Alexander Hamilton

by Katie from Laguna Beach

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman and advisor to George Washington who he met in the Revolutionary War. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury known for controlling the finances during the American Revolution, and was also known for his support of a strong big government.

He was born on January 11, 1755 or 1757. During his childhood, he lived in the West Indies in St. Croix on the Island of Nevis. When Alexander was in his early teens, his mother died and he was left in the care of the relatives on his mother’s side. A misfortune in his father’s business left the family bankrupt. Alexander had been working in an accounting house and succeeded in taking over his father’s business since he was educated and could read and write. With the support from his friends, he went to Kings College which is now Columbia University.

Hamilton’s courage and ability during the Revolutionary War in many battles won him the notice of General Nathanael Greene who introduced him to George Washington and asked that he be promoted. He then became Washington’s personal Secretary. After returning to the military, he commanded a New York regiment in the battle of Yorktown. He married into an important New York family and became an attorney in New York in 1782. He also was a delegate in May 1787 in Philadelphia to the Constitutional Convention.

Hamilton developed the “Doctrine of Implied Powers” which said that the government had power that only had to be suggested by the Constitution. Shortly after the establishment of the new government in 1789, he was appointed by President George Washington as the first Secretary of the Treasury.

During his time in the government, Hamilton made enemies. One of them was Aaron Burr who he campaigned against during the presidential elections of 1800. Hamilton worked to elect Thomas Jefferson and argued with Aaron Burr often in public. He also worked to defeat Burr in his race for Governor of New York. After this defeat, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804. The first shot came from Hamilton who, as a gentleman, aimed over Burr’s head on purpose. Aaron Burr aimed for the biggest part of the body, the stomach. The next day, on July 12, 1804, Alexander Hamilton died.

Alexander Hamilton is remembered in history because he was one of the first great nationalists and reorganized the U.S. Finances in the 1790’s. He also risked his life during the battle of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War and was recognized for his courage during many other battles. Today he has the special honor of having his picture on the ten dollar bill.

He has impacted my life because his helpful support of the war started a national movement towards independence which we now enjoy in our country. I also admire him because of the hardships he faced when he lost his mother, was abandoned by his father, and yet he managed to achieve great things.

Page created on 8/31/2009 4:10:40 PM

Last edited 7/14/2017 12:30:39 AM

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