were to command an army in the field, Hamilton was the de facto head of the army, to Adams’s considerable displeasure. If full-scale war broke out with France, Hamilton argued that the army should conquer the North American colonies of France’s ally, Spain, bordering the United States.[185] Hamilton was prepared to march the army through the Southern United States if necessary.[186]

    To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He urged them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton complained to him for slowness, and urged Wolcott to tax houses instead of land.[187] The eventual program included taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states and requiring assessment of houses, and a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution though this time Americans were taxing themselves through their own representatives.[188] This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania nevertheless, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.[189]

    Hamilton aided in all areas of the army’s development, and after Washington’s death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace.[190] There was no longer a direct threat for the army Hamilton was commanding to respond to.[191] Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.[192]

    In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party’s own nominee, John Adams.[94]: 392–99  In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.[193]

    Aaron Burr had won New York for Jefferson in May; now Hamilton proposed a rerun of the election under different rules—with carefully drawn districts and each choosing an elector—such that the Federalists would split the electoral vote of New York.[note 3] (John Jay, a Federalist who had given up the Supreme Court to be Governor of New York, wrote on the back of the letter the words, “Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt,” and declined to reply.)[194]

    John Adams was running this time with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina (the elder brother of candidate Thomas Pinckney from the 1796 election). Hamilton now toured New England, again urging northern electors to hold firm for Pinckney in the renewed hope of making Pinckney president; and he again intrigued in South Carolina.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton’s ideas involved coaxing middle-state Federalists to assert their non-support for Adams if there was no support for Pinckney and writing to more of the modest supports of Adams concerning his supposed misconduct while president.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton expected to see southern states such as the Carolinas cast their votes for Pinckney and Jefferson, and would result in the former being ahead of both Adams and Jefferson.[94]: 394–95 

    In accordance with the second of the aforementioned plans, and a recent personal rift with Adams,[53]: 351  Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that was highly critical of him, though it closed with a tepid endorsement.[94]: 396  He mailed this to two hundred leading Federalists; when a copy fell into the Democratic-Republicans’ hands, they printed it. This hurt Adams’s 1800 reelection campaign and split the Federalist Party, virtually assuring the victory of the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Jefferson, in the election of 1800; it diminished Hamilton’s position among many Federalists.[195]

    Jefferson had beaten Adams, but both he and Aaron Burr had received 73 votes in the Electoral College (Adams finished in third place, Pinckney in fourth, and Jay received one vote). With Jefferson and Burr tied, the United States House of Representatives had to choose between the two men.[53]: 352 [94]: 399  Several Federalists who opposed Jefferson supported Burr, and for the first 35 ballots, Jefferson was denied a majority. Before the 36th ballot, Hamilton threw his weight behind Jefferson, supporting the arrangement reached by James A. Bayard of Delaware, in which five Federalist Representatives from Maryland and Vermont abstained from voting, allowing those states’ delegations to go for Jefferson, ending the impasse and electing Jefferson president rather than Burr.[53]: 350–51 

    Even though Hamilton did not like Jefferson and disagreed with him on many issues, he viewed Jefferson as the lesser of two evils. Hamilton spoke of Jefferson as being “by far not so a dangerous man”, and that Burr was a “mischievous enemy” to the principal measure of the past administration.[196] It was for that reason, along with the fact that Burr was a northerner and not a Virginian, that many Federalist Representatives voted for him.[197]

    Hamilton wrote many letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise.[53]: 352 [94]: 401  The Federalists rejected Hamilton’s diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr.[53]: 353 [94]: 401  Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency,[198] Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.[199]

    Soon after the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York—in which Morgan Lewis, greatly assisted by Hamilton, defeated Aaron Burr—the Albany Register published Charles D. Cooper’s letters, citing Hamilton’s opposition to Burr and alleging that Hamilton had expressed “a still more despicable opinion” of the Vice President at an upstate New York dinner party.[200][201] Cooper claimed that the letter was intercepted after relaying the information, but stated he was “unusually cautious” in recollecting the information from the dinner.[202]

    Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper’s letter out of cowardice.[94]: 423–24  After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.[94]: 426 

    The concept of honor was fundamental to Hamilton’s vision of himself and of the nation.[203] Historians have noted, as evidence of the importance that honor held in Hamilton’s value system, that Hamilton had previously been a party to seven “affairs of honor” as a principal, and to three as an advisor or second.[204] Such affairs were often concluded prior to reaching their final stage, a duel.[204]

    Before the duel, Hamilton wrote an explanation of his decision to duel while at the same time intending to “throw away” his shot.[205] Hamilton viewed his roles of being a father and husband, putting his creditors at risk, placing his family’s welfare in jeopardy and his moral and religious stances as reasons not to duel, but he felt it impossible to avoid due to having made attacks on Burr which he was unable to recant, and because of Burr’s behavior prior to the duel. He attempted to reconcile his moral and religious reasons and the codes of honor and politics. He intended to accept the duel in order to satisfy his morals, and throw away his fire to satisfy his political codes.[206][200][note 4] His desire to be available for future political matters also played a factor.[200] A week before the duel, at an annual Independence Day dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati, both Hamilton and Burr were in attendance. Separate accounts confirm that Hamilton was uncharactaristaclly effusive while Burr was by conrast uncharactaristiaclly withdrawn. Accounts also agree that Burr became roused when Hamilton, again uncharactaristically, sang a favorite song. Long thought to have been a different tune, recent scholarship indicates that it was “How Stands the Glass Around”, an anthem sung by military troops about fighting and dying in war:[207]

    How stands the glass around?
     For shame, ye take no care, me boys!
    How stands the glass around?
     Let mirth and wine abound
    The trumpets sound!
    The colours, they are flying, boys
    To fight, kill or wound
     may we still be found
     content with our hard fare, me boys
     on the cold ground

    Why, soldiers, why
     should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why
     whose business ’tis to die?
    What? Sighing? Fie!
    Damn fear, drink on, be jolly boys!
    ’Tis he, you and I
     cold, hot, wet or dry
     we’re always bound to follow, boys
     and scorn to fly

    ’Tis but in vain
     (I mean not to upbraid you, boys)
    ’Tis but in vain
     for soldiers to complain
    Should next campaign
     send us to Him that made us, boys
     we’re free from pain
    But should we remain
     a bottle and kind landlady
     cures all again

    The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey.[209] Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, three years earlier.[210] Lots were cast for the choice of position and which second should start the duel. Both were won by Hamilton’s second, who chose the upper edge of the ledge for Hamilton facing the city to the east, toward the rising sun.[211] After the seconds had measured the paces Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol “as if to try the light” and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured.[212] Hamilton also refused the hairspring setting for the dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.[213]

    Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, delivering what proved to be a fatal wound. Hamilton’s shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr’s head.[171] Neither of the seconds, Pendleton nor Van Ness, could determine who fired first,[214] as each claimed that the other man had fired first.[213]

    Soon after, they measured and triangulated the shooting, but could not determine from which angle Hamilton had fired. Burr’s shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen above his right hip. The bullet ricocheted off Hamilton’s second or third false rib, fracturing it and causing considerable damage to his internal organs, particularly his liver and diaphragm, before becoming lodged in his first or second lumbar vertebra.[94]: 429 [215] The biographer Ron Chernow considers the circumstances to indicate that, after taking deliberate aim, Burr fired second,[216] while the biographer James Earnest Cooke suggests that Burr took careful aim and shot first, and Hamilton fired while falling, after being struck by Burr’s bullet.[217]

    The paralyzed Hamilton was immediately attended by the same surgeon who tended Phillip Hamilton, and ferried to the Greenwich Village boarding house of his friend William Bayard Jr., who had been waiting on the dock. After final visits from his family and friends and considerable suffering for at least 31 hours, Hamilton died at two o’clock the following afternoon, July 12, 1804,[218][219] at Bayard’s home just below the present Gansevoort Street.[220] The city fathers halted all business at noon two days later for Hamilton’s funeral, the procession route of about two miles organized by the Society of the Cincinnati had so many participants of every class of citizen that it took hours to complete, and was widely reported nationwide by newspapers.[221] Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy at his funeral and secretly established a fund to support his widow and children.[222] Hamilton was buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan.[223]

    While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. They were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.[224]

    Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton had eight children, though there is often confusion because two sons were named Philip:

    After Hamilton’s death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander’s letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton,[227] and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander’s memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.[228]

    Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth’s sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife’s older sister Angelica who, three years before Hamilton’s marriage to Elizabeth had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica’s fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton’s relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws.[229][230] Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth’s younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.[231]

    As a youth in the West Indies, Hamilton was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the “New Light” evangelical type (as opposed to the “Old Light” tradition); he was taught there by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.[232] He wrote two or three hymns, which were published in the local newspaper.[233] Robert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was “in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning”.[234]: 10 

    According to Gordon Wood, Hamilton dropped his youthful religiosity during the Revolution and became “a conventional liberal with theistic inclinations who was an irregular churchgoer at best”; however, he returned to religion in his last years.[235] Chernow wrote that Hamilton was nominally an Episcopalian, but:

    [H]e was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God who intervened in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God’s existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice.[236]

    Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[237] During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as “the atheist”, and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible.[237]: 316  After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of “some strong feeling of the mind” to elect “fit men” to office, and advocating “Christian welfare societies” for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God’s mercy.[note 5]

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[238] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[239] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[239] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[238]

    Hamilton’s birthplace on the island of Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one quarter of Charlestown’s white population by the 1720s.[1] He came into contact with Jews on a regular basis; as a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress, and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew.[234]

    Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.”[240] He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence:

    The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan? The man who will draw this conclusion, will look for the solution in the Bible. He who will not draw it ought to give us another fair solution.[241]

    Based on the phonetic similarity of “Lavien” to a common Jewish surname, it has often been suggested that the first husband of Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, a German or Dane named Johann Michael Lavien,[6] was Jewish or of Jewish descent.[242] On this foundation, historian Andrew Porwancher, a self-acknowledged “lone voice” whose “findings clash with much of the received wisdom on Hamilton”, has promoted a theory that Hamilton himself was Jewish.[243] Porwancher argues that Hamilton’s mother (French Huguenot on her father’s side[244]) must have converted to Judaism before marrying Lavien, and that even after her separation and bitter divorce from Lavien, she would still have raised her children by James Hamilton as Jews.[243][245] Reflecting the consensus of modern historians, historian Michael E. Newton wrote that “there is no evidence that Lavien is a Jewish name, no indication that John Lavien was Jewish, and no reason to believe that he was.”[20] Newton traced the suggestions to a 1902 work of historical fiction by novelist Gertrude Atherton.[20]

    Hamilton’s interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, as seen in scholarly studies and court decisions.[246] Although the Constitution was ambiguous as to the exact balance of power between national and state governments, Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states.[247] As Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Jefferson—the country’s first de facto central bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other federal powers, under Congress’s constitutional authority to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and to do anything else that would be “necessary and proper” to enact the provisions of the Constitution.[248]

    On the other hand, Jefferson took a stricter view of the Constitution. Parsing the text carefully, he found no specific authorization for a national bank. This controversy was eventually settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCulloch v. Maryland, which in essence adopted Hamilton’s view, granting the federal government broad freedom to select the best means to execute its constitutionally enumerated powers, specifically the doctrine of implied powers.[248] Nevertheless, the American Civil War and the Progressive Era demonstrated the sorts of crises and politics Hamilton’s administrative republic sought to avoid.[249][how?]

    Hamilton’s policies as Secretary of the Treasury greatly affected the United States government and still continue to influence it. His constitutional interpretation, specifically of the Necessary and Proper Clause, set precedents for federal authority that are still used by the courts and are considered an authority on constitutional interpretation. The prominent French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who spent 1794 in the United States, wrote, “I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton”, adding that Hamilton had intuited the problems of European conservatives.[250]

    Opinions of Hamilton have run the gamut as both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson viewed him as unprincipled and dangerously aristocratic. Hamilton’s reputation was mostly negative in the eras of Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy. The older Jeffersonian view attacked Hamilton as a centralizer, sometimes to the point of accusations that he advocated monarchy.[251] By the Progressive era, Herbert Croly, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt praised his leadership of a strong government. Several nineteenth- and twentieth-century Republicans entered politics by writing laudatory biographies of Hamilton.[252]

    In more recent years, according to Sean Wilentz, favorable views of Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars, who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive.[253] Modern scholars favoring Hamilton have portrayed Jefferson and his allies, in contrast, as naïve, dreamy idealists.[253]

    The lineage of Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery has been perpetuated in the United States Army in a series of units nicknamed “Hamilton’s Own”. It was carried as of 2010 by the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment. In the Regular Army, it is the oldest unit and the only one with credit for the Revolutionary War.[254]

    A number of Coast Guard vessels have been given a designation after Alexander Hamilton, including:

    A number of vessels in the U.S. Navy have borne the designation USS Hamilton, though some have been named for other men. The USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) was the second Lafayette-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine.

    Since the beginning of the American Civil War, Hamilton has been depicted on more denominations of U.S. currency than anyone else. He has appeared on the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $1,000 notes. Hamilton also appears on the $500 Series EE Savings Bond.

    Hamilton’s portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall.[257] In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of Harriet Tubman. It was later decided to leave Hamilton on the $10, and replace Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the $20.[258]

    The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi.[259] The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City.[260] On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.[261]

    The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr. It was built on Hamilton’s 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house “The Grange” after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000.[262] Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House), where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses.[262]

    The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011,[263] and is maintained by the National Park Service for public visitation .[264][265][266]

    Columbia University, Hamilton’s alma mater, has official memorials to Hamilton on its campus in New York City. The college’s main classroom building for the humanities is Hamilton Hall, and a large statue of Hamilton stands in front of it.[267][268] The university press has published his complete works in a multivolume letterpress edition.[269] Columbia University’s student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates is named the Alexander Hamilton Society.[270] Its undergraduate liberal arts college, Columbia College, also hands out the Alexander Hamilton Medal as its highest award to accomplished alumni and to those who have offered exceptional service to the school.[271]

    Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.[272]

    The main administration building of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is named Hamilton Hall to commemorate Hamilton’s creation of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, one of the predecessor services of the United States Coast Guard.[273]

    The U.S. Army’s Fort Hamilton (1831) in Brooklyn at the entrance to New York Harbor is named after Hamilton. It is the fourth oldest installation in the nation, after: West Point (1778), Carlisle Barracks (1779), and Fort Leslie J McNair (1791).

    In 1880, Hamilton’s son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.[274][275]

    The Hamilton Club in Brooklyn, NY commissioned William Ordway Partridge to cast a bronze statue of Hamilton that was completed in 1892 for exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition and later installed in front of the club on the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets in 1893. The club was absorbed by another and the building demolished, and so the statue was removed in 1936 to Hamilton Grange National Memorial, then located on Convent Avenue in Manhattan. Though the home it stood in front of on Convent Avenue was itself relocated in 2007, the statue remains at that location.

    A bronze statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, dated 1905–06, overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey.

    In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.[276]

    Construction for Hudson River Day Line of the PS Alexander Hamilton was completed in 1924. When the Alexander Hamilton retired from service as a passenger steamboat in 1971 it was one of the last operating sidewheel steamboats in the country. It was the last sidewheeler to traverse the Hudson River, and probably the East Coast. Its retirement signaled the end of an era.[277]

    In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939.[278] It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993.[278][279] The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.[278]

    Connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx is the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, an eight-lane steel arch bridge that carries traffic over the Harlem River, near his former Grange estate. It connects the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and the Cross-Bronx Expressway, as part of Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The bridge opened to traffic on January 15, 1963, the same day that the Cross-Bronx Expressway was completed.

    In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.[280]

    A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.[281]

    At Hamilton’s birthplace in Charlestown, Nevis, the Alexander Hamilton Museum was located in Hamilton House, a Georgian-style building rebuilt on the foundations of the house where Hamilton was once believed to have been born and to have lived during his childhood.[282] The Nevis Heritage Centre, located next door (to the south) of the museum building, is the current site of the museum’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit.[citation needed] The wooden building, historically of the same age as the museum building, was known locally as the Trott House, as Trott was the surname of the family that owned the house in recent times. Evidence gradually accumulated that the wooden house was the actual historical home of Hamilton and his mother, and in 2011, the wooden house and land were acquired by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.

    Numerous American towns and cities, including Hamilton, Kansas; Hamilton, Missouri; Hamilton, Massachusetts; and Hamilton, Ohio; were named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. In eight states, counties have been named for Hamilton:[283]

    Hamilton is not known to have ever owned slaves, although members of his family were slave owners. At the time of her death, Hamilton’s mother owned two slaves named Christian and Ajax, and she had written a will leaving them to her sons; however, due to their illegitimacy, Hamilton and his brother were held ineligible to inherit her property, and never took ownership of the slaves.[284]: 17  Later, as a youth in St. Croix, Hamilton worked for a company trading in commodities that included slaves.[284]: 17  During his career, Hamilton did occasionally handle financial transactions involving slaves as the legal representative of his own family members, and one of Hamilton’s grandsons interpreted some of these journal entries as being purchases for himself.[285][286] His son John Church Hamilton maintained the converse in the 1840 biography of his father: “He never owned a slave; but on the contrary, having learned that a domestic whom he had hired was about to be sold by her master, he immediately purchased her freedom.”[287]

    By the time of Hamilton’s early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolutionary War in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.[284]

    At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that “their natural faculties are as good as ours.”[288] Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions.[284]: 22  Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture’s revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt.[284]: 23  Hamilton’s suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804, when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere’s first independent state with a majority Black population, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.[284]: 23 

    Hamilton has been portrayed as the “patron saint”[citation needed] of the American School of economic philosophy that, according to one historian, dominated economic policy after 1861.[289] His ideas and work influenced the 18th century German economist Friedrich List,[290] and Abraham Lincoln’s chief economic advisor Henry C. Carey, among others.

    Hamilton firmly supported government intervention in favor of business, after the manner of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as early as the fall of 1781.[291][292][293] In contrast to the British policy of international mercantilism, which he believed skewed benefits to colonial and imperial powers, Hamilton was a pioneering advocate of protectionism.[294] He is credited with the idea that industrialization would only be possible with tariffs to protect the “infant industries” of an emerging nation.[143]

    Political theorists credit Hamilton with the creation of the modern administrative state, citing his arguments in favor of a strong executive, linked to the support of the people, as the linchpin of an administrative republic.[295][296] The dominance of executive leadership in the formulation and carrying out of policy was, in his view, essential to resist the deterioration of republican government.[297] Some scholars point to similarities between Hamiltonian recommendations and the development of Meiji Japan after 1860 as evidence of the global influence of Hamilton’s theory.[298]

    Hamilton has appeared as a significant figure in popular works of historical fiction, including many that focused on other American political figures of his time. In comparison to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton attracted relatively little attention in American popular culture in the 20th century,[299] apart from his portrait on the $10 bill.


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    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American revolutionary and statesman, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the administration of President George Washington. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ American Revolutionary War debts, as well as establishing the nation’s first two de facto central banks (i.e. the Bank of North America and the First Bank of the United States), a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense.

    Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis. He was orphaned as a child and taken in by a prosperous merchant. When he reached his teens, he was sent to New York to pursue his education. While a student, his opinion pieces supporting the Continental Congress were published under a nom de plume, and he also addressed crowds on the subject. He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. As an artillery officer in the new Continental Army he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign. In 1777, he became a senior aide to Commander in Chief General George Washington, but returned to field command in time for a pivotal action securing victory at the Siege of Yorktown, effectively ending hostilities.

    After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York before returning to politics. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak confederal government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he then served as a delegate from New York. He helped ratify the Constitution by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers, which are still used as one of the most important references for Constitutional interpretation.

    Hamilton led the Treasury Department as a trusted member of President Washington’s first Cabinet. To this day he remains the youngest U.S. cabinet member to take office since the beginning of the Republic. Hamilton successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, to assume states’ debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States (i.e. the First Bank of the United States). These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. He opposed administration entanglement with the series of unstable French revolutionary governments. Hamilton’s views became the basis for the Federalist Party, which was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1795, he returned to the practice of law in New York. He called for mobilization under President John Adams in 1798–99 against French First Republic military aggression, and became Commanding General of the U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War, and Hamilton was outraged by Adams’ diplomatic approach to the crisis with France. His opposition to Adams’ re-election helped cause the Federalist Party defeat in 1800. Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the presidency in the electoral college, and Hamilton helped to defeat Burr, whom he found unprincipled, and to elect Jefferson despite philosophical differences.

    Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.

    Hamilton is generally regarded as an astute and intellectually brilliant administrator, politician and financier, if often impetuous. His ideas are credited with laying the foundation for American government and finance.

    Alexander Hamilton was born and spent part of his childhood in Charlestown, the capital of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands (then part of the British West Indies). Hamilton and his older brother James Jr. (1753–1786)[3] were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette,[note 1] a married woman of half-British and half-French Huguenot descent,[10] and James A. Hamilton, a Scotsman who was the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Grange in Ayrshire.[11] Speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed race, though persistent, is not substantiated by verifiable evidence. Rachel Faucette was listed as white on tax rolls.[12][13]

    It is not certain whether Hamilton’s birth was in 1755 or 1757.[14] Most historical evidence, after Hamilton’s arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton’s own writings.[15][16] Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton’s mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.[1]

    Historians have speculated on possible reasons for two different years of birth to have appeared in historical documents. If 1755 is correct, Hamilton might have been trying to appear younger than his college classmates, or perhaps wished to avoid standing out as older.[1] If 1757 is correct, the single probate document indicating a birth year of 1755 may have simply included an error, or Hamilton might once have given his age as 13 after his mother’s death in an attempt to appear older and more employable.[17] Historians have pointed out that the probate document contained other proven inaccuracies, demonstrating it was not entirely reliable. Richard Brookhiser noted that “a man is more likely to know his own birthday than a probate court.”[15]

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  • Hamilton’s mother had been married previously on St. Croix[18] in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark, to a Danish[6] or German merchant,[19][20] Johann Michael Lavien. They had one son, Peter Lavien.[18] In 1750, Faucette left her husband and first son; then traveled to Saint Kitts where she met James Hamilton.[18] Hamilton and Faucette moved together to Nevis, her birthplace, where she had inherited a seaside lot in town from her father.[1]

    James Hamilton later abandoned Rachel Faucette and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to “spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy… after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion.”[11] Thereafter, Rachel moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned.[21] This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood.[22] In probate court, Faucette’s “first husband seized her estate”[11] and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family’s books and returned them to Hamilton.[23]

    Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England.[24] He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated.[23] James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens.[25] Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton’s biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests.[23] However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported.[26] Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with “Your very Affectionate Father.”[27][28]

    Hamilton, despite being only in his teenage years, proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea.[29] He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane that had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772.[30] The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh Knox, a tutor and mentor to Hamilton, submitted the letter for publication in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that “for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto,” and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic “fire-and-brimstone sermon” viewing the hurricane as a “divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity.”[31] The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.[32]

    The Church of England denied membership to Alexander and James Hamilton Jr.—and education in the church school—because their parents were not legally married. They received “individual tutoring”[1] and classes in a private school led by a Jewish headmistress.[33] Alexander supplemented his education with the family library of 34 books.[34]

    In October 1772 Hamilton arrived by ship in Boston and proceeded from there to New York City. He took lodgings with the Irish-born Hercules Mulligan who, as the brother of a trader known to Hamilton’s benefactors, assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support.[35][36] Later in 1772, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He there came under the influence of William Livingston, a local leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.[37][38][39]

    Hamilton entered Mulligan’s alma mater King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student”, again boarding with Mulligan until officially matriculating in May 1774.[40] His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton’s clarity in concisely explaining the patriots’ case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton’s first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King’s College.[41] Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.[42][43]

    Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies.[44] Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act,[45] and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of “The Monitor” for Holt’s New York Journal.[46] Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.[47]

    Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during the British occupation of the city.[48] When the war ended, after some months of self-study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.[49] Hamilton was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the reconstituted Columbia College in 1788 for his work in reopening the college and placing it on firm financial footing. Hamilton was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.[50]

    In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King’s College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans,[51] later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.

    He drilled with the company, before classes, in the graveyard of nearby St. Paul’s Chapel. Hamilton studied military history and tactics on his own and was soon recommended for promotion.[52] Under fire from HMS Asia, he led the Hearts of Oak with support from Hercules Milligan and the Sons of Liberty on a successful raid for British cannons in the Battery, the capture of which resulted in the unit becoming an artillery company thereafter.[53]: 13 

    Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain.[54] The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, notably at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.[55][56]

    Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows;[56] 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.[57]

    Hamilton was invited to become an aide to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and another general, perhaps Nathanael Greene or Alexander McDougall.[58] He declined these invitations, believing his best chance for improving his station in life was glory on the battlefield. Hamilton eventually received an invitation he felt he could not refuse: to serve as Washington’s aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.[59] Washington believed that “Aides de camp are persons in whom entire confidence must be placed and it requires men of abilities to execute the duties with propriety and dispatch.”[60]

    Hamilton served four years as Washington’s chief staff aide. He handled letters to Congress, state governors, and the most powerful generals of the Continental Army; he drafted many of Washington’s orders and letters at the latter’s direction; he eventually issued orders from Washington over Hamilton’s own signature.[61] Hamilton was involved in a wide variety of high-level duties, including intelligence, diplomacy, and negotiation with senior army officers as Washington’s emissary.[62][63]

    During the war, Hamilton became the close friend of several fellow officers. His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette[64] and to John Laurens, employing the sentimental literary conventions of the late eighteenth century and alluding to Greek history and mythology,[65] have been read by Jonathan Ned Katz as revelatory of a homosocial or even homosexual relationship.[66] Biographer Gregory D. Massey amongst others, by contrast, dismisses all such speculation as unsubstantiated, describing their friendship as purely platonic camaraderie instead and placing their correspondence in the context of the flowery diction of the time.[67]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff.[68] He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington’s headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, “thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn’t get his desired command.”[69]

    On July 31, Washington relented and assigned Hamilton as commander of a battalion of light infantry companies of the 1st and 2nd New York Regiments and two provisional companies from Connecticut.[70] In the planning for the assault on Yorktown, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, which were to fight in conjunction with the allied French troops in taking Redoubts No. 9 and No. 10 of the British fortifications at Yorktown. Hamilton and his battalions took Redoubt No. 10 with bayonets in a nighttime action, as planned. The French also suffered heavy casualties and took Redoubt No. 9. These actions forced the British surrender of an entire army at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the de facto end of the war, although small battles continued for two more years until the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the departure of the last British troops.[71][72]

    After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York.[73] Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782.[74] Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote,

    “The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress…the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace.”[75]

    While on Washington’s staff, Hamilton had become frustrated with the decentralized nature of the wartime Continental Congress, particularly its dependence upon the states for voluntary financial support that was not often forthcoming. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to collect taxes or to demand money from the states. This lack of a stable source of funding had made it difficult for the Continental Army both to obtain its necessary provisions and to pay its soldiers. During the war, and for some time after, Congress obtained what funds it could from subsidies from the King of France, from aid requested from the several states (which were often unable or unwilling to contribute), and from European loans.[76]

    An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia’s rescission of its own ratification of this amendment ended the Rhode Island negotiations.[77][78]

    While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged.[79] By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers.[80] In 1782, after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army’s pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.[80]

    Several congressmen, including Hamilton, Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris (no relation), attempted to use this Newburgh Conspiracy as leverage to secure support from the states and in Congress for funding of the national government. They encouraged MacDougall to continue his aggressive approach, implying unknown consequences if their demands were not met, and defeated proposals designed to end the crisis without establishing general taxation: that the states assume the debt to the army, or that an impost be established dedicated to the sole purpose of paying that debt.[81]

    Hamilton suggested using the Army’s claims to prevail upon the states for the proposed national funding system.[82] The Morrises and Hamilton contacted General Henry Knox to suggest he and the officers defy civil authority, at least by not disbanding if the army were not satisfied. Hamilton wrote Washington to suggest that Hamilton covertly “take direction” of the officers’ efforts to secure redress, to secure continental funding but keep the army within the limits of moderation.[83][84] Washington wrote Hamilton back, declining to introduce the army.[85] After the crisis had ended, Washington warned of the dangers of using the army as leverage to gain support for the national funding plan.[83][86]

    On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally.[81] Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against[87]—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers’ pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton’s robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.[88]

    In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob.[83] Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there.[89] Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[89]

    Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783.[90] When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor’s Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.[91][53]: 64–69 

    In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing[update] banks in America.[92] Hamilton was one of the men who restored King’s College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation as too weak to be effective, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more effectual, more financially independent federal government.[93]

    how did alexander hamilton die

    In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler.[94]: 191 [95] Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government.[96][97] Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.[94]: 195 

    Early in the Convention Hamilton made a speech proposing a President-for-Life; it had no effect upon the deliberations of the convention. He proposed to have an elected president and elected senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse; this idea contributed later to the hostile view of Hamilton as a monarchist sympathizer, held by James Madison.[98] According to Madison’s notes, Hamilton said in regards to the executive, “The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emoluments so great, that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad… Let one executive be appointed for life who dares execute his powers.”[99]

    Hamilton argued, “And let me observe that an executive is less dangerous to the liberties of the people when in office during life than for seven years. It may be said this constitutes as an elective monarchy… But by making the executive subject to impeachment, the term ‘monarchy’ cannot apply…”[99] In his notes of the convention, Madison interpreted Hamilton’s proposal as claiming power for the “rich and well born”. Madison’s perspective all but isolated Hamilton from his fellow delegates and others who felt they did not reflect the ideas of revolution and liberty.[100]

    During the convention, Hamilton constructed a draft for the Constitution based on the convention debates, but he never presented it. This draft had most of the features of the actual Constitution. In this draft, the Senate was to be elected in proportion to the population, being two-fifths the size of the House, and the President and Senators were to be elected through complex multistage elections, in which chosen electors would elect smaller bodies of electors; they would hold office for life, but were removable for misconduct. The President would have an absolute veto. The Supreme Court was to have immediate jurisdiction over all lawsuits involving the United States, and state governors were to be appointed by the federal government.[101]

    At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also.[102] Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution.[94]: 206  He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document’s ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.[103]

    Members of Hamilton’s faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton’s faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state’s right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached.[103][104] Hamilton’s arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton’s rhetoric.[104] The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.[105]

    In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

    Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays, now known as The Federalist Papers, to defend the proposed Constitution. He made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation.[106] The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.[106]

    Hamilton wrote the first paper signed as Publius, and all of the subsequent papers were signed under the name.[94]: 210  Jay wrote the next four papers to elaborate on the confederation’s weakness and the need for unity against foreign aggression and against splitting into rival confederacies, and, except for Number 64, was not further involved.[107][94]: 211  Hamilton’s highlights included discussion that although republics have been culpable for disorders in the past, advances in the “science of politics” had fostered principles that ensured that those abuses could be prevented (such as the division of powers, legislative checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and legislators that were represented by electors [Numbers 7–9]).[107] Hamilton also wrote an extensive defense of the constitution (No. 23–36), and discussed the Senate and executive and judicial branches in Numbers 65–85. Hamilton and Madison worked to describe the anarchic state of the confederation in numbers 15–22, and have been described as not being entirely different in thought during this time period—in contrast to their stark opposition later in life.[107] Subtle differences appeared with the two when discussing the necessity of standing armies.[107]

    In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York’s laws within the grants. Ethan Allen’s militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.

    During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.

    By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction.[108] As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:

    One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky [at that time still a part of Virginia], for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont.

    In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York’s claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

    President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton’s advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[109] Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit.[110] So, the great enterprise in Hamilton’s project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.[111]

    Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790.[112] Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence.[112] The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt.[113] While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.[114][94]: 244–45 

    In the report, Hamilton felt that the securities should be paid at full value to their legitimate owners, including those who took the financial risk of buying government bonds that most experts thought would never be redeemed. He argued that liberty and property security were inseparable and that the government should honor the contracts, as they formed the basis of public and private morality. To Hamilton, the proper handling of the government debt would also allow America to borrow at affordable interest rates and would also be a stimulant to the economy.[113]

    Hamilton divided the debt into national and state, and further divided the national debt into foreign and domestic debt. While there was agreement on how to handle the foreign debt (especially with France), there was not with regards to the national debt held by domestic creditors. During the Revolutionary War, affluent citizens had invested in bonds, and war veterans had been paid with promissory notes and IOUs that plummeted in price during the Confederation. In response, the war veterans sold the securities to speculators for as little as fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar.[113][115]

    Hamilton felt the money from the bonds should not go to the soldiers who had shown little faith in the country’s future, but the speculators that had bought the bonds from the soldiers. The process of attempting to track down the original bondholders along with the government showing discrimination among the classes of holders if the war veterans were to be compensated also weighed in as factors for Hamilton. As for the state debts, Hamilton suggested consolidating them with the national debt and label it as federal debt, for the sake of efficiency on a national scale.[113]

    The last portion of the report dealt with eliminating the debt by utilizing a sinking fund that would retire five percent of the debt annually until it was paid off. Due to the bonds being traded well below their face value, the purchases would benefit the government as the securities rose in price.[116]: 300  When the report was submitted to the House of Representatives, detractors soon began to speak against it. Some of the negative views expressed in the House were that the notion of programs that resembled British practice were wicked, and that the balance of power would be shifted away from the representatives to the executive branch. William Maclay suspected that several congressmen were involved in government securities, seeing Congress in an unholy league with New York speculators.[116]: 302  Congressman James Jackson also spoke against New York, with allegations of speculators attempting to swindle those who had not yet heard about Hamilton’s report.[116]: 303 

    The involvement of those in Hamilton’s circle such as Schuyler, William Duer, James Duane, Gouverneur Morris, and Rufus King as speculators was not favorable to those against the report, either, though Hamilton personally did not own or deal a share in the debt.[116]: 304 [94]: 250  Madison eventually spoke against it by February 1790. Although he was not against current holders of government debt to profit, he wanted the windfall to go to the original holders. Madison did not feel that the original holders had lost faith in the government, but sold their securities out of desperation.[116]: 305  The compromise was seen as egregious to both Hamiltonians and their dissidents such as Maclay, and Madison’s vote was defeated 36 votes to 13 on February 22.[116]: 305 [94]: 255 

    The fight for the national government to assume state debt was a longer issue, and lasted over four months. During the period, the resources that Hamilton was to apply to the payment of state debts was requested by Alexander White, and was rejected due to Hamilton’s not being able to prepare information by March 3, and was even postponed by his own supporters in spite of configuring a report the next day (which consisted of a series of additional duties to meet the interest on the state debts).[94]: 297–98  Duer resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and the vote of assumption was voted down 31 votes to 29 on April 12.[94]: 258–59 

    During this period, Hamilton bypassed the rising issue of slavery in Congress, after Quakers petitioned for its abolition, returning to the issue the following year.[117]

    Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass.[94]: 263  Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by means of a “pill” that “would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them”.[94]: 263  The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.[94]: 263 

    Hamilton’s Report on a National Bank was a projection from the first Report on the Public Credit. Although Hamilton had been forming ideas of a national bank as early as 1779,[94]: 268  he had gathered ideas in various ways over the past eleven years. These included theories from Adam Smith,[118] extensive studies on the Bank of England, the blunders of the Bank of North America and his experience in establishing the Bank of New York.[119] He also used American records from James Wilson, Pelatiah Webster, Gouverneur Morris, and from his assistant treasury secretary Tench Coxe.[119] He thought that this plan for a National Bank could help in any sort of financial crisis.[120]

    Hamilton suggested that Congress should charter the National Bank with a capitalization of $10 million, one-fifth of which would be handled by the government. Since the government did not have the money, it would borrow the money from the bank itself, and repay the loan in ten even annual installments.[53]: 194  The rest was to be available to individual investors.[121] The bank was to be governed by a twenty-five-member board of directors that was to represent a large majority of the private shareholders, which Hamilton considered essential for his being under a private direction.[94]: 268  Hamilton’s bank model had many similarities to that of the Bank of England, except Hamilton wanted to exclude the government from being involved in public debt, but provide a large, firm, and elastic money supply for the functioning of normal businesses and usual economic development, among other differences.[53]: 194–95  The tax revenue to initiate the bank was the same as he had previously proposed, increases on imported spirits: rum, liquor, and whiskey.[53]: 195–96 

    The bill passed through the Senate practically without a problem, but objections to the proposal increased by the time it reached the House of Representatives. It was generally held by critics that Hamilton was serving the interests of the Northeast by means of the bank,[122] and those of the agrarian lifestyle would not benefit from it.[94]: 270  Among those critics was James Jackson of Georgia, who also attempted to refute the report by quoting from The Federalist Papers.[94]: 270  Madison and Jefferson also opposed the bank bill. The potential of the capital not being moved to the Potomac if the bank was to have a firm establishment in Philadelphia was a more significant reason, and actions that Pennsylvania members of Congress took to keep the capital there made both men anxious.[53]: 199–200 The Whiskey Rebellion also showed how in other financial plans, there was a distance between the classes as the wealthy profited from the taxes.[123]

    Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat.[53]: 200  Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members.[53]: 200–01  The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.[94]: 271 

    Washington hesitated to sign the bill, as he received suggestions from Attorney General Edmund Randolph and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson dismissed the ‘necessary and proper’ clause as reasoning for the creation of a national bank, stating that the enumerated powers “can all be carried into execution without a bank.”[94]: 271–72  Along with Randolph and Jefferson’s objections, Washington’s involvement in the movement of the capital from Philadelphia is also thought to be a reason for his hesitation.[53]: 202–03  In response to the objection of the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, Hamilton stated that “Necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conductive to”, and the bank was a “convenient species of medium in which they (taxes) are to be paid.”[94]: 272–73  Washington would eventually sign the bill into law.[94]: 272–73 

    In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton’s ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.[53]: 197 [124]

    Because the most circulated coins in the United States at the time were Spanish currency, Hamilton proposed that minting a United States dollar weighing almost as much as the Spanish peso would be the simplest way to introduce a national currency.[125] Hamilton differed from European monetary policymakers in his desire to overprice gold relative to silver, on the grounds that the United States would always receive an influx of silver from the West Indies.[53]: 197  Despite his own preference for a monometallic gold standard,[126] he ultimately issued a bimetallic currency at a fixed 15:1 ratio of silver to gold.[53]: 197 [127][128]

    Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage.[129] This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris’s Nova Constellatio coins in 1783.[130] He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor.[53]: 198 [119] One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.[53]: 198 

    By 1792, Hamilton’s principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents.[126] The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.[126]

    Smuggling off American coasts was an issue before the Revolutionary War, and after the Revolution it was more problematic. Along with smuggling, lack of shipping control, pirating, and a revenue unbalance were also major problems.[131] In response, Hamilton proposed to Congress to enact a naval police force called revenue cutters in order to patrol the waters and assist the custom collectors with confiscating contraband.[132] This idea was also proposed to assist in tariff controlling, boosting the American economy, and promote the merchant marine.[131] It is thought that his experience obtained during his apprenticeship with Nicholas Kruger was influential in his decision-making.[133]

    Concerning some of the details of the “System of Cutters”,[134] [note 2] Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia.[132][135] Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured;[132] and provisions were made for the employees’ food supply and etiquette when boarding ships.[132] Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.[131]

    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison’s tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton’s that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).[136]

    In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits.[137][138] The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor.[138] In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption.[138] He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.[137]

    Opposition initially came from Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives protesting the tax. William Maclay had noted that not even the Pennsylvanian legislators had been able to enforce excise taxes in the western regions of the state.[137] Hamilton was aware of the potential difficulties and proposed inspectors the ability to search buildings that distillers were designated to store their spirits, and would be able to search suspected illegal storage facilities to confiscate contraband with a warrant.[139] Although the inspectors were not allowed to search houses and warehouses, they were to visit twice a day and file weekly reports in extensive detail.[137] Hamilton cautioned against expedited judicial means, and favored a jury trial with potential offenders.[139] As soon as 1791, locals began to shun or threaten inspectors, as they felt the inspection methods were intrusive.[137] Inspectors were also tarred and feathered, blindfolded, and whipped. Hamilton had attempted to appease the opposition with lowered tax rates, but it did not suffice.[140]

    Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.[141]

    Hamilton’s next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States’ independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791.[94]: 274, 277  In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory, respectively.[53]: 233  Hamilton also refuted Smith’s ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries.[53]: 244  Hamilton also thought that the United States, being a primarily agrarian country, would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe.[142] In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists’ interest would be advanced by manufactures,[94]: 276  and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.[53]: 233 [94]: 276 

    Hamilton argued that developing an industrial economy is impossible without protective tariffs.[143] Among the ways that the government should assist manufacturing, Hamilton argued for government assistance to “infant industries” so they can achieve economies of scale, by levying protective duties on imported foreign goods that were also manufactured in the United States,[144] for withdrawing duties levied on raw materials needed for domestic manufacturing,[94]: 277 [144] and pecuniary boundaries.[94]: 277  He also called for encouraging immigration for people to better themselves in similar employment opportunities.[144][145] Congress shelved the report without much debate (except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally as a legal basis for his extensive programs).[146]

    In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to examine The Passaic Falls as a possible location for a manufacturing center. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin’s hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile-long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
    [147]

    The location at Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey was selected due to access to raw materials, it being densely inhabited, and having access to water power from the falls of the Passaic.[53]: 231  The factory town was named Paterson after New Jersey’s Governor William Paterson, who signed the charter.[53]: 232 [148] The profits were to derive from specific corporates rather than the benefits to be conferred to the nation and the citizens, which was unlike the report.[149] Hamilton also suggested the first stock to be offered at $500,000 and to eventually increase to $1 million, and welcomed state and federal government subscriptions alike.[94]: 280 [149] The company was never successful: numerous shareholders reneged on stock payments, some members soon went bankrupt, and William Duer, the governor of the program, was sent to debtors’ prison where he died.[150] In spite of Hamilton’s efforts to mend the disaster, the company folded.[148]

    Hamilton’s vision was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who formed a rival party, the Jeffersonian Republican party. They favored strong state governments based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national government supported by a national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as insufficiently devoted to republicanism, too friendly toward corrupt Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.[151]

    The American two-party system began to emerge as political parties coalesced around competing interests. A congressional caucus, led by Madison, Jefferson and William Branch Giles, began as an opposition group to Hamilton’s financial programs. Hamilton and his allies began to call themselves Federalists. The opposition group, now called the Democratic-Republican Party by political scientists, at the time called itself Republicans.[152][153]

    Hamilton assembled a nationwide coalition to garner support for the Administration, including the expansive financial programs Hamilton had made administration policy and especially the president’s policy of neutrality in the European war between Britain and revolutionary France. Hamilton publicly denounced the French minister Edmond-Charles Genêt (he called himself “Citizen Genêt”) who commissioned American privateers and recruited Americans for private militias to attack British ships and colonial possessions of British allies. Eventually, even Jefferson joined Hamilton in seeking Genêt’s recall.[154] If Hamilton’s administrative republic was to succeed, Americans had to see themselves first as citizens of a nation, and experience an administration that proved firm and demonstrated the concepts found within the United States Constitution.[155] The Federalists did impose some internal direct taxes but they departed from most implications of the Hamilton administrative republic as risky.[156]

    The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored the series of unstable revolutionary governments in France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.[157]

    The opposition between Hamilton and Jefferson is the best known and historically the most important[weasel words] in American political history.[original research?] Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s incompatibility was heightened by the unavowed wish of each to be Washington’s principal and most trusted advisor.[158]

    An additional partisan irritant to Hamilton was the 1791 United States Senate election in New York, which resulted in the election of Democratic-Republican candidate Aaron Burr, previously the New York state attorney general, over Senator Philip Schuyler, the Federalist incumbent and Hamilton’s father-in-law. Hamilton blamed Burr personally for this outcome, and negative characterizations of Burr began to appear in his correspondence thereafter. The two men did work together from time to time thereafter on various projects, including Hamilton’s army of 1798 and the Manhattan Water Company.[159]

    When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to have the French ambassador who was raising privateers and mercenaries on American soil, “Citizen” Genêt, recalled.[160]: 336–41  However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.[94]: 327–28 

    To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay’s instructions. The result was Jay’s Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land.[161] The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain.[160]: Ch 9  Historian George Herring notes the “remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains” produced by the Treaty.[162]

    Several European states had formed a League of Armed Neutrality against incursions on their neutral rights; the Cabinet was also consulted on whether the United States should join the alliance, and decided not to. It kept that decision secret, but Hamilton revealed it in private to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, without telling Jay or anyone else. His act remained unknown until Hammond’s dispatches were read in the 1920s. This “amazing revelation” may have had limited effect on the negotiations; Jay did threaten to join the League at one point, but the British had other reasons not to view the League as a serious threat.[160]: 411 ff [163]

    Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months’ notice,[164] in the wake of his wife Eliza’s miscarriage[165] while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion.[166] Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included in a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary.[167] Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.[168]

    Hamilton’s resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter’s draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton’s.[169][170]

    In the election of 1796, under the Constitution as it stood then, each of the presidential electors had two votes, which they were to cast for different men. The one who received the most votes would become president, the second-most, vice president. This system was not designed with the operation of parties in mind, as they had been thought disreputable and factious. The Federalists planned to deal with this by having all their Electors vote for John Adams, then vice president, and all but a few for Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina.[171]

    Adams resented Hamilton’s influence with Washington and considered him overambitious and scandalous in his private life; Hamilton compared Adams unfavorably with Washington and thought him too emotionally unstable to be president.[172] Hamilton took the election as an opportunity: he urged all the northern electors to vote for Adams and Pinckney, lest Jefferson get in; but he cooperated with Edward Rutledge to have South Carolina’s electors vote for Jefferson and Pinckney. If all this worked, Pinckney would have more votes than Adams, Pinckney would become president, and Adams would remain vice president, but it did not work. The Federalists found out about it (even the French minister to the United States knew), and northern Federalists voted for Adams but not for Pinckney, in sufficient numbers that Pinckney came in third and Jefferson became vice president.[173] Adams resented the intrigue since he felt his service to the nation was much more extensive than Pinckney’s.[174]

    In the summer of 1797, Hamilton became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.[175] Six years earlier, in the summer of 1791, 34-year-old Hamilton became involved in an affair with 23-year-old Maria Reynolds. According to Hamilton’s account Maria approached him at his house in Philadelphia, claiming that her husband James Reynolds was abusive and had abandoned her, and she wished to return to her relatives in New York but lacked the means.[94]: 366–69  Hamilton recorded her address and subsequently delivered $30 personally to her boarding house, where she led him into her bedroom and “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. The two began an intermittent illicit affair that lasted approximately until June 1792.[176]

    Over the course of that year, while the affair was taking place, James Reynolds was well aware of his wife’s unfaithfulness, and likely orchestrated it from the beginning. He continually supported their relationship to extort blackmail money regularly from Hamilton. The common practice of the day for men of equal social standing was for the wronged husband to seek retribution in a duel, but Reynolds, of a lower social status and realizing how much Hamilton had to lose if his activity came into public view, resorted to extortion.[177] After an initial request of $1,000[178] to which Hamilton complied, Reynolds invited Hamilton to renew his visits to his wife “as a friend”[179] only to extort forced “loans” after each visit that, the most likely colluding Maria, solicited with her letters. In the end, the blackmail payments totaled over $1,300 including the initial extortion.[94]: 369  Hamilton at this point may have been aware of both spouses being involved in the blackmail,[180] and he welcomed and strictly complied with James Reynolds’ request to end the affair.[176][181]

    In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans’ unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to Democratic-Republican congressman James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence incriminating Hamilton in illicit activity as Treasury Secretary. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792.[176] Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both of the Reynolds, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio agreed on their honor to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.[94]: 366–69 

    In the summer of 1797, however, the “notoriously scurrilous” journalist James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796.[53]: 334  The pamphlet contained accusations, based on documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792, that James Reynolds had been an agent of Hamilton. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable, asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All but Monroe complied with Hamilton’s request. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in indelicate detail for the time. Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but never forgave Monroe.[182] Although Hamilton faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.[53]: 334–36 

    During the military build-up of the Quasi-War of 1798–1800, and with the strong endorsement of Washington (who had been called out of retirement to lead the Army if a French invasion materialized), Adams reluctantly appointed Hamilton a major general of the army. At Washington’s insistence, Hamilton was made the senior major general, prompting Henry Knox to decline appointment to serve as Hamilton’s junior (Knox had been a major general in the Continental Army and thought it would be degrading to serve beneath him).[183][184]

    Hamilton served as inspector general of the United States Army from July 18, 1798, to June 15, 1800. Because Washington was unwilling to leave Mount Vernon unless it were to command an army in the field, Hamilton was the de facto head of the army, to Adams’s considerable displeasure. If full-scale war broke out with France, Hamilton argued that the army should conquer the North American colonies of France’s ally, Spain, bordering the United States.[185] Hamilton was prepared to march the army through the Southern United States if necessary.[186]

    To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He urged them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton complained to him for slowness, and urged Wolcott to tax houses instead of land.[187] The eventual program included taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states and requiring assessment of houses, and a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution though this time Americans were taxing themselves through their own representatives.[188] This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania nevertheless, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.[189]

    Hamilton aided in all areas of the army’s development, and after Washington’s death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace.[190] There was no longer a direct threat for the army Hamilton was commanding to respond to.[191] Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.[192]

    In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party’s own nominee, John Adams.[94]: 392–99  In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.[193]

    Aaron Burr had won New York for Jefferson in May; now Hamilton proposed a rerun of the election under different rules—with carefully drawn districts and each choosing an elector—such that the Federalists would split the electoral vote of New York.[note 3] (John Jay, a Federalist who had given up the Supreme Court to be Governor of New York, wrote on the back of the letter the words, “Proposing a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt,” and declined to reply.)[194]

    John Adams was running this time with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina (the elder brother of candidate Thomas Pinckney from the 1796 election). Hamilton now toured New England, again urging northern electors to hold firm for Pinckney in the renewed hope of making Pinckney president; and he again intrigued in South Carolina.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton’s ideas involved coaxing middle-state Federalists to assert their non-support for Adams if there was no support for Pinckney and writing to more of the modest supports of Adams concerning his supposed misconduct while president.[53]: 350–51  Hamilton expected to see southern states such as the Carolinas cast their votes for Pinckney and Jefferson, and would result in the former being ahead of both Adams and Jefferson.[94]: 394–95 

    In accordance with the second of the aforementioned plans, and a recent personal rift with Adams,[53]: 351  Hamilton wrote a pamphlet called Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that was highly critical of him, though it closed with a tepid endorsement.[94]: 396  He mailed this to two hundred leading Federalists; when a copy fell into the Democratic-Republicans’ hands, they printed it. This hurt Adams’s 1800 reelection campaign and split the Federalist Party, virtually assuring the victory of the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Jefferson, in the election of 1800; it diminished Hamilton’s position among many Federalists.[195]

    Jefferson had beaten Adams, but both he and Aaron Burr had received 73 votes in the Electoral College (Adams finished in third place, Pinckney in fourth, and Jay received one vote). With Jefferson and Burr tied, the United States House of Representatives had to choose between the two men.[53]: 352 [94]: 399  Several Federalists who opposed Jefferson supported Burr, and for the first 35 ballots, Jefferson was denied a majority. Before the 36th ballot, Hamilton threw his weight behind Jefferson, supporting the arrangement reached by James A. Bayard of Delaware, in which five Federalist Representatives from Maryland and Vermont abstained from voting, allowing those states’ delegations to go for Jefferson, ending the impasse and electing Jefferson president rather than Burr.[53]: 350–51 

    Even though Hamilton did not like Jefferson and disagreed with him on many issues, he viewed Jefferson as the lesser of two evils. Hamilton spoke of Jefferson as being “by far not so a dangerous man”, and that Burr was a “mischievous enemy” to the principal measure of the past administration.[196] It was for that reason, along with the fact that Burr was a northerner and not a Virginian, that many Federalist Representatives voted for him.[197]

    Hamilton wrote many letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise.[53]: 352 [94]: 401  The Federalists rejected Hamilton’s diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr.[53]: 353 [94]: 401  Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency,[198] Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.[199]

    Soon after the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York—in which Morgan Lewis, greatly assisted by Hamilton, defeated Aaron Burr—the Albany Register published Charles D. Cooper’s letters, citing Hamilton’s opposition to Burr and alleging that Hamilton had expressed “a still more despicable opinion” of the Vice President at an upstate New York dinner party.[200][201] Cooper claimed that the letter was intercepted after relaying the information, but stated he was “unusually cautious” in recollecting the information from the dinner.[202]

    Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper’s letter out of cowardice.[94]: 423–24  After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.[94]: 426 

    The concept of honor was fundamental to Hamilton’s vision of himself and of the nation.[203] Historians have noted, as evidence of the importance that honor held in Hamilton’s value system, that Hamilton had previously been a party to seven “affairs of honor” as a principal, and to three as an advisor or second.[204] Such affairs were often concluded prior to reaching their final stage, a duel.[204]

    Before the duel, Hamilton wrote an explanation of his decision to duel while at the same time intending to “throw away” his shot.[205] Hamilton viewed his roles of being a father and husband, putting his creditors at risk, placing his family’s welfare in jeopardy and his moral and religious stances as reasons not to duel, but he felt it impossible to avoid due to having made attacks on Burr which he was unable to recant, and because of Burr’s behavior prior to the duel. He attempted to reconcile his moral and religious reasons and the codes of honor and politics. He intended to accept the duel in order to satisfy his morals, and throw away his fire to satisfy his political codes.[206][200][note 4] His desire to be available for future political matters also played a factor.[200] A week before the duel, at an annual Independence Day dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati, both Hamilton and Burr were in attendance. Separate accounts confirm that Hamilton was uncharactaristaclly effusive while Burr was by conrast uncharactaristiaclly withdrawn. Accounts also agree that Burr became roused when Hamilton, again uncharactaristically, sang a favorite song. Long thought to have been a different tune, recent scholarship indicates that it was “How Stands the Glass Around”, an anthem sung by military troops about fighting and dying in war:[207]

    How stands the glass around?
     For shame, ye take no care, me boys!
    How stands the glass around?
     Let mirth and wine abound
    The trumpets sound!
    The colours, they are flying, boys
    To fight, kill or wound
     may we still be found
     content with our hard fare, me boys
     on the cold ground

    Why, soldiers, why
     should we be melancholy, boys?
    Why, soldiers, why
     whose business ’tis to die?
    What? Sighing? Fie!
    Damn fear, drink on, be jolly boys!
    ’Tis he, you and I
     cold, hot, wet or dry
     we’re always bound to follow, boys
     and scorn to fly

    ’Tis but in vain
     (I mean not to upbraid you, boys)
    ’Tis but in vain
     for soldiers to complain
    Should next campaign
     send us to Him that made us, boys
     we’re free from pain
    But should we remain
     a bottle and kind landlady
     cures all again

    The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey.[209] Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, three years earlier.[210] Lots were cast for the choice of position and which second should start the duel. Both were won by Hamilton’s second, who chose the upper edge of the ledge for Hamilton facing the city to the east, toward the rising sun.[211] After the seconds had measured the paces Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol “as if to try the light” and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured.[212] Hamilton also refused the hairspring setting for the dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.[213]

    Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, delivering what proved to be a fatal wound. Hamilton’s shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr’s head.[171] Neither of the seconds, Pendleton nor Van Ness, could determine who fired first,[214] as each claimed that the other man had fired first.[213]

    Soon after, they measured and triangulated the shooting, but could not determine from which angle Hamilton had fired. Burr’s shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen above his right hip. The bullet ricocheted off Hamilton’s second or third false rib, fracturing it and causing considerable damage to his internal organs, particularly his liver and diaphragm, before becoming lodged in his first or second lumbar vertebra.[94]: 429 [215] The biographer Ron Chernow considers the circumstances to indicate that, after taking deliberate aim, Burr fired second,[216] while the biographer James Earnest Cooke suggests that Burr took careful aim and shot first, and Hamilton fired while falling, after being struck by Burr’s bullet.[217]

    The paralyzed Hamilton was immediately attended by the same surgeon who tended Phillip Hamilton, and ferried to the Greenwich Village boarding house of his friend William Bayard Jr., who had been waiting on the dock. After final visits from his family and friends and considerable suffering for at least 31 hours, Hamilton died at two o’clock the following afternoon, July 12, 1804,[218][219] at Bayard’s home just below the present Gansevoort Street.[220] The city fathers halted all business at noon two days later for Hamilton’s funeral, the procession route of about two miles organized by the Society of the Cincinnati had so many participants of every class of citizen that it took hours to complete, and was widely reported nationwide by newspapers.[221] Gouverneur Morris gave the eulogy at his funeral and secretly established a fund to support his widow and children.[222] Hamilton was buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan.[223]

    While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. They were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.[224]

    Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton had eight children, though there is often confusion because two sons were named Philip:

    After Hamilton’s death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander’s letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton,[227] and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander’s memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.[228]

    Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth’s sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife’s older sister Angelica who, three years before Hamilton’s marriage to Elizabeth had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica’s fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton’s relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws.[229][230] Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth’s younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.[231]

    As a youth in the West Indies, Hamilton was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the “New Light” evangelical type (as opposed to the “Old Light” tradition); he was taught there by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.[232] He wrote two or three hymns, which were published in the local newspaper.[233] Robert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was “in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning”.[234]: 10 

    According to Gordon Wood, Hamilton dropped his youthful religiosity during the Revolution and became “a conventional liberal with theistic inclinations who was an irregular churchgoer at best”; however, he returned to religion in his last years.[235] Chernow wrote that Hamilton was nominally an Episcopalian, but:

    [H]e was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God who intervened in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God’s existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice.[236]

    Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[237] During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as “the atheist”, and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible.[237]: 316  After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of “some strong feeling of the mind” to elect “fit men” to office, and advocating “Christian welfare societies” for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God’s mercy.[note 5]

    On his deathbed, Hamilton asked the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, to give him holy communion.[238] Moore initially declined to do so, on two grounds: that to participate in a duel was a mortal sin, and that Hamilton, although undoubtedly sincere in his faith, was not a member of the Episcopalian denomination.[239] After leaving, Moore was persuaded to return that afternoon by the urgent pleas of Hamilton’s friends, and upon receiving Hamilton’s solemn assurance that he repented for his part in the duel, Moore gave him communion.[239] Bishop Moore returned the next morning, stayed with Hamilton for several hours until his death, and conducted the funeral service at Trinity Church.[238]

    Hamilton’s birthplace on the island of Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one quarter of Charlestown’s white population by the 1720s.[1] He came into contact with Jews on a regular basis; as a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress, and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew.[234]

    Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.”[240] He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence:

    The state and progress of the Jews, from their earliest history to the present time, has been so entirely out of the ordinary course of human affairs, is it not then a fair conclusion, that the cause also is an extraordinary one—in other words, that it is the effect of some great providential plan? The man who will draw this conclusion, will look for the solution in the Bible. He who will not draw it ought to give us another fair solution.[241]

    Based on the phonetic similarity of “Lavien” to a common Jewish surname, it has often been suggested that the first husband of Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, a German or Dane named Johann Michael Lavien,[6] was Jewish or of Jewish descent.[242] On this foundation, historian Andrew Porwancher, a self-acknowledged “lone voice” whose “findings clash with much of the received wisdom on Hamilton”, has promoted a theory that Hamilton himself was Jewish.[243] Porwancher argues that Hamilton’s mother (French Huguenot on her father’s side[244]) must have converted to Judaism before marrying Lavien, and that even after her separation and bitter divorce from Lavien, she would still have raised her children by James Hamilton as Jews.[243][245] Reflecting the consensus of modern historians, historian Michael E. Newton wrote that “there is no evidence that Lavien is a Jewish name, no indication that John Lavien was Jewish, and no reason to believe that he was.”[20] Newton traced the suggestions to a 1902 work of historical fiction by novelist Gertrude Atherton.[20]

    Hamilton’s interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, as seen in scholarly studies and court decisions.[246] Although the Constitution was ambiguous as to the exact balance of power between national and state governments, Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of the states.[247] As Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Jefferson—the country’s first de facto central bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other federal powers, under Congress’s constitutional authority to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and to do anything else that would be “necessary and proper” to enact the provisions of the Constitution.[248]

    On the other hand, Jefferson took a stricter view of the Constitution. Parsing the text carefully, he found no specific authorization for a national bank. This controversy was eventually settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCulloch v. Maryland, which in essence adopted Hamilton’s view, granting the federal government broad freedom to select the best means to execute its constitutionally enumerated powers, specifically the doctrine of implied powers.[248] Nevertheless, the American Civil War and the Progressive Era demonstrated the sorts of crises and politics Hamilton’s administrative republic sought to avoid.[249][how?]

    Hamilton’s policies as Secretary of the Treasury greatly affected the United States government and still continue to influence it. His constitutional interpretation, specifically of the Necessary and Proper Clause, set precedents for federal authority that are still used by the courts and are considered an authority on constitutional interpretation. The prominent French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who spent 1794 in the United States, wrote, “I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton”, adding that Hamilton had intuited the problems of European conservatives.[250]

    Opinions of Hamilton have run the gamut as both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson viewed him as unprincipled and dangerously aristocratic. Hamilton’s reputation was mostly negative in the eras of Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy. The older Jeffersonian view attacked Hamilton as a centralizer, sometimes to the point of accusations that he advocated monarchy.[251] By the Progressive era, Herbert Croly, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt praised his leadership of a strong government. Several nineteenth- and twentieth-century Republicans entered politics by writing laudatory biographies of Hamilton.[252]

    In more recent years, according to Sean Wilentz, favorable views of Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars, who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive.[253] Modern scholars favoring Hamilton have portrayed Jefferson and his allies, in contrast, as naïve, dreamy idealists.[253]

    The lineage of Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery has been perpetuated in the United States Army in a series of units nicknamed “Hamilton’s Own”. It was carried as of 2010 by the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment. In the Regular Army, it is the oldest unit and the only one with credit for the Revolutionary War.[254]

    A number of Coast Guard vessels have been given a designation after Alexander Hamilton, including:

    A number of vessels in the U.S. Navy have borne the designation USS Hamilton, though some have been named for other men. The USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) was the second Lafayette-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine.

    Since the beginning of the American Civil War, Hamilton has been depicted on more denominations of U.S. currency than anyone else. He has appeared on the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $1,000 notes. Hamilton also appears on the $500 Series EE Savings Bond.

    Hamilton’s portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall.[257] In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of Harriet Tubman. It was later decided to leave Hamilton on the $10, and replace Andrew Jackson with Tubman on the $20.[258]

    The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi.[259] The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City.[260] On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.[261]

    The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr. It was built on Hamilton’s 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house “The Grange” after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000.[262] Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House), where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses.[262]

    The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011,[263] and is maintained by the National Park Service for public visitation .[264][265][266]

    Columbia University, Hamilton’s alma mater, has official memorials to Hamilton on its campus in New York City. The college’s main classroom building for the humanities is Hamilton Hall, and a large statue of Hamilton stands in front of it.[267][268] The university press has published his complete works in a multivolume letterpress edition.[269] Columbia University’s student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates is named the Alexander Hamilton Society.[270] Its undergraduate liberal arts college, Columbia College, also hands out the Alexander Hamilton Medal as its highest award to accomplished alumni and to those who have offered exceptional service to the school.[271]

    Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.[272]

    The main administration building of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is named Hamilton Hall to commemorate Hamilton’s creation of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, one of the predecessor services of the United States Coast Guard.[273]

    The U.S. Army’s Fort Hamilton (1831) in Brooklyn at the entrance to New York Harbor is named after Hamilton. It is the fourth oldest installation in the nation, after: West Point (1778), Carlisle Barracks (1779), and Fort Leslie J McNair (1791).

    In 1880, Hamilton’s son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.[274][275]

    The Hamilton Club in Brooklyn, NY commissioned William Ordway Partridge to cast a bronze statue of Hamilton that was completed in 1892 for exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition and later installed in front of the club on the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets in 1893. The club was absorbed by another and the building demolished, and so the statue was removed in 1936 to Hamilton Grange National Memorial, then located on Convent Avenue in Manhattan. Though the home it stood in front of on Convent Avenue was itself relocated in 2007, the statue remains at that location.

    A bronze statue of Hamilton by Franklin Simmons, dated 1905–06, overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey.

    In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.[276]

    Construction for Hudson River Day Line of the PS Alexander Hamilton was completed in 1924. When the Alexander Hamilton retired from service as a passenger steamboat in 1971 it was one of the last operating sidewheel steamboats in the country. It was the last sidewheeler to traverse the Hudson River, and probably the East Coast. Its retirement signaled the end of an era.[277]

    In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939.[278] It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993.[278][279] The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.[278]

    Connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx is the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, an eight-lane steel arch bridge that carries traffic over the Harlem River, near his former Grange estate. It connects the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and the Cross-Bronx Expressway, as part of Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The bridge opened to traffic on January 15, 1963, the same day that the Cross-Bronx Expressway was completed.

    In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.[280]

    A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.[281]

    At Hamilton’s birthplace in Charlestown, Nevis, the Alexander Hamilton Museum was located in Hamilton House, a Georgian-style building rebuilt on the foundations of the house where Hamilton was once believed to have been born and to have lived during his childhood.[282] The Nevis Heritage Centre, located next door (to the south) of the museum building, is the current site of the museum’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit.[citation needed] The wooden building, historically of the same age as the museum building, was known locally as the Trott House, as Trott was the surname of the family that owned the house in recent times. Evidence gradually accumulated that the wooden house was the actual historical home of Hamilton and his mother, and in 2011, the wooden house and land were acquired by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.

    Numerous American towns and cities, including Hamilton, Kansas; Hamilton, Missouri; Hamilton, Massachusetts; and Hamilton, Ohio; were named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. In eight states, counties have been named for Hamilton:[283]

    Hamilton is not known to have ever owned slaves, although members of his family were slave owners. At the time of her death, Hamilton’s mother owned two slaves named Christian and Ajax, and she had written a will leaving them to her sons; however, due to their illegitimacy, Hamilton and his brother were held ineligible to inherit her property, and never took ownership of the slaves.[284]: 17  Later, as a youth in St. Croix, Hamilton worked for a company trading in commodities that included slaves.[284]: 17  During his career, Hamilton did occasionally handle financial transactions involving slaves as the legal representative of his own family members, and one of Hamilton’s grandsons interpreted some of these journal entries as being purchases for himself.[285][286] His son John Church Hamilton maintained the converse in the 1840 biography of his father: “He never owned a slave; but on the contrary, having learned that a domestic whom he had hired was about to be sold by her master, he immediately purchased her freedom.”[287]

    By the time of Hamilton’s early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolutionary War in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.[284]

    At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that “their natural faculties are as good as ours.”[288] Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions.[284]: 22  Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture’s revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt.[284]: 23  Hamilton’s suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804, when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere’s first independent state with a majority Black population, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.[284]: 23 

    Hamilton has been portrayed as the “patron saint”[citation needed] of the American School of economic philosophy that, according to one historian, dominated economic policy after 1861.[289] His ideas and work influenced the 18th century German economist Friedrich List,[290] and Abraham Lincoln’s chief economic advisor Henry C. Carey, among others.

    Hamilton firmly supported government intervention in favor of business, after the manner of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, as early as the fall of 1781.[291][292][293] In contrast to the British policy of international mercantilism, which he believed skewed benefits to colonial and imperial powers, Hamilton was a pioneering advocate of protectionism.[294] He is credited with the idea that industrialization would only be possible with tariffs to protect the “infant industries” of an emerging nation.[143]

    Political theorists credit Hamilton with the creation of the modern administrative state, citing his arguments in favor of a strong executive, linked to the support of the people, as the linchpin of an administrative republic.[295][296] The dominance of executive leadership in the formulation and carrying out of policy was, in his view, essential to resist the deterioration of republican government.[297] Some scholars point to similarities between Hamiltonian recommendations and the development of Meiji Japan after 1860 as evidence of the global influence of Hamilton’s theory.[298]

    Hamilton has appeared as a significant figure in popular works of historical fiction, including many that focused on other American political figures of his time. In comparison to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton attracted relatively little attention in American popular culture in the 20th century,[299] apart from his portrait on the $10 bill.


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    George Washington (February 22, 1732[b] – December 14, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of the Continental Army, Washington led the Patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War, and presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which established the Constitution of the United States and a federal government. Washington has been called the “Father of the Nation”[10] for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the country.

    Washington’s first public office was serving as official Surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia from 1749 to 1750. Subsequently, he received his initial military training (as well as a command with the Virginia Regiment) during the French and Indian War. He was later elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress. Here he was appointed Commanding General of the Continental Army. With this title, he commanded American forces (allied with France) in the defeat and surrender of the British at the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War. He resigned his commission after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

    Washington played an indispensable role in adopting and ratifying the Constitution of the United States. He was then twice elected president by the Electoral College unanimously. As president, he implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty. He set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title “Mr. President”, and his Farewell Address is widely regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism.

    Washington controlled a total of over 577 slaves at one time or another, who worked on his farm and in his houses. As president, he signed laws passed by Congress that protected slavery in the United States, as well as measures that curtailed slavery. He became troubled with the institution of slavery during the 1770s, and his will said that one of his slaves, William Lee, should be freed upon his death, and said the other 123 slaves were to work for his wife and be freed on her death. She freed them during her lifetime.[11][12]

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    He endeavored to assimilate Native Americans into the Anglo-American culture but fought indigenous resistance during instances of violent conflict. He was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, and he urged broad religious freedom in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized by Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.[13]

    Washington has been memorialized by monuments, a federal holiday, various media, geographical locations, including the national capital, the State of Washington, stamps, and currency, and many scholars and polls rank him among the greatest U.S. presidents. In 1976, as part of commemorations for the U.S. Bicentennial, Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies of the United States.

    The Washington family was a wealthy Virginia planter family that had made its fortune through land speculation and the cultivation of tobacco.[14] Washington’s great-grandfather John Washington emigrated in 1656[15] from Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England, to the English colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.[16] George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia,[17] and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington.[18] His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had four additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler.[19] The family moved to Little Hunting Creek in 1735. In 1738, they moved to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia on the Rappahannock River. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited Ferry Farm and ten slaves; his older half-brother Lawrence inherited Little Hunting Creek and renamed it Mount Vernon.

    Washington did not have the formal education his elder brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but did attend the Lower Church School in Hartfield. He learned mathematics, trigonometry, and land surveying and became a talented draftsman and map-maker. By early adulthood, he was writing with “considerable force” and “precision”;[20] however, his writing displayed little wit or humor. In pursuit of admiration, status, and power, he tended to attribute his shortcomings and failures to someone else’s ineffectuality.[21]

    Washington often visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence’s father-in-law William Fairfax. Fairfax became Washington’s patron and surrogate father, and Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax’s Shenandoah Valley property.[22] He received a surveyor’s license the following year from the College of William & Mary.[c] Even though Washington had not served the customary apprenticeship, Fairfax appointed him surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia, and he appeared in Culpeper County to take his oath of office July 20, 1749.[23] He subsequently familiarized himself with the frontier region, and though he resigned from the job in 1750, he continued to do surveys west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.[24] By 1752 he had bought almost 1,500 acres (600 ha) in the Valley and owned 2,315 acres (937 ha).[25]

    In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping the climate would cure his brother’s tuberculosis.[26] Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him and left his face slightly scarred.[27] Lawrence died in 1752, and Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow Anne; he inherited it outright after her death in 1761.[28]

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  • Lawrence Washington’s service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired his half-brother George to seek a commission. Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Robert Dinwiddie, appointed George Washington as a major and commander of one of the four militia districts. The British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley. While the British were constructing forts along the Ohio River, the French were doing the same—constructing forts between the Ohio River and Lake Erie.[29]

    In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy. He had sent George to demand French forces to vacate land that was being claimed by the British.[d] Washington was also appointed to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy, and to gather further intelligence about the French forces.[31] Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison, and other Iroquois chiefs, at Logstown, and gathered information about the numbers and locations of the French forts, as well as intelligence concerning individuals taken prisoner by the French. Washington was given the nickname Conotocaurius (town destroyer or devourer of villages) by Tanacharison. The nickname had previously been given to his great-grandfather John Washington in the late seventeenth century by the Susquehannock.[32][33]

    Washington’s party reached the Ohio River in November 1753, and were intercepted by a French patrol. The party was escorted to Fort Le Boeuf, where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to the French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days’ delay, as well as food and extra winter clothing for his party’s journey back to Virginia.[34] Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days, in difficult winter conditions, achieving a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and in London.[35]

    In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia Regiment, with orders to confront French forces at the Forks of the Ohio.[36] Washington set out for the Forks with half the regiment in April and soon learned a French force of 1,000 had begun construction of Fort Duquesne there. In May, having set up a defensive position at Great Meadows, he learned that the French had made camp seven miles (11 km) away; he decided to take the offensive.[37]

    The French detachment proved to be only about fifty men, so Washington advanced on May 28 with a small force of Virginians and Indian allies to ambush them.[38][e] What took place, known as the Battle of Jumonville Glen or the “Jumonville affair”, was disputed, and French forces were killed outright with muskets and hatchets. French commander Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, who carried a diplomatic message for the British to evacuate, was killed. French forces found Jumonville and some of his men dead and scalped and assumed Washington was responsible.[40] Washington blamed his translator for not communicating the French intentions.[41] Dinwiddie congratulated Washington for his victory over the French.[42] This incident ignited the French and Indian War, which later became part of the larger Seven Years’ War.[43]

    The full Virginia Regiment joined Washington at Fort Necessity the following month with news that he had been promoted to command of the regiment and colonel upon the regimental commander’s death. The regiment was reinforced by an independent company of a hundred South Carolinians led by Captain James Mackay, whose royal commission outranked that of Washington, and a conflict of command ensued. On July 3, a French force attacked with 900 men, and the ensuing battle ended in Washington’s surrender.[44] In the aftermath, Colonel James Innes took command of intercolonial forces, the Virginia Regiment was divided, and Washington was offered a captaincy which he refused, with the resignation of his commission.[45]

    In 1755, Washington served voluntarily as an aide to General Edward Braddock, who led a British expedition to expel the French from Fort Duquesne and the Ohio Country.[46] On Washington’s recommendation, Braddock split the army into one main column and a lightly equipped “flying column”.[47] Suffering from a severe case of dysentery, Washington was left behind, and when he rejoined Braddock at Monongahela the French and their Indian allies ambushed the divided army. Two-thirds of the British force became casualties, including the mortally wounded Braddock. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage, Washington, still very ill, rallied the survivors and formed a rear guard, allowing the remnants of the force to disengage and retreat.[48] During the engagement, he had two horses shot from under him, and his hat and coat were bullet-pierced.[49] His conduct under fire redeemed his reputation among critics of his command in the Battle of Fort Necessity,[50] but he was not included by the succeeding commander (Colonel Thomas Dunbar) in planning subsequent operations.[51]

    The Virginia Regiment was reconstituted in August 1755, and Dinwiddie appointed Washington its commander, again with the rank of colonel. Washington clashed over seniority almost immediately, this time with John Dagworthy, another captain of superior royal rank, who commanded a detachment of Marylanders at the regiment’s headquarters in Fort Cumberland.[52] Washington, impatient for an offensive against Fort Duquesne, was convinced Braddock would have granted him a royal commission and pressed his case in February 1756 with Braddock’s successor, William Shirley, and again in January 1757 with Shirley’s successor, Lord Loudoun. Shirley ruled in Washington’s favor only in the matter of Dagworthy; Loudoun humiliated Washington, refused him a royal commission and agreed only to relieve him of the responsibility of manning Fort Cumberland.[53]

    In 1758, the Virginia Regiment was assigned to the British Forbes Expedition to capture Fort Duquesne.[54][f] Washington disagreed with General John Forbes’ tactics and chosen route.[56] Forbes nevertheless made Washington a brevet brigadier general and gave him command of one of the three brigades that would assault the fort. The French abandoned the fort and the valley before the assault was launched; Washington saw only a friendly fire incident which left 14 dead and 26 injured. The war lasted another four years, and Washington resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon.[57]

    Under Washington, the Virginia Regiment had defended 300 miles (480 km) of frontier against twenty Indian attacks in ten months.[58] He increased the professionalism of the regiment as it increased from 300 to 1,000 men, and Virginia’s frontier population suffered less than other colonies. Some historians have said this was Washington’s “only unqualified success” during the war.[59] Though he failed to realize a royal commission, he did gain self-confidence, leadership skills, and invaluable knowledge of British military tactics. The destructive competition Washington witnessed among colonial politicians fostered his later support of a strong central government.[60]

    On January 6, 1759, Washington, at age 26, married Martha Dandridge Custis, the 27-year-old widow of wealthy plantation owner Daniel Parke Custis. The marriage took place at Martha’s estate; she was intelligent, gracious, and experienced in managing a planter’s estate, and the couple created a happy marriage.[61] They raised John Parke Custis (Jacky) and Martha “Patsy” Parke Custis, children from her previous marriage, and later Jacky’s children Eleanor Parke Custis (Nelly) and George Washington Parke Custis (Washy). Washington’s 1751 bout with smallpox is thought to have rendered him sterile, though it is equally likely that “Martha may have sustained injury during the birth of Patsy, her final child, making additional births impossible.”[62] The couple lamented not having any children together.[63][g] They moved to Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, where he took up life as a planter of tobacco and wheat and emerged as a political figure.[66]

    The marriage gave Washington control over Martha’s one-third dower interest in the 18,000-acre (7,300 ha) Custis estate, and he managed the remaining two-thirds for Martha’s children; the estate also included 84 slaves. He became one of Virginia’s wealthiest men, which increased his social standing.[67]

    At Washington’s urging, Governor Lord Botetourt fulfilled Dinwiddie’s 1754 promise of land bounties to all-volunteer militia during the French and Indian War.[68] In late 1770, Washington inspected the lands in the Ohio and Great Kanawha regions, and he engaged surveyor William Crawford to subdivide it. Crawford allotted 23,200 acres (9,400 ha) to Washington; Washington told the veterans that their land was hilly and unsuitable for farming, and he agreed to purchase 20,147 acres (8,153 ha), leaving some feeling they had been duped.[69] He also doubled the size of Mount Vernon to 6,500 acres (2,600 ha) and increased its slave population to more than a hundred by 1775.[70]

    Washington’s political activities included supporting the candidacy of his friend George William Fairfax in his 1755 bid to represent the region in the Virginia House of Burgesses. This support led to a dispute which resulted in a physical altercation between Washington and another Virginia planter, William Payne. Washington defused the situation, including ordering officers from the Virginia Regiment to stand down. Washington apologized to Payne the following day at a tavern. Payne had been expecting to be challenged to a duel.[71][72][73]

    As a respected military hero and large landowner, Washington held local offices and was elected to the Virginia provincial legislature, representing Frederick County in the House of Burgesses for seven years beginning in 1758.[70] He plied the voters with beer, brandy, and other beverages, although he was absent while serving on the Forbes Expedition.[74] He won the election with roughly 40 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidates with the help of several local supporters. He rarely spoke in his early legislative career, but he became a prominent critic of Britain’s taxation policy and mercantilist policies towards the American colonies starting in the 1760s.[75]

    By occupation, Washington was a planter, and he imported luxuries and other goods from England, paying for them by exporting tobacco.[76] His profligate spending combined with low tobacco prices left him £1,800 in debt by 1764, prompting him to diversify his holdings.[77] In 1765, because of erosion and other soil problems, he changed Mount Vernon’s primary cash crop from tobacco to wheat and expanded operations to include corn flour milling and fishing.[78] Washington also took time for leisure with fox hunting, fishing, dances, theater, cards, backgammon, and billiards.[79]

    Washington soon was counted among the political and social elite in Virginia. From 1768 to 1775, he invited some 2,000 guests to his Mount Vernon estate, mostly those whom he considered “people of rank”. He became more politically active in 1769, presenting legislation in the Virginia Assembly to establish an embargo on goods from Great Britain.[80]

    Washington’s step-daughter Patsy Custis suffered from epileptic attacks from age 12, and she died in his arms in 1773. The following day, he wrote to Burwell Bassett: “It is easier to conceive, than to describe, the distress of this Family”.[81] He canceled all business activity and remained with Martha every night for three months.[82]

    Washington played a central role before and during the American Revolution. His disdain for the British military had begun when he was passed over for promotion into the Regular Army. Opposed to taxes imposed by the British Parliament on the Colonies without proper representation,[83] he and other colonists were also angered by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which banned American settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains and protected the British fur trade.[84]

    Washington believed the Stamp Act of 1765 was an “Act of Oppression”, and he celebrated its repeal the following year.[h] In March 1766, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act asserting that Parliamentary law superseded colonial law.[86] In the late 1760s, the interference of the British Crown in American lucrative western land speculation spurred on the American Revolution.[87] Washington himself was a prosperous land speculator, and in 1767, he encouraged “adventures” to acquire backcountry western lands.[87] Washington helped lead widespread protests against the Townshend Acts passed by Parliament in 1767, and he introduced a proposal in May 1769 drafted by George Mason which called Virginians to boycott British goods; the Acts were mostly repealed in 1770.[88]

    Parliament sought to punish Massachusetts colonists for their role in the Boston Tea Party in 1774 by passing the Coercive Acts, which Washington referred to as “an invasion of our rights and privileges”.[89] He said Americans must not submit to acts of tyranny since “custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves, as the blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway”.[90] That July, he and George Mason drafted a list of resolutions for the Fairfax County committee which Washington chaired, and the committee adopted the Fairfax Resolves calling for a Continental Congress, and an end to the slave trade.[91] On August 1, Washington attended the First Virginia Convention, where he was selected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, September 5 to October 26, 1774, which he also attended.[92] As tensions rose in 1774, he helped train county militias in Virginia and organized enforcement of the Continental Association boycott of British goods instituted by the Congress.[93]

    The American Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775, with the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston.[94] The colonists were divided over breaking away from British rule and split into two factions: Patriots who rejected British rule, and Loyalists who desired to remain subject to the King.[95] General Thomas Gage was commander of British forces in America at the beginning of the war.[96] Upon hearing the shocking news of the onset of war, Washington was “sobered and dismayed”,[97] and he hastily departed Mount Vernon on May 4, 1775, to join the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.[98]

    Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775, and Samuel and John Adams nominated Washington to become its commander-in-chief. Washington was chosen over John Hancock because of his military experience and the belief that a Virginian would better unite the colonies. He was considered an incisive leader who kept his “ambition in check”.[99] He was unanimously elected commander in chief by Congress the next day.[100]

    Washington appeared before Congress in uniform and gave an acceptance speech on June 16, declining a salary—though he was later reimbursed expenses. He was commissioned on June 19 and was roundly praised by Congressional delegates, including John Adams, who proclaimed that he was the man best suited to lead and unite the colonies.[101][102] Congress appointed Washington “General & Commander in chief of the army of the United Colonies and of all the forces raised or to be raised by them”, and instructed him to take charge of the siege of Boston on June 22, 1775.[103]

    Congress chose his primary staff officers, including Major General Artemas Ward, Adjutant General Horatio Gates, Major General Charles Lee, Major General Philip Schuyler, Major General Nathanael Greene, Colonel Henry Knox, and Colonel Alexander Hamilton.[104] Washington was impressed by Colonel Benedict Arnold and gave him responsibility for launching an invasion of Canada. He also engaged French and Indian War compatriot Brigadier General Daniel Morgan. Henry Knox impressed Adams with ordnance knowledge, and Washington promoted him to colonel and chief of artillery.[105]

    At the start of the war, Washington opposed the recruiting of blacks, both free and enslaved, into the Continental Army. After his appointment, Washington banned their enlistment. The British saw an opportunity to divide the colonies, and the colonial governor of Virginia issued a proclamation, which promised freedom to slaves if they joined the British.[106] Desperate for manpower by late 1777, Washington relented and overturned his ban.[107] By the end of the war, around one-tenth of Washington’s army were blacks.[108] Following the British surrender, Washington sought to enforce terms of the preliminary Treaty of Paris (1783) by reclaiming slaves freed by the British and returning them to servitude. He arranged to make this request to Sir Guy Carleton on May 6, 1783. Instead, Carleton issued 3,000 freedom certificates and all former slaves in New York City were able to leave before the city was evacuated by the British in late November 1783.[109]

    After the war Washington became the target of accusations made by General Lee involving his alleged questionable conduct as Commander in Chief during the war that were published by patriot-printer William Goddard. Goddard in a letter of May 30, 1785, had informed Washington of Lee’s request to publish his account and assured him that he “…took the liberty to suppress such expressions as appeared to be the ebullitions of a disappointed & irritated mind …”. Washington replied, telling Goddard to print what he saw fit, and to let “… the impartial & dispassionate world,” draw their own conclusions.[110][111]

    Early in 1775, in response to the growing rebellious movement, London sent British troops, commanded by General Thomas Gage, to occupy Boston. They set up fortifications about the city, making it impervious to attack. Various local militias surrounded the city and effectively trapped the British, resulting in a standoff.[112]

    As Washington headed for Boston, word of his march preceded him, and he was greeted everywhere; gradually, he became a symbol of the Patriot cause.[113][i] Upon arrival on July 2, 1775, two weeks after the Patriot defeat at nearby Bunker Hill, he set up his Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters and inspected the new army there, only to find an undisciplined and badly outfitted militia.[114] After consultation, he initiated Benjamin Franklin’s suggested reforms—drilling the soldiers and imposing strict discipline, floggings, and incarceration.[115] Washington ordered his officers to identify the skills of recruits to ensure military effectiveness, while removing incompetent officers.[116] He petitioned Gage, his former superior, to release captured Patriot officers from prison and treat them humanely.[117] In October 1775, King George III declared that the colonies were in open rebellion and relieved General Gage of command for incompetence, replacing him with General William Howe.[118]

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    In June 1775, Congress ordered an invasion of Canada. It was led by Benedict Arnold, who, despite Washington’s strong objection, drew volunteers from the latter’s force during the Siege of Boston. The move on Quebec failed, with the American forces being reduced to less than half and forced to retreat.[119]

    The Continental Army, further diminished by expiring short-term enlistments, and by January 1776 reduced by half to 9,600 men, had to be supplemented with the militia, and was joined by Knox with heavy artillery captured from Fort Ticonderoga.[120] When the Charles River froze over, Washington was eager to cross and storm Boston, but General Gates and others were opposed to untrained militia striking well-garrisoned fortifications. Washington reluctantly agreed to secure the Dorchester Heights, 100 feet above Boston, in an attempt to force the British out of the city.[121] On March 9, under cover of darkness, Washington’s troops brought up Knox’s big guns and bombarded British ships in Boston harbor. On March 17, 9,000 British troops and Loyalists began a chaotic ten-day evacuation of Boston aboard 120 ships. Soon after, Washington entered the city with 500 men, with explicit orders not to plunder the city. He ordered vaccinations against smallpox to great effect, as he did later in Morristown, New Jersey.[122] He refrained from exerting military authority in Boston, leaving civilian matters in the hands of local authorities.[123][j]

    Washington then proceeded to New York City, arriving on April 13, 1776, and began constructing fortifications to thwart the expected British attack. He ordered his occupying forces to treat civilians and their property with respect, to avoid the abuses which Bostonian citizens suffered at the hands of British troops during their occupation.[125] A plot to assassinate or capture him was discovered and thwarted, resulting in the arrest of 98 people involved or complicit (56 of which were from Long Island (Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens counties), including the Loyalist Mayor of New York David Mathews.[126] Washington’s bodyguard, Thomas Hickey, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.[127] General Howe transported his resupplied army, with the British fleet, from Halifax to New York, knowing the city was key to securing the continent. George Germain, who ran the British war effort in England, believed it could be won with one “decisive blow”.[128] The British forces, including more than a hundred ships and thousands of troops, began arriving on Staten Island on July 2 to lay siege to the city.[129] After the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, Washington informed his troops in his general orders of July 9 that Congress had declared the united colonies to be “free and independent states”.[130]

    Howe’s troop strength totaled 32,000 regulars and Hessians auxiliaries, and Washington’s consisted of 23,000, mostly raw recruits and militia.[131] In August, Howe landed 20,000 troops at Gravesend, Brooklyn, and approached Washington’s fortifications, as George III proclaimed the rebellious American colonists to be traitors.[132] Washington, opposing his generals, chose to fight, based upon inaccurate information that Howe’s army had only 8,000-plus troops.[133] In the Battle of Long Island, Howe assaulted Washington’s flank and inflicted 1,500 Patriot casualties, the British suffering 400.[134] Washington retreated, instructing General William Heath to acquisition river craft in the area. On August 30, General William Alexander held off the British and gave cover while the army crossed the East River under darkness to Manhattan Island without loss of life or materiel, although Alexander was captured.[135]

    Howe, emboldened by his Long Island victory, dispatched Washington as “George Washington, Esq.” in futility to negotiate peace. Washington declined, demanding to be addressed with diplomatic protocol, as general and fellow belligerent, not as a “rebel”, lest his men are hanged as such if captured.[136] The Royal Navy bombarded the unstable earthworks on lower Manhattan Island.[137] Washington, with misgivings, heeded the advice of Generals Greene and Putnam to defend Fort Washington. They were unable to hold it, and Washington abandoned it despite General Lee’s objections, as his army retired north to the White Plains.[138] Howe’s pursuit forced Washington to retreat across the Hudson River to Fort Lee to avoid encirclement. Howe landed his troops on Manhattan in November and captured Fort Washington, inflicting high casualties on the Americans. Washington was responsible for delaying the retreat, though he blamed Congress and General Greene. Loyalists in New York considered Howe a liberator and spread a rumor that Washington had set fire to the city.[139] Patriot morale reached its lowest when Lee was captured.[140] Now reduced to 5,400 troops, Washington’s army retreated through New Jersey, and Howe broke off pursuit, delaying his advance on Philadelphia, and set up winter quarters in New York.[141]

    Washington crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, where Lee’s replacement John Sullivan joined him with 2,000 more troops.[143] The future of the Continental Army was in doubt for lack of supplies, a harsh winter, expiring enlistments, and desertions. Washington was disappointed that many New Jersey residents were Loyalists or skeptical about the prospect of independence.[144]

    Howe split up his British Army and posted a Hessian garrison at Trenton to hold western New Jersey and the east shore of the Delaware,[145] but the army appeared complacent, and Washington and his generals devised a surprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton, which he codenamed “Victory or Death”.[146] The army was to cross the Delaware River to Trenton in three divisions: one led by Washington (2,400 troops), another by General James Ewing (700), and the third by Colonel John Cadwalader (1,500). The force was to then split, with Washington taking the Pennington Road and General Sullivan traveling south on the river’s edge.[147]

    Washington first ordered a 60-mile search for Durham boats to transport his army, and he ordered the destruction of vessels that could be used by the British.[148] Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night,[149] December 25, 1776, while he personally risked capture staking out the Jersey shoreline. His men followed across the ice-obstructed river in sleet and snow from McConkey’s Ferry, with 40 men per vessel. The wind churned up the waters, and they were pelted with hail, but by 3:00 a.m. on December 26, they made it across with no losses.[150] Henry Knox was delayed, managing frightened horses and about 18 field guns on flat-bottomed ferries. Cadwalader and Ewing failed to cross due to the ice and heavy currents, and awaiting Washington doubted his planned attack on Trenton. Once Knox arrived, Washington proceeded to Trenton to take only his troops against the Hessians, rather than risk being spotted returning his army to Pennsylvania.[151]

    The troops spotted Hessian positions a mile from Trenton, so Washington split his force into two columns, rallying his men: “Soldiers keep by your officers. For God’s sake, keep by your officers.” The two columns were separated at the Birmingham crossroads. General Nathanael Greene’s column took the upper Ferry Road, led by Washington, and General John Sullivan’s column advanced on River Road. (See map.)[152] The Americans marched in sleet and snowfall. Many were shoeless with bloodied feet, and two died of exposure. At sunrise, Washington led them in a surprise attack on the Hessians, aided by Major General Knox and artillery. The Hessians had 22 killed (including Colonel Johann Rall), 83 wounded, and 850 captured with supplies.[153]

    Washington retreated across Delaware River to Pennsylvania and returned to New Jersey on January 3, 1777, launching an attack on British regulars at Princeton, with 40 Americans killed or wounded and 273 British killed or captured.[154] American Generals Hugh Mercer and John Cadwalader were being driven back by the British when Mercer was mortally wounded, then Washington arrived and led the men in a counterattack which advanced to within 30 yards (27 m) of the British line.[155]

    Some British troops retreated after a brief stand, while others took refuge in Nassau Hall, which became the target of Colonel Alexander Hamilton’s cannons. Washington’s troops charged, the British surrendered in less than an hour, and 194 soldiers laid down their arms.[156] Howe retreated to New York City where his army remained inactive until early the next year.[157] Washington’s depleted Continental Army took up winter headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey while disrupting British supply lines and expelling them from parts of New Jersey. Washington later said the British could have successfully counterattacked his encampment before his troops were dug in.[158] The victories at Trenton and Princeton by Washington revived Patriot morale and changed the course of the war. [149]

    The British still controlled New York, and many Patriot soldiers did not re-enlist or deserted after the harsh winter campaign. Congress instituted greater rewards for re-enlisting and punishments for desertion to effect greater troop numbers.[159] Strategically, Washington’s victories were pivotal for the Revolution and quashed the British strategy of showing overwhelming force followed by offering generous terms.[160] In February 1777, word reached London of the American victories at Trenton and Princeton, and the British realized the Patriots were in a position to demand unconditional independence.[161]

    In July 1777, British General John Burgoyne led the Saratoga campaign south from Quebec through Lake Champlain and recaptured Fort Ticonderoga intending to divide New England, including control of the Hudson River. However, General Howe in British-occupied New York blundered, taking his army south to Philadelphia rather than up the Hudson River to join Burgoyne near Albany.[162] Meanwhile, Washington and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette rushed to Philadelphia to engage Howe and were shocked to learn of Burgoyne’s progress in upstate New York, where the Patriots were led by General Philip Schuyler and successor Horatio Gates. Washington’s army of less experienced men were defeated in the pitched battles at Philadelphia.[163]

    Howe outmaneuvered Washington at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, and marched unopposed into the nation’s capital at Philadelphia. A Patriot attack failed against the British at Germantown in October. Major General Thomas Conway prompted some members of Congress (referred to as the Conway Cabal) to consider removing Washington from command because of the losses incurred at Philadelphia. Washington’s supporters resisted, and the matter was finally dropped after much deliberation.[164] Once the plot was exposed, Conway wrote an apology to Washington, resigned, and returned to France.[165]

    Washington was concerned with Howe’s movements during the Saratoga campaign to the north, and he was also aware that Burgoyne was moving south toward Saratoga from Quebec. Washington took some risks to support Gates’ army, sending reinforcements north with Generals Benedict Arnold, his most aggressive field commander, and Benjamin Lincoln. On October 7, 1777, Burgoyne tried to take Bemis Heights but was isolated from support by Howe. He was forced to retreat to Saratoga and ultimately surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga. As Washington suspected, Gates’ victory emboldened his critics.[166] Biographer John Alden maintains, “It was inevitable that the defeats of Washington’s forces and the concurrent victory of the forces in upper New York should be compared.” The admiration for Washington was waning, including little credit from John Adams.[167] British commander Howe resigned in May 1778, left America forever, and was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton.[168]

    Washington’s army of 11,000 went into winter quarters at Valley Forge north of Philadelphia in December 1777. They suffered between 2,000 and 3,000 deaths in the extreme cold over six months, mostly from disease and lack of food, clothing, and shelter.[169] Meanwhile, the British were comfortably quartered in Philadelphia, paying for supplies in pounds sterling, while Washington struggled with a devalued American paper currency. The woodlands were soon exhausted of game, and by February, lowered morale and increased desertions ensued.[170]

    Washington made repeated petitions to the Continental Congress for provisions. He received a congressional delegation to check the Army’s conditions and expressed the urgency of the situation, proclaiming: “Something must be done. Important alterations must be made.” He recommended that Congress expedite supplies, and Congress agreed to strengthen and fund the army’s supply lines by reorganizing the commissary department. By late February, supplies began arriving.[124]

    Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s incessant drilling soon transformed Washington’s recruits into a disciplined fighting force,[171] and the revitalized army emerged from Valley Forge early the following year.[172] Washington promoted Von Steuben to Major General and made him chief of staff.[173]

    In early 1778, the French responded to Burgoyne’s defeat and entered into a Treaty of Alliance with the Americans. The Continental Congress ratified the treaty in May, which amounted to a French declaration of war against Britain.[174]

    The British evacuated Philadelphia for New York that June and Washington summoned a war council of American and French Generals. He chose a partial attack on the retreating British at the Battle of Monmouth; the British were commanded by Howe’s successor General Henry Clinton. Generals Charles Lee and Lafayette moved with 4,000 men, without Washington’s knowledge, and bungled their first attack on June 28. Washington relieved Lee and achieved a draw after an expansive battle. At nightfall, the British continued their retreat to New York, and Washington moved his army outside the city.[175] Monmouth was Washington’s last battle in the North; he valued the safety of his army more than towns with little value to the British.[176]

    Washington became “America’s first spymaster” by designing an espionage system against the British.[177] In 1778, Major Benjamin Tallmadge formed the Culper Ring at Washington’s direction to covertly collect information about the British in New York.[178] Washington had disregarded incidents of disloyalty by Benedict Arnold, who had distinguished himself in many battles.[179]

    During mid-1780, Arnold began supplying British spymaster John André with sensitive information intended to compromise Washington and capture West Point, a key American defensive position on the Hudson River.[180] Historians[who?] have noted as possible reasons for Arnold’s treachery his anger at losing promotions to junior officers, or repeated slights[clarification needed] from Congress. He was also deeply in debt, profiteering from the war, and disappointed by Washington’s lack of support during his eventual court-martial.[181]

    Arnold repeatedly asked for command of West Point, and Washington finally agreed in August.[182] Arnold met André on September 21, giving him plans to take over the garrison.[183] Militia forces captured André and discovered the plans, but Arnold escaped to New York.[184] Washington recalled the commanders positioned under Arnold at key points around the fort to prevent any complicity, but he did not suspect Arnold’s wife Peggy. Washington assumed personal command at West Point and reorganized its defenses.[185] André’s trial for espionage ended in a death sentence, and Washington offered to return him to the British in exchange for Arnold, but Clinton refused. André was hanged on October 2, 1780, despite his last request being to face a firing squad, to deter other spies.[186]

    In late 1778, General Clinton shipped 3,000 troops from New York to Georgia and launched a Southern invasion against Savannah, reinforced by 2,000 British and Loyalist troops. They repelled an attack by Patriots and French naval forces, which bolstered the British war effort.[187]

    In mid-1779, Washington attacked Iroquois warriors of the Six Nations to force Britain’s Indian allies out of New York, from which they had assaulted New England towns.[188] In response, Indian warriors joined with Loyalist rangers led by Walter Butler and killed more than 200 frontiersmen in June, laying waste to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.[189] Washington retaliated by ordering General John Sullivan to lead an expedition to effect “the total destruction and devastation” of Iroquois villages and take their women and children hostage. Those who managed to escape fled to Canada.[190]

    Washington’s troops went into quarters at Morristown, New Jersey during the winter of 1779–1780 and suffered their worst winter of the war, with temperatures well below freezing. New York Harbor was frozen over, snow and ice covered the ground for weeks, and the troops again lacked provisions.[191]

    Clinton assembled 12,500 troops and attacked Charlestown, South Carolina in January 1780, defeating General Benjamin Lincoln who had only 5,100 Continental troops.[192] The British went on to occupy the South Carolina Piedmont in June, with no Patriot resistance. Clinton returned to New York and left 8,000 troops commanded by General Charles Cornwallis.[193] Congress replaced Lincoln with Horatio Gates; he failed in South Carolina and was replaced by Washington’s choice of Nathaniel Greene, but the British already had the South in their grasp. Washington was reinvigorated, however, when Lafayette returned from France with more ships, men, and supplies,[194] and 5,000 veteran French troops led by Marshal Rochambeau arrived at Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780.[195] French naval forces then landed, led by Admiral Grasse, and Washington encouraged Rochambeau to move his fleet south to launch a joint land and naval attack on Arnold’s troops.[196]

    Washington’s army went into winter quarters at New Windsor, New York in December 1780, and Washington urged Congress and state officials to expedite provisions in hopes that the army would not “continue to struggle under the same difficulties they have hitherto endured”.[197] On March 1, 1781, Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, but the government that took effect on March 2 did not have the power to levy taxes, and it loosely held the states together.[198]

    General Clinton sent Benedict Arnold, now a British Brigadier General with 1,700 troops, to Virginia to capture Portsmouth and conduct raids on Patriot forces from there; Washington responded by sending Lafayette south to counter Arnold’s efforts.[199] Washington initially hoped to bring the fight to New York, drawing off British forces from Virginia and ending the war there, but Rochambeau advised Grasse that Cornwallis in Virginia was the better target. Grasse’s fleet arrived off the Virginia coast, and Washington saw the advantage. He made a feint towards Clinton in New York, then headed south to Virginia.[200]

    The Siege of Yorktown was a decisive Allied victory by the combined forces of the Continental Army commanded by General Washington, the French Army commanded by the General Comte de Rochambeau, and the French Navy commanded by Admiral de Grasse, in the defeat of Cornwallis’ British forces. On August 19, the march to Yorktown led by Washington and Rochambeau began, which is known now as the “celebrated march”.[201] Washington was in command of an army of 7,800 Frenchmen, 3,100 militia, and 8,000 Continentals. Not well experienced in siege warfare, Washington often referred to the judgment of General Rochambeau and used his advice about how to proceed; however, Rochambeau never challenged Washington’s authority as the battle’s commanding officer.[202]

    By late September, Patriot-French forces surrounded Yorktown, trapped the British army, and prevented British reinforcements from Clinton in the North, while the French navy emerged victorious at the Battle of the Chesapeake. The final American offensive was begun with a shot fired by Washington.[203] The siege ended with a British surrender on October 19, 1781; over 7,000 British soldiers were made prisoners of war, in the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War.[204] Washington negotiated the terms of surrender for two days, and the official signing ceremony took place on October 19; Cornwallis claimed illness and was absent, sending General Charles O’Hara as his proxy.[205] As a gesture of goodwill, Washington held a dinner for the American, French, and British generals, all of whom fraternized on friendly terms and identified with one another as members of the same professional military caste.[206]

    After the surrender at Yorktown, a situation developed that threatened relations between the newly independent America and Britain.[207] Following a series of retributive executions between Patriots and Loyalists, Washington, on May 18, 1782, wrote in a letter to General Moses Hazen[208] that a British captain would be executed in retaliation for the execution of Joshua Huddy, a popular Patriot leader, who was hanged at the direction of the Loyalist Richard Lippincott. Washington wanted Lippincott himself to be executed but was rebuffed.[209] Subsequently, Charles Asgill was chosen instead, by a drawing of lots from a hat. This was a violation of the 14th article of the Yorktown Articles of Capitulation, which protected prisoners of war from acts of retaliation.[208][210] Later, Washington’s feelings on matters changed and in a letter of November 13, 1782, to Asgill, he acknowledged Asgill’s letter and situation, expressing his desire not to see any harm come to him.[211] After much consideration between the Continental Congress, Alexander Hamilton, Washington, and appeals from the French Crown, Asgill was finally released,[212] where Washington issued Asgill a pass that allowed his passage to New York.[213][208]

    When peace negotiations began in April 1782, both the British and French began gradually evacuating their forces.[214] The American treasury was empty, unpaid, and mutinous soldiers forced the adjournment of Congress, and Washington dispelled unrest by suppressing the Newburgh Conspiracy in March 1783; Congress promised officers a five-year bonus.[215] Washington submitted an account of $450,000 in expenses which he had advanced to the army. The account was settled, though it was allegedly vague about large sums and included expenses his wife had incurred through visits to his headquarters.[216]

    The following month, a Congressional committee led by Alexander Hamilton began adapting the army for peacetime. In August 1783, Washington gave the Army’s perspective to the committee in his Sentiments on a Peace Establishment.[217] He advised Congress to keep a standing army, create a “national militia” of separate state units, and establish a navy and a national military academy.

    The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783, and Great Britain officially recognized the independence of the United States. Washington then disbanded his army, giving a farewell address to his soldiers on November 2.[218] During this time, Washington oversaw the evacuation of British forces in New York and was greeted by parades and celebrations. There he announced that Colonel Henry Knox had been promoted commander-in-chief.[219] Washington and Governor George Clinton took formal possession of the city on November 25.[220]

    In early December 1783, Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern and resigned as commander-in-chief soon thereafter, refuting Loyalist predictions that he would not relinquish his military command.[221] In a final appearance in uniform, he gave a statement to the Congress: “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.”[222] Washington’s resignation was acclaimed at home and abroad and showed a skeptical world that the new republic would not degenerate into chaos.[223][l]

    The same month, Washington was appointed president-general of the Society of the Cincinnati, a newly established hereditary fraternity of Revolutionary War officers. He served in this capacity for the remainder of his life.[225][m]

    I am not only retired from all public employments but I am retiring within myself, and shall be able to view the solitary walk and tread the paths of private life with heartfelt satisfaction … I will move gently down the stream of life, until I sleep with my fathers.

    George WashingtonLetter to LafayetteFebruary 1, 1784[227]

    Washington was longing to return home after spending just ten days at Mount Vernon out of .mw-parser-output .frac{white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output .frac .num,.mw-parser-output .frac .den{font-size:80%;line-height:0;vertical-align:super}.mw-parser-output .frac .den{vertical-align:sub}.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px}8+1⁄2 years of war. He arrived on Christmas Eve, delighted to be “free of the bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life”.[228] He was a celebrity and was fêted during a visit to his mother at Fredericksburg in February 1784, and he received a constant stream of visitors wishing to pay their respects to him at Mount Vernon.[229]

    Washington reactivated his interests in the Great Dismal Swamp and Potomac canal projects begun before the war, though neither paid him any dividends, and he undertook a 34-day, 680-mile (1090 km) trip to check on his land holdings in the Ohio Country.[230] He oversaw the completion of the remodeling work at Mount Vernon, which transformed his residence into the mansion that survives to this day—although his financial situation was not strong. Creditors paid him in depreciated wartime currency, and he owed significant amounts in taxes and wages. Mount Vernon had made no profit during his absence, and he saw persistently poor crop yields due to pestilence and poor weather. His estate recorded its eleventh year running at a deficit in 1787, and there was little prospect of improvement.[231] Washington undertook a new landscaping plan and succeeded in cultivating a range of fast-growing trees and shrubs that were native to North America.[232] He also began breeding mules after having been gifted a Spanish jack by King Charles III of Spain in 1784. There were few mules in the United States at that time, and he believed that properly bred mules would revolutionize agriculture and transportation.[233]

    Before returning to private life in June 1783, Washington called for a strong union. Though he was concerned that he might be criticized for meddling in civil matters, he sent a circular letter to all the states, maintaining that the Articles of Confederation was no more than “a rope of sand” linking the states. He believed the nation was on the verge of “anarchy and confusion”, was vulnerable to foreign intervention, and that a national constitution would unify the states under a strong central government.[234] When Shays’ Rebellion erupted in Massachusetts on August 29, 1786, over taxation, Washington was further convinced that a national constitution was needed.[235] Some nationalists feared that the new republic had descended into lawlessness, and they met together on September 11, 1786, at Annapolis to ask Congress to revise the Articles of Confederation. One of their biggest efforts, however, was getting Washington to attend.[236] Congress agreed to a Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia in Spring 1787, and each state was to send delegates.[237]

    On December 4, 1786, Washington was chosen to lead the Virginia delegation, but he declined on December 21. He had concerns about the legality of the convention and consulted James Madison, Henry Knox, and others. They persuaded him to attend it, however, as his presence might induce reluctant states to send delegates and smooth the way for the ratification process.[238] On March 28, Washington told Governor Edmund Randolph that he would attend the convention but made it clear that he was urged to attend.[239]

    Washington arrived in Philadelphia on May 9, 1787, though a quorum was not attained until Friday, May 25. Benjamin Franklin nominated Washington to preside over the convention, and he was unanimously elected to serve as president general.[240] The convention’s state-mandated purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation with “all such alterations and further provisions” required to improve them, and the new government would be established when the resulting document was “duly confirmed by the several states”.[241] Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia introduced Madison’s Virginia Plan on May 27, the third day of the convention. It called for an entirely new constitution and a sovereign national government, which Washington highly recommended.[242]

    Washington wrote Alexander Hamilton on July 10: “I almost despair of seeing a favorable issue to the proceedings of our convention and do therefore repent having had any agency in the business.”[243] Nevertheless, he lent his prestige to the goodwill and work of the other delegates. He unsuccessfully lobbied many to support ratification of the Constitution, such as anti-federalist Patrick Henry; Washington told him “the adoption of it under the present circumstances of the Union is in my opinion desirable” and declared the alternative would be anarchy.[244] Washington and Madison then spent four days at Mount Vernon evaluating the new government’s transition.[245]

    In 1788, the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary decided to re-establish the position of Chancellor, and elected Washington to the office on January 18.[246] The College Rector Samuel Griffin wrote to Washington inviting him to the post, and in a letter dated April 30, 1788, Washington accepted the position of the 14th Chancellor of the College of William & Mary.[246][247] He continued to serve in the post through his presidency until his death on December 14, 1799.[246]

    The delegates to the Convention anticipated a Washington presidency and left it to him to define the office once elected.[243][n] The state electors under the Constitution voted for the president on February 4, 1789, and Washington suspected that most republicans had not voted for him.[249] The mandated March 4 date passed without a Congressional quorum to count the votes, but a quorum was reached on April 5. The votes were tallied the next day,[250] and Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson was sent to Mount Vernon to tell Washington he had been elected president. Washington won the majority of every state’s electoral votes; John Adams received the next highest number of votes and therefore became vice president.[251] Washington had “anxious and painful sensations” about leaving the “domestic felicity” of Mount Vernon, but departed for New York City on April 16 to be inaugurated.[252]

    Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, taking the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City.[253][o] His coach was led by militia and a marching band and followed by statesmen and foreign dignitaries in an inaugural parade, with a crowd of 10,000.[255] Chancellor Robert R. Livingston administered the oath, using a Bible provided by the Masons, after which the militia fired a 13-gun salute.[256] Washington read a speech in the Senate Chamber, asking “that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations—and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, consecrate the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States”.[257] Though he wished to serve without a salary, Congress insisted adamantly that he accept it, later providing Washington $25,000 per year to defray costs of the presidency.[258]

    Washington wrote to James Madison: “As the first of everything in our situation will serve to establish a precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part that these precedents be fixed on true principles.”[259] To that end, he preferred the title “Mr. President” over more majestic names proposed by the Senate, including “His Excellency” and “His Highness the President”.[260] His executive precedents included the inaugural address, messages to Congress, and the cabinet form of the executive branch.[261]

    Washington had planned to resign after his first term, but the political strife in the nation convinced him he should remain in office.[262] He was an able administrator and a judge of talent and character, and he regularly talked with department heads to get their advice.[263] He tolerated opposing views, despite fears that a democratic system would lead to political violence, and he conducted a smooth transition of power to his successor.[264] He remained non-partisan throughout his presidency and opposed the divisiveness of political parties, but he favored a strong central government, was sympathetic to a Federalist form of government, and leery of the Republican opposition.[265]

    Washington dealt with major problems. The old Confederation lacked the powers to handle its workload and had weak leadership, no executive, a small bureaucracy of clerks, a large debt, worthless paper money, and no power to establish taxes.[266] He had the task of assembling an executive department and relied on Tobias Lear for advice selecting its officers.[267] Great Britain refused to relinquish its forts in the American West,[266] and Barbary pirates preyed on American merchant ships in the Mediterranean at a time when the United States did not even have a navy.[268]

    Congress created executive departments in 1789, including the State Department in July, the Department of War in August, and the Treasury Department in September. Washington appointed fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph as Attorney General, Samuel Osgood as Postmaster General, Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, and Henry Knox as Secretary of War. Finally, he appointed Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. Washington’s cabinet became a consulting and advisory body, not mandated by the Constitution.[269]

    Washington’s cabinet members formed rival parties with sharply opposing views, most fiercely illustrated between Hamilton and Jefferson.[270] Washington restricted cabinet discussions to topics of his choosing, without participating in the debate. He occasionally requested cabinet opinions in writing and expected department heads to agreeably carry out his decisions.[266]

    Washington was apolitical and opposed the formation of parties, suspecting that conflict would undermine republicanism.[271] He exercised great restraint in using his veto power, writing that “I give my Signature to many Bills with which my Judgment is at variance….”[272]

    His closest advisors formed two factions, portending the First Party System. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton formed the Federalist Party to promote national credit and a financially powerful nation. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson opposed Hamilton’s agenda and founded the Jeffersonian Republicans. Washington favored Hamilton’s agenda, however, and it ultimately went into effect—resulting in bitter controversy.[273]

    Washington proclaimed November 26 as a day of Thanksgiving to encourage national unity. “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” He spent that day fasting and visiting debtors in prison to provide them with food and beer.[274]

    In response to two antislavery petitions that were presented to Congress in 1790, slaveholders in Georgia and South Carolina objected and threatened to “blow the trumpet of civil war”. Washington and Congress responded with a series of racist measures: naturalized citizenship was denied to black immigrants; blacks were barred from serving in state militias; the Southwest Territory that would soon become the state of Tennessee was permitted to maintain slavery; and two more slave states were admitted (Kentucky in 1792, and Tennessee in 1796). On February 12, 1793, Washington signed into law the Fugitive Slave Act, which overrode state laws and courts, allowing agents to cross state lines to capture and return escaped slaves.[275] Many free blacks in the north decried the law believing it would allow bounty hunting and the kidnappings of blacks.[276] The Fugitive Slave Act gave effect to the Constitution’s Fugitive Slave Clause, and the Act was passed overwhelmingly in Congress (e.g. the vote was 48 to 7 in the House).[277]

    On the anti-slavery side of the ledger, in 1789 Washington signed a reenactment of the Northwest Ordinance which freed all slaves brought after 1787 into a vast expanse of federal territory north of the Ohio River, except for slaves escaping from slave states.[278][279] The Slave Trade Act of 1794, which sharply limited American involvement in the Atlantic slave trade, was signed by Washington. [280] And, Congress acted on February 18, 1791, to admit the free state of Vermont into the Union as the 14th state as of March 4, 1791.[281]

    Washington’s first term was largely devoted to economic concerns, in which Hamilton had devised various plans to address matters.[282] The establishment of public credit became a primary challenge for the federal government.[283] Hamilton submitted a report to a deadlocked Congress, and he, Madison, and Jefferson reached the Compromise of 1790 in which Jefferson agreed to Hamilton’s debt proposals in exchange for moving the nation’s capital temporarily to Philadelphia and then south near Georgetown on the Potomac River.[273] The terms were legislated in the Funding Act of 1790 and the Residence Act, both of which Washington signed into law. Congress authorized the assumption and payment of the nation’s debts, with funding provided by customs duties and excise taxes.[284]

    Hamilton created controversy among Cabinet members by advocating establishing the First Bank of the United States. Madison and Jefferson objected, but the bank easily passed Congress. Jefferson and Randolph insisted that the new bank was beyond the authority granted by the constitution, as Hamilton believed. Washington sided with Hamilton and signed the legislation on February 25, and the rift became openly hostile between Hamilton and Jefferson.[285]

    The nation’s first financial crisis occurred in March 1792. Hamilton’s Federalists exploited large loans to gain control of U.S. debt securities, causing a run on the national bank;[286] the markets returned to normal by mid-April.[287] Jefferson believed Hamilton was part of the scheme, despite Hamilton’s efforts to ameliorate, and Washington again found himself in the middle of a feud.[288]

    Jefferson and Hamilton adopted diametrically opposed political principles. Hamilton believed in a strong national government requiring a national bank and foreign loans to function, while Jefferson believed the states and the farm element should primarily direct the government; he also resented the idea of banks and foreign loans. To Washington’s dismay, the two men persistently entered into disputes and infighting.[289] Hamilton demanded that Jefferson resign if he could not support Washington, and Jefferson told Washington that Hamilton’s fiscal system would lead to the overthrow of the Republic.[290] Washington urged them to call a truce for the nation’s sake, but they ignored him.[291]

    Washington reversed his decision to retire after his first term to minimize party strife, but the feud continued after his re-election.[290] Jefferson’s political actions, his support of Freneau’s National Gazette,[292] and his attempt to undermine Hamilton nearly led Washington to dismiss him from the cabinet; Jefferson ultimately resigned his position in December 1793, and Washington forsook him from that time on.[293]

    The feud led to the well-defined Federalist and Republican parties, and party affiliation became necessary for election to Congress by 1794.[294] Washington remained aloof from congressional attacks on Hamilton, but he did not publicly protect him, either. The Hamilton–Reynolds sex scandal opened Hamilton to disgrace, but Washington continued to hold him in “very high esteem” as the dominant force in establishing federal law and government.[295]

    In March 1791, at Hamilton’s urging, with support from Madison, Congress imposed an excise tax on distilled spirits to help curtail the national debt, which took effect in July.[296] Grain farmers strongly protested in Pennsylvania’s frontier districts; they argued that they were unrepresented and were shouldering too much of the debt, comparing their situation to excessive British taxation before the Revolutionary War. On August 2, Washington assembled his cabinet to discuss how to deal with the situation. Unlike Washington, who had reservations about using force, Hamilton had long waited for such a situation and was eager to suppress the rebellion by using federal authority and force.[297] Not wanting to involve the federal government if possible, Washington called on Pennsylvania state officials to take the initiative, but they declined to take military action. On August 7, Washington issued his first proclamation for calling up state militias. After appealing for peace, he reminded the protestors that, unlike the rule of the British crown, the Federal law was issued by state-elected representatives.[298]

    Threats and violence against tax collectors, however, escalated into defiance against federal authority in 1794 and gave rise to the Whiskey Rebellion. Washington issued a final proclamation on September 25, threatening the use of military force to no avail.[298] The federal army was not up to the task, so Washington invoked the Militia Act of 1792 to summon state militias.[299] Governors sent troops, initially commanded by Washington, who gave the command to Light-Horse Harry Lee to lead them into the rebellious districts. They took 150 prisoners, and the remaining rebels dispersed without further fighting. Two of the prisoners were condemned to death, but Washington exercised his Constitutional authority for the first time and pardoned them.[300]

    Washington’s forceful action demonstrated that the new government could protect itself and its tax collectors. This represented the first use of federal military force against the states and citizens,[301] and remains the only time an incumbent president has commanded troops in the field. Washington justified his action against “certain self-created societies”, which he regarded as “subversive organizations” that threatened the national union. He did not dispute their right to protest, but he insisted that their dissent must not violate federal law. Congress agreed and extended their congratulations to him; only Madison and Jefferson expressed indifference.[302]

    In April 1792, the French Revolutionary Wars began between Great Britain and France, and Washington declared America’s neutrality. The revolutionary government of France sent diplomat Citizen Genêt to America, and he was welcomed with great enthusiasm. He created a network of new Democratic-Republican Societies promoting France’s interests, but Washington denounced them and demanded that the French recall Genêt.[303] The National Assembly of France granted Washington honorary French citizenship on August 26, 1792, during the early stages of the French Revolution.[304] Hamilton formulated the Jay Treaty to normalize trade relations with Great Britain while removing them from western forts, and also to resolve financial debts remaining from the Revolution.[305] Chief Justice John Jay acted as Washington’s negotiator and signed the treaty on November 19, 1794; critical Jeffersonians, however, supported France. Washington deliberated, then supported the treaty because it avoided war with Britain,[306] but was disappointed that its provisions favored Britain.[307] He mobilized public opinion and secured ratification in the Senate[308] but faced frequent public criticism.[309]

    The British agreed to abandon their forts around the Great Lakes, and the United States modified the boundary with Canada. The government liquidated numerous pre-Revolutionary debts, and the British opened the British West Indies to American trade. The treaty secured peace with Britain and a decade of prosperous trade. Jefferson claimed that it angered France and “invited rather than avoided” war.[310] Relations with France deteriorated afterward, leaving succeeding president John Adams with prospective war.[311] James Monroe was the American Minister to France, but Washington recalled him for his opposition to the Treaty. The French refused to accept his replacement Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and the French Directory declared the authority to seize American ships two days before Washington’s term ended.[312]

    Ron Chernow describes Washington as always trying to be even-handed in dealing with the Natives. He states that Washington hoped they would abandon their itinerant hunting life and adapt to fixed agricultural communities in the manner of white settlers. He also maintains that Washington never advocated outright confiscation of tribal land or the forcible removal of tribes and that he berated American settlers who abused natives, admitting that he held out no hope for pacific relations with the natives as long as “frontier settlers entertain the opinion that there is not the same crime (or indeed no crime at all) in killing a native as in killing a white man.”[313]

    By contrast, Colin G. Calloway writes that “Washington had a lifelong obsession with getting Indian land, either for himself or for his nation, and initiated policies and campaigns that had devastating effects in Indian country.”[314] “The growth of the nation,” Galloway has stated, “demanded the dispossession of Indian people. Washington hoped the process could be bloodless and that Indian people would give up their lands for a “fair” price and move away. But if Indians refused and resisted, as they often did, he felt he had no choice but to “extirpate” them and that the expeditions he sent to destroy Indian towns were therefore entirely justified.”[315]

    During the Fall of 1789, Washington had to contend with the British refusing to evacuate their forts in the Northwest frontier and their concerted efforts to incite hostile Indian tribes to attack American settlers.[316][p] The Northwest tribes under Miami chief Little Turtle allied with the British Army to resist American expansion, and killed 1,500 settlers between 1783 and 1790.[317]

    As documented by Harless (2018), Washington declared that “The Government of the United States are determined that their Administration of Indian Affairs shall be directed entirely by the great principles of Justice and humanity”,[318] and provided that treaties should negotiate their land interests.[318] The administration regarded powerful tribes as foreign nations, and Washington even smoked a peace pipe and drank wine with them at the Philadelphia presidential house.[319] He made numerous attempts to conciliate them;[320] he equated killing indigenous peoples with killing whites and sought to integrate them into European-American culture.[321] Secretary of War Henry Knox also attempted to encourage agriculture among the tribes.[320]

    In the Southwest, negotiations failed between federal commissioners and raiding Indian tribes seeking retribution. Washington invited Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and 24 leading chiefs to New York to negotiate a treaty and treated them like foreign dignitaries. Knox and McGillivray concluded the Treaty of New York on August 7, 1790, in Federal Hall, which provided the tribes with agricultural supplies and McGillivray with a rank of Brigadier General Army and a salary of $1,500.[322]

    In 1790, Washington sent Brigadier General Josiah Harmar to pacify the Northwest tribes, but Little Turtle routed him twice and forced him to withdraw.[323] The Western Confederacy of tribes used guerrilla tactics and were an effective force against the sparsely manned American Army. Washington sent Major General Arthur St. Clair from Fort Washington on an expedition to restore peace in the territory in 1791. On November 4, St. Clair’s forces were ambushed and soundly defeated by tribal forces with few survivors, despite Washington’s warning of surprise attacks. Washington was outraged over what he viewed to be excessive Native American brutality and execution of captives, including women and children.[324]

    St. Clair resigned his commission, and Washington replaced him with the Revolutionary War hero General Anthony Wayne. From 1792 to 1793, Wayne instructed his troops on Native American warfare tactics and instilled discipline which was lacking under St. Clair.[325] In August 1794, Washington sent Wayne into tribal territory with authority to drive them out by burning their villages and crops in the Maumee Valley.[326] On August 24, the American army under Wayne’s leadership defeated the western confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and the Treaty of Greenville in August 1795 opened up two-thirds of the Ohio Country for American settlement.[327]

    Originally, Washington had planned to retire after his first term, while many Americans could not imagine anyone else taking his place.[328] After nearly four years as president, and dealing with the infighting in his own cabinet and with partisan critics, Washington showed little enthusiasm in running for a second term, while Martha also wanted him not to run.[329] James Madison urged him not to retire, that his absence would only allow the dangerous political rift in his cabinet and the House to worsen. Jefferson also pleaded with him not to retire and agreed to drop his attacks on Hamilton, or he would also retire if Washington did.[330] Hamilton maintained that Washington’s absence would be “deplored as the greatest evil” to the country at this time.[331] Washington’s close nephew George Augustine Washington, his manager at Mount Vernon, was critically ill and had to be replaced, further increasing Washington’s desire to retire and return to Mount Vernon.[332]

    When the election of 1792 neared, Washington did not publicly announce his presidential candidacy. Still, he silently consented to run to prevent a further political-personal rift in his cabinet. The Electoral College unanimously elected him president on February 13, 1793, and John Adams as vice president by a vote of 77 to 50.[321] Washington, with nominal fanfare, arrived alone at his inauguration in his carriage. Sworn into office by Associate Justice William Cushing on March 4, 1793, in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Washington gave a brief address and then immediately retired to his Philadelphia presidential house, weary of office and in poor health.[333]

    On April 22, 1793, during the French Revolution, Washington issued his famous Neutrality Proclamation and was resolved to pursue “a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent Powers” while he warned Americans not to intervene in the international conflict. [334] Although Washington recognized France’s revolutionary government, he would eventually ask French minister to America Citizen Genêt be recalled over the Citizen Genêt Affair.[335] Genêt was a diplomatic troublemaker who was openly hostile toward Washington’s neutrality policy. He procured four American ships as privateers to strike at Spanish forces (British allies) in Florida while organizing militias to strike at other British possessions. However, his efforts failed to draw America into the foreign campaigns during Washington’s presidency.[336] On July 31, 1793, Jefferson submitted his resignation from Washington’s cabinet.[337] Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794 and commissioned the first six federal frigates to combat Barbary pirates.[338]

    In January 1795, Hamilton, who desired more income for his family, resigned office and was replaced by Washington appointment Oliver Wolcott, Jr.. Washington and Hamilton remained friends. However, Washington’s relationship with his Secretary of War Henry Knox deteriorated. Knox resigned office on the rumor he profited from construction contracts on U.S. Frigates.[339]

    In the final months of his presidency, Washington was assailed by his political foes and a partisan press who accused him of being ambitious and greedy, while he argued that he had taken no salary during the war and had risked his life in battle. He regarded the press as a disuniting, “diabolical” force of falsehoods, sentiments that he expressed in his Farewell Address.[340] At the end of his second term, Washington retired for personal and political reasons, dismayed with personal attacks, and to ensure that a truly contested presidential election could be held. He did not feel bound to a two-term limit, but his retirement set a significant precedent. Washington is often credited with setting the principle of a two-term presidency, but it was Thomas Jefferson who first refused to run for a third term on political grounds.[341]

    In 1796, Washington declined to run for a third term of office, believing his death in office would create an image of a lifetime appointment. The precedent of a two-term limit was created by his retirement from office.[342] In May 1792, in anticipation of his retirement, Washington instructed James Madison to prepare a “valedictory address”, an initial draft of which was entitled the “Farewell Address”.[343] In May 1796, Washington sent the manuscript to his Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton who did an extensive rewrite, while Washington provided final edits.[344] On September 19, 1796, David Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser published the final version of the address.[345]

    Washington stressed that national identity was paramount, while a united America would safeguard freedom and prosperity. He warned the nation of three eminent dangers: regionalism, partisanship, and foreign entanglements, and said the “name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”[346] Washington called for men to move beyond partisanship for the common good, stressing that the United States must concentrate on its own interests. He warned against foreign alliances and their influence in domestic affairs, and bitter partisanship and the dangers of political parties.[347] He counseled friendship and commerce with all nations, but advised against involvement in European wars.[348] He stressed the importance of religion, asserting that “religion and morality are indispensable supports” in a republic.[349] Washington’s address favored Hamilton’s Federalist ideology and economic policies.[350]

    Washington closed the address by reflecting on his legacy:

    Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.[351]

    After initial publication, many Republicans, including Madison, criticized the Address and believed it was an anti-French campaign document. Madison believed Washington was strongly pro-British. Madison also was suspicious of who authored the Address.[352]

    In 1839, Washington biographer Jared Sparks maintained that Washington’s “… Farewell Address was printed and published with the laws, by order of the legislatures, as an evidence of the value they attached to its political precepts, and of their affection for its author.”[353] In 1972, Washington scholar James Flexner referred to the Farewell Address as receiving as much acclaim as Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.[354] In 2010, historian Ron Chernow reported the Farewell Address proved to be one of the most influential statements on Republicanism.[355]

    Washington retired to Mount Vernon in March 1797 and devoted time to his plantations and other business interests, including his distillery.[356] His plantation operations were only minimally profitable,[46] and his lands in the west (Piedmont) were under Indian attacks and yielded little income, with the squatters there refusing to pay rent. He attempted to sell these but without success.[357] He became an even more committed Federalist. He vocally supported the Alien and Sedition Acts and convinced Federalist John Marshall to run for Congress to weaken the Jeffersonian hold on Virginia.[358]

    Washington grew restless in retirement, prompted by tensions with France, and he wrote to Secretary of War James McHenry offering to organize President Adams’ army.[359] In a continuation of the French Revolutionary Wars, French privateers began seizing American ships in 1798, and relations deteriorated with France and led to the “Quasi-War”. Without consulting Washington, Adams nominated him for a lieutenant general commission on July 4, 1798, and the position of commander-in-chief of the armies.[360] Washington chose to accept, replacing James Wilkinson,[361] and he served as the commanding general from July 13, 1798, until his death 17 months later. He participated in planning for a provisional army, but he avoided involvement in details. In advising McHenry of potential officers for the army, he appeared to make a complete break with Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans: “you could as soon scrub the blackamoor white, as to change the principles of a profest Democrat; and that he will leave nothing unattempted to overturn the government of this country.”[362] Washington delegated the active leadership of the army to Hamilton, a major general. No army invaded the United States during this period, and Washington did not assume a field command.[363]

    Washington was known to be rich because of the well-known “glorified façade of wealth and grandeur” at Mount Vernon,[364] but nearly all his wealth was in the form of land and slaves rather than ready cash. To supplement his income, he erected a distillery for substantial whiskey production.[365] Historians estimate that the estate was worth about $1 million in 1799 dollars,[366] equivalent to $15,249,000 in 2020. He bought land parcels to spur development around the new Federal City named in his honor, and he sold individual lots to middle-income investors rather than multiple lots to large investors, believing they would more likely commit to making improvements.[367]

    On December 12, 1799, Washington inspected his farms on horseback. He returned home late and had guests over for dinner. He had a sore throat the next day but was well enough to mark trees for cutting. That evening, he complained of chest congestion but was still cheerful.[368] On Saturday, he awoke to an inflamed throat and difficulty breathing, so he ordered estate overseer George Rawlins to remove nearly a pint of his blood; bloodletting was a common practice of the time. His family summoned Doctors James Craik, Gustavus Richard Brown, and Elisha C. Dick.[369] (Dr. William Thornton arrived some hours after Washington died.)[370]

    Dr. Brown thought Washington had quinsy; Dr. Dick thought the condition was a more serious “violent inflammation of the throat”.[371] They continued the process of bloodletting to approximately five pints, and Washington’s condition deteriorated further. Dr. Dick proposed a tracheotomy, but the others were not familiar with that procedure and therefore disapproved.[372] Washington instructed Brown and Dick to leave the room, while he assured Craik, “Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.”[373]

    Washington’s death came more swiftly than expected.[374] On his deathbed, he instructed his private secretary Tobias Lear to wait three days before his burial, out of fear of being entombed alive.[375] According to Lear, he died peacefully between 10 and 11 p.m. on December 14, 1799, with Martha seated at the foot of his bed. His last words were “‘Tis well”, from his conversation with Lear about his burial. He was 67.[376]

    Congress immediately adjourned for the day upon news of Washington’s death, and the Speaker’s chair was shrouded in black the next morning.[377] The funeral was held four days after his death on December 18, 1799, at Mount Vernon, where his body was interred. Cavalry and foot soldiers led the procession, and six colonels served as the pallbearers. The Mount Vernon funeral service was restricted mostly to family and friends.[378] Reverend Thomas Davis read the funeral service by the vault with a brief address, followed by a ceremony performed by various members of Washington’s Masonic lodge in Alexandria, Virginia.[379] Congress chose Light-Horse Harry Lee to deliver the eulogy. Word of his death traveled slowly; church bells rang in the cities, and many places of business closed.[380] People worldwide admired Washington and were saddened by his death, and memorial processions were held in major cities of the United States. Martha wore a black mourning cape for one year, and she burned their correspondence to protect their privacy. Only five letters between the couple are known to have survived: two from Martha to George and three from him to her.[381]

    The diagnosis of Washington’s illness and the immediate cause of his death have been subjects of debate since the day he died. The published account of Drs. Craik and Brown[q] stated that his symptoms had been consistent with cynanche trachealis (tracheal inflammation), a term of that period used to describe severe inflammation of the upper windpipe, including quinsy. Accusations have persisted since Washington’s death concerning medical malpractice, with some believing he had been bled to death.[372] Various modern medical authors have speculated that he died from a severe case of epiglottitis complicated by the given treatments, most notably the massive blood loss which almost certainly caused hypovolemic shock.[383][r]

    Washington was buried in the old Washington family vault at Mount Vernon, situated on a grassy slope overspread with willow, juniper, cypress, and chestnut trees. It contained the remains of his brother Lawrence and other family members, but the decrepit brick vault needed repair, prompting Washington to leave instructions in his will for the construction of a new vault.[380] Washington’s estate at the time of his death was worth an estimated $780,000 in 1799, approximately equivalent to $17.82 million in 2021.[387] Washington’s peak net worth was $587.0 million, including his 300 slaves.[388] Washington held title to more than 65,000 acres of land in 37 different locations.[87]

    In 1830, a disgruntled ex-employee of the estate attempted to steal what he thought was Washington’s skull, prompting the construction of a more secure vault.[389] The next year, the new vault was constructed at Mount Vernon to receive the remains of George and Martha and other relatives.[390] In 1832, a joint Congressional committee debated moving his body from Mount Vernon to a crypt in the Capitol. The crypt had been built by architect Charles Bulfinch in the 1820s during the reconstruction of the burned-out capital, after the Burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812. Southern opposition was intense, antagonized by an ever-growing rift between North and South; many were concerned that Washington’s remains could end up on “a shore foreign to his native soil” if the country became divided, and Washington’s remains stayed in Mount Vernon.[391]

    On October 7, 1837, Washington’s remains were placed, still in the original lead coffin, within a marble sarcophagus designed by William Strickland and constructed by John Struthers earlier that year.[392] The sarcophagus was sealed and encased with planks, and an outer vault was constructed around it.[393] The outer vault has the sarcophagi of both George and Martha Washington; the inner vault has the remains of other Washington family members and relatives.[390]

    Washington was somewhat reserved in personality, but he generally had a strong presence among others. He made speeches and announcements when required, but he was not a noted orator or debater.[395] He was taller than most of his contemporaries;[396] accounts of his height vary from 6 ft (1.83 m) to 6 ft 3.5 in (1.92 m) tall,[397][398] he weighed between 210–220 pounds (95–100 kg) as an adult,[399][400] and he was known for his great strength.[401] He had grey-blue eyes and reddish-brown hair which he wore powdered in the fashion of the day.[402] He had a rugged and dominating presence, which garnered respect from his peers.

    He bought William Lee on May 27, 1768, and he was Washington’s valet for 20 years. He was the only slave freed immediately in Washington’s will.

    Washington frequently suffered from severe tooth decay and ultimately lost all his teeth but one. He had several sets of false teeth, which he wore during his presidency, made using a variety of materials including both animal and human teeth, but wood was not used despite common lore.[403] These dental problems left him in constant pain, for which he took laudanum.[404] As a public figure, he relied upon the strict confidence of his dentist.[405]

    Washington was a talented equestrian early in life. He collected thoroughbreds at Mount Vernon, and his two favorite horses were Blueskin and Nelson.[406] Fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson said Washington was “the best horseman of his age and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback”;[407] he also hunted foxes, deer, ducks, and other game.[408] He was an excellent dancer and attended the theater frequently. He drank in moderation but was morally opposed to excessive drinking, smoking tobacco, gambling, and profanity.[409]

    Washington was descended from Anglican minister Lawrence Washington (his great-great-grandfather), whose troubles with the Church of England may have prompted his heirs to emigrate to America.[410] Washington was baptized as an infant in April 1732 and became a devoted member of the Church of England (the Anglican Church).[411] He served more than 20 years as a vestryman and churchwarden for Fairfax Parish and Truro Parish, Virginia.[412] He privately prayed and read the Bible daily, and he publicly encouraged people and the nation to pray.[413] He may have taken communion on a regular basis prior to the Revolutionary War, but he did not do so following the war, for which he was admonished by Pastor James Abercrombie.[414]

    Washington believed in a “wise, inscrutable, and irresistible” Creator God who was active in the Universe, contrary to deistic thought.[410] He referred to God by the Enlightenment terms Providence, the Creator, or the Almighty, and also as the Divine Author or the Supreme Being.[415] He believed in a divine power who watched over battlefields, was involved in the outcome of war, was protecting his life, and was involved in American politics—and specifically in the creation of the United States.[416][s] Modern historian Ron Chernow has posited that Washington avoided evangelistic Christianity or hellfire-and-brimstone speech along with communion and anything inclined to “flaunt his religiosity”. Chernow has also said Washington “never used his religion as a device for partisan purposes or in official undertakings”.[418] No mention of Jesus Christ appears in his private correspondence, and such references are rare in his public writings.[419] He frequently quoted from the Bible or paraphrased it, and often referred to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.[420] There is debate on whether he is best classed as a Christian or a theistic rationalist—or both.[421]

    Washington emphasized religious toleration in a nation with numerous denominations and religions. He publicly attended services of different Christian denominations and prohibited anti-Catholic celebrations in the Army.[422] He engaged workers at Mount Vernon without regard for religious belief or affiliation. While president, he acknowledged major religious sects and gave speeches on religious toleration.[423] He was distinctly rooted in the ideas, values, and modes of thinking of the Enlightenment,[424] but he harbored no contempt of organized Christianity and its clergy, “being no bigot myself to any mode of worship”.[424] In 1793, speaking to members of the New Church in Baltimore, Washington proclaimed, “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition.”[425]

    Freemasonry was a widely accepted institution in the late 18th century, known for advocating moral teachings.[426] Washington was attracted to the Masons’ dedication to the Enlightenment principles of rationality, reason, and brotherhood. The American Masonic lodges did not share the anti-clerical perspective of the controversial European lodges.[427] A Masonic lodge was established in Fredericksburg in September 1752, and Washington was initiated two months later at the age of 20 as one of its first Entered Apprentices. Within a year, he progressed through its ranks to become a Master Mason.[428] Washington had high regard for the Masonic Order, but his personal lodge attendance was sporadic. In 1777, a convention of Virginia lodges asked him to be the Grand Master of the newly established Grand Lodge of Virginia, but he declined due to his commitments leading the Continental Army. After 1782, he frequently corresponded with Masonic lodges and members,[429] and he was listed as Master in the Virginia charter of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in 1788.[430]

    In Washington’s lifetime, slavery was deeply ingrained in the economic and social fabric of Virginia.[431][432] Slavery was legal in all of the Thirteen Colonies prior to the American Revolution.[433]

    Washington owned and rented enslaved African Americans, and during his lifetime over 577 slaves lived and worked at Mount Vernon.[434][435] He acquired them through inheritance, gaining control of 84 dower slaves upon his marriage to Martha, and purchased at least 71 slaves between 1752 and 1773.[436] From 1786 he rented slaves, at his death he was renting 41.[437][434] His early views on slavery were no different from any Virginia planter of the time.[438] From the 1760s his attitudes underwent a slow evolution. The first doubts were prompted by his transition from tobacco to grain crops, which left him with a costly surplus of slaves, causing him to question the system’s economic efficiency.[439] His growing disillusionment with the institution was spurred by the principles of the American Revolution and revolutionary friends such as Lafayette and Hamilton.[440] Most historians agree the Revolution was central to the evolution of Washington’s attitudes on slavery;[441] “After 1783”, Kenneth Morgan writes, “…[Washington] began to express inner tensions about the problem of slavery more frequently, though always in private…”[442]

    The many contemporary reports of slave treatment at Mount Vernon are varied and conflicting.[443] Historian Kenneth Morgan (2000) maintains that Washington was frugal on spending for clothes and bedding for his slaves, and only provided them with just enough food, and that he maintained strict control over his slaves, instructing his overseers to keep them working hard from dawn to dusk year-round.[444] However, historian Dorothy Twohig (2001) said: “Food, clothing, and housing seem to have been at least adequate”.[445] Washington faced growing debts involved with the costs of supporting slaves. He held an “engrained sense of racial superiority” towards African Americans but harbored no ill feelings toward them.[446] Some enslaved families worked at different locations on the plantation but were allowed to visit one another on their days off.[447] Washington’s slaves received two hours off for meals during the workday and were given time off on Sundays and religious holidays.[448]

    Some accounts report that Washington opposed flogging but at times sanctioned its use, generally as a last resort, on both men and women slaves.[449] Washington used both reward and punishment to encourage discipline and productivity in his slaves. He tried appealing to an individual’s sense of pride, gave better blankets and clothing to the “most deserving”, and motivated his slaves with cash rewards. He believed “watchfulness and admonition” to be often better deterrents against transgressions but would punish those who “will not do their duty by fair means”. Punishment ranged in severity from demotion back to fieldwork, through whipping and beatings, to permanent separation from friends and family by sale. Historian Ron Chernow maintains that overseers were required to warn slaves before resorting to the lash and required Washington’s written permission before whipping, though his extended absences did not always permit this.[450] Washington remained dependent on slave labor to work his farms and negotiated the purchase of more slaves in 1786 and 1787.[451]

    Washington brought several of his slaves with him and his family to the federal capital during his presidency. When the capital moved from New York City to Philadelphia in 1791, the president began rotating his slave household staff periodically between the capital and Mount Vernon. This was done deliberately to circumvent Pennsylvania’s Slavery Abolition Act, which, in part, automatically freed any slave who moved to the state and lived there for more than six months.[452] In May 1796, Martha’s personal and favorite slave Oney Judge escaped to Portsmouth. At Martha’s behest, Washington attempted to capture Ona, using a Treasury agent, but this effort failed. In February 1797, Washington’s personal slave Hercules escaped to Philadelphia and was never found.[453]

    In February 1786, Washington took a census of Mount Vernon and recorded 224 slaves.[454] By 1799, slaves at Mount Vernon totaled 317, including 143 children.[455] Washington owned 124 slaves, leased 40, and held 153 for his wife’s dower interest.[456] Washington supported many slaves who were too young or too old to work, greatly increasing Mount Vernon’s slave population and causing the plantation to operate at a loss.[457]

    Based on his letters, diary, documents, accounts from colleagues, employees, friends, and visitors, Washington slowly developed a cautious sympathy toward abolitionism that eventually ended with the manumission, by his will, of his own slaves after his death.[458] As president, he remained publicly silent on the topic of slavery, believing it was a nationally divisive issue which could destroy the union.[459]

    During the American Revolutionary War, Washington began to change his views on slavery.[433] In a 1778 letter to Lund Washington, he made clear his desire “to get quit of Negroes” when discussing the exchange of slaves for the land he wanted to buy.[460] The next year, Washington stated his intention not to separate enslaved families as a result of “a change of masters”.[461] During the 1780s, Washington privately expressed his support for the gradual emancipation of slaves.[462] Between 1783 and 1786, he gave moral support to a plan proposed by Lafayette to purchase land and free slaves to work on it, but declined to participate in the experiment.[445] Washington privately expressed support for emancipation to prominent Methodists Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury in 1785 but declined to sign their petition.[463] In personal correspondence the next year, he made clear his desire to see the institution of slavery ended by a gradual legislative process, a view that correlated with the mainstream antislavery literature published in the 1780s that Washington possessed.[464] He significantly reduced his purchases of slaves after the war but continued to acquire them in small numbers.[465]

    In 1788, Washington declined a suggestion from a leading French abolitionist, Jacques Brissot, to establish an abolitionist society in Virginia, stating that although he supported the idea, the time was not yet right to confront the issue.[466] The historian Henry Wiencek (2003) believes, based on a remark that appears in the notebook of his biographer David Humphreys, that Washington considered making a public statement by freeing his slaves on the eve of his presidency in 1789.[467] The historian Philip D. Morgan (2005) disagrees, believing the remark was a “private expression of remorse” at his inability to free his slaves.[468] Other historians agree with Morgan that Washington was determined not to risk national unity over an issue as divisive as slavery.[469] Washington never responded to any of the antislavery petitions he received, and the subject was not mentioned in either his last address to Congress or his Farewell Address.[470]

    The first clear indication that Washington seriously intended to free his slaves appears in a letter written to his secretary, Tobias Lear, in 1794.[471] Washington instructed Lear to find buyers for his land in western Virginia, explaining in a private coda that he was doing so “to liberate a certain species of property which I possess, very repugnantly to my own feelings”.[472] The plan, along with others Washington considered in 1795 and 1796, could not be realized because he failed to find buyers for his land, his reluctance to break up slave families, and the refusal of the Custis heirs to help prevent such separations by freeing their dower slaves at the same time.[473]

    On July 9, 1799, Washington finished making his last will; the longest provision concerned slavery. All his slaves were to be freed after the death of his wife, Martha. Washington said he did not free them immediately because his slaves intermarried with his wife’s dower slaves. He forbade their sale or transportation out of Virginia. His will provided that old and young freed people be taken care of indefinitely; younger ones were to be taught to read and write and placed in suitable occupations.[474] Washington freed more than 160 slaves, including about 25 he had acquired from his wife’s brother Bartholomew Dandridge in payment of a debt.[475] He was among the few large slave-holding Virginians during the Revolutionary Era who emancipated their slaves.[476]

    On January 1, 1801, one year after George Washington’s death, Martha Washington signed an order to free his slaves. Many of them, having never strayed far from Mount Vernon, were naturally reluctant to try their luck elsewhere; others refused to abandon spouses or children still held as dower slaves (the Custis estate)[477] and also stayed with or near Martha. Following George Washington’s instructions in his will, funds were used to feed and clothe the young, aged, and infirm slaves until the early 1830s.[478]

    Washington’s legacy endures as one of the most influential in American history since he served as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, a hero of the Revolution, and the first president of the United States. Various historians maintain that he also was a dominant factor in America’s founding, the Revolutionary War, and the Constitutional Convention.[479] Revolutionary War comrade Light-Horse Harry Lee eulogized him as “First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.[480] Lee’s words became the hallmark by which Washington’s reputation was impressed upon the American memory, with some biographers regarding him as the great exemplar of republicanism. He set many precedents for the national government and the presidency in particular, and he was called the “Father of His Country” as early as 1778.[481][t]

    In 1879, Congress proclaimed Washington’s Birthday to be a federal holiday.[483] Twentieth-century biographer Douglas Southall Freeman concluded, “The great big thing stamped across that man is character.” Modern historian David Hackett Fischer has expanded upon Freeman’s assessment, defining Washington’s character as “integrity, self-discipline, courage, absolute honesty, resolve, and decision, but also forbearance, decency, and respect for others”.[484]

    Washington became an international symbol for liberation and nationalism as the leader of the first successful revolution against a colonial empire. The Federalists made him the symbol of their party, but the Jeffersonians continued to distrust his influence for many years and delayed building the Washington Monument.[485] Washington was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on January 31, 1781, before he had even begun his presidency.[486] He was posthumously appointed to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States during the United States Bicentennial to ensure he would never be outranked; this was accomplished by the congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 passed on January 19, 1976, with an effective appointment date of July 4, 1976.[487][u] On March 13, 1978, Washington was militarily promoted to the rank of General of the Armies.[490]

    Parson Weems wrote a hagiographic biography in 1809 to honor Washington.[491] Historian Ron Chernow maintains that Weems attempted to humanize Washington, making him look less stern, and to inspire “patriotism and morality” and to foster “enduring myths”, such as Washington’s refusal to lie about damaging his father’s cherry tree.[492] Weems’ accounts have never been proven or disproven.[493] Historian John Ferling, however, maintains that Washington remains the only founder and president ever to be referred to as “godlike”, and points out that his character has been the most scrutinized by historians, past and present.[494] Historian Gordon S. Wood concludes that “the greatest act of his life, the one that gave him his greatest fame, was his resignation as commander-in-chief of the American forces.”[495] Chernow suggests that Washington was “burdened by public life” and divided by “unacknowledged ambition mingled with self-doubt”.[496] A 1993 review of presidential polls and surveys consistently ranked Washington number 4, 3, or 2 among presidents.[497] A 2018 Siena College Research Institute survey ranked him number 1 among presidents.[498]

    In the 21st century, Washington’s reputation has been critically scrutinized. Along with various other Founding Fathers, he has been condemned for holding enslaved human beings. Though he expressed the desire to see the abolition of slavery come through legislation, he did not initiate or support any initiatives for bringing about its end. This has led to calls from some activists to remove his name from public buildings and his statue from public spaces.[499][500] Nonetheless, Washington maintains his place among the highest-ranked U.S. Presidents, listed second (after Lincoln) in a 2021 C-SPAN poll.[501]

    Jared Sparks began collecting and publishing Washington’s documentary record in the 1830s in Life and Writings of George Washington (12 vols., 1834–1837).[502] The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799 (1931–1944) is a 39-volume set edited by John Clement Fitzpatrick, whom the George Washington Bicentennial Commission commissioned. It contains more than 17,000 letters and documents and is available online from the University of Virginia.[503]

    Numerous secondary schools are named in honor of Washington, as are many universities, including George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.[504][505]

    Many places and monuments have been named in honor of Washington, most notably the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. The state of Washington is the only US state to be named after a president.[506]

    Washington appears as one of four U.S. presidents in a colossal statue by Gutzon Borglum on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

    George Washington appears on contemporary U.S. currency, including the one-dollar bill, the Presidential one-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin (the Washington quarter). Washington and Benjamin Franklin appeared on the nation’s first postage stamps in 1847. Washington has since appeared on many postage issues, more than any other person.[507]

    Washington issue of 1862

    Washington–Franklin issue of 1917

    Washington quarter dollar

    George Washington Presidential one-dollar coin

    Washington on the 1928 dollar bill


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    Charlestown is the capital of the island of Nevis, in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies. Charlestown is situated on the leeward side of the island of Nevis, near the southern end of Pinneys Beach.

    Charlestown Harbor was originally called Bath Bay, in reference to Bath Stream. This stream was noted for its curative waters.[1]

    Historically, in colonial times, the town of Charlestown was protected by Fort Charles to the south and Fort Black Rocks to the north. Many of the oldest two-story stone buildings were severely damaged over time by earthquakes, which tended to cause the upper story to collapse into the lower story. This unfortunate design flaw led to the common practice of building a wooden upper floor above a stone ground floor.

    Charlestown was the birthplace[2] and childhood home of Alexander Hamilton. The restored stone building which was his place of birth now houses the Museum of Nevis History on the ground floor, and the Nevis Island Administration Assembly Room on the upper floor. There are two other museums in Charlestown: the Nelson Museum, and the Nevis Sport Museum, as well as the Philatelic Bureau.

    There are many other important buildings in the town, some historical and some recent, such as the Post Office, the old Treasury Building which is now the Nevis Tourism Authority, the Court House and Public Library, the new Police Station and the Alexandra Hospital. At the northern end of town is the Bath Hotel and Spring House, which was a famous tourist hotel and spa during the 18th century. The main building of the Bath Hotel was for a while occupied by government offices.

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    Charlestown has a population of 1,500. It is the main administrative and commercial center for the island of Nevis, and is also the most concentrated residential area on the island. It is the hub for much of the transportation in Nevis. There is a modern port area with a dock where the ferries from St. Kitts load and unload passengers. However, Charlestown lacks a commercial airport.

    Memorial Square commemorates all the Nevisian soldiers who died during World Wars I and II. Nearby is the Cotton Ginnery Mall which supplies some of Nevis’ residents’ recreational shopping needs.

    The education system on Nevis is similar to the British system. There are five pre-schools and seven primary schools (grades K–6). Primary schools are government-provided. In addition there are three private primary schools. After primary school, children attend one of three secondary schools. Please also see the article: List of schools in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}17°09′N 62°35′W / 17.150°N 62.583°W / 17.150; -62.583

    Nevis /ˈniːvɪs/ is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the neighbouring island of Saint Kitts constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Nevis is located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 kilometres (220 mi) east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of Antigua. Its area is 93 square kilometres (36 sq mi) and the capital is Charlestown.

    Saint Kitts and Nevis are separated by a shallow 3-kilometre (2 mi) channel known as “The Narrows”. Nevis is roughly conical in shape, with a volcano known as Nevis Peak at its centre. The island is fringed on its western and northern coastlines by sandy beaches composed of a mixture of white coral sand with brown and black sand eroded and washed down from the volcanic rocks that make up the island. The gently-sloping coastal plain (1 km (0.62 mi) wide) has natural freshwater springs as well as non-potable volcanic hot springs, especially along the western coast.

    The island was named Oualie (“Land of Beautiful Waters”) by the Kalinago and Dulcina (“Sweet Island”) by the early British settlers. The name Nevis is derived from the Spanish Nuestra Señora de las Nieves (which means Our Lady of the Snows); the name first appeared on maps in the 16th century.[4] Nevis is also known by the sobriquet “Queen of the Caribees”, which it earned in the 18th century when its sugar plantations created much wealth for the British.

    Nevis is of particular historical significance to Americans because it was the birthplace and early childhood home of Alexander Hamilton. For the British, Nevis is the place where Horatio Nelson was stationed as a young sea captain, and is where he met and married a Nevisian, Frances Nisbet, the young widow of a plantation-owner.

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    The majority of the approximately 12,000 Nevisians are of primarily African descent, with notable British, Portuguese and Lebanese minority communities. English is the official language,[5] and the literacy rate, 98 percent, is one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

    In 1498, Christopher Columbus gave the island the name San Martín (Saint Martin). However, the confusion of numerous poorly-charted small islands in the Leeward Island chain meant that this name ended up being accidentally transferred to another island, which is still known as Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten.

    The current name Nevis was derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves by process of abbreviation and anglicisation. The Spanish name means Our Lady of the Snows. It is not known who chose this name for the island, but it is a reference to the story of a 4th-century Catholic miracle: a snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome.[6] Presumably the white clouds that usually cover the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of this story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate.

    Nevis was part of the Spanish claim to the Caribbean islands; a claim pursued until the 1670 Treaty of Madrid, even though there were no Spanish settlements on the island. According to Vincent Hubbard, author of Swords, Ships & Sugar: History of Nevis, the Spanish ruling caused many of the Arawak groups who were not ethnically Caribs to “be redefined as Kalinago overnight”.[4] Records indicate that the Spanish enslaved large numbers of the native inhabitants on the more accessible of the Leeward Islands and sent them to Cubagua, Venezuela to dive for pearls. Hubbard suggests that the reason the first European settlers found so few “Kalinago” on Nevis is that they had already been rounded up by the Spanish and shipped off to be used as slaves.

    Nevis had been settled for more than two thousand years by Amerindian people prior to having been sighted by Columbus in 1493.[7] The indigenous people of Nevis during these periods belonged to the Leeward Island Amerindian groups popularly referred to as Arawaks and Kalinago, a complex mosaic of ethnic groups with similar culture and language.[8] Dominican anthropologist Lennox Honychurch traces the European use of the term “Carib” to refer to the Leeward Island aborigines to Columbus, who picked it up from the Taínos on Hispaniola. It was not a name the Kalinago called themselves.[9] “Carib Indians” was the generic name used for all groups believed involved in cannibalistic war rituals, more particularly, the consumption of parts of a killed enemy’s body.

    The Amerindian name for Nevis was Oualie, land of beautiful waters. The structure of the Kalinago language has been linguistically identified as Arawakan.[9]

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  • Despite the Spanish claim, Nevis continued to be a popular stop-over point for English and Dutch ships on their way to the North American continent. Captain Bartholomew Gilbert of Plymouth visited the island in 1603, spending two weeks to cut twenty tons of lignum vitae wood. Gilbert sailed on to Virginia to seek out survivors of the Roanoke settlement in what is now North Carolina. Captain John Smith visited Nevis on his way to Virginia in 1607. This was the voyage that founded Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World.[4]

    On 30 August 1620 James VI and I of Scotland and England asserted sovereignty over Nevis by giving a Royal Patent for colonisation to the Earl of Carlisle. However, actual European settlement did not happen until 1628, when Anthony Hilton moved from nearby Saint Kitts following a murder plot against him. 80 other settlers accompanied him, soon boosted by a further 100 settlers from London who had initially hoped to settle Barbuda. Hilton became the first Governor of Nevis.[4]

    After the Treaty of Madrid (1670) between Spain and England, Nevis became the seat of the British colony and the Admiralty Court also sat in Nevis. Between 1675 and 1730, the island was the headquarters for the slave trade for the Leeward Islands, with approximately 6,000–7,000 enslaved West Africans passing through en route to other islands each year. The Royal African Company brought all its ships through Nevis.[4] A 1678 census shows a community of Irish people – 22% of the population – existing as either indentured servants or freemen.[10]

    Due to the profitable Slave Trade and the high quality of Nevisian sugar cane, Nevis soon became a dominant source of wealth for Great Britain and the slave-owning British plantocracy. When the Leeward Islands were separated from Barbados in 1671, Nevis became the seat of the Leeward Islands colony and was given the nickname “Queen of the Caribees”. It remained the colonial capital for the Leeward Islands until the seat was transferred to Antigua for military reasons in 1698. During this period, Nevis was the richest of the British Leeward Islands.[4]

    Nevis outranked larger islands like Jamaica in sugar production in the late 17th century. The planters’ wealth on the island is evident in the tax records preserved at the Calendar State Papers in the British Colonial Office Public Records, where the amount of tax collected on the Leeward Islands was recorded. The sums recorded for 1676 as “head tax on slaves”, a tax payable in sugar, amounted to 384,600 pounds in Nevis, as opposed to 67,000 each in Antigua and Saint Kitts, 62,500 in Montserrat, and 5,500 total in the other five islands.[11]

    The profits on sugar cultivation in Nevis was enhanced by the fact that the cane juice from Nevis yielded an unusually high amount of sugar. A gallon (3.79 litres) of cane juice from Nevis yielded 24 ounces (0.71 litres) of sugar, whereas a gallon from Saint Kitts yielded 16 ounces (0.47 litres).[4] Twenty percent of the British Empire’s total sugar production in 1700 was derived from Nevisian plantations.[12] Exports from West Indian colonies like Nevis were worth more than all the exports from all the mainland Thirteen Colonies of North America combined at the time of the American Revolution.[4]

    The enslaved families formed the large labour force required to work the sugar plantations. After the 1650s, the supply of white indentured servants began to dry up due to increased wages in England and less incentive to migrate to the colonies. By the end of the 17th century, the population of Nevis consisted of a small, wealthy planter elite in control, a marginal population of poor Whites, a great majority of African-descended slaves, and an unknown number of Maroons, escaped slaves living in the mountains. In 1780, 90 percent of the 10,000 people living on Nevis were Black.[4] Some of the maroons joined with the few remaining Kalinago in Nevis to form a resistance force. Memories of the Nevisian maroons’ struggle under the plantation system are preserved in place names such as Maroon Hill, an early centre of resistance.

    The great wealth generated by the colonies of the West Indies led to wars among Spain, Britain, and France. The formation of the United States can be said to be a partial by-product of these wars, and the strategic trade aims that often ignored North America.[4] Three privateers (William Kidd being one of them) were employed by the British Crown to help protect ships in Nevis’ waters.[4]

    During the 17th century, the French, based on Saint Kitts, launched many attacks on Nevis, sometimes assisted by the Kalinago, who in 1667 sent a large fleet of canoes along in support. In the same year, a Franco–Dutch invasion fleet was repelled off Nevis by an English fleet. Letters and other records from the era indicate that the English on Nevis hated and feared the Amerindians. In 1674 and 1683, they participated in attacks on Kalinago villages in Dominica and St. Vincent, despite a lack of official approval from the Crown for the attack.[4]

    On Nevis, the English built Fort Charles and a series of smaller fortifications to aid in defending the island. This included Saddle Hill Battery, built in 1740 to replace a deodand on Mount Nevis.[4]: 44, 62, 131 

    In 1706, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, the French Canadian founder of Louisiana in North America, decided to drive the English out of Nevis and thus also stop pirate attacks on French ships; he considered Nevis the region’s headquarters for piracy against French trade. During d’Iberville’s invasion of Nevis, French buccaneers were used in the front line, infamous for being ruthless killers after the pillaging during the wars with Spain where they gained a reputation for torturing and murdering non-combatants.[citation needed] In the face of the invading force, the English militiamen of Nevis fled.

    Some planters burned the plantations, rather than letting the French have them, and hid in the mountains.[citation needed] It was the enslaved Africans who held the French at bay by taking up arms to defend their families and the island. The slave quarters had been looted and burned as well, as the main reward promised the men fighting on the French side in the attack was the right to capture as many slaves as possible and resell them in Martinique.[citation needed]

    During the fighting, 3,400 enslaved Nevisians were captured and sent off to Martinique, but about 1,000 more, poorly armed and militarily untrained, held the French troops at bay, by “murderous fire” according to an eyewitness account by an English militiaman. He wrote that “the slaves’ brave behaviour and defence there shamed what some of their masters did, and they do not shrink to tell us so.”[4] After 18 days of fighting, the French were driven off the island. Among the Nevisian men, women and children carried away on d’Iberville’s ships, six ended up in Louisiana, the first persons of African descent to arrive there.[4]

    One consequence of the French attack was a collapsed sugar industry and during the ensuing hardship on Nevis, small plots of land on the plantations were made available to the enslaved families in order to control the loss of life due to starvation. With less profitability for the absentee plantation owners, the import of food supplies for the plantation workers dwindled. Between 1776 and 1783, when the food supplies failed to arrive altogether due to the rebellion in North America, 300–400 enslaved Nevisians starved to death.[4] On 1 August 1834, slavery was abolished in the British Empire. In Nevis, 8,815 slaves were freed.[4] The first Monday in August is celebrated as Emancipation Day and is part of the annual Nevis Culturama festival.

    A four-year apprenticeship programme followed the abolishment of slavery on the plantations. In spite of the continued use of the labour force, the Nevisian slave owners were paid over £150,000 in compensation from the British Government for the loss of property, whereas the enslaved families received nothing for 200 years of labour.[13] One of the wealthiest planter families in Nevis, the Pinneys of Mountravers Plantation, claimed £36,396 (equivalent to £3,576,357 in 2020)[14] in compensation for the slaves on the family-owned plantations around the Caribbean.[15]

    Because of the early distribution of plots and because many of the planters departed from the island when sugar cultivation became unprofitable, a relatively large percentage of Nevisians already owned or controlled land at emancipation.[16] Others settled on crown land. This early development of a society with a majority of small, landowning farmers and entrepreneurs created a stronger middle class in Nevis than in Saint Kitts, where the sugar industry continued until 2006. Even though the 15 families in the wealthy planter elite no longer control the arable land, Saint Kitts still has a large, landless working class population.[17]

    Nevis was united with Saint Kitts and Anguilla in 1882, and they became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967, though Anguilla seceded in 1971. Together, Saint Kitts and Nevis became independent on 19 September 1983. On 10 August 1998, a referendum on Nevis to separate from Saint Kitts had 2,427 votes in favour and 1,498 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed.

    Before 1967, the local government of Saint Kitts was also the government of Nevis and Anguilla. Nevis had two seats and Anguilla one seat in the government. The economic and infrastructural development of the two smaller islands was not a priority to the colonial federal government.

    When the hospital in Charlestown was destroyed in a hurricane in 1899, planting of trees in the squares of Saint Kitts and refurbishing of government buildings, also in Saint Kitts, took precedence over the rebuilding of the only hospital in Nevis.[4] After five years without any proper medical facilities, the leaders in Nevis initiated a campaign, threatening to seek independence from Saint Kitts. The British Administrator in Saint Kitts, Charles Cox, was unmoved. He stated that Nevis did not need a hospital since there had been no significant rise in the number of deaths during the time Nevisians had been without a hospital. Therefore, no action was needed on behalf of the government, and besides, Cox continued, the Legislative Council regarded “Nevis and Anguilla as a drag on St. Kitts and would willingly see a separation”.[18]

    A letter of complaint to the metropolitan British Foreign Office gave result and the federal government in Saint Kitts was ordered by their superiors in London to take speedy action. The Legislative Council took another five years to consider their options. The final decision by the federal government was to not rebuild the old hospital after all but to instead convert the old Government House in Nevis into a hospital, named Alexandra Hospital after Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII. A majority of the funds assigned for the hospital could thus be spent on the construction of a new official residence in Nevis.[4]

    After d’Iberville’s invasion in 1704, records show Nevis’ sugar industry in ruins and a decimated population begging the English Parliament and relatives for loans and monetary assistance to stave off island-wide starvation.[4] The sugar industry on the island never fully recovered and during the general depression that followed the loss of the West Indian sugar monopoly, Nevis fell on hard times and the island became one of the poorest in the region. The island remained poorer than Saint Kitts until 1991, when the fiscal performance of Nevis edged ahead of the fiscal performance of Saint Kitts for the first time since the French invasion.[4]

    Electricity was introduced in Nevis in 1954 when two generators were shipped in to provide electricity to the area around Charlestown. In this regard, Nevis fared better than Anguilla, where there were no paved roads, no electricity and no telephones until 1967. However, electricity did not become available island-wide on Nevis until 1971.[4]

    An ambitious infrastructure development programme was introduced in the early 2000s which included a transformation of the Charlestown port, construction of a new deep-water harbour, resurfacing and widening the Island Main Road, a new airport terminal and control tower, and a major airport expansion, which required the relocation of an entire village in order to make room for the runway extension.

    Modernised classrooms and better-equipped schools, as well as improvements in the educational system, have contributed to a leap in academic performance on the island. The pass rate among the Nevisian students sitting for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams, the Cambridge General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) and the Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examinations is now consistently among the highest in the English-speaking Caribbean.[19][20]

    The formation of the island began in mid-Pliocene times, approximately 3.45 million years ago. Nine distinct eruptive centres from different geological ages, ranging from mid-Pliocene to Pleistocene, have contributed to the formation. No single model of the island’s geological evolution can, therefore, be ascertained.[21]

    Nevis Peak (985 m or 3,232 ft high) is the dormant remnant of one of these ancient stratovolcanoes. The last activity took place about 100,000 years ago, but active fumaroles and hot springs are still found on the island, the most recent formed in 1953.[22] The composite cone of Nevis volcano has two overlapping summit craters that are partially filled by a lava dome, created in recent, pre-Columbian time. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows were deposited on the lower slopes of the cone simultaneously.

    Nevis Peak is located on the outer crater rim. Four other lava domes were constructed on the flanks of the volcano, one on the northeast flank (Madden’s Mount), one on the eastern flank (Butlers Mountain), one on the northwest coast (Mount Lily) and one on the south coast (Saddle Hill, with a height of 375 metres or 1,230 feet). The southernmost point on the island is Dogwood Point which is also the southernmost point of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    During the last ice age, when the sea level was 60 m lower, the three islands of Saint Kitts, Nevis and Sint Eustatius (also known as Statia) were connected as one island. Saba, however, is separated from these three by a deeper channel.

    There are visible wave-breaking reefs along the northern and eastern shorelines. To the south and west, the reefs are located in deeper water and are suitable for scuba diving. The most developed beach on Nevis is the 6.5 km long (4.0 mi) Pinney’s Beach, on the western or Caribbean coast. There are sheltered swimming beaches in Oualie Bay and Cades Bay. The eastern coast of the island faces into the Atlantic Ocean and can have strong surf in parts of the shore which are unprotected by fringing coral reefs.

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    The colour of the sand on the beaches of Nevis is variable: on a lot of the bigger beaches the sand is a yellow-grey in colour, but some beaches on the southern coast have darker, reddish, or even black sand. Under a microscope it becomes clear that Nevis sand is a mixture of tiny fragments of coral, many foraminifera, and small crystals of the various mineral constituents of the volcanic rock of which the island is made.

    Seven volcanic centers make up Nevis. These include Round Hill (3.43 Ma), Cades Bay (3.22 Ma), Hurricane Hill (2.7 Ma), Saddle Hill (1.8 Ma), Butlers Mountain (1.1 Ma), Red Cliff and Nevis Peak (0.98 Ma). These are mainly andesite and dacite lava domes, with associated block and ash flows, plus lahars. Nevis Peak has the highest elevation, at 984 m. Cades Bay and Farm Estate Soufriere are noted areas of hydrothermal activity.[23][24]

    Water has been piped since 1911 from a spring called the “Source”, located 1,800 feet (550 m) up the mountain, to storage tanks at Rawlins Village, and since 1912, to Butler’s Village. Additional drinking water comes from Nelson’s Spring near Cotton Ground and Bath Spring. Groundwater has been extracted since the 1990s, and mixed with the Source water.[25]

    During the 17th and 18th centuries, massive deforestation was undertaken by the planters as the land was initially cleared for sugar cultivation. This intense land exploitation by the sugar and cotton industry lasted almost 300 years, and greatly changed the island’s ecosystem.

    In some places along the windswept southeast or “Windward” coast of the island, the landscape is radically altered compared with how it used to be in pre-colonial times.[8] Due to extreme land erosion, the topsoil was swept away, and in some places at the coast, sheer cliffs as high as 25 metres (82 feet) have developed.[26]

    Thick forest once covered the eastern coastal plain, where the Amerindians built their first settlements during the Aceramic period, complementing the ecosystem surrounding the coral reef just offshore. It was the easy access to fresh water on the island and the rich food source represented by the ocean life sheltered by the reef that made it feasible for the Amerindians to settle this area around 600 BC.[8] With the loss of the natural vegetation, the balance in runoff nutrients to the reef was disturbed, eventually causing as much as 80 percent of the large eastern fringing reef to become inactive. As the reef broke apart, it, in turn, provided less protection for the coastline.[8]

    During times of maximum cultivation, sugar cane fields stretched from the coastline of Nevis up to an altitude at which the mountain slopes were too steep and rocky to farm. Nonetheless, once the sugar industry was finally abandoned, vegetation on the leeward side of the island regrew reasonably well, as scrub and secondary forest.

    Nevis has several natural freshwater springs (including Nelson’s Spring). The island also has numerous non-potable volcanic hot springs, including most notably the Bath Spring near Bath village, just south of the capital Charlestown.

    After heavy rains, powerful rivers of rainwater pour down the numerous ravines (known as ghauts). When the water reaches the coastline, the corresponding coastal ponds, both freshwater and brackish, fill to capacity and beyond, spilling over into the sea.

    With modern development, the existing freshwater springs are no longer enough to supply water to the whole island. The water supply now comes mostly from Government wells. The major source of potable water for the island is groundwater, obtained from 14 active wells. Water is pumped from the wells, stored and allowed to flow by gravity to the various locations.[27]

    The climate is tropical with little variation, tempered all year round (but particularly from December through February) by the steady north-easterly winds, called the trade winds. There is a slightly hotter and somewhat rainier season from May to November.

    Nevis lies within the track area of tropical storms and occasional hurricanes. These storms can develop between August and October. This time of year has the heaviest rainfalls.

    The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$), which is shared by eight other territories in the region.

    The European Commission’s Delegation in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean estimates the annual per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on Nevis to be about 10 percent higher[when?] than on St. Kitts.[28]

    The major source of revenue for Nevis today[when?] is tourism. During the 2003–2004 season, approximately 40,000 tourists visited the island.[29] A five-star hotel (The Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies), four exclusive restored plantation inns, and several smaller hotels including Oualie Beach Resort are currently in operation.[30] Larger developments along the west coast have recently[when?] been approved and are in the process of being developed.[31]

    The introduction of secrecy legislation has made offshore financial services a rapidly growing economic sector in Nevis. Incorporation of companies, international insurance and reinsurance, as well as several international banks, trust companies, asset management firms, have created a boost in the economy.[32] During 2005, the Nevis Island Treasury collected $94.6 million in annual revenue, compared to $59.8 million during 2001.[33]

    In 1998, 17,500 international banking companies were registered in Nevis. Registration and annual filing fees paid in 1999 by these entities amounted to over 10 percent of Nevis’ revenues.[28] The offshore financial industry gained importance during the financial disaster of 1999 when Hurricane Lenny damaged the major resort on the island, causing the hotel to be closed down for a year and 400 of the 700 employees to be laid off.[28]

    In 2000, the Financial Action Task Force, part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), issued a blacklist of 35 nations which were said to be non-cooperative in the campaign against tax evasion and money laundering. The list included the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.[34]

    The political structure for the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is based on the Westminster Parliamentary system, but it is a unique structure[35] in that Nevis has its own unicameral legislature, consisting of Her Majesty’s representative (the Deputy Governor General) and members of the Nevis Island Assembly. Nevis has considerable autonomy in its legislative branch. The constitution actually empowers the Nevis Island Legislature to make laws that cannot be abrogated by the National Assembly.[36]

    Nevis has a constitutionally protected right to secede from the federation, should a two-thirds majority of the island’s population vote for independence in a local referendum. Section 113.(1) of the constitution states: “The Nevis Island Legislature may provide that the island of Nevis shall cease to be federated with the island of Saint Christopher and accordingly that this Constitution shall no longer have effect in the island of Nevis.”[36]

    Nevis has its own premier and its own government, the Nevis Island Administration. It collects its own taxes and has a separate budget, with a current account surplus. According to a statement released by the Nevis Ministry of Finance in 2005, Nevis had one of the highest growth rates in gross national product and per capita income in the Caribbean at that point.[37]

    Nevis elections are scheduled every five years. The Nevis elections of 2013, called on 23 January 2013, was won by the party in opposition, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), led by Vance Amory. The CCM won three of the five seats in the Nevis Island Assembly, while the incumbent party, the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), won two.[38]

    In the federal elections of 2010, the CCM won two of the three Nevis assigned Federal seats, while the NRP won one. Of the eight Saint Kitts assigned federal seats, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party won six and the People’s Action Movement (PAM) two.[39]

    Joseph Parry, leader of the opposition, has indicated that he favours constitutional reform over secession for Nevis. His party, the NRP, has historically been the strongest and most ardent proponent for Nevis independence; the party came to power with secession as the main campaign issue. In 1975, the NRP manifesto declared that: “The Nevis Reformation Party will strive at all costs to gain secession for Nevis from St. Kitts – a privilege enjoyed by the island of Nevis prior to 1882.”[40]

    A cursory proposal for constitutional reform was presented by the NRP in 1999, but the issue was not prominent in the 2006 election campaign and it appears a detailed proposal has yet to be worked out and agreed upon within the party.[41]

    In Handbook of Federal Countries published by Forum of Federations, the authors consider the constitution problematic because it does not “specifically outline” the federal financial arrangements or the means by which the central government and Nevis Island Administration can raise revenue: “In terms of the NIA, the constitution only states (in s. 108(1)) that ‘all revenues…raised or received by the Administration…shall be paid into and form a fund styled the Nevis Island Consolidated Fund.’ […] Section 110(1) states that the proceeds of all ‘takes’ collected in St. Kitts and Nevis under any law are to be shared between the federal government and the Nevis Island Administration based on population. The share going to the NIA, however, is subject to deductions (s. 110(2)), such as the cost of common services and debt charges, as determined by the Governor-General (s.110(3)) on the advice of the Prime Minister who can also take advice from the Premier of Nevis (s.110(4)).”[42]

    According to a 1995 report by the Commonwealth Observer Group of the Commonwealth Secretariat, “the federal government is also the local government of St Kitts and this has resulted in a perception among the political parties in Nevis that the interests of the people of Nevis are being neglected by the federal government which is more concerned with the administration of St Kitts than with the federal administration.”[43]

    Simeon Daniel, Nevis’ first Premier and former leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) and Vance Amory, Premier and leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), made sovereign independence for Nevis from the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis part of their parties’ agenda.[44] Since independence from the United Kingdom in 1983, the Nevis Island Administration and the Federal Government have been involved in several conflicts over the interpretation of the new constitution which came into effect at independence. During an interview on Voice of America in March 1998, repeated in a government-issued press release headlined “PM Douglas Maintains 1983 Constitution is Flawed”, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas called the constitution a “recipe for disaster and disharmony among the people of both islands”.[45]

    A crisis developed in 1984 when the People’s Action Movement (PAM) won a majority in the Federal elections and temporarily ceased honouring the Federal Government’s financial obligations to Nevis.[46] Consequently, cheques issued by the Nevis Administration were not honoured by the Bank, public servants in Nevis were not paid on time and the Nevis Island Administration experienced difficulties in meeting its financial obligations.[46]

    There is also substantial support in Nevis for British Overseas Territory status similar to Anguilla’s, which was formerly the third of the tri-state Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla colony.[47]

    In 1996, four new bills were introduced in the National Assembly in Saint Kitts, one of which made provisions to have revenue derived from activities in Nevis paid directly to the treasury in Saint Kitts instead of to the treasury in Nevis. Another bill, The Financial Services Committee Act, contained provisions that all investments in Saint Kitts and Nevis would require approval by an investment committee in Saint Kitts. This was controversial, because ever since 1983 the Nevis Island Administration had approved all investments for Nevis, on the basis that the constitution vests legislative authority for industries, trades and businesses and economic development in Nevis to the Nevis Island Administration.[49]

    All three representatives from Nevis, including the leader of the opposition in the Nevis Island Assembly, objected to the introduction of these bills into the National Assembly in Saint Kitts, arguing that the bills would affect the ability of Nevis to develop its offshore financial services sector and that the bills would be detrimental to the Nevis economy. All the representatives in opposition in the National Assembly shared the conviction that the bills if passed into law, would be unconstitutional and undermine the constitutional and legislative authority of the Nevis Island Administration, as well as result in the destruction of the economy of Nevis.[46]

    The constitutional crisis initially developed when the newly appointed Attorney General refused to grant permission for the Nevis Island Administration to assert its legal right in the Courts. After a decision of the High Court in favour of the Nevis Island Administration, the Prime Minister gave newspaper interviews stating that he “refused to accept the decision of the High Court”.[50] Due to the deteriorating relationship between the Nevis Island Administration and the Federal Government, a Constitutional Committee was appointed in April 1996 to advise on whether or not the present constitutional arrangement between the islands should continue. The committee recommended constitutional reform and the establishment of an island administration for Saint Kitts, separate from the Federal Government.[49]

    The Federal Government in Saint Kitts fills both functions today and Saint Kitts does not have an equivalent to the Nevis Island Administration. Disagreements between the political parties in Nevis and between the Nevis Island Administration and the Federal Government have prevented the recommendations by the electoral committee from being implemented. The problematic political arrangement between the two islands, therefore, continues to date.[42]

    Nevis has continued developing its own legislation, such as The Nevis International Insurance Ordinance and the Nevis International Mutual Funds Ordinance of 2004,[32] but calls for secession are often based on concerns that the legislative authority of the Nevis Island Administration might be challenged again in the future.

    The issues of political dissension between Saint Kitts and Nevis are often centred around perceptions of imbalance in the economic structure.[51] As noted by many scholars,[52] Nevisians have often referred to a structural imbalance in Saint Kitts’ favour in how funds are distributed between the two islands and this issue has made the movement for Nevis secession a constant presence in the island’s political arena, with many articles appearing in the local press expressing concerns such as those compiled by Everton Powell in “What Motivates Our Call for Independence”:[53]

    A referendum on secession from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was held in 1998. Although 62% voted in favor of a secession, a two-thirds majority would have been necessary for the referendum to succeed.

    The island of Nevis is divided into five administrative subdivisions called parishes, each of which has an elected representative in the Nevis Island Assembly. The division of this almost round island into parishes was done in a circular sector pattern, so each parish is shaped like a pie slice, reaching from the highest point of Nevis Peak down to the coastline.

    The parishes have double names, for example Saint George Gingerland. The first part of the name is the name of the patron saint of the parish church, and the second part of the name is the traditional common name of the parish. Often the parishes are referred to simply by their common names. The religious part of a parish name is sometimes written or pronounced in the possessive: Saint George’s Gingerland.

    The five parishes of Nevis are:

    Culturama, the annual cultural festival of Nevis, is celebrated during the Emancipation Day weekend, the first week of August. The festivities include many traditional folk dances, such as the masquerade, the Moko jumbies on stilts, Cowboys and Indians, and Plait the Ribbon, a May pole dance. The celebration was given a more organised form in 1974, including a Miss Culture Show and a Calypso Competition, as well as drama performances, old fashion Troupes (including Johnny Walkers, Giant and Spear, Bulls, Red Cross and Blue Ribbon), arts and crafts exhibitions and recipe competitions. According to the Nevis Department of Culture, the aim is to protect and encourage indigenous folklore, in order to make sure that the uniquely Caribbean culture can “reassert itself and flourish”.[55]

    The official language is English, yet Saint Kitts Creole (known on the island as ‘Nevisian’ or ‘Nevis creole’) is also widely spoken. The local creole is actually more widely spoken on Nevis than on the neighbouring island.

    Nevisian culture has since the 17th century incorporated African, European and East Indian cultural elements, creating a distinct Afro-Caribbean culture. Several historical anthropologists have done field research Nevis and in Nevisian migrant communities in order to trace the creation and constitution of a Nevisian cultural community. Karen Fog Olwig published her research about Nevis in 1993, writing that the areas where the Afro-Caribbean traditions were especially strong and flourishing relate to kinship and subsistence farming. However, she adds, Afro-Caribbean cultural impulses were not recognised or valued in the colonial society and were therefore often expressed through Euro-Caribbean cultural forms.[56]

    Examples of European forms appropriated to express Afro-Caribbean culture are the Nevisian and Kittitian Tea Meetings and Christmas Sports. According to anthropologist Roger D. Abrahams, these traditional performance art forms are “Nevisian approximation of British performance codes, techniques, and patterns”. He writes that the Tea Meetings were staged as theatrical “battles between decorum and chaos”, decorum represented by the ceremony chairmen and chaos the hecklers in the audience, with a diplomatic King or a Queen presiding over the battle to ensure fairness.[57]

    The Christmas Sports included a form of comedy and satire based on local events and gossip.[58] They were historically an important part of the Christmas celebrations in Nevis, performed on Christmas Eve by small troupes consisting of five or six men accompanied by string bands from different parts of the island. One of the men in the troupe was dressed as a woman, playing all the female parts in the dramatisations. The troupes moved from yard to yard to perform their skits, using props, face paint and costumes to play the roles of well-known personalities in the community.[58]

    Examples of gossip about undesired behaviour that could surface in the skits for comic effect were querulous neighbours, adulterous affairs, planters mistreating workers, domestic disputes or abuse, crooked politicians and any form of stealing or cheating experienced in the society. Even though no names were mentioned in these skits, the audience would usually be able to guess who the heckling message in the troupe’s dramatised portrayals was aimed at, as it was played out right on the person’s own front yard. The acts thus functioned as social and moral commentaries on current events and behaviours in Nevisian society. This particular form is called “Bazzarding” by many locals. Abrahams theorises that Christmas Sports are rooted in the pre-emancipation Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations, when the enslaved population had several days off.[58]

    American folklorist and musicologist Alan Lomax visited Nevis in 1962 in order to conduct long-term research into the black folk culture of the island. His field trip to Nevis and surrounding islands resulted in the anthology Lomax Caribbean Voyage series.[59]
    Among the Nevisians recorded were chantey-singing fishermen in a session organised in a rum shop in Newcastle; Santoy, the Calypsonian, performing calypsos by Nevisian ballader and local legend Charles Walters[60] to guitar and cuatro; and string bands, fife players and drummers from Gingerland, performing quadrilles.

    The island is also known for “Jamband music”, which is the kind of music performed by local bands during the “Culturama Festival” and is key to “Jouvert” dancing. The sounds of the so-called “Iron Band” are also popular within the culture; many locals come together using any old pans, sinks, or other kits of any sort; which they use to create sounds and music. This form of music is played throughout the villages during the Christmas and carnival seasons.

    A series of earthquakes during the 18th century severely damaged most of the colonial-era stone buildings of Charlestown. The Georgian stone buildings in Charlestown that are visible today had to be partially rebuilt after the earthquakes, and this led to the development of a new architectural style, consisting of a wooden upper floor over a stone ground floor; the new style resisted earthquake damage much more effectively.

    Two famous Nevisian buildings from the 18th century are Hermitage Plantation, built of lignum vitae wood in 1740, the oldest surviving wooden house still in use in the Caribbean today, and the Bath Hotel, the first hotel in the Caribbean, a luxury hotel and spa built by John Huggins in 1778. The soothing waters of the hotel’s hot spring and the lively social life on Nevis attracted many famous Europeans including Antigua-based Admiral Nelson, and Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, (future William IV of the United Kingdom), who attended balls and private parties at the Bath Hotel. Today, the building serves as government offices, and there are two outdoor hot-spring bathing spots which were specially constructed in recent years[when?] for public use.

    An often repeated legend appears to suggest that a destructive 1680 or 1690 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the buildings of the original capital Jamestown on the west coast. Folk tales say that the town sank beneath the ocean, and the tsunami is blamed for the escape of (possibly fictional) pirate Red Legs Greaves.[61] However, archaeologists from the University of Southampton who have done excavations in the area, have found no evidence to indicate that the story is true. They state that this story may originate with an over-excited Victorian letter writer sharing somewhat exaggerated accounts of his exotic life in the tropical colony with a British audience back home.[62]

    One such letter recounts that so much damage was done to the town that it was completely evacuated, and was engulfed by the sea. Early maps do not, however, actually show a settlement called “Jamestown”, only “Morton’s Bay”, and later maps show that all that was left of Jamestown/Morton’s Bay in 1818 was a building labelled “Pleasure House”. Very old bricks that wash up on Pinney’s Beach after storms may have contributed to this legend of a sunken town; however, these bricks are thought to be dumped ballast from 17th and 18th century sailing ships.


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    “Chapter 9: St. Kitts and Nevis”Downloads-icon


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    The British Leeward Islands now refers to the Leeward Islands as an English overseas possession. It was a British colony from 1671 to 1958, except for the years from 1816 to 1833 where it was split into two separate colonies (Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat and Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla-Virgin Islands), before being united again in 1833. It was dissolved in 1958 after the separation of the British Virgin Islands.

    The Leeward Islands was established as an English colony in 1671. In 1816, the islands were divided in two regions: Antigua, Barbuda, and Montserrat in one colony, and Saint Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands in the other.

    The Leeward Islands were united again as a semi-federal entity in 1833, coming together until 1872 under the administration of the Governor of Antigua. The islands then became known as the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands from 1872 to 1956. From 1833 to 1940, Dominica was part of the colony.[1]

    On 3 January 1958 all islands except the Virgin Islands were absorbed into the West Indies Federation. The British Leeward Islands finally ceased to exist with the abolition of the office of its governor, and the elevation of the British Virgin Islands to the status of a separate crown colony, in 1960.[2][3]

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    A representative Leeward Islands cricket team continues to participate in West Indian domestic cricket.

    Includes the structures from Saint Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Dominica, and British Virgin Islands.[4]

    The islands of the Leeward Islands all used postage stamps inscribed “LEEWARD ISLANDS” between 1890 and 1 July 1956, often concurrently with stamps inscribed with the colony’s name. The islands also issued revenue stamps between 1882 and the 1930s.

    Culture:Anglosphere



    A gunshot wound (GSW) is physical trauma caused by a projectile from a firearm, air gun or other type of guns.[11][12] Damage may include bleeding, broken bones, organ damage, infection of the wound, loss of the ability to move part of the body and, in more severe cases, death.[2] Damage depends on the part of the body hit, the path the bullet follows through the body, and the type and speed of the bullet.[12] Long-term complications can include lead poisoning and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[1][2][13]

    Factors that determine rates of firearm violence vary by country.[5] These factors may include the illegal drug trade, access to firearms, substance misuse including alcohol, mental health problems, firearm laws, and social and economic differences.[5][6] Where guns are more common, altercations more often end in death.[14]

    Before management begins it should be verified the area is safe.[9] This is followed by stopping major bleeding, then assessing and supporting the airway, breathing, and circulation.[9] Firearm laws, particularly background checks and permit to purchase, decrease the risk of death from firearms.[7] Safer firearm storage may decrease the risk of firearm-related deaths in children.[8]

    In 2015, about a million gunshot wounds occurred from interpersonal violence.[10] In 2016, firearms resulted in 251,000 deaths globally, up from 209,000 in 1990.[5] Of these deaths 161,000 (64%) were the result of assault, 67,500 (27%) were the result of suicide, and 23,000 (9%) were accidents.[5] In the United States, guns resulted in about 40,000 deaths in 2017.[15] Firearm-related deaths are most common in males between the ages of 20 to 24 years.[5] Economic costs due to gunshot wounds have been estimated at US$140 billion a year in the United States.[16]

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    Trauma from a gunshot wound varies widely based on the bullet, velocity, mass, entry point, trajectory, affected anatomy, and exit point. Gunshot wounds can be particularly devastating compared to other penetrating injuries because the trajectory and fragmentation of bullets can be unpredictable after entry. Moreover, gunshot wounds typically involve a large degree of nearby tissue disruption and destruction caused by the physical effects of the projectile correlated with the bullet velocity classification.[17]

    The immediate damaging effect of a gunshot wound is typically severe bleeding with the potential for hypovolemic shock, a condition characterized by inadequate delivery of oxygen to vital organs.[18] In the case of traumatic hypovolemic shock, this failure of adequate oxygen delivery is due to blood loss, as blood is the means of delivering oxygen to the body’s constituent parts. Devastating effects can result when a bullet strikes a vital organ such as the heart, lungs or liver, or damages a component of the central nervous system such as the spinal cord or brain.[18]

    Common causes of death following gunshot injury include bleeding, low oxygen caused by pneumothorax, catastrophic injury to the heart and major blood vessels, and damage to the brain or central nervous system. Non-fatal gunshot wounds frequently have mild to severe long-lasting effects, typically some form of major disfigurement such as amputation because of a severe bone fracture and may cause permanent disability. A sudden blood gush may take effect immediately from a gunshot wound if a bullet directly damages larger blood vessels, especially arteries.

    The degree of tissue disruption caused by a projectile is related to the cavitation the projectile creates as it passes through tissue. A bullet with sufficient energy will have a cavitation effect in addition to the penetrating track injury. As the bullet passes through the tissue, initially crushing then lacerating, the space left forms a cavity; this is called the permanent cavity. Higher-velocity bullets create a pressure wave that forces the tissues away, creating not only a permanent cavity the size of the caliber of the bullet but a temporary cavity or secondary cavity, which is often many times larger than the bullet itself.[19] The temporary cavity is the radial stretching of tissue around the bullet’s wound track, which momentarily leaves an empty space caused by high pressures surrounding the projectile that accelerate material away from its path.[18] The extent of cavitation, in turn, is related to the following characteristics of the projectile:

    Gunshot wounds are classified according to the speed of the projectile using the Gustilo open fracture classification:

    Low velocity wounds are typical of small caliber handguns and display wound patterns like Gustilo Anderson Type 1 or 2 wounds

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  • These are more typical of shotgun blasts or higher caliber handguns like magnums. The risk of infection from these types of wounds can vary depending on the type and pattern of bullets fired as well as the distance from the firearm.

    Usually caused by powerful assault or hunting rifles and usually display wound pattern similar to Gustilo Anderson Type 3 wounds. The risk of infection is especially high due to the large area of injury and destroyed tissue.[21]

    Bullets from handguns are sometimes less than 1,000 ft/s (300 m/s) but with modern pistol loads, they usually are slightly above 1,000 ft/s (300 m/s), while bullets from most modern rifles exceed 2,500 ft/s (760 m/s). One recently developed class of firearm projectiles is the hyper-velocity bullet, such cartridges are usually either wildcats made for achieving such high speed or purpose built factory ammunition with the same goal in mind. Examples of hyper velocity cartridges include the .220 Swift, .17 Remington and .17 Mach IV cartridges. The US military commonly uses 5.56mm bullets, which have a relatively low mass as compared with other bullets (40-62 grains); however, the speed of these bullets is relatively fast (Approximately 2,800 ft/s (850 m/s), placing them in the high velocity category). As a result, they produce a larger amount of kinetic energy, which is transmitted to the tissues of the target.[19] However, one must remember that high kinetic energy does not necessarily equate to high stopping power, as incapacitation usually results from remote wounding effects such as bleeding, rather than raw energy transfer. High energy does indeed result in more tissue disruption, which plays a role in incapacitation, but other factors such as wound size and shot placement play as big of, if not a bigger role in stopping power and thus, effectiveness. Muzzle velocity does not consider the effect of aerodynamic drag on the flight of the bullet for the sake of ease of comparison.

    Medical organizations in the United States recommend a criminal background check being held before a person buys a gun and that a person who has convictions for crimes of violence should not be permitted to buy a gun.[15] Safe storage of firearms is recommended, as well as better mental health care and removal of guns from those at risk of suicide.[15] In an effort to prevent mass shootings greater regulations on guns that can rapidly fire many bullets is recommended.[15]

    Initial assessment for a gunshot wound is approached in the same way as other acute trauma using the advanced trauma life support (ATLS) protocol.[22] These include:

    Depending on the extent of injury, management can range from urgent surgical intervention to observation. As such, any history from the scene such as gun type, shots fired, shot direction and distance, blood loss on scene, and pre-hospital vitals signs can be very helpful in directing management. Unstable people with signs of bleeding that cannot be controlled during the initial evaluation require immediate surgical exploration in the operating room.[22] Otherwise, management protocols are generally dictated by anatomic entry point and anticipated trajectory.

    A gunshot wound to the neck can be particularly dangerous because of the high number of vital anatomical structures contained within a small space. The neck contains the larynx, trachea, pharynx, esophagus, vasculature (carotid, subclavian, and vertebral arteries; jugular, brachiocephalic, and vertebral veins; thyroid vessels), and nervous system anatomy (spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, sympathetic chain, brachial plexus). Gunshots to the neck can thus cause severe bleeding, airway compromise, and nervous system injury.[24]

    Initial assessment of a gunshot wound to the neck involves non-probing inspection of whether the injury is a penetrating neck injury (PNI), classified by violation of the platysma muscle.[24] If the platysma is intact, the wound is considered superficial and only requires local wound care. If the injury is a PNI, surgery should be consulted immediately while the case is being managed. Of note, wounds should not be explored on the field or in the emergency department given the risk of exacerbating the wound.

    Due to the advances in diagnostic imaging, management of PNI has been shifting from a “zone-based” approach, which uses anatomical site of injury to guide decisions, to a “no-zone” approach which uses a symptom-based algorithm.[25] The no-zone approach uses a hard signs and imaging system to guide next steps. Hard signs include airway compromise, unresponsive shock, diminished pulses, uncontrolled bleeding, expanding hematoma, bruits/thrill, air bubbling from wound or extensive subcutaneous air, stridor/hoarseness, neurological deficits.[25] If any hard signs are present, immediate surgical exploration and repair is pursued alongside airway and bleeding control. If there are no hard signs, the person receives a multi-detector CT angiography for better diagnosis. A directed angiography or endoscopy may be warranted in a high-risk trajectory for the gunshot. A positive finding on CT leads to operative exploration. If negative, the person may be observed with local wound care.[25]

    Important anatomy in the chest includes the chest wall, ribs, spine, spinal cord, intercostal neurovascular bundles, lungs, bronchi, heart, aorta, major vessels, esophagus, thoracic duct, and diaphragm. Gunshots to the chest can thus cause severe bleeding (hemothorax), respiratory compromise (pneumothorax, hemothorax, pulmonary contusion, tracheobronchial injury), cardiac injury (pericardial tamponade), esophageal injury, and nervous system injury.[26]

    Initial workup as outlined in the Workup section is particularly important with gunshot wounds to the chest because of the high risk for direct injury to the lungs, heart, and major vessels. Important notes for the initial workup specific for chest injuries are as follows. In people with pericardial tamponade or tension pneumothorax, the chest should be evacuated or decompressed if possible prior to attempting tracheal intubation because the positive pressure ventilation can cause hypotention or cardiovascular collapse.[27] Those with signs of a tension pneumothorax (asymmetric breathing, unstable blood flow, respiratory distress) should immediately receive a chest tube (> French 36) or needle decompression if chest tube placement is delayed.[27] FAST exam should include extended views into the chest to evaluate for hemopericardium, pneumothorax, hemothorax, and peritoneal fluid.[27]

    Those with cardiac tamponade, uncontrolled bleeding, or a persistent air leak from a chest tube all require surgery.[28] Cardiac tamponade can be identified on FAST exam. Blood loss warranting surgery is 1–1.5 L of immediate chest tube drainage or ongoing bleeding of 200-300 mL/hr.[28][29] Persistent air leak is suggestive of tracheobronchial injury which will not heal without surgical intervention.[28] Depending on the severity of the person’s condition and if cardiac arrest is recent or imminent, the person may require surgical intervention in the emergency department, otherwise known as an emergency department thoracotomy (EDT).[30]

    However, not all gunshot to the chest require surgery. Asymptomatic people with a normal chest X-ray can be observed with a repeat exam and imaging after 6 hours to ensure no delayed development of pneumothorax or hemothorax.[27] If a person only has a pneumothorax or hemothorax, a chest tube is usually sufficient for management unless there is large volume bleeding or persistent air leak as noted above.[27] Additional imaging after initial chest X-ray and ultrasound can be useful in guiding next steps for stable people. Common imaging modalities include chest CT, formal echocardiography, angiography, esophagoscopy, esophagography, and bronchoscopy depending on the signs and symptoms.[31]

    Important anatomy in the abdomen includes the stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, spine, diaphragm, descending aorta, and other abdominal vessels and nerves. Gunshots to the abdomen can thus cause severe bleeding, release of bowel contents, peritonitis, organ rupture, respiratory compromise, and neurological deficits.

    The most important initial evaluation of a gunshot wound to the abdomen is whether there is uncontrolled bleeding, inflammation of the peritoneum, or spillage of bowel contents. If any of these are present, the person should be transferred immediately to the operating room for laparotomy.[32] If it is difficult to evaluate for those indications because the person is unresponsive or incomprehensible, it is up to the surgeon’s discretion whether to pursue laparotomy, exploratory laparoscopy, or alternative investigative tools.

    Although all people with abdominal gunshot wounds were taken to the operating room in the past, practice has shifted in recent years with the advances in imaging to non-operative approaches in more stable people.[33] If the person’s vital signs are stable without indication for immediate surgery, imaging is done to determine the extent of injury.[33] Ultrasound (FAST) and help identify intra-abdominal bleeding and X-rays can help determine bullet trajectory and fragmentation.[33] However, the best and preferred mode of imaging is high-resolution multi-detector CT (MDCT) with IV, oral, and sometimes rectal contrast.[33] Severity of injury found on imaging will determine whether the surgeon takes an operative or close observational approach.

    Diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL) has become largely obsolete with the advances in MDCT, with use limited to centers without access to CT to guide requirement for urgent transfer for operation.[33]

    The four main components of extremities are bones, vessels, nerves, and soft tissues. Gunshot wounds can thus cause severe bleeding, fractures, nerve deficits, and soft tissue damage. The Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS) is used to classify the severity of injury and evaluates for severity of skeletal and/or soft tissue injury, limb ischemia, shock, and age.[34] Depending on the extent of injury, management can range from superficial wound care to limb amputation.

    Vital sign stability and vascular assessment are the most important determinants of management in extremity injuries. As with other traumatic cases, those with uncontrolled bleeding require immediate surgical intervention.[22] If surgical intervention is not readily available and direct pressure is insufficient to control bleeding, tourniquets or direct clamping of visible vessels may be used temporarily to slow active bleeding.[35] People with hard signs of vascular injury also require immediate surgical intervention. Hard signs include active bleeding, expanding or pulsatile hematoma, bruit/thrill, absent distal pulses and signs of extremity ischemia.[36]

    For stable people without hard signs of vascular injury, an injured extremity index (IEI) should be calculated by comparing the blood pressure in the injured limb compared to an uninjured limb in order to further evaluate for potential vascular injury.[37] If the IEI or clinical signs are suggestive of vascular injury, the person may undergo surgery or receive further imaging including CT angiography or conventional arteriography.

    In addition to vascular management, people must be evaluated for bone, soft tissue, and nerve injury. Plain films can be used for fractures alongside CTs for soft tissue assessment. Fractures must be debrided and stabilized, nerves repaired when possible, and soft tissue debrided and covered.[38] This process can often require multiple procedures over time depending on the severity of injury.

    In 2015, about a million gunshot wounds occurred from interpersonal violence.[10] Firearms, globally in 2016, resulted in 251,000 deaths up from 209,000 in 1990.[5] Of these deaths 161,000 (64%) were the result of assault, 67,500 (27%) were the result of suicide, and 23,000 were accidents.[5] Firearm related deaths are most common in males between the ages of 20 to 24 years.[5]

    The countries with the greatest number of deaths from firearms are Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala and South Africa which make up just over half the total.[5] In the United States in 2015 about half of the 44,000 people who died by suicide did so with a gun.[39]

    As of 2016, the countries with the highest rates of gun violence per capita were El Salvador, Venezuela, and Guatemala with 40.3, 34.8, and 26.8 violent gun deaths per 100,000 people respectively.[40] The countries with the lowest rates of were Singapore, Japan, and South Korea with 0.03, 0.04, and 0.05 violent gun deaths per 100,000 people respectively.[40]

    In 2016, about 893 people died due to gunshot wounds in Canada (2.1 per 100,000).[5] About 80% were suicides, 12% were assaults, and 4% percent were an accident.[41]

    In 2017, there were 39,773 deaths in the United States as a result gunshot wounds.[15] Of these 60% were suicides, 37% were homicides, 1.4% were by law enforcement, 1.2% were accidents, and 0.9% were from an unknown cause.[15] This is up from 37,200 deaths in 2016 due to a gunshot wound (10.6 per 100,000).[5] With respect to those that pertain to interpersonal violence, it had the 31st highest rate in the world with 3.85 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016.[40] The majority of all homicides and suicides are firearm-related, and the majority of firearm-related deaths are the result of murder and suicide.[42] When sorted by GDP, however, the United States has a much higher violent gun death rate compared to other developed countries, with over 10 times the number of firearms assault deaths than the next four highest GDP countries combined.[43] Gunshot violence is the third most costly cause of injury and the fourth most expensive form of hospitalization in the United States.[44]

    Until the 1880s, the standard practice for treating a gunshot wound called for physicians to insert their unsterilized fingers into the wound to probe and locate the path of the bullet.[45] Standard surgical theory such as opening abdominal cavities to repair gunshot wounds,[46] germ theory, and Joseph Lister’s technique for antiseptic surgery using diluted carbolic acid, had not yet been accepted as standard practice. For example, sixteen doctors attended to President James A. Garfield after he was shot in 1881, and most probed the wound with their fingers or dirty instruments.[47] Historians agree that massive infection was a significant factor in Garfield’s death.[45][48]

    At almost the same time, in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, on 13 July 1881, George E. Goodfellow performed the first laparotomy to treat an abdominal gunshot wound.[49]: M-9  Goodfellow pioneered the use of sterile techniques in treating gunshot wounds,[50] washing the person’s wound and his hands with lye soap or whisky, and his patient, unlike the President, recovered.[51] He became America’s leading authority on gunshot wounds[52] and is credited as the United States’ first civilian trauma surgeon.[53]

    Mid-nineteenth-century handguns such as the Colt revolvers used during the American Civil War had muzzle velocities of just 230–260 m/s and their powder and ball predecessors had velocities of 167 m/s or less. Unlike today’s high-velocity bullets, nineteenth-century balls produced almost little or no cavitation and, being slower moving, they were liable to lodge in unusual locations at odds with their trajectory.[54]

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    Wilhelm Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays in 1895 led to the use of radiographs to locate bullets in wounded soldiers.[55]

    Survival rates for gunshot wounds improved among US military personnel during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, due in part to helicopter evacuation, along with improvements in resuscitation and battlefield medicine.[55][56] Similar improvements were seen in US trauma practices during the Iraq War.[57] Some military trauma care practices are disseminated by citizen soldiers who return to civilian practice.[55][58][59] One such practice is to transfer major trauma cases to an operating theater as soon as possible, to stop internal bleeding. Within the United States, the survival rate for gunshot wounds has increased, leading to apparent declines in the gun death rate in states that have stable rates of gunshot hospitalizations.[60][61][62][63]

    Research into gunshot wounds in the USA is hampered by lack of funding. Federal-funded research into firearm injury, epidemiology, violence, and prevention is minimal.


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    New York, often called New York City (NYC) to distinguish it from the state of New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over 300.46 square miles (778.2 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban area.[9] With over 20.1 million people in its metropolitan statistical area and 23.5 million in its combined statistical area as of 2020, New York is one of the world’s most populous megacities. New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, significantly influencing commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, dining, art, fashion, and sports, and is the most photographed city in the world.[10] Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy,[11][12] and has sometimes been called the capital of the world.[13][14]

    Situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbors, New York City is composed of five boroughs, each of which is coextensive with a respective county of the state of New York. The five boroughs—Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), Manhattan (New York County), the Bronx (Bronx County), and Staten Island (Richmond County)—were created when local governments were consolidated into a single municipal entity in 1898.[15] The city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York,[16] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world as of 2016.[17][18] As of 2018[update], the New York metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of nearly $1.8 trillion, ranking it first in the United States. If the New York metropolitan area were a sovereign state, it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world. New York is home to the second highest number of billionaires of any city in the world.[19][20]

    New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded on the southern tip of Manhattan Island by Dutch colonists in approximately 1624. The settlement was named New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) in 1626 and was chartered as a city in 1653. The city came under English control in 1664 and was renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[21][22] The city was regained by the Dutch in July 1673 and was renamed New Orange for one year and three months; the city has been continuously named New York since November 1674. New York City was the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790,[23] and has been the largest U.S. city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U.S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a symbol of the U.S. and its ideals of liberty and peace.[24] In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity, entrepreneurship,[25] and environmental sustainability,[26][27] and as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity.[28] In 2019, New York was voted the greatest city in the world per a survey of over 30,000 people from 48 cities worldwide, citing its cultural diversity.[29]

    Many districts and monuments in New York City are major landmarks, including three of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013.[30] A record 66.6 million tourists visited New York City in 2019. Times Square is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District,[31] one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections,[30][32] and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry.[33] Many of the city’s landmarks, skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world, as is the city’s fast pace,[34][35][36] spawning the term New York minute.[37] The Empire State Building has become the global standard of reference to describe the height and length of other structures.[38] Manhattan’s real estate market is among the most expensive in the world.[39][40] Providing continuous 24/7 service and contributing to the nickname The City That Never Sleeps, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. The city has over 120 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, and the City University of New York system, which is the largest urban public university system in the United States. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the world’s leading financial center and the most financially powerful city in the world, and is home to the world’s two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.[41][42]

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    In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York, who would become King James II of England.[43] James’s elder brother, King Charles II, appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, when England seized it from the Dutch.[44]

    In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape. Their homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, the western portion of Long Island (including the areas that would later become the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens), and the Lower Hudson Valley.[45]

    The first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano, an explorer from Florence in the service of the French crown.[46] He claimed the area for France and named it Nouvelle Angoulême (New Angoulême).[47] A Spanish expedition, led by the Portuguese captain Estêvão Gomes sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio (Saint Anthony’s River). The Padrón Real of 1527, the first scientific map to show the East Coast of North America continuously, was informed by Gomes’ expedition and labeled the northeastern United States as Tierra de Esteban Gómez in his honor.[48]

    In 1609, the English explorer Henry Hudson rediscovered New York Harbor while searching for the Northwest Passage to the Orient for the Dutch East India Company.[49] He proceeded to sail up what the Dutch would name the North River (now the Hudson River), named first by Hudson as the Mauritius after Maurice, Prince of Orange. Hudson’s first mate described the harbor as “a very good Harbour for all windes” and the river as “a mile broad” and “full of fish”.[50] Hudson sailed roughly 150 miles (240 km) north,[51] past the site of the present-day New York State capital city of Albany, in the belief that it might be an oceanic tributary before the river became too shallow to continue.[50] He made a ten-day exploration of the area and claimed the region for the Dutch East India Company. In 1614, the area between Cape Cod and Delaware Bay was claimed by the Netherlands and called Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland).

    The first non–Native American inhabitant of what would eventually become New York City was Juan Rodriguez (transliterated to Dutch as Jan Rodrigues), a merchant from Santo Domingo. Born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, he arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–14, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch. Broadway, from 159th Street to 218th Street in Upper Manhattan, is named Juan Rodriguez Way in his honor.[52][53]

    A permanent European presence near New York Harbor began in 1624—making New York the 12th oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States[54]—with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on a citadel and Fort Amsterdam, later called Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam), on present-day Manhattan Island.[55][56] The colony of New Amsterdam was centered on what would later be known as Lower Manhattan. It extended from the lower tip of Manhattan to modern day Wall Street, where a 12-foot wooden stockade was built in 1653 to protect against Native American and British raids.[57] In 1626, the Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit, acting as charged by the Dutch West India Company, purchased the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small Lenape band,[58] for “the value of 60 guilders”[59] (about $900 in 2018).[60] A disproved legend claims that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.[61][62]

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  • Following the purchase, New Amsterdam grew slowly.[22] To attract settlers, the Dutch instituted the patroon system in 1628, whereby wealthy Dutchmen (patroons, or patrons) who brought 50 colonists to New Netherland would be awarded swaths of land, along with local political autonomy and rights to participate in the lucrative fur trade. This program had little success.[63]

    Since 1621, the Dutch West India Company had operated as a monopoly in New Netherland, on authority granted by the Dutch States General. In 1639–1640, in an effort to bolster economic growth, the Dutch West India Company relinquished its monopoly over the fur trade, leading to growth in the production and trade of food, timber, tobacco, and slaves (particularly with the Dutch West Indies).[22][64]

    In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant began his tenure as the last Director-General of New Netherland. During his tenure, the population of New Netherland grew from 2,000 to 8,000.[65][66] Stuyvesant has been credited with improving law and order in the colony; however, he also earned a reputation as a despotic leader. He instituted regulations on liquor sales, attempted to assert control over the Dutch Reformed Church, and blocked other religious groups (including Quakers, Jews, and Lutherans) from establishing houses of worship.[67] The Dutch West India Company would eventually attempt to ease tensions between Stuyvesant and residents of New Amsterdam.[68]

    In 1664, unable to summon any significant resistance, Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to English troops, led by Colonel Richard Nicolls, without bloodshed.[67][68] The terms of the surrender permitted Dutch residents to remain in the colony and allowed for religious freedom.[69] In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda after the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of what is now Suriname (on the northern South America coast) they had gained from the English; and in return, the English kept New Amsterdam. The fledgling settlement was promptly renamed “New York” after the Duke of York (the future King James II and VII), who would eventually be deposed in the Glorious Revolution.[70] After the founding, the duke gave part of the colony to proprietors George Carteret and John Berkeley. Fort Orange, 150 miles (240 km) north on the Hudson River, was renamed Albany after James’s Scottish title.[71] The transfer was confirmed in 1667 by the Treaty of Breda, which concluded the Second Anglo-Dutch War.[72]

    On August 24, 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, Dutch captain Anthony Colve seized the colony of New York from the English at the behest of Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest and rechristened it “New Orange” after William III, the Prince of Orange.[73] The Dutch would soon return the island to England under the Treaty of Westminster of November 1674.[74][75]

    Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by contact with the Europeans caused sizeable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670.[76] By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200.[77] New York experienced several yellow fever epidemics in the 18th century, losing ten percent of its population to the disease in 1702 alone.[78][79]

    New York grew in importance as a trading port while as a part of the colony of New York in the early 1700s.[80] It also became a center of slavery, with 42% of households holding slaves by 1730, the highest percentage outside Charleston, South Carolina.[81] Most slaveholders held a few or several domestic slaves, but others hired them out to work at labor. Slavery became integrally tied to New York’s economy through the labor of slaves throughout the port, and the banks and shipping tied to the American South. Discovery of the African Burying Ground in the 1990s, during construction of a new federal courthouse near Foley Square, revealed that tens of thousands of Africans had been buried in the area in the colonial period.[82]

    The 1735 trial and acquittal in Manhattan of John Peter Zenger, who had been accused of seditious libel after criticizing colonial governor William Cosby, helped to establish the freedom of the press in North America.[83] In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by King George II as King’s College in Lower Manhattan.[84]

    The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October 1765, as the Sons of Liberty, organized in the city, skirmished over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.[85] The Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War, was fought in August 1776 within the modern-day borough of Brooklyn.[86] After the battle, in which the Americans were defeated, the British made the city their military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees and escaped slaves who joined the British lines for freedom newly promised by the Crown for all fighters. As many as 10,000 escaped slaves crowded into the city during the British occupation. When the British forces evacuated at the close of the war in 1783, they transported 3,000 freedmen for resettlement in Nova Scotia.[87] They resettled other freedmen in England and the Caribbean.

    The only attempt at a peaceful solution to the war took place at the Conference House on Staten Island between American delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Shortly after the British occupation began, the Great Fire of New York occurred, a large conflagration on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, which destroyed about a quarter of the buildings in the city, including Trinity Church.[88]

    In 1785, the assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York City the national capital shortly after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the first capital under the Constitution of the United States. New York City as the U.S. capital hosted several events of national scope in 1789—the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time; and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street.[89] By 1790, New York had surpassed Philadelphia to become the largest city in the United States, but by the end of that year, pursuant to the Residence Act, the national capital was moved to Philadelphia.[90][91]

    Over the course of the nineteenth century, New York City’s population grew from 60,000 to 3.43 million.[93] Under New York State’s abolition act of 1799, children of slave mothers were to be eventually liberated but to be held in indentured servitude until their mid-to-late twenties.[94][95] Together with slaves freed by their masters after the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves, a significant free-Black population gradually developed in Manhattan. Under such influential United States founders as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the New York Manumission Society worked for abolition and established the African Free School to educate Black children.[96] It was not until 1827 that slavery was completely abolished in the state, and free Blacks struggled afterward with discrimination. New York interracial abolitionist activism continued; among its leaders were graduates of the African Free School. New York city’s population jumped from 123,706 in 1820 to 312,710 by 1840, 16,000 of whom were Black.[97][98]

    In the 19th century, the city was transformed by both commercial and residential development relating to its status as a national and international trading center, as well as by European immigration, respectively.[99] The city adopted the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which expanded the city street grid to encompass almost all of Manhattan. The 1825 completion of the Erie Canal through central New York connected the Atlantic port to the agricultural markets and commodities of the North American interior via the Hudson River and the Great Lakes.[100] Local politics became dominated by Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish and German immigrants.[101]

    Several prominent American literary figures lived in New York during the 1830s and 1840s, including William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, John Keese, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Edgar Allan Poe. Public-minded members of the contemporaneous business elite lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which in 1857 became the first landscaped park in an American city.

    The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants; more than 200,000 were living in New York by 1860, upwards of a quarter of the city’s population.[102] There was also extensive immigration from the German provinces, where revolutions had disrupted societies, and Germans comprised another 25% of New York’s population by 1860.[103]

    Democratic Party candidates were consistently elected to local office, increasing the city’s ties to the South and its dominant party. In 1861, Mayor Fernando Wood called upon the aldermen to declare independence from Albany and the United States after the South seceded, but his proposal was not acted on.[96] Anger at new military conscription laws during the American Civil War (1861–1865), which spared wealthier men who could afford to pay a $300 (equivalent to $6,306 in 2020) commutation fee to hire a substitute,[104] led to the Draft Riots of 1863, whose most visible participants were ethnic Irish working class.[96]

    The draft riots deteriorated into attacks on New York’s elite, followed by attacks on Black New Yorkers and their property after fierce competition for a decade between Irish immigrants and Black people for work. Rioters burned the Colored Orphan Asylum to the ground, with more than 200 children escaping harm due to efforts of the New York Police Department, which was mainly made up of Irish immigrants.[103] At least 120 people were killed.[105] Eleven Black men were lynched over five days, and the riots forced hundreds of Blacks to flee the city for Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The Black population in Manhattan fell below 10,000 by 1865, which it had last been in 1820. The White working class had established dominance.[103][105] Violence by longshoremen against Black men was especially fierce in the docks area.[103] It was one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.[106]

    In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens.[107] The opening of the subway in 1904, first built as separate private systems, helped bind the new city together.[108] Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication.[109]

    In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board.[110] In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city’s worst industrial disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.[111]

    New York’s non-White population was 36,620 in 1890.[112] New York City was a prime destination in the early twentieth century for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South, and by 1916, New York City had become home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America.[113] The Harlem Renaissance of literary and cultural life flourished during the era of Prohibition.[114] The larger economic boom generated construction of skyscrapers competing in height and creating an identifiable skyline.

    New York became the most populous urbanized area in the world in the early 1920s, overtaking London. The metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in the early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history.[115] The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello La Guardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.[116]

    Returning World War II veterans created a post-war economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens and Nassau County as well as similar suburban areas in New Jersey. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America’s place as the world’s dominant economic power. The United Nations Headquarters was completed in 1952, solidifying New York’s global geopolitical influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York’s displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.[117]

    The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan.[121] They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[118][122][123][124] and the modern fight for LGBT rights.[125][126] Wayne R. Dynes, author of the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, wrote that drag queens were the only “transgender folks around” during the June 1969 Stonewall riots. The transgender community in New York City played a significant role in fighting for LGBT equality during the period of the Stonewall riots and thereafter.[127]

    In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[128] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city’s economic health in the 1980s, New York’s crime rate continued to increase through that decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[129] By the mid 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city’s economy.[130] New York’s population reached all-time highs in the 2000 census and then again in the 2010 census.

    New York City suffered the bulk of the economic damage and largest loss of human life in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.[131] Two of the four airliners hijacked that day were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, destroying them and killing 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers. The North Tower became the tallest building ever to be destroyed anywhere then or subsequently.[132]

    The area was rebuilt with a new One World Trade Center, a 9/11 memorial and museum, and other new buildings and infrastructure.[133] The World Trade Center PATH station, which had opened on July 19, 1909 as the Hudson Terminal, was also destroyed in the attacks. A temporary station was built and opened on November 23, 2003. An 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) permanent rail station designed by Santiago Calatrava, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the city’s third-largest hub, was completed in 2016.[134] The new One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere[135] and the sixth-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet (541.3 m) in reference to the year of U.S. independence.[136][137][138][139]

    The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and popularizing the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[140]

    In March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the city was confirmed in Manhattan.[141] The city rapidly replaced Wuhan, China to become the global epicenter of the pandemic during the early phase, before the infection became widespread across the world and the rest of the nation. As of March 2021, New York City had recorded over 30,000 deaths from COVID-19-related complications.

    During the Wisconsin glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City area was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 2,000 feet (610 m) in depth.[142] The erosive forward movement of the ice (and its subsequent retreat) contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action also left bedrock at a relatively shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.[143]

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    New York City is situated in the northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port. Most of New York City is built on the three islands of Long Island, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

    The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary.[144] The Hudson River separates the city from the U.S. state of New Jersey. The East River—a tidal strait—flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson rivers, separates most of Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely freshwater river in the city.[145]

    The city’s land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times; reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s.[146] Some of the natural relief in topography has been evened out, especially in Manhattan.[147]

    The city’s total area is 468.484 square miles (1,213.37 km2); 302.643 sq mi (783.84 km2) of the city is land and 165.841 sq mi (429.53 km2) of this is water.[148][149] The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine.[150] The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.[151]


    New York City is sometimes referred to collectively as the Five Boroughs.[156] Each borough is coextensive with a respective county of New York State, making New York City one of the U.S. municipalities in multiple counties. There are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods throughout the boroughs, many with a definable history and character.

    If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States (Staten Island would be ranked 37th as of 2020); these same boroughs are coterminous with the four most densely populated counties in the United States: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Bronx, and Queens.

    Manhattan (New York County) is the geographically smallest and most densely populated borough. It is home to Central Park and most of the city’s skyscrapers, and is sometimes locally known as The City.[157] Manhattan’s population density of 72,033 people per square mile (27,812/km2) in 2015 makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.[158]

    Manhattan is the cultural, administrative, and financial center of New York City and contains the headquarters of many major multinational corporations, the United Nations Headquarters, Wall Street, and a number of important universities. The borough of Manhattan is often described as the financial and cultural center of the world.[159][160]

    Most of the borough is situated on Manhattan Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River. Several small islands also compose part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randall’s Island, Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.

    Manhattan Island is loosely divided into the Lower, Midtown, and Uptown regions. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is Harlem, bordering the Bronx (Bronx County).

    Harlem was predominantly occupied by Jewish and Italian Americans in the 19th century until the Great Migration. It was the center of the Harlem Renaissance.

    The borough of Manhattan also includes a small neighborhood on the mainland, called Marble Hill, which is contiguous with the Bronx. New York City’s remaining four boroughs are collectively referred to as the Outer Boroughs.

    Brooklyn (Kings County), on the western tip of Long Island, is the city’s most populous borough. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social, and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods, and a distinctive architectural heritage. Downtown Brooklyn is the largest central core neighborhood in the Outer Boroughs. The borough has a long beachfront shoreline including Coney Island, established in the 1870s as one of the earliest amusement grounds in the U.S.[161] Marine Park and Prospect Park are the two largest parks in Brooklyn.[162] Since 2010, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving hub of entrepreneurship and high technology startup firms,[163][164] and of postmodern art and design.[164][165]

    Queens (Queens County), on Long Island north and east of Brooklyn, is geographically the largest borough, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States,[166] and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.[167][168] Historically a collection of small towns and villages founded by the Dutch, the borough has since developed both commercial and residential prominence. Downtown Flushing has become one of the busiest central core neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. Queens is the site of Citi Field, the baseball stadium of the New York Mets, and hosts the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Additionally, two of the three busiest airports serving the New York metropolitan area, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, are located in Queens. The third is Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.

    The Bronx (Bronx County) is New York City’s northernmost borough and the only New York City borough that lies mainly on the mainland United States. It is the location of Yankee Stadium, the baseball park of the New York Yankees, and home to the largest cooperatively owned housing complex in the United States, Co-op City.[169] It is also home to the Bronx Zoo, the world’s largest metropolitan zoo,[170] which spans 265 acres (1.07 km2) and houses more than 6,000 animals.[171] The Bronx is also the birthplace of hip hop music and culture.[172] Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).[173]

    Staten Island (Richmond County) is the most suburban in character of the five boroughs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry, a daily commuter ferry which provides unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan. In central Staten Island, the Staten Island Greenbelt spans approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2), including 28 miles (45 km) of walking trails and one of the last undisturbed forests in the city.[174] Designated in 1984 to protect the island’s natural lands, the Greenbelt comprises seven city parks.

    The growing skyline of Long Island City, Queens (background),[175] facing the East River and Manhattan in May 2017

    The Grand Concourse in the Bronx, foreground, with Manhattan in the background in February 2018

    St. George, Staten Island as seen from the Staten Island Ferry, the world’s busiest passenger-only ferry system, shuttling passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island

    New York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct time periods, from the Dutch Colonial Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest section of which dates to 1656, to the modern One World Trade Center, the skyscraper at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan and the most expensive office tower in the world by construction cost.[176]

    Manhattan’s skyline, with its many skyscrapers, is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. As of 2019[update], New York City had 6,455 high-rise buildings, the third most in the world after Hong Kong and Seoul.[177] Of these, as of 2011[update], 550 completed structures were at least 330 feet (100 m) high, with more than fifty completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). These include the Woolworth Building, an early example of Gothic Revival architecture in skyscraper design, built with massively scaled Gothic detailing; completed in 1913, for 17 years it was the world’s tallest building.[178]

    The 1916 Zoning Resolution required setbacks in new buildings and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size, to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.[179] The Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building (1930) and Empire State Building (1931), with their tapered tops and steel spires, reflected the zoning requirements. The buildings have distinctive ornamentation, such as the eagles at the corners of the 61st floor on the Chrysler Building, and are considered some of the finest examples of the Art Deco style.[180] A highly influential example of the international style in the United States is the Seagram Building (1957), distinctive for its façade using visible bronze-toned I-beams to evoke the building’s structure. The Condé Nast Building (2000) is a prominent example of green design in American skyscrapers[181] and has received an award from the American Institute of Architects and AIA New York State for its design.

    The character of New York’s large residential districts is often defined by the elegant brownstone rowhouses and townhouses and shabby tenements that were built during a period of rapid expansion from 1870 to 1930.[182] In contrast, New York City also has neighborhoods that are less densely populated and feature free-standing dwellings. In neighborhoods such as Riverdale (in the Bronx), Ditmas Park (in Brooklyn), and Douglaston (in Queens), large single-family homes are common in various architectural styles such as Tudor Revival and Victorian.[183][184][185]

    Stone and brick became the city’s building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835.[186] A distinctive feature of many of the city’s buildings is the roof-mounted wooden water tower. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.[187] Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, such as Jackson Heights.[188]

    According to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a “slightly lower hazard for tall buildings” in New York City than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near the city, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[189]

    Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization. The suburbs to the immediate north and west lie in the transitional zone between humid subtropical and humid continental climates (Dfa).[190][191] By the Trewartha classification, the city is defined as having an oceanic climate (Do).[192][193] Annually, the city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine.[194] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[195]

    Winters are chilly and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow sea breezes offshore temper the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachian Mountains keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area’s coldest month, is 33.7 °F (0.9 °C).[196] Temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[197] yet can also reach 60 °F (16 °C) for several days even in the coldest winter month. Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from cool to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 77.5 °F (25.3 °C) in July.[196]

    Nighttime temperatures are often enhanced due to the urban heat island effect. Daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C), although this is a rare achievement, last occurring on July 18, 2012.[198] Similarly, readings of 0 °F (−18 °C) are also extremely rare, last occurring on February 14, 2016.[199] Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936;[196] the coldest recorded wind chill was −37 °F (−38 °C) on the same day as the all-time record low.[200] The record cold daily maximum was 2 °F (−17 °C) on December 30, 1917, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum was 87 °F (31 °C), on July 2, 1903.[198] The average water temperature of the nearby Atlantic Ocean ranges from 39.7 °F (4.3 °C) in February to 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) in August.[201]

    The city receives 49.5 inches (1,260 mm) of precipitation annually, which is relatively evenly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall between 1991 and 2020 has been 29.8 inches (76 cm); this varies considerably between years. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area.[202] Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels, and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs.[203] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the city and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[204][205]

    The coldest month on record is January 1857, with a mean temperature of 19.6 °F (−6.9 °C) whereas the warmest months on record are July 1825 and July 1999, both with a mean temperature of 81.4 °F (27.4 °C).[206] The warmest years on record are 2012 and 2020, both with mean temperatures of 57.1 °F (13.9 °C). The coldest year is 1836, with a mean temperature of 47.3 °F (8.5 °C).[206][207] The driest month on record is June 1949, with 0.02 inches (0.51 mm) of rainfall. The wettest month was August 2011, with 18.95 inches (481 mm) of rainfall. The driest year on record is 1965, with 26.09 inches (663 mm) of rainfall. The wettest year was 1983, with 80.56 inches (2,046 mm) of rainfall.[208] The snowiest month on record is February 2010, with 36.9 inches (94 cm) of snowfall. The snowiest season (Jul–Jun) on record is 1995–1996, with 75.6 inches (192 cm) of snowfall. The least snowy season was 1972–1973, with 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) of snowfall.[209] The earliest seasonal trace of snowfall occurred on October 10, in both 1979 and 1925. The latest seasonal trace of snowfall occurred on May 9, in both 2020 and 1977.[210]

    See Climate of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.

    See or edit raw graph data.

    The city of New York has a complex park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In its 2018 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that the park system in New York City was the ninth-best park system among the fifty most populous U.S. cities.[215] ParkScore ranks urban park systems by a formula that analyzes median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

    Gateway National Recreation Area contains over 26,000 acres (110 km2) in total, most of it surrounded by New York City,[216] including the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. In Brooklyn and Queens, the park contains over 9,000 acres (36 km2) of salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and water, including most of Jamaica Bay. Also in Queens, the park includes a significant portion of the western Rockaway Peninsula, most notably Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden. In Staten Island, Gateway National Recreation Area includes Fort Wadsworth, with historic pre-Civil War era Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins, and Great Kills Park, with beaches, trails, and a marina.

    The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are managed by the National Park Service and are in both the states of New York and New Jersey. They are joined in the harbor by Governors Island National Monument, in New York. Historic sites under federal management on Manhattan Island include Castle Clinton National Monument; Federal Hall National Memorial; Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site; General Grant National Memorial (“Grant’s Tomb”); African Burial Ground National Monument; and Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Hundreds of private properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark such as, for example, the Stonewall Inn, part of the Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village, as the catalyst of the modern gay rights movement.[122][123][124][125][126]

    There are seven state parks within the confines of New York City. Some of them include:

    New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches.[219] The largest municipal park in the city is Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, with 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).[173][220]

    Brooklyn is home to Fort Hamilton, the U.S. military’s only active duty installation within New York City,[231] aside from Coast Guard operations. The facility was established in 1825 on the site of a small battery utilized during the American Revolution, and it is one of America’s longest serving military forts.[232] Today, Fort Hamilton serves as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and for the New York City Recruiting Battalion. It also houses the 1179th Transportation Brigade, the 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, and a military entrance processing station. Other formerly active military reservations still utilized for National Guard and military training or reserve operations in the city include Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Fort Totten in Queens.

    New York City is the most populous city in the United States,[244] with 8,804,190 residents[4] incorporating more immigration into the city than outmigration since the 2010 United States census.[245][246] More than twice as many people live in New York City as compared to Los Angeles, the second-most populous U.S. city,[244] and within a smaller area. New York City gained more residents between 2010 and 2020 (629,000) than any other U.S. city, and a greater amount than the total sum of the gains over the same decade of the next four largest U.S. cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix, Arizona combined.[247][248] New York City’s population is about 44% of New York State’s population,[249] and about 39% of the population of the New York metropolitan area.[250] The majority of New York City residents in 2020 (5,141,538, or 58.4%) were living on Long Island, in Brooklyn, or in Queens.[251]

    In 2017, the city had an estimated population density of 28,491 inhabitants per square mile (11,000/km2), rendering it the nation’s most densely populated of all municipalities (of more than 100,000), with several small cities (of fewer than 100,000) in adjacent Hudson County, New Jersey having greater density, as per the 2010 census.[252] Geographically co-extensive with New York County, the borough of Manhattan’s 2017 population density of 72,918 inhabitants per square mile (28,154/km2) makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.[253][254][255][256] The next three densest counties in the United States, placing second through fourth, are also New York boroughs: Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens respectively.[257]

    The city’s population in 2020 was 30.9% White (non-Hispanic), 28.7% Hispanic or Latino, 20.2% Black or African American (non-Hispanic), 15.6% Asian, and 0.2% Native American (non-Hispanic).[258] A total of 3.4% of the non-Hispanic population identified with more than one race. Throughout its history, New York has been a major port of entry for immigrants into the United States. More than 12 million European immigrants were received at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924.[259] The term “melting pot” was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. By 1900, Germans constituted the largest immigrant group, followed by the Irish, Jews, and Italians.[260] In 1940, Whites represented 92% of the city’s population.[235]

    Approximately 37% of the city’s population is foreign born, and more than half of all children are born to mothers who are immigrants as of 2013.[261][262] In New York, no single country or region of origin dominates.[261] The ten largest sources of foreign-born individuals in the city as of 2011[update] were the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago,[263] while the Bangladeshi-born immigrant population has become one of the fastest growing in the city, counting over 74,000 by 2011.[17][264]

    Asian Americans in New York City, according to the 2010 census, number more than one million, greater than the combined totals of San Francisco and Los Angeles.[265] New York contains the highest total Asian population of any U.S. city proper.[266] The New York City borough of Queens is home to the state’s largest Asian American population and the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States, and is also the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.[167][168]

    The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State; multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown, in Brooklyn, and around Flushing, Queens, are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves—while also expanding rapidly eastward into suburban Nassau County[267] on Long Island,[268] as the New York metropolitan region and New York State have become the top destinations for new Chinese immigrants, respectively, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into New York City and surrounding areas,[269][270][271][272][273][274] with the largest metropolitan Chinese diaspora outside Asia,[17][275] including an estimated 812,410 individuals in 2015.[276]

    In 2012, 6.3% of New York City was of Chinese ethnicity, with nearly three-fourths living in either Queens or Brooklyn, geographically on Long Island.[277] A community numbering 20,000 Korean-Chinese (Chaoxianzu or Joseonjok) is centered in Flushing, Queens, while New York City is also home to the largest Tibetan population outside China, India, and Nepal, also centered in Queens.[278] Koreans made up 1.2% of the city’s population, and Japanese 0.3%. Filipinos were the largest Southeast Asian ethnic group at 0.8%, followed by Vietnamese, who made up 0.2% of New York City’s population in 2010. Indians are the largest South Asian group, comprising 2.4% of the city’s population, with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis at 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.[279] Queens is the preferred borough of settlement for Asian Indians, Koreans, Filipinos and Malaysians,[280][269] and other Southeast Asians;[281] while Brooklyn is receiving large numbers of both West Indian and Asian Indian immigrants.

    New York City has the largest European and non-Hispanic White population of any American city. At 2.7 million in 2012, New York’s non-Hispanic White population is larger than the non-Hispanic White populations of Los Angeles (1.1 million), Chicago (865,000), and Houston (550,000) combined.[282] The non-Hispanic White population was 6.6 million in 1940.[283] The non-Hispanic White population has begun to increase since 2010.[284]

    The European diaspora residing in the city is very diverse. According to 2012 census estimates, there were roughly 560,000 Italian Americans, 385,000 Irish Americans, 253,000 German Americans, 223,000 Russian Americans, 201,000 Polish Americans, and 137,000 English Americans. Additionally, Greek and French Americans numbered 65,000 each, with those of Hungarian descent estimated at 60,000 people. Ukrainian and Scottish Americans numbered 55,000 and 35,000, respectively. People identifying ancestry from Spain numbered 30,838 total in 2010.[285]

    People of Norwegian and Swedish descent both stood at about 20,000 each, while people of Czech, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh descent all numbered between 12,000 and 14,000.[286] Arab Americans number over 160,000 in New York City,[287] with the highest concentration in Brooklyn. Central Asians, primarily Uzbek Americans, are a rapidly growing segment of the city’s non-Hispanic White population, enumerating over 30,000, and including more than half of all Central Asian immigrants to the United States,[288] most settling in Queens or Brooklyn. Albanian Americans are most highly concentrated in the Bronx.[289]

    The wider New York City metropolitan statistical area, with more than twenty million people, about fifty percent more than second-place Los Angeles,[290] is also ethnically diverse,[291] with the largest foreign-born population of any metropolitan region in the world. The New York region continues to be by far the leading metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants admitted into the United States, substantially exceeding the combined totals of Los Angeles and Miami.[269] It is home to the largest Jewish and Israeli communities outside Israel, with the Jewish population in the region numbering over 1.5 million in 2012 and including many diverse Jewish sects, predominantly from around the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and including a rapidly growing Orthodox Jewish population, the largest outside Israel.[278]

    The metropolitan area is also home to 20% of the nation’s Indian Americans and at least 20 Little India enclaves, and 15% of all Korean Americans and four Koreatowns;[292] the largest Asian Indian population in the Western Hemisphere; the largest Russian American,[270] Italian American, and African American populations; the largest Dominican American, Puerto Rican American, and South American[270] and second-largest overall Hispanic population in the United States, numbering 4.8 million;[285] and includes multiple established Chinatowns within New York City alone.[293]

    Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, and Brazil were the top source countries from South America for legal immigrants to the New York City region in 2013; the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean; Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria from Africa; and El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in Central America.[294] Amidst a resurgence of Puerto Rican migration to New York City, this population had increased to approximately 1.3 million in the metropolitan area as of 2013[update].

    Since 2010, Little Australia has emerged and is growing rapidly, representing the Australasian presence in Nolita, Manhattan.[295][296][297][298] In 2011, there were an estimated 20,000 Australian residents of New York City, nearly quadruple the 5,537 in 2005.[299][300] Qantas Airways of Australia and Air New Zealand have been exploring the possibilities of long-haul flights from New York to Sydney and Auckland, respectively, which would both rank among the longest non-stop flights in the world.[301][302] A Little Sri Lanka has developed in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island.[303] Le Petit Sénégal, or Little Senegal, is based in Harlem. Richmond Hill, Queens is often thought of as “Little Guyana” for its large Guyanese community,[304] as well as Punjab Avenue (ਪੰਜਾਬ ਐਵੇਨਿਊ), or Little Punjab, for its high concentration of Punjabi people. Little Poland is expanding rapidly in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

    The New York metropolitan area is home to about 570,000 self-identifying gay and bisexual people, the largest in the United States and one of the world’s largest.[306][307] Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place on July 23, 2011.[308] Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America, wrote that in the era after World War II, “New York City became the literal gay metropolis for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from within and without the United States: the place they chose to learn how to live openly, honestly and without shame.”[309]

    The annual New York City Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan; the parade rivals the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade as the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.[310][29] The annual Queens Pride Parade is held in Jackson Heights and is accompanied by the ensuing Multicultural Parade.[311]

    Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest international Pride celebration in history, produced by Heritage of Pride and enhanced through a partnership with the I ❤ NY program’s LGBT division, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with 150,000 participants and five million spectators attending in Manhattan alone.[312] New York City is also home to the largest transgender population in the world, estimated at more than 50,000 in 2018, concentrated in Manhattan and Queens; however, until the June 1969 Stonewall riots, this community had felt marginalized and neglected by the gay community.[311][127] Brooklyn Liberation March, the largest transgender-rights demonstration in LGBTQ history, took place on June 14, 2020 stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, focused on supporting Black transgender lives, drawing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 participants.[313][314]

    Largely a result of Western European missionary work and colonialism, Christianity is the largest religion in New York City.[315] Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination (33%), followed by Protestantism (23%), and other Christians (3%). The Roman Catholic population are primarily served by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn. Eastern Catholics are divided into numerous jurisdictions throughout the city. Evangelical Protestantism is the largest branch of Protestantism in the city (9%), followed by Mainline Protestantism (8%), while the converse is usually true for other cities and metropolitan areas.[316] In Evangelicalism, Baptists are the largest group; in Mainline Protestantism, Reformed Protestants compose the largest subset. The majority of historically African American churches are affiliated with the National Baptist Convention (USA) and Progressive National Baptist Convention. The Church of God in Christ is one of the largest predominantly Black Pentecostal denominations in the area. Approximately 1% of the population was Mormon. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and other Orthodox Christians (mainstream and independent) were the largest Eastern Christian groups. The American Orthodox Catholic Church (initially led by Aftimios Ofiesh) was founded in New York City in 1927.

    Judaism, with approximately 1.1 million adherents,[318][319] more than half of whom live in Brooklyn, is the second largest religion and represents the largest metropolitan Jewish population outside Tel Aviv, Israel.[317][320] The ethnoreligious population makes up 18.4% of the city and its religious demographic makes up 8%.[321] The first recorded Jewish settler was Jacob Barsimson, who arrived in August 1654 on a passport from the Dutch West India Company.[322] Following the assassination of Alexander II of Russia, for which many blamed “the Jews”, the 36 years beginning in 1881 experienced the largest wave of Jewish immigration to the United States.[323] In 2012, the largest Jewish denominations were Orthodox, Haredi, and Conservative Judaism.[324] Reform Jewish communities are prevalent through the area. Congregation Emanu-El of New York in Manhattan is the largest Reform synagogue in the world.

    Islam ranks as the third largest religion in New York City, following Christianity and Judaism, with estimates ranging between 600,000 and 1,000,000 observers of Islam, including 10% of the city’s public school children.[325] Approximately 22.3% of American Muslims live in New York City, with 1.5 million Muslims in the greater New York metropolitan area representing the largest metropolitan Muslim population in the Western Hemisphere.[326] Powers Street Mosque in Brooklyn is one of the oldest continuously operating mosques in the U.S., and the first Islamic organization in the city and state.[327][328]

    Following these three largest religious groups in New York City are Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and a variety of other religions, as well as atheism. In 2014, 24% of New Yorkers self-identified with no organized religious affiliation; a little over 3% of New Yorkers were atheist.[315]

    New York City, like other large cities, has a high degree of income disparity, as indicated by its Gini coefficient of 0.55 as of 2017.[329] In the first quarter of 2014, the average weekly wage in New York County (Manhattan) was $2,749, representing the highest total among large counties in the United States.[330] As of 2017, New York City was home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world at 103,[331] including former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[332] New York also had the highest density of millionaires per capita among major U.S. cities in 2014, at 4.6% of residents.[333] New York City is one of the relatively few American cities levying an income tax (about 3%) on its residents.[334][335][336] As of 2018, there were 78,676 homeless people in New York City.[337]

    (ranked by 2015 revenues)
    with City and U.S. ranks

    New York City is a global hub of business and commerce, as a center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States; while Silicon Alley, metonymous for New York’s broad-spectrum high technology sphere, continues to expand. The Port of New York and New Jersey is also a major economic engine, handling record cargo volume in 2017, over 6.7 million TEUs.[339]

    Many Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in New York City,[340] as are a large number of multinational corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company.[341] New York City has been ranked first among cities across the globe in attracting capital, business, and tourists.[342][343] New York City’s role as the top global center for the advertising industry is metonymously reflected as “Madison Avenue”.[344] The city’s fashion industry provides approximately 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages.[345]

    Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing accounts for a significant but declining share of employment. The city’s apparel and garment industry, historically centered on the Garment District in Manhattan, peaked in 1950, when more than 323,000 workers were employed in the industry in New York. In 2015, fewer than 23,000 New York City residents were employed in the manufacture of garments, accessories, and finished textiles, although efforts to revive the industry were underway.[346] Food processing is a $5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents.

    Chocolate is New York City’s leading specialty-food export, with up to $234 million worth of exports each year.[347] Entrepreneurs were forming a “Chocolate District” in Brooklyn as of 2014[update],[348] while Godiva, one of the world’s largest chocolatiers, continues to be headquartered in Manhattan.[349]

    New York City’s most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S. financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. The city’s securities industry continues to form the largest segment of the city’s financial sector and is an important economic engine. Many large financial companies are headquartered in New York City, and the city is also home to a burgeoning number of financial startup companies.

    Lower Manhattan is home to the New York Stock Exchange, at 11 Wall Street, and the Nasdaq, at 165 Broadway, representing the world’s largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.[353][354] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012,[355] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually.[356] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street’s securities industry generated 19% of New York State’s tax revenue.[357]

    New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy.[358]: 31–32 [359] New York also leads in hedge fund management; private equity; and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment managers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers.[358]: 34–35  New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States.[360]

    Many of the world’s largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained over 500 million square feet (46.5 million m2) of office space in 2018,[361] making it the largest office market in the United States,[362] while Midtown Manhattan, with 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) in 2018,[361] is the largest central business district in the world.[363]

    Silicon Alley, centered in New York, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the metropolitan region’s high technology industries[364] involving the internet, new media, financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency, telecommunications, digital media, software development, biotechnology, game design, and other fields within information technology that are supported by its entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments.

    High technology startup companies and employment are growing in New York City and the region. The technology sector has been claiming a greater share of New York City’s economy since 2010.[365] Tech:NYC, founded in 2016, is a non-profit organization which represents New York City’s technology industry with government, civic institutions, in business, and in the media, and whose primary goals are to further augment New York’s substantial tech talent base and to advocate for policies that will nurture tech companies to grow in the city.[366]

    The biotechnology sector is also growing in New York City, based upon the city’s strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. On December 19, 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a $2 billion graduate school of applied sciences called Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island with the goal of transforming New York City into the world’s premier technology capital.[367][368] By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than $30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of $100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.[369]

    Real estate is a major force in the city’s economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at US$1.072 trillion for the 2017 fiscal year, an increase of 10.6% from the previous year, with 89% of the increase coming from market effects.[370] The Time Warner Center is the property with the highest-listed market value in the city, at $1.1 billion in 2006.[370] New York City is home to some of the nation’s—and the world’s—most valuable real estate. 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007 for $510 million, about $1,589 per square foot ($17,104/m2), breaking the barely month-old record for an American office building of $1,476 per square foot ($15,887/m2) set in the June 2007 sale of 660 Madison Avenue.[371]

    In 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten ZIP codes in the United States by median housing price.[372] Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the highest retail rents in the world, at $3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017.[373] In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States achieved completion in Manhattan, at a selling price of $238 million, for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.[374]

    Tourism is a vital industry for New York City, which has witnessed a growing combined volume of international and domestic tourists, receiving an eighth consecutive annual record of approximately 62.8 million visitors in 2017.[375] Tourism had generated an all-time high $61.3 billion in overall economic impact for New York City in 2014,[375] pending 2015 statistics. Approximately 12 million visitors to New York City were from outside the United States, with the highest numbers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, and China.

    I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is both a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and have been used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City,[376] and later to promote New York State as well. The trademarked logo, owned by New York State Empire State Development,[377] appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the city and state, some licensed, many not. The song is the state song of New York.

    Major tourist destinations in Manhattan include Times Square; Broadway theater productions; the Empire State Building; the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; the United Nations Headquarters; the World Trade Center (including the National September 11 Museum and One World Trade Center); museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; green spaces such as Central Park and Washington Square Park; the Stonewall Inn; Rockefeller Center; ethnic enclaves including the Manhattan Chinatown, Koreatown, Curry Hill, Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Little Italy, and Little Australia; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Brooklyn Bridge (shared with Brooklyn); the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick’s Day parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage.[378]

    Points of interest in the boroughs outside Manhattan include numerous ethnic enclaves; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Unisphere in Queens; the Bronx Zoo; Coney Island, Brooklyn; and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Manhattan was on track to have an estimated 90,000 hotel rooms at the end of 2014, a 10% increase from 2013.[379] In October 2014, the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York for $1.95 billion, making it the world’s most expensive hotel ever sold.[380]

    New York City has been described as the media capital of the world.[381][382] The city is a prominent location for the American entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there.[383] As of 2012[update], New York City was the second largest center for filmmaking and television production in the United States, producing about 200 feature films annually, employing 130,000 individuals. The filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly $9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015.[384] By volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production—one-third of all American independent films are produced there.[385][386] The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York.[387] In the first five months of 2014 alone, location filming for television pilots in New York City exceeded the record production levels for all of 2013,[388] with New York surpassing Los Angeles as the top North American city for the same distinction during the 2013–2014 cycle.[389]

    New York City is also a center for the advertising, music, newspaper, digital media, and publishing industries and is also the largest media market in North America.[390] Some of the city’s media conglomerates and institutions include Time Warner, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, the Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P., the News Corporation, The New York Times Company, NBCUniversal, the Hearst Corporation, AOL, and Viacom. Seven of the world’s top eight global advertising agency networks have their headquarters in New York.[391] Two of the top three record labels’ headquarters are in New York: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group also has offices in New York. New media enterprises are contributing an increasingly important component to the city’s central role in the media sphere.

    More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city,[386] and the publishing industry employs about 25,000 people.[392] Two of the three national daily newspapers with the largest circulations in the United States are published in New York: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and is considered the U.S. media’s “newspaper of record”.[393] Tabloid newspapers in the city include The New York Daily News, which was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson,[394] and The New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton.[395] The city also has a comprehensive ethnic press, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages.[396] El Diario La Prensa is New York’s largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation.[397] The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a prominent African American newspaper. The Village Voice, historically the largest alternative newspaper in the United States, announced in 2017 that it would cease publication of its print edition and convert to a fully digital venture.[398]
    The television and radio industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city’s economy. The three major American broadcast networks are all headquartered in New York: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Many cable networks are based in the city as well, including CNN, MSNBC, MTV, Fox News, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, Food Network, AMC, and Comedy Central. News 12 Networks operated News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn. The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, NYC Media,[399] which has produced several original Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods and city government. WBAI, with news and information programming, is one of the few socialist radio stations operating in the United States.

    New York is also a major center for non-commercial educational media. The oldest public-access television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971.[400] WNET is the city’s major public television station and a primary source of national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programming. WNYC, a public radio station owned by the city until 1997, has the largest public radio audience in the United States.[401]

    The New York City Public Schools system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest public school system in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 separate primary and secondary schools.[402] The city’s public school system includes nine specialized high schools to serve academically and artistically gifted students. The city government pays the Pelham Public Schools to educate a very small, detached section of the Bronx.[403]

    The New York City Charter School Center assists the setup of new charter schools.[404] There are approximately 900 additional privately run secular and religious schools in the city.[405]

    More than 600,000 students are enrolled in New York City’s more than 120 higher education institutions, the highest number of any city in the world, with more than half a million in the City University of New York (CUNY) system alone as of 2020[update], including both degree and professional programs.[407] According to Academic Ranking of World Universities, New York City has, on average, the best higher education institutions of any global city.[408]

    The public CUNY system is one of the largest universities in the nation, comprising 25 institutions across all five boroughs: senior colleges, community colleges, and other graduate/professional schools. The public State University of New York (SUNY) system includes campuses in New York City, including: Downstate Health Sciences University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Maritime College, and the College of Optometry.

    New York City is home to such notable private universities as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Rockefeller University, and Yeshiva University; several of these universities are ranked among the top universities in the world.[409][410]

    The city also hosts other smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as: St. John’s University, The Juilliard School, Manhattan College, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Pratt Institute, New York Film Academy, The School of Visual Arts, The King’s College, and Wagner College.

    Much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. New York City has the most postgraduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, with 127 Nobel laureates having roots in local institutions as of 2005[update];[411] while in 2012, 43,523 licensed physicians were practicing in New York City.[412] Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Weill Cornell Medical College, being joined by the Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology venture on Roosevelt Island. The graduates of SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx earned the highest average annual salary of any university graduates in the United States, $144,000 as of 2017.[413]

    The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) operates the public hospitals and clinics in New York City. A public benefit corporation with $6.7 billion in annual revenues, HHC is the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States serving 1.4 million patients, including more than 475,000 uninsured city residents.[415] HHC was created in 1969 by the New York State Legislature as a public benefit corporation (Chapter 1016 of the Laws 1969).[416] HHC operates 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six diagnostic and treatment centers, and more than 70 community-based primary care sites, serving primarily the poor and working class. HHC’s MetroPlus Health Plan is one of the New York area’s largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance and is the plan of choice for nearly half million New Yorkers.[417]

    HHC’s facilities annually provide millions of New Yorkers services interpreted in more than 190 languages.[418] The most well-known hospital in the HHC system is Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States. Bellevue is the designated hospital for treatment of the President of the United States and other world leaders if they become sick or injured while in New York City.[419] The president of HHC is Ramanathan Raju, MD, a surgeon and former CEO of the Cook County health system in Illinois.[420] In August 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation outlawing pharmacies from selling cigarettes once their existing licenses to do so expired, beginning in 2018.[421]

    The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been the largest police force in the United States by a significant margin, with more than 35,000 sworn officers.[422] Members of the NYPD are frequently referred to by politicians, the media, and their own police cars by the nickname, New York’s Finest.

    Crime has continued an overall downward trend in New York City since the 1990s.[423] In 2012, the NYPD came under scrutiny for its use of a stop-and-frisk program,[424][425][426] which has undergone several policy revisions since then. In 2014, New York City had the third lowest murder rate among the largest U.S. cities,[427] having become significantly safer after a spike in crime in the 1970s through 1990s.[428] Violent crime in New York City decreased more than 75% from 1993 to 2005, and continued decreasing during periods when the nation as a whole saw increases.[429] By 2002, New York City was ranked 197th in crime among the 216 U.S. cities with populations greater than 100,000.[429] In 1992, the city recorded 2,245 murders.[430] In 2005, the homicide rate was at its lowest level since 1966,[431] and in 2009, the city recorded fewer than 461 homicides for the first time ever since crime statistics were first published in 1963.[430] In 2017, 60.1% of violent crime suspects were Black, 29.6% Hispanic, 6.5% White, 3.6% Asian and 0.2% American Indian.[432] New York City experienced 292 homicides in 2017.[433]

    Sociologists and criminologists have not reached consensus on the explanation for the dramatic decrease in the city’s crime rate. Some attribute the phenomenon to new tactics used by the NYPD,[434] including its use of CompStat and the broken windows theory.[435] Others cite the end of the crack epidemic and demographic changes,[436] including from immigration.[437] Another theory is that widespread exposure to lead pollution from automobile exhaust, which can lower intelligence and increase aggression levels, incited the initial crime wave in the mid-20th century, most acutely affecting heavily trafficked cities like New York. A strong correlation was found demonstrating that violent crime rates in New York and other big cities began to fall after lead was removed from American gasoline in the 1970s.[438] Another theory cited to explain New York City’s falling homicide rate is the inverse correlation between the number of murders and the increasingly wet climate in the city.[439]

    Organized crime has long been associated with New York City, beginning with the Forty Thieves and the Roach Guards in the Five Points in the 1820s. The 20th century saw a rise in the Mafia, dominated by the Five Families, as well as in gangs, including the Black Spades.[440] The Mafia and gang presence has declined in the city in the 21st century.[441][442]

    The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services for the five boroughs of New York City. The FDNY is the largest municipal fire department in the United States and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department. The FDNY employs approximately 11,080 uniformed firefighters and more than 3,300 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. The FDNY’s motto is New York’s Bravest.

    The fire department faces multifaceted firefighting challenges in many ways unique to New York. In addition to responding to building types that range from wood-frame single family homes to high-rise structures, the FDNY also responds to fires that occur in the New York City Subway.[443] Secluded bridges and tunnels, as well as large parks and wooded areas that can give rise to brush fires, also present challenges.

    The FDNY headquarters is located at 9 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn,[444] and the FDNY Fire Academy is located on Randalls Island.[445] There are three Bureau of Fire Communications alarm offices which receive and dispatch alarms to appropriate units. One office, at 11 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, houses Manhattan/Citywide, Brooklyn, and Staten Island Fire Communications; the Bronx and Queens offices are in separate buildings.

    The New York Public Library (NYPL), which has the largest collection of any public library system in the United States, serves Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.[446] Queens is served by the Queens Borough Public Library (QPL), the nation’s second largest public library system, while the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) serves Brooklyn.[446]

    In 2013, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library announced that they would merge their technical services departments into a new department called BookOps. This proposed merger anticipated a savings of $2 million for the Brooklyn Public Library and $1.5 million for the New York Public Library. Although not currently part of the merger, it is expected that the Queens Public Library will eventually share some resources with the other city libraries.[447][448]

    New York City has been described as the cultural capital of the world by New York’s Baruch College.[449] A book containing a series of essays titled New York, Culture Capital of the World, 1940–1965 has also been published as showcased by the National Library of Australia.[450] In describing New York, author Tom Wolfe said, “Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather.”[451]

    Numerous major American cultural movements began in the city, such as the Harlem Renaissance, which established the African-American literary canon in the United States.[452][453] The city became the center of stand-up comedy in the early 20th century, jazz[454] in the 1940s, abstract expressionism in the 1950s, and the birthplace of hip hop in the 1970s.[455] The city’s punk[456] and hardcore[457] scenes were influential in the 1970s and 1980s. New York has long had a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.

    The city is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art; abstract expressionism (also known as the New York School) in painting; and hip hop,[172] punk, salsa, freestyle, Tin Pan Alley, certain forms of jazz, and (along with Philadelphia) disco in music. New York City has been considered the dance capital of the world.[458][459] The city is also frequently the setting for novels, movies (see List of films set in New York City), and television programs. New York Fashion Week is one of the world’s preeminent fashion events and is afforded extensive coverage by the media.[460][461] New York has also frequently been ranked the top fashion capital of the world on the annual list compiled by the Global Language Monitor.[462]

    One of the most common traits attributed to New York City is its fast pace,[34] which spawned the term New York minute.[37] Journalist Walt Whitman characterized New York’s streets as being traversed by “hurrying, feverish, electric crowds”.[36]

    New York City has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries.[463] The city government funds the arts with a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts.[463] Wealthy business magnates in the 19th century built a network of major cultural institutions, such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which have become internationally renowned. The advent of electric lighting led to elaborate theater productions, and in the 1880s, New York City theaters on Broadway and along 42nd Street began featuring a new stage form that became known as the Broadway musical. Strongly influenced by the city’s immigrants, productions such as those of Harrigan and Hart, George M. Cohan, and others used song in narratives that often reflected themes of hope and ambition. New York City itself is the subject or background of many plays and musicals.

    Broadway theatre is one of the premier forms of English-language theatre in the world, named after Broadway, the major thoroughfare that crosses Times Square,[464] also sometimes referred to as “The Great White Way”.[465][466][467] Forty-one venues in Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District, each with at least 500 seats, are classified as Broadway theatres. According to The Broadway League, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013–2014 season, an 11.4% increase from $1.139 billion in the 2012–2013 season. Attendance in 2013–2014 stood at 12.21 million, representing a 5.5% increase from the 2012–2013 season’s 11.57 million.[468] Performance artists displaying diverse skills are ubiquitous on the streets of Manhattan.

    Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to numerous influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is in Union Square, and Tisch School of the Arts is based at New York University, while Central Park SummerStage presents free music concerts in Central Park.[469]

    New York City is home to hundreds of cultural institutions and historic sites. Museum Mile is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan,[471] in an area sometimes called Upper Carnegie Hill.[472] The Mile, which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world, is actually three blocks longer than one mile (1.6 km). Ten museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue.[473] The tenth museum, the Museum for African Art, joined the ensemble in 2009, although its museum at 110th Street, the first new museum constructed on the Mile since the Guggenheim in 1959,[474] opened in late 2012. In addition to other programming, the museums collaborate for the annual Museum Mile Festival, held each year in June, to promote the museums and increase visitation.[475] Many of the world’s most lucrative art auctions are held in New York City.[476][477]

    New York City’s food culture includes an array of international cuisines influenced by the city’s immigrant history. Central and Eastern European immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants from those regions, brought bagels, cheesecake, hot dogs, knishes, and delicatessens (or delis) to the city. Italian immigrants brought New York-style pizza and Italian cuisine into the city, while Jewish immigrants and Irish immigrants brought pastrami[479] and corned beef,[480] respectively. Chinese and other Asian restaurants, sandwich joints, trattorias, diners, and coffeehouses are ubiquitous throughout the city. Some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city, many immigrant-owned, have made Middle Eastern foods such as falafel and kebabs[481] examples of modern New York street food. The city is home to “nearly one thousand of the finest and most diverse haute cuisine restaurants in the world”, according to Michelin.[482] The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assigns letter grades to the city’s restaurants based upon their inspection results.[483] As of 2019, there were 27,043 restaurants in the city, up from 24,865 in 2017.[484] The Queens Night Market in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park attracts more than ten thousand people nightly to sample food from more than 85 countries.[485]

    New York City is well known for its street parades, which celebrate a broad array of themes, including holidays, nationalities, human rights, and major league sports team championship victories. The majority of parades are held in Manhattan. The primary orientation of the annual street parades is typically from north to south, marching along major avenues. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the world’s largest parade,[486] beginning alongside Central Park and processing southward to the flagship Macy’s Herald Square store;[487] the parade is viewed on telecasts worldwide and draws millions of spectators in person.[486] Other notable parades including the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, the LGBT Pride March in June, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in October, and numerous parades commemorating the independence days of many nations. Ticker-tape parades celebrating championships won by sports teams as well as other heroic accomplishments march northward along the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan.

    The New York area is home to a distinctive regional speech pattern called the New York dialect, alternatively known as Brooklynese or New Yorkese. It has generally been considered one of the most recognizable accents within American English.[488]

    The traditional New York area accent is characterized as non-rhotic, so that the sound [ɹ] does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant; therefore the pronunciation of the city name as “New Yawk.”[489] There is no [ɹ] in words like park [pɑək] or [pɒək] (with vowel backed and diphthongized due to the low-back chain shift), butter [bʌɾə], or here [hiə]. In another feature called the low back chain shift, the [ɔ] vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, chocolate, and coffee and the often homophonous [ɔr] in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American English. In the most old-fashioned and extreme versions of the New York dialect, the vowel sounds of words like “girl” and of words like “oil” became a diphthong [ɜɪ]. This is often misperceived by speakers of other accents as a reversal of the er and oy sounds, so that girl is pronounced “goil” and oil is pronounced “erl”; this leads to the caricature of New Yorkers saying things like “Joizey” (Jersey), “Toidy-Toid Street” (33rd St.) and “terlet” (toilet).[489] The character Archie Bunker from the 1970s television sitcom All in the Family was an example of having used this pattern of speech.

    The classic version of the New York City dialect is generally centered on middle and working-class New Yorkers. The influx of non-European immigrants in recent decades has led to changes in this distinctive dialect,[489] and the traditional form of this speech pattern is no longer as prevalent among general New Yorkers as it has been in the past.[489]

    New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League,[491] Major League Baseball,[492] the National Basketball Association,[493] the National Hockey League,[494] and Major League Soccer.[495] The New York metropolitan area hosts the most sports teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues with nine, one more than Los Angeles, and has 11 top-level professional sports teams if Major League Soccer is included, also one more than Los Angeles. Participation in professional sports in the city predates all professional leagues, and the city has been continuously hosting professional sports since the birth of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1882.

    The city has played host to more than forty major professional teams in the five sports and their respective competing leagues. Four of the ten most expensive stadiums ever built worldwide (MetLife Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Citi Field) are located in the New York metropolitan area.[496] Madison Square Garden, its predecessor, the original Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field, are sporting venues located in New York City, the latter two having been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps. New York was the first of eight American cities to have won titles in all four major leagues (MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA), having done so following the Knicks’ 1970 title. In 1972, it became the first city to win titles in five sports when the Cosmos won the NASL final.

    New York has been described as the “Capital of Baseball”.[497] There have been 35 Major League Baseball World Series and 73 pennants won by New York teams. It is one of only five metro areas (Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore–Washington, and the San Francisco Bay Area being the others) to have two baseball teams. Additionally, there have been 14 World Series in which two New York City teams played each other, known as a Subway Series and occurring most recently in 2000. No other metropolitan area has had this happen more than once (Chicago in 1906, St. Louis in 1944, and the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989).

    The city’s two Major League Baseball teams are the New York Mets, who play at Citi Field in Queens,[498] and the New York Yankees, who play at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. These teams compete in six games of interleague play every regular season that has also come to be called the Subway Series. The Yankees have won a record 27 championships,[499] while the Mets have won the World Series twice.[500] The city also was once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers), who won the World Series once,[501] and the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), who won the World Series five times. Both teams moved to California in 1958.[502] There is also one Minor League Baseball team in the city, the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones,[503] and the city will gain a club in the independent Atlantic League when the Staten Island FerryHawks begin play in 2022.[504]

    The city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Giants and the New York Jets, although both teams play their home games at MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey,[505] which hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.[506]

    The metropolitan area is home to three National Hockey League teams. The New York Rangers, the traditional representative of the city itself and one of the league’s Original Six, play at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The New York Islanders, traditionally representing Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island, play in UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, and played in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center from 2015-2020. The New Jersey Devils play at Prudential Center in nearby Newark, New Jersey and traditionally represent the counties of neighboring New Jersey which are coextensive with the boundaries of the New York metropolitan area and media market.

    The city’s National Basketball Association teams are the Brooklyn Nets (previously known as the New York Nets and New Jersey Nets as they moved around the metropolitan area) and the New York Knicks, while the New York Liberty is the city’s Women’s National Basketball Association team. The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city.[507] The city is well known for its links to basketball, which is played in nearly every park in the city by local youth, many of whom have gone on to play for major college programs and in the NBA.

    In soccer, New York City is represented by New York City FC of Major League Soccer, who play their home games at Yankee Stadium[508] and the New York Red Bulls, who play their home games at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, New Jersey.[509] NJ/NY Gotham FC also plays their home games in Red Bull Arena, representing the metropolitan area in the National Women’s Soccer League. Historically, the city is known for the New York Cosmos, the highly successful former professional soccer team which was the American home of Pelé. A new version of the New York Cosmos was formed in 2010, and most recently played in the third-division National Independent Soccer Association before going on hiatus in January 2021.

    The annual United States Open Tennis Championships is one of the world’s four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens.[510] The New York City Marathon, which courses through all five boroughs, is the world’s largest running marathon,[490] with 51,394 finishers in 2016[511] and 98,247 applicants for the 2017 race.[490] The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a prominent part of the city’s sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.[512] The city is also considered the host of the Belmont Stakes, the last, longest and oldest of horse racing’s Triple Crown races, held just over the city’s border at Belmont Park on the first or second Sunday of June. The city also hosted the 1932 U.S. Open golf tournament and the 1930 and 1939 PGA Championships, and has been host city for both events several times, most notably for nearby Winged Foot Golf Club. The Gaelic games are played in Riverdale, Bronx at Gaelic Park, home to the New York GAA, the only North American team to compete at the senior inter-county level.

    Environmental issues in New York City are affected by the city’s size, density, abundant public transportation infrastructure, and location at the mouth of the Hudson River. For example, it is both one of the country’s biggest sources of pollution, and has the lowest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions rate and electricity usage.

    New York City has focused on reducing its environmental impact and carbon footprint.[514] Mass transit use in New York City is the highest in the United States. Also, by 2010, the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis and other clean diesel vehicles, representing around 28% of New York’s taxi fleet in service, the most of any city in North America.[515] New York City is the host of Climate Week NYC, the largest Climate Week to take place globally and regarded as major annual climate summit.

    New York’s high rate of public transit use, more than 200,000 daily cyclists as of 2014[update],[516] and many pedestrian commuters make it the most energy-efficient major city in the United States.[517] Walk and bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city; nationally the rate for metro regions is about 8%.[518] In both its 2011 and 2015 rankings, Walk Score named New York City the most walkable large city in the United States,[519][520][521] and in 2018, Stacker ranked New York the most walkable U.S. city.[522] Citibank sponsored the introduction of 10,000 public bicycles for the city’s bike-share project in the summer of 2013.[523] New York City’s numerical “in-season cycling indicator” of bicycling in the city had hit an all-time high of 437 when measured in 2014.[524]

    The city government was a petitioner in the landmark Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency Supreme Court case forcing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants. The city is a leader in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings, including the Hearst Tower among others.[181] Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2014 and 2050 to reduce the city’s contributions to climate change, beginning with a comprehensive “Green Buildings” plan.[514]

    New York City is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.[525] As a result of the watershed’s integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States the majority of whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.[526] The city’s municipal water system is the largest in the United States, moving over one billion gallons of water per day.[527] The Croton Watershed north of the city is undergoing construction of a $3.2 billion water purification plant to augment New York City’s water supply by an estimated 290 million gallons daily, representing a greater than 20% addition to the city’s current availability of water.[528] The ongoing expansion of New York City Water Tunnel No. 3, an integral part of the New York City water supply system, is the largest capital construction project in the city’s history,[529] with segments serving Manhattan and the Bronx completed, and with segments serving Brooklyn and Queens planned for construction in 2020.[530] In 2018, New York City announced a $1 billion investment to protect the integrity of its water system and to maintain the purity of its unfiltered water supply.[527]

    According to the 2016 World Health Organization Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database,[531] the annual average concentration in New York City’s air of particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5) was 7.0 micrograms per cubic meter, or 3.0 micrograms below the recommended limit of the WHO Air Quality Guidelines for the annual mean PM2.5.[532] The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in partnership with Queens College, conducts the New York Community Air Survey to measure pollutants at about 150 locations.[533]

    Newtown Creek, a 3.5-mile (6-kilometer) a long estuary that forms part of the border between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, has been designated a Superfund site for environmental clean-up and remediation of the waterway’s recreational and economic resources for many communities.[534] One of the most heavily used bodies of water in the Port of New York and New Jersey, it had been one of the most contaminated industrial sites in the country,[535] containing years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million US gallons (110,000 m3) of spilled oil, including the Greenpoint oil spill, raw sewage from New York City’s sewer system,[535] and other accumulation.

    New York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a Strong mayor–council form of government[536] since its consolidation in 1898. In New York City, the city government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.

    The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms. The City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries.[537] Each term for the mayor and council members lasts four years and has a two consecutive-term limit,[538] which is reset after a four-year break. The New York City Administrative Code, the New York City Rules, and the City Record are the code of local laws, compilation of regulations, and official journal, respectively.[539][540]

    Each borough is coextensive with a judicial district of the state Unified Court System, of which the Criminal Court and the Civil Court are the local courts, while the New York Supreme Court conducts major trials and appeals. Manhattan hosts the First Department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division while Brooklyn hosts the Second Department. There are also several extrajudicial administrative courts, which are executive agencies and not part of the state Unified Court System.

    Uniquely among major American cities, New York is divided between, and is host to the main branches of, two different U.S. district courts: the District Court for the Southern District of New York, whose main courthouse is on Foley Square near City Hall in Manhattan and whose jurisdiction includes Manhattan and the Bronx; and the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, whose main courthouse is in Brooklyn and whose jurisdiction includes Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and U.S. Court of International Trade are also based in New York, also on Foley Square in Manhattan.

    The present mayor is Eric Adams. He was elected in 2021 with over 66% of the vote, and assumed office on January 1, 2022.

    The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. As of April 2016, 69% of registered voters in the city are Democrats and 10% are Republicans.[541] New York City has not been carried by a Republican in a statewide or presidential election since President Calvin Coolidge won the five boroughs in 1924. In 2012, Democrat Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate of any party to receive more than 80% of the overall vote in New York City, sweeping all five boroughs. Party platforms center on affordable housing, education, and economic development, and labor politics are of importance in the city. Thirteen out of 27 U.S. congressional districts in the state of New York include portions of New York City.[542]

    New York is one of the most important sources of political fundraising in the United States. At least four of the top five ZIP Codes in the nation for political contributions were in Manhattan for the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections. The top ZIP Code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John Kerry.[543] The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the national and state governments. It receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to the federal government in taxes (or annually sends $11.4 billion more than it receives back). City residents and businesses also sent an additional $4.1 billion in the 2009–2010 fiscal year to the state of New York than the city received in return.[544]

    New York City’s comprehensive transportation system is both complex and extensive.

    Mass transit in New York City, most of which runs 24 hours a day, accounts for one in every three users of mass transit in the United States, and two-thirds of the nation’s rail riders live in the New York City metropolitan area.[545][546]

    The iconic New York City Subway system is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by stations in operation, with 472, and by length of routes. Nearly all of New York’s subway system is open 24 hours a day, in contrast to the overnight shutdown common to systems in most cities, including Hong Kong,[547][548] London, Paris, Seoul,[549][550] and Tokyo. The New York City Subway is also the busiest metropolitan rail transit system in the Western Hemisphere, with 1.76 billion passenger rides in 2015,[551] while Grand Central Terminal, also referred to as “Grand Central Station”, is the world’s largest railway station by number of train platforms.

    Public transport is essential in New York City. 54.6% of New Yorkers commuted to work in 2005 using mass transit.[552] This is in contrast to the rest of the United States, where 91% of commuters travel in automobiles to their workplace.[553] According to the New York City Comptroller, workers in the New York City area spend an average of 6 hours and 18 minutes getting to work each week, the longest commute time in the nation among large cities.[554] New York is the only U.S. city in which a majority (52%) of households do not have a car; only 22% of Manhattanites own a car.[555] Due to their high usage of mass transit, New Yorkers spend less of their household income on transportation than the national average, saving $19 billion annually on transportation compared to other urban Americans.[556]

    New York City’s commuter rail network is the largest in North America.[545] The rail network, connecting New York City to its suburbs, consists of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New Jersey Transit. The combined systems converge at Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station and contain more than 250 stations and 20 rail lines.[545] In Queens, the elevated AirTrain people mover system connects 24 hours a day JFK International Airport to the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road; a separate AirTrain system is planned alongside the Grand Central Parkway to connect LaGuardia Airport to these transit systems.[557][558] For intercity rail, New York City is served by Amtrak, whose busiest station by a significant margin is Pennsylvania Station on the West Side of Manhattan, from which Amtrak provides connections to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. along the Northeast Corridor, and long-distance train service to other North American cities.[559]

    The Staten Island Railway rapid transit system solely serves Staten Island, operating 24 hours a day. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH train) links Midtown and Lower Manhattan to northeastern New Jersey, primarily Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark. Like the New York City Subway, the PATH operates 24 hours a day; meaning three of the six rapid transit systems in the world which operate on 24-hour schedules are wholly or partly in New York (the others are a portion of the Chicago ‘L’, the PATCO Speedline serving Philadelphia, and the Copenhagen Metro).

    Multibillion-dollar heavy rail transit projects under construction in New York City include the Second Avenue Subway, and the East Side Access project.[560]

    New York City’s public bus fleet runs 24/7 and is the largest in North America.[562] The Port Authority Bus Terminal, the main intercity bus terminal of the city, serves 7,000 buses and 200,000 commuters daily, making it the busiest bus station in the world.[561]

    New York’s airspace is the busiest in the United States and one of the world’s busiest air transportation corridors. The three busiest airports in the New York metropolitan area include John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport; 130.5 million travelers used these three airports in 2016, and the city’s airspace is the busiest in the nation.[563] JFK and Newark Liberty were the busiest and fourth busiest U.S. gateways for international air passengers, respectively, in 2012; as of 2011[update], JFK was the busiest airport for international passengers in North America.[564]

    Plans have advanced to expand passenger volume at a fourth airport, Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, New York, by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[565] Plans were announced in July 2015 to entirely rebuild LaGuardia Airport in a multibillion-dollar project to replace its aging facilities.[566] Other commercial airports in or serving the New York metropolitan area include Long Island MacArthur Airport, Trenton–Mercer Airport and Westchester County Airport. The primary general aviation airport serving the area is Teterboro Airport.

    The Staten Island Ferry is the world’s busiest ferry route, carrying more than 23 million passengers from July 2015 through June 2016 on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) route between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan and running 24 hours a day.[567] Other ferry systems shuttle commuters between Manhattan and other locales within the city and the metropolitan area.

    NYC Ferry, a NYCEDC initiative with routes planned to travel to all five boroughs, was launched in 2017, with second graders choosing the names of the ferries.[568] Meanwhile, Seastreak ferry announced construction of a 600-passenger high-speed luxury ferry in September 2016, to shuttle riders between the Jersey Shore and Manhattan, anticipated to start service in 2017; this would be the largest vessel in its class.[569]

    Other features of the city’s transportation infrastructure encompass 13,587 yellow taxicabs;[570] other vehicle for hire companies;[571][572] and the Roosevelt Island Tramway, an aerial tramway that transports commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan Island.

    Despite New York’s heavy reliance on its vast public transit system, streets are a defining feature of the city. The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 greatly influenced the city’s physical development. Several of the city’s streets and avenues, including Broadway,[573] Wall Street,[574] Madison Avenue,[344] and Seventh Avenue are also used as metonyms for national industries there: the theater, finance, advertising, and fashion organizations, respectively.

    New York City also has an extensive web of freeways and parkways, which link the city’s boroughs to each other and to North Jersey, Westchester County, Long Island, and southwestern Connecticut through various bridges and tunnels. Because these highways serve millions of outer borough and suburban residents who commute into Manhattan, it is quite common for motorists to be stranded for hours in traffic congestion that are a daily occurrence, particularly during rush hour.[575][576] Congestion pricing in New York City will go into effect in 2022 at the earliest.[577][578][579]

    New York City is also known for its rules regarding turning at red lights. Unlike the rest of the United States, New York State prohibits right or left turns on red in cities with a population greater than one million, to reduce traffic collisions and increase pedestrian safety. In New York City, therefore, all turns at red lights are illegal unless a sign permitting such maneuvers is present.[580]

    New York City is located on one of the world’s largest natural harbors,[583] and the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island are primarily coterminous with islands of the same names, while Queens and Brooklyn are located at the west end of the larger Long Island, and the Bronx is located on New York State’s mainland. This situation of boroughs separated by water led to the development of an extensive infrastructure of bridges and tunnels.

    The George Washington Bridge is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge,[581][582] connecting Manhattan to Bergen County, New Jersey. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Americas and one of the world’s longest.[584][585] The Brooklyn Bridge is an icon of the city itself. The towers of the Brooklyn Bridge are built of limestone, granite, and Rosendale cement, and their architectural style is neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the stone towers. This bridge was also the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and is the first steel-wire suspension bridge. The Queensboro Bridge is an important piece of cantilever architecture. The Manhattan Bridge, opened in 1909, is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges, and its design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges around the world; the Manhattan Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Triborough Bridge, and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge are all examples of Structural Expressionism.[586][587]

    Manhattan Island is linked to New York City’s outer boroughs and New Jersey by several tunnels as well. The Lincoln Tunnel, which carries 120,000 vehicles a day under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan, is the busiest vehicular tunnel in the world.[588] The tunnel was built instead of a bridge to allow unfettered passage of large passenger and cargo ships that sailed through New York Harbor and up the Hudson River to Manhattan’s piers. The Holland Tunnel, connecting Lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey, was the world’s first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel when it opened in 1927.[589][590] The Queens-Midtown Tunnel, built to relieve congestion on the bridges connecting Manhattan with Queens and Brooklyn, was the largest non-federal project in its time when it was completed in 1940.[591] President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first person to drive through it.[592] The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (officially known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) runs underneath Battery Park and connects the Financial District at the southern tip of Manhattan to Red Hook in Brooklyn.

    Cycling in New York City is associated with mixed cycling conditions that include urban density, relatively flat terrain, congested roadways with “stop-and-go” traffic, and many pedestrians. The city’s large cycling population includes utility cyclists, such as delivery and messenger services; cycling clubs for recreational cyclists; and increasingly commuters.[593] Cycling is increasingly popular in New York City; in 2017 there were approximately 450,000 daily bike trips, compared with 170,000 daily bike trips in 2005.[594] As of 2017[update], New York City had 1,333 miles (2,145 km) of bike lanes, compared to 513 miles (826 km) of bike lanes in 2006.[594] As of 2019, there are 126 miles (203 km) of segregated or “protected” bike lanes citywide.[595]

    New York City has taken actions to restrict the usage of e-bikes.

    In 2006, the Sister City Program of the City of New York, Inc. was restructured and renamed New York City Global Partners. Through this program, New York City has expanded its international outreach to a network of cities worldwide, promoting the exchange of ideas and innovation between their citizenry and policymakers. New York’s historic sister cities are denoted below by the year they joined New York City’s partnership network.[596]


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