Hamilton vs. Jefferson

Hamilton vs. Jefferson
•After Washington became president, two groups
began to argue about what the new nation should do.
•Alexander Hamilton led the Federalist Party.
•Thomas Jefferson led the Democratic-Republicans.
•Washington got disgusted with the arguing. In his
“Farewell Address” speech he warned that “the spirit
of party” would destroy the country.
•Washington called for national unity, but we’ve been
arguing with each other ever since then.
Who was Alexander Hamilton?
• Grew up poor and fatherless on a tiny, remote
• His mom had to become a prostitute in order
to put food on the table. She died when he
was a teenager. His new guardian committed
suicide. A hurricane destroyed his home.
• Despite the hardship, his brains, work ethic
and a little bit of luck led him to fame and
wealth. He became Washington’s right hand
man during the Revolutionary War.
Hamilton’s View of Human Nature
• His childhood + wartime experiences made
Hamilton suspicious of people, especially the
“common people” (the poor and uneducated).
• Hamilton feared that democracy would give
“the common people” too much power, which
they would use badly. In his mind, being poor
= proof of laziness and bad choices.
• He wanted only the rich and educated to have
power. In his mind, being rich = proof that you
work hard and make good decisions.
Hamilton’s view of the poor. “You want
to put these people in charge?!”
Hamilton’s Ideal Economy:
Manufacturing and Trade.
• Hamilton thought that the government should
support manufacturing and trade by creating
a National Bank.
• The National Bank would loan tax money to
big businesses, which would use it to build
• More factories = more wealth and technology
= a stronger, richer United States.
Ford Factory, 73rd Ave. and Foothill.
Britain vs. France? Hamilton Chose
• The USA was broke and weak. Britain and
France were fighting each other and were
bullying us to pick a side.
• Hamilton picked Britain for 3 reasons:
– They had more manufacturing than any other
country; they had the best technology.
– They kept the poor “in their place.”
• The French Revolution, where the poor killed the
rich and took over, scared Hamilton.
The French Revolution Terrified
Hamilton. What if it happened here
Who was Thomas Jefferson?
• Born into a wealthy planter family.
• A genius who started college at 16, spoke seven
languages, was a noted scientist, and had the
largest private library in the USA.
• Author of the Declaration of Independence, in
which he wrote that, “All men are created equal.”
• Criticized slavery, but owned hundreds of slaves.
Monticello—Jefferson’s DIY project
Jefferson’s Plantation--Monticello
Jefferson put this ad in the paper
when a slave ran away.
Jefferson’s View of Human Nature
• Most people are basically good.
• The “common people” should have all the
power, because most of them are simple,
honest people.
• Rich business people are corrupt. Hamilton
and his followers were just as bad as the
British king.
Jefferson’s Ideal Economy
• The “common people” (90% of Americans)
made their living by farming. Almost nobody
lived in cities.
• The USA should stay a majority farming
country, because farming is a simple, honest
way to make a living.
18th Ave. (1868). Jefferson would want
it to still be like this.
Britain vs. France? Jefferson chose
• The “common people” took power in the
French Revolution.
• They killed their king and nobles.
• Americans needed another Revolution to
overthrow Hamilton and his rich friends, who
had too much power.

similar documents