Alexander Hamilton

Politician, Adulterer, Excellent Wig Wearer, Federalist, Etc

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"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." -Alexander Hamilton

Life Influences-

Early Life (LOL)-

-Birth date disputed- January 11, 1755 or 1757

-Born on island of Nevis, part of British West Indies

-Parents: Rachel Faucette Lavien and James Hamilton

-Mother was part African American, making Hamilton was either 1/4 or 1/8 African American

-Rachel was married to John Lavien when James Hamilton arrived to West Indies planning to make fortune

-Rachel and Hamilton have an affair, husband divorces her

-They live together for several years

-Former husband files lawsuit- Rachel in prison

-Hamilton no punishment in trial, abandons family

-Rachel released, can't support family, soon after died

-Alexander and his older brother left under guardianship of cousin, who soon commits suicide

-Left to fend for themselves, split up

-Hamilton has history of fragile health, contracts several sicknesses

-No formal education on island, may have been tutored

-Hamilton's brains acknowledged, begins work at a mercantile house

Teenage Years- Young Adulthood-

-Hamilton sent to America to further education at prestigious school (Columbia today)
-Hamilton arrives when colonists beginning to revolt

-Hamilton gets involved with politics, is an avid supporter of the patriots

-He went on to serve in the army during the American Revolution, where he became famously acquainted with George Washington

-This relationship became very important in Hamilton's career

-Studied Law (which drew him into political issues furthering his interest in the field)

Political Career (HEYO)-

-Served as New York Delegate- amending Articles of Confederation

-Geroge Washington's Secretary of Treasury (1789-95)

Political Views-

-Hamilton was a Federalist, and a big proponent of strong central government, limited states rights and a national bank

-He famously disagreed with Jefferson on all of these issues, as Jefferson opposed these policies: he was more in favor of a nation that protected individual rights

-Could use economic policies to strengthen central government

Personal Life-

-Married to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1780)


John Church Hamilton- lawyer and historian

Eliza Hamilton

William S. Hamilton- politician, businessman, colonel

Philip Hamilton- died in duel

James Alexander Hamilton- secretary of state briefly

Alexander Hamilton Jr.- lawyer

Angelica Hamilton


-Maria Reynolds affair

-Maria Reynolds had been abandoned by her abusive money and was in need of money and connections. Desperate, she wrote to Hamilton asking for assistance. Hamilton, recognizing the scene as similar to part of the tragedies in his upbringing caused him to feel a great deal of sympathy for her. He then agreed to help her, but she wrote him letters and their interaction soon turned into a full fledged affair. Unlucky for Hamilton, Reynold's husband appeared at the scene claiming Hamilton was a homewrecker and demanding to be paid off in order to keep from outing the couple. Maria would write and request Hamilton's presence whenever she believed her husband to be out, and he would come to see her. Her husband after finding out about these visits would then request more money. After James Reynold's was arrested and demanded bail, Hamiton refused. James, infuriated contacted people and informed them of his affair, which eventually ended up in the hands of James Monroe. Monroe used Hamilton's letters to his lover as a political pawn. Later, a journalist published the letters, wrecking any of future political career Hamilton may have had.

-Death- duel w/ Burr

-Long history of political rivalry

-Burr elected to senate over Hamilton's father in law

-differing parties

-Burr published letter Hamilton wrote criticizing Federalist John Adams- made him look bad

-Burr runs for president against Jefferson

-Hamilton argues against Burr

-Burr loses to Jefferson

-In order to regain a position of power in politics, Burr runs for governor of New York

-Hamilton argues against him, he loses

-Hamilton gives speech speaking out against him at dinner

-Burr believing Hamilton was the creator of his woes, challenges to a duel to restore political career

-Hamilton reluctant, doesn't want honor tarnished

-Hamilton shoots first and misses

-hamilton's second claimed he missed on purpose because he believed the duel to be immoral

-burr's second claims he aimed at Burr and missed

-Burr shoots Hamilton in the stomach, long painful death

-Burr charged with murder, political career ironically ruined rather than restored


Hammy today-

-Hamilton was a renowned public figure and politician, during his life he changed many people's ideas of politics. When he was Washington's secretary of Treasury, he revolutionized America's economy.

-In concurrence with recent politicians in today's news, some of Hamilton's beliefs and policies would be very unpopular

-For example, Bernie Sanders, who is very popular among the younger generation, supports socialism, and is in favor of policies that benefit lower classes and make all classes more equal, distributing the wealth. (this is loosely similar to more of a Jeffersonian point of view, with whom Alexander Hamilton frequently disagreed)

-Hamilton believed that the wealthy classes should be supported, and from them their wealth would help the government to thrive, jobs to be created and the wealth to flow down and benefit lower classes, rather than redistributing their wealth.

Hammy vs. Modern Politicians-

-Hamilton could also be compared to several politicians that followed him.

-Gary Hart, a very famous and popular presidential candidate for the election of 1984. He was running for the Democratic nomination, and bringing up important American issues that needed to be dealt with, when rumors of an affair surfaced. After this, Hart lost the nomination and his political career was ruined. Similarly, Hamilton's affair with Reynolds ruined any hopes he had for future elections.

-In addition, Hamilton had a very famous political rivalry with Aaron Burr, that eventually led to his death in 1804. He and Burr had a famous back and forth that was characterized by mudslinging, gossiping and underhanded moves on both party's parts.

Similarly, LBJ and the Kennedy family had a rivalry that began when LBJ ran a vicious campaign opposing JFK for the Democratic nomination. RFK was opposed to the idea of his brother asking LBJ to be his VP, but LBJ gladly accepted. Later, after JFK was assassinated he and RFK still found themselves butting heads on many different occasions

Izzy Hamilton???-

-For me, the most striking characteristic of Hamilton's is his ability to overcome opposition, and his wisdom and understanding of the economy. If I were him, I would adjust my policies to fit society today and help better the U.S.'s deteriorating economy, beginning with something that was another pet peeve of his, debt. I would do my best to be vocal about logical policies that could help dig America out of the hole we're currently in. And I would use his resilience to overcome my opposition in politics and life to ultimately achieve success and self confidence, which we know is essential to being successful in politics.

Political Cartoon-

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Additional info- (slogan/campaign)

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Additional Info (Speech... kind of)-

-Federalist Papers (book/ pamphlet/ collection of essays)

-Authors- John Jay, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton

-Hamilton wrote 51/85 articles

-Speaker- Alexander Hamilton

-Occasion- 1787-88 supporting ratification of Constitution

-Audience- Americans, those with the political power to ratrify the Constitution

-Purpose- Gain Support for the Constitution, explain problems with the Articles of Confederation

-Subject- Push for stronger central government, protect the minority- keep them from being overruled or overpowered by the masses, checks and balances and separation of powers to keep government in check

-Tone- persuasive, urgent

-most effective rhetorical strategies: use of logos to appeal to the reader in order to make one reflect upon what is being said and fully comprehend the weight of the claims. Seduces the reader's minds with facts and hypothetical circumstances that provide beneficial suggested outcomes.

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In this article about the debate on whether or not to remove Hamilton from the $10 bill, author Steven Rattner argues this would be a preposterous decision. Rattner explains that Hamilton is the father of our economy as we know it, and is largely the reason paper money even exists. He argues that it would be far more logical to remove Jackson from the $20 bill, seeing as he basically almost destroyed our economy, undoing part of what Hamilton did. He points out that their lives were very different, arguing that Hamilton is the more moral of the two. Rattner gets his points across by using factual evidence from both men's lives to further his point. Furthermore, the tone of his piece is almost condescending toward anyone ever in favor of supporting the removal of Hamilton. His word choice implies that it is very obvious Hamilton should remain on our currency. He uses logos to persuade the reader that Hamilton did more for the U.S. and our economy by listing his accomplishments that are relevant and indicating he is the more honorable candidate. He makes a very compelling and logical argument for Hamilton.



-Alexander Hamilton was an extremely influential and very important politician in history. His Federalist Papers are very famous and were very influential in ratifying the Constitution- a staple of American government throughout history. He forever changed our economic system, arguing for a national bank and being an extremely wise and beneficial secretary of treasury. We still study Hamilton today because he was influential, brilliant, and very vocal about his opinions. These are characteristics that make great men in politics, and the type of men that have shaped America.

works cited- (it wouldn't let me do the hanging indent)

"Alexander Hamilton Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 10 Jan.


"Alexander Hamilton." ***. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

Andrews, Evan. "6 Vicious Rivalries." A&E Television Networks, 29 July 2014.

Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

Bai, Matt. "How Gary Hart’s Downfall Forever Changed American Politics."The New York

Times. The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin, 2005. Print.

DuRoss, Michelle. "Hamilton and Slavery - Archiving Early America."Archiving Early

America. University at Albany, State University of New York, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

Gerson, Michael J. "Overcoming Adversity: The Childhood of Alexander Hamilton -

Archiving Early America." Archiving Early America. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

"Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds." The Crime of The Century; The Murder of Alexander Hamilton.

N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

"Primary Documents in American History." Federalist Papers: Primary Documents of

American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). N.p., n.d. Web. 22

Feb. 2016.

Rattner, Steven. "Leave Hamilton Alone." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20

June 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

"Remaking of Alexander Hamilton." Accuracy In Academia. N.p., 08 May 2015. Web.

Mar. 2016

Serratore, Angela. "Alexander Hamilton." Smithsonian. N.p., 25 July 2013. Web. 10 Feb.


Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.