Hamilton or Jefferson?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LandonL, May 23, 2005.

  1. LandonL

    LandonL
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    Since these two are pretty much the standard-bearers for the original two visions of American Government, I'm just curious as to which camp you would have fallen into.
     
  2. KenH

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    Hamilton.


    Ken Hamilton
     
  3. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    Jefferson, no contest.
     
  4. LandonL

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    Perhaps I should have been more specific in that I'd like to know why. KenH's I think is obvious. [​IMG]

    Why do you say Jefferson, Stratiotes?
     
  5. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    I'm opposed to centralization for banks and for govt in general -- a debate which is practically forgotten now.

    I'm also very much opposed to regular standing armies and would favor an active militia with little or no professional army. Another all but forgotten debate.
     
  6. JGrubbs

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    I would have to say Jefferson as well!

    The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, who had married into the wealthy Schuyler family, represented the urban mercantile interests of the seaports; the Antifederalists, led by Thomas Jefferson, spoke for the rural and southern interests. The debate between the two concerned the power of the central government versus that of the states, with the Federalists favoring the former and the Antifederalists advocating states' rights.

    Source: Hamilton vs. Jefferson

    Even though Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, I would like to see him replaced by Reagan on the $10 bill. :D
     
  7. fromtheright

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  8. Daisy

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    Contrarian! Why Madison?
     
  9. fromtheright

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    I'm sorry, I can't help it. Though there is much that I deeply respect about Jefferson especially (and even Hamilton--I love his line about natural rights in response to the Federal Farmer: "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."), I side with Madison because Madison truly had a federalist vision, of a limited central government, limited strictly to Article I, Sec. 8 powers. He was not a consolidationist as Hamilton, nor was he the utopian that Jefferson showed signs of being. I disagree with those who argue that Madison was Jefferson's protege; rather, I argue that Madison was the adult seeking to restrain the impetuous Jefferson. His more responsible Virginia Resolutions, when contrasted with Jefferson's in Kentucky is a perfect example. When Jefferson argued that a Constitution is meant for only the present generation and should be scrapped every nineteen years Madison was aghast. Madison's deep understanding of the compromises necessary within a federalist system and how it worked to temper factions was profound. One thing that I do agree with Jefferson on, though, was his understanding of the dangers of judicial review.
     
  10. fromtheright

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    JGrubbs,

    I believe the terminology of the article is incorrect. In the 1790's, the debate was between the Federalists and the Republicans, not Feds and anti-Feds, which was a debate over ratification of the Constitution. While the lines were similar they were not the same, the best example being James Madison, who was arguably the leading Federalist at the time of ratification but later became a Republican in opposition to Hamilton. Jefferson, while THE leading Republican, was certainly not a leading anti-Federalist, but was quite uninvolved in that debate, having mixed feelings over ratification.
     
  11. Stratiotes

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    Patrick Henry then. ;)
     
  12. fromtheright

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    Speaking of a contrarian!
     
  13. mark

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    What's to be wild about Jefferson, other than he made it onto Mount Rushmore. His vision of America was what El Salvador is today. We would not be the nation we are without the vision of Hamilton and the the Federalists. It is a popular position to be an antifederalist and a states-righter... or be a confederate, break up the country over every issue. If the Jefferson model where still in use we'd be a third world nation still tied to slavery. Even Jefferson realized this and saw the need of the Louisiana Purchase.
     
  14. Stratiotes

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    What we would be today had we followed the Confederation model is pure speculation but to assume it was inherently designed to fail ignores successes such as Switzerland. Americans tend to think of their government as the oldest and most successful active democracy but it is simply not true. If Switzerland could survive as a Confederation of independent states with a weak central government for as long as they have, then I'd say it is pretty convincing evidence that it works. Consider also their record of peace and prosperity.
     
  15. LandonL

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    An undeniably large part of the reason Switzerland has survived as long as it has was because of the Alps. It's no easy task to march in a conquering army, and some would argue that they provide a more effective natural defense against invasion than the Atlantic did for early America. I base this on the fact than the American Navy was nonexistent and anyone could simply waltz right in, not to mention French troops possibly attacking from Louisiana or British troops from Canada.
     
  16. Stratiotes

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    Geography has certainly been a factor but obviously not the only factor when one considers the history of other nations with similar geographical attributes.

    I think the reputation of the Swiss as a people who are staunchly independent (also likely due at least in part to geography) has a great deal to do with it as well. And, the fact that Switzerland is, in effect, an armed camp with every citizen armed, is no hindrance either. Any force invading Switzerland would have a guerrilla conflict on their hands that would rival any in history.
     

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