Alexander Hamilton: “Against an Alliance with France”

(1794)

The chief mark that Alexander Hamilton left on the U.S. government in its early years was to consolidate power at the federal level. In this respect, he represented a point of view that contrasted sharply with that of Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to see more power in the hands of the states and individuals. Hamilton distrusted the masses, and he believed that the United States could survive only through the support of monied interests—those who had the greatest stake in the new nation. In his voluminous writings, Hamilton consistently urged this point of view. In 1778, during the Revolutionary War, America had signed the Treaty of Alliance with France, each country pledging to come to the aid of the other if Britain attacked. In the wake of the French Revolution, France went to war with Britain. In his 1794 article “Against an Alliance with France,” Hamilton argues against another entangling alliance with France, which he believed would threaten U.S. economic...

Image for: Alexander Hamilton: “Against an Alliance with France”

Alexander Hamilton (Library of Congress)

View Full Size