Hamilton: A West Indies immigrant impacts America
by Peter Flynn
| 5 Questions
Note from the author:
American Revolution; Founding Fathers
Facts about Alexander Hamilton:
1. Hamilton was born on January 11, in either 1755 or 1757, on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies. (There is a dispute among historians about his actual birth year.) His father was from Scotland; his mother from Nevis. Hamilton left the region as a teenager to live in North America. Alexander Hamilton grew up poor and an immigrant.
2. Hamilton’s skills as a writer let him leave the Caribbean
3. Hamilton fought with honor in the Revolutionary War. Through his efforts as a volunteer, young Hamilton became General George Washington’s aide de camp, or his right-hand man. Hamilton also personally led an attack and charge at the Battle of Yorktown on a British redoubt.
4. Hamilton was a mostly self-taught lawyer. After resigning his military commission, Hamilton was able to study the law and pass a legal examination within six months in 1782.
5. He helped promote the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Hamilton was agitated with the weak Confederation Congress and the Articles of Confederation, so he worked with James Madison and other Founders to hold the Annapolis Convention in September 1786. There, Hamilton introduced a resolution for more delegates “to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States.”
6. Hamilton’s constitutional legacy was the Federalist Papers. He played a big role in helping the Constitution’s ratification as one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, along with Madison and Jay. Hamilton wrote 51 of the 85 essays, which are still consulted today by scholars and the Supreme Court.
7. Hamilton founded the Treasury Department and strengthened the banking system. If that wasn’t enough, President Washington appointed Hamilton as the first Secretary of the Treasury, when the new nation was facing a steep financial crisis. Hamilton brokered a solution to paying off the former colonies’ war debt, and then organized the Treasury Department as a powerful unit. Hamilton also formed the First Bank of the United States, and he was able to convince other nations that the United States was financially sound. Alexander Hamilton believed in using debt to bind investors to the government and stimulate the economy.
8. Hamilton inspired the first American political party with the formation of the Federalist Party. In response, leaders like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson formed a political faction known as the Republicans that directly objected to Hamilton and his ideas.
9. Hamilton helped his own political enemy become President.
10. The deadly duel between Hamilton and Burr in July 1804 was years in the making; the two men had been rivals in New York before the 1800 election, and Hamilton worked to deny Burr’s election to the New York governorship. Burr would shoot shooting Hamilton, and Hamilton dying the next day.
11, Alexander Hamilton believed in a strong central government. .
12. Alexander Hamilton believed the government should tax the people in order to give the government more money.
13. Alexander Hamilton fought in a war and would have been eager to fight in another one.
14. Alexander Hamilton was, to use modern terms, very liberal at his time.

Excerpt from: National Constitution Center
What question would you ask Alexander Hamilton today in response to how he would handle the debt issue?
We have a trade imbalance with China that is 1.19 trillion dollars in March 2018. What question would you ask Hamilton on how he would handle it. How do you think he would react to your question if he were alive today?
Hamilton was an immigrant from the West Indies, he was not American born. How do you think he would respond to the immigration issues affecting our country today? What would be your question to him about Immigration along the Texas-Mexico border?
George Washington during his farewell address warned about the creation of political parties. Why do you think Hamilton created the first American political party, knowing that this went against his mentor/idol (George Washington) wishes? What would you think he would say about the political differences affecting our current government?
American's always have disliked being taxed. Hamilton was a strong believer of taxing citizens to give money to government. Most Americans today dislike paying taxes, but try as a model citizens to pay thier fare share. Considering the current illegal immigration issue, what would you do to allow illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in America to be allowed to stay here. Examples that have been suggested: Pay all the back taxes during the period they worked and a fine or do you have another solution that would help?

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