Alexander Hamilton: Federalist 84

(1788)

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 Federalist 84, one of eighty-five newspaper articles written by Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison from October 1787 to August 1788, Hamilton put forward “Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution,” voicing his arguments against making ratification of the Constitution contingent on the inclusion of a bill of rights.

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Alexander Hamilton (Library of Congress)

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