Alexander Hamilton

The Balance of Mixed Government

Conservatives and liberals during the Revolutionary years realized that democracy must have power distributed throughout various sources, known as a mixed government, so as to survive.

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The Birth of the Senate

In the earliest years of the American Republic, theories were abound about the proper structure of government to best balance equality and wise decision-making. John Adams stated, in his Thoughts on Government, that “a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, […]

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Divided Sovereignty

John Adams had strong opinions about federalism. He believed that the government should be structured similarly to the British Empire, given the British Empire’s extraordinary success. At the time of the signing of the Constitution, Adams firmly believed that the Constitution had secured a national government, as opposed to a government dividing its sovereignty into […]

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Franklin The Turncoat?

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most well-known and most revered Founding Fathers, had a more controversial history than most modern Americans realize. In the late 1750s and early 1760s, Franklin was a “complete Anglophile.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 79. He made “disparaging comments about the provinciality and vulgarity of America in […]

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The Most Sublime Gift of Heaven

In the early 1800s, America underwent a campaign of infrastructure building. The building of new roads, bridges, and canals were done in a spirit of “national grandeur and individual convenience.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 730 quoting Charles G. Haines, Considerations on the Great Western Canal (Brooklyn, 1818), 11. In 1806, Samuel Blodgett, an economist and architect, concluded […]

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A Most Flawed Inheritance

Prior to the Revolution, the colonists relied on a court system with royally appointed judges that served indefinitely “during good behavior,” which ultimately meant that judges would hold office so long as the crown was pleased with them. Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 400. This led to the colonists ultimately associating the judiciary with the “resented […]

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