Alexander Hamilton


Perhaps best known for his death in a duel, Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) expressed strong monarchical views at the Constitutional Convention. Following the adoption of the republican form, he became one of its greatest advocates in the Federalist Papers. His financial know-how made him the first Secretary of the Treasury in the administration of George Washington, where he set the nation's earliest financial policies.

Federalist Nos. 1 and 9

Hamilton had the honor of writing the first of the Federalist Papers. He lays out the plan for the work (#1). The theory of the republic has often been maligned, but has undergone many improvements over time (#9).

Federalist Nos. 31 and 33

The justification of the first principles of the republic begins with the self-evident and then deduces further truths (#31). Government must be able to preserve itself; therefore, it must have the power of taxation (#33).

Federalist Nos. 78 and 81

The judiciary may not exercise any legislative or executive function; if it does, it will become a tyrannical power subject to impeachment (#78). The Supreme Court must interpret the Constitution as written (#81).

Federalist No. 84

Hamilton's argument against the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution was short-sighted, but his reasoning shows that the people possess their rights in nature prior to the establishment of government.