Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson were our main political components from the beginning to the middle of the 1800s. Each had a completely different personality and completely different political views. However, all three would have an interesting story. These were the times when our nation was being founded. Their actions shaped the way for our government today. It was interesting to read their views and I am more informed than I ever was.
Alexander Hamilton had a huge part in the way things work today. He was the main constructor of the Declaration of Independence. His mother passed away when he was young and he had a few disadvantages, but they never held him back. He went to College in New York City and was very smart. George Washington even noticed how bright he was, and when he was 19 years old, he became one of Washington’s closest allies. He wrote articles regarding politics and had a part in writing 85 essays on the political side of the Constitution, along with James Madison and John Jay, a New York Attorney. (238-239) He practiced law and even though he had a social life, it never got in the way of his hard work. Alexander and James Madison had similar views and got along well until they started to clash. In 1790, Hamilton came up with a plan to fund the national debt, create a national banking system, create manufacturers in the United States versus foreign manufacturing, and a whiskey tax to raise revenue. We all know now that the whiskey tax was not everyone’s favorite plan. (243-244) Despite their differences,
Hamilton made a deal with Madison that if he didn’t vote against the debt package, then he would help move forth the Potomac site, and in July 1790, congress passed both of them. George Washington, still close to Hamilton, would ignore Madison’s complaints about the banking system and approve the Bank of the United States for a 20-year contract. Private investors sold it out in just a few hours in February 1791. (246-247) Hamilton paved the way for our monetary system, using banks and debt “credit”, and was even the secretary of our state. He had a huge role in the economy and created systems that we still use in this present day. Hamilton was killed by gunfire in an illegal duel with Senator Aaron Burr, who would eventually run for the presidency against Thomas Jefferson. (267)
Thomas Jefferson was quite different from Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson was our third president serving from 1801-1809. In June of 1776, Jefferson was one of the men appointed to create a document of independence. He drafted the preamble containing parts about natural rights and equality, and also slavery. He also blamed King George for several problems including slavery. On July 4th, the declaration was finally complete. (182-183) In February 1789, Thomas Jefferson was the head of the State Department. I found a few different scenarios in which Jefferson would attempt duties, but then back out. Eventually, in 1800, he would win the presidential election. This election would be the first ever to be voted for by the House of Representatives. (266) In this term he changed Hamilton’s progressions by reducing the military and canceling all taxes based on whiskey and population. He had reduced Hamilton’s national debt. He wanted to keep the military and government smaller than it was previously. He won a second term in 1805. (268)
Andrew Jackson was definitely unlike Hamilton and Jefferson. He became our 7th president in 1829, serving for two terms until 1837. Before their presidency, he was an attorney. His first term was the first to be won by popular vote. (304) His personality was strong and just to prove it, in 1818 he stated he was the commander of Northern Florida and killed two Britons claiming they were dangerous enemies. People had felt that he took it too far. (289) Jackson’s party and supporters were known as Democrats and when he was first elected, people would say they were Adams’s men or Jackson’s men. They wanted to separate the Republican views from the Democratic. Before his second term, his wife passed away. He was very depressed and people didn’t think he would make it to a second term. He did, and his inauguration speech was the shortest in history, lasting only ten minutes. Jackson only allowed close allies in his cabinet and he used the veto right 12 times, compared to the previously combined presidents using it 9 times. (305-307) He wanted slavery to stay in place and even attempted to get rid of all Indians. He was too sick to attempt another presidential term.
When you hear people refer to topics as Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, or Jacksonian, they are referring to their political views, and classifying political opinions. Jeffersonians have a republican view, as Jacksonians were more democratic and Hamiltonians were considered federalists. They each can describe which views you have. Although I strongly dislike discussing anything political because it is hard to have a civilized conversation these days, I lean more toward the Jeffersonian principles. I strongly believe in individual freedom and that we were all created equally. One thing I am sure of is that I am most repelled by the Jacksonian standpoint. While Jackson might have had good intentions and beliefs in some aspects, he wanted slavery to continue and I can’t agree with that. If I could be a part of any of these men’s lives and eras, it would be Thomas Jefferson’s. I felt that Alexander Hamilton was extremely smart and determined, but I more relate to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican views.
Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson were different men in many ways, but they would each leave a footprint on our history. From Hamilton paving the way to our banking systems, to Jefferson attempting to keep the peace, to Jackson running his presidency exactly how he wanted to. These men played a part in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. They helped our country to become independent and become our own nation.