Sunday, August 27, 2006

Alexander Hamilton was African American.

Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American politician, leading statesman, financier, intellectual, military officer, and founder of the Federalist Party. One of America's foremost constitutional lawyers, he was an influential delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787 and was the leading author of the Federalist Papers (1788), which has been the single most important interpretation of the Constitution ever since.
He was the first and most influential Secretary of the Treasury and had much influence over the rest of the Government and the formation of policy, including foreign policy. With a vision of using federal power to modernize the nation, he convinced Congress to use an elastic interpretation of the Constitution to pass far-reaching laws. They included the creation of a national debt, federal assumption of the state debts, creation of a national bank, and a system of taxes through a tariff on imports and a tax on whiskey that would pay for it all. In foreign affairs he favored the British; he was the major force behind the Jay Treaty of 1794 which averted war with Britain and brought ten years of peace and trade
Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies island of Nevis to James Hamilton, the fourth son of a Scottish laird, and Rachel Fawcett of the island of St. Croix, where she gave birth to a son which she left with the father when she moved to Nevis
Hamilton was always sensitive about his illegitimate birth. Hamilton's childhood was Dickensian. His father abandoned his two sons—with severe emotional consequences, even for the times—in the course of breaking with Hamilton's mother. His mother kept a small store on Nevis, and had, it is said, the largest library on the island - some thirty-odd books. Business misfortunes having caused his father to leave when Hamilton was seven, and his mother having died suddenly of a fever in 1768, young Hamilton was effectively orphaned. A short time afterwards, the son from the first marriage appeared in Nevis, and (legally) confiscated the few valuables Hamilton's mother had owned, including several valuable silver spoons. Hamilton never saw him again, but years later received his death notice and a small amount of money.
President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton served in the Treasury Department from September 11, 1789, until January 31, 1795. It is for his tenure as Treasury secretary, as well as his contributions to the Federalist Papers, that Hamilton is considered one of America's greatest early statesmen. He was in many ways Washington's most trusted advisor, handling critical domestic and foreign policies, and writing drafts of important messages such as Washington's Farewell Address in 1796. In 1794 he designed a "bold initiative", the Jay Treaty that "ushered in a new era of prosperity for Anglo-American trade," and resolved left-over issues from the Revolution. He fought Jefferson and Madison in the matter--they favored France--thus setting up foreign policy as a major dispute between the parties.



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