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Comparison Of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton

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Soon after the birth of America, many profound leaders and colonial individuals voiced their views concerning national policies; of those men, two shine through the somewhat foggy opinions of others with strong, never dwindling thoughts that would shape a nation. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson served together in George Washington’s first cabinet. They were both regarded highly for their intelligence as well as their stern ambition; however, it was the strongly opposing views during the 1790’s that lit the way for developing political parties.

Alexander Hamilton was a young lawyer who was esteemed as brilliant and dynamic. He was thought to be charming, courageous, and full of inexhaustible ambition. He was a strong advocate for strong central government and refused to be held back by the strict wording of the Constitution which he once referred to as “a shilly shally thing.” Hamilton admired British culture and even advocated for stronger diplomatic and commercial ties with the former mother country; yet, he fought for American independence. He voiced concerns of the role of people in the shaping of public policy. He envisioned that the greatest threat in a republican society was not that of monarchy but, that of anarchy. Hamilton wished to establish a national bank, and instill a federal credit system; wherein, he encouraged the nation’s wealthiest patrons to invest in the future of the United States

Thomas Jefferson was a Virginian who failed to stand out as well in the general public; therefore, many contemporaries saw this as a lack of ambition. They were dreadfully wrong. Jefferson was not attempting to quench a thirst for power; he was searching for a way to quench his desire for an opportunity to advance the democratic principles he had eloquently set forth in the Declaration of Independence. He was inspired by what he had witnessed in the French Revolution. Jefferson believed that the strength of American economy lay in the hands of agriculture. But, he recognized the necessity of change and encouraged the nation’s farmers to become more involved in the widening international market. He showed faith in the ability of American people to shape policy; he trusted the people and feared that excessive government power would destroy the liberties of citizens. He argued that the weakness of the nation lay with the pseudo aristocrats who placed the protection of “property” and “civil order” much higher than the preservation of “liberty.” To Jefferson, bankers, manufacturers, and speculators seemed dangerous to the young nation and American society. He even criticized the creation on a federal bank, calling it unconstitutional.

Washington and Hamilton shared many fundamental beliefs; both insisted they were applying effort toward the establishment of a strong republic. However, the two men had explosively differing views of the way such a young nation should be guided. Due the vast success of his ideas and plans, Alexander Hamilton may have had a slightly greater than that of Thomas Jefferson. Although his original visions have been altered slightly, America still possesses a federal banking system, and national credit system. That is not to say that Thomas Jefferson’s opinions did not have an effect on the United States; the people are still given some say in shaping political policies and the preservation of liberty remains strong in the hearts and lives of Americans.

In the beginning of this strong, independent nation, many honorable men such as George Washington, and John Marshall expressed their ideas concerning the policies of the new nation. Of the many, two young and formidable men stood out from the crowd. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton will ever be remembered for their extremely intelligent insights which molded America into the strong nation it is today.

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