Hamiliton was born into modest circumstances in the West Indian colonies. He was fatherless from a young age. He was first employed as a clerk in his early teen years. At age 26 he was the senior aide de camp of George Washington during the American Revolutionary War.
Killed in a duel before he reached the age of 50. He was the first Secretary of the US Treasury under Washington again. Given this and the fact that he was the principal author of the Federalist Papers it could be said that he is the conceptual father of the modern republican and democratic nation state.
Hamilton and his close friend the “Marquis” de Lafayette were among the few of the American “founding fathers” to be a conscious and vocal opponent of the system of chattel slavery.
Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
And yet, however, just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives.
Alexander Hamilton as Publius
Federalist Papers #1 1787
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