Political Scientist, Secretary of the Treasury, Journalist, Military Leader, Economist, Lawyer (1755–1804)
Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the US, served as the nation’s first secretary of the treasury between 1789-1795.
After graduating, Hamilton built a burgeoning military career during the American Revolutionary War that lead to him being appointed senior aide to the commander-in-chief General George Washington.
Once the war ended, Hamilton was elected as representative to the Congress of the Confederation from New York. It was here that Hamilton became dissatisfied with the weak national government and, in 1788, he successfully convinced New Yorkers to agree to ratify the US Constitution.
The highlights of Hamilton’s economic and political career include him being the main author of George Washington’s economic policies, initiating the funding of the states’ debts by the Federal Government, developing a system of tariffs to protect infant industries and building trade relations with Great Britain.
Hamilton’s policies lead to the creation of the American School of thought; which asserts that the government must intervene and place high tariffs in imports to help develop the American manufacturing base and finance large infrastructure projects.
On July 12th 1804, in New York City, Alexander Hamilton died after suffering a gunshot wound in a duel with Aaron Burr.
Hamilton had, amongst other things, written in a newspaper that Burr was “the most unfit and dangerous man of the community.” Burr blamed Hamilton for costing him his vice-President’s role with Thomas Jefferson, and for his loss when later running for governor of New York. Burr demanded an explanation but Hamilton refused; forcing Burr to challenge Hamilton to a duel.
The duel began at dawn on July 11th 1804 and, as both men drew their guns and shot, Hamilton was mortally wounded Hamilton was taken back to New York City where he died the next day.
“Sir, I challenge you to a duel!”
– Alexander Hamilton