Hamilton is also well remembered for his authorship, along with John Jay and James Madison, of the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers sought to rally support for the Constitution’s approval when those three anonymously wrote them, but for readers and scholars today they also help us get into the mindset of the Founding Fathers, including the “Father of the Constitution” himself. They also help demonstrate how men of vastly different political ideologies came to accept the same Constitution.
One of the biggest battles was over the chartering of a national bank, a topic that seems trivial today given the size and scope of the federal government. At the founding, however, the Southern states and Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic Party were skeptical of the necessity of a national bank, while Hamilton’s Federalists insisted that it would help the nation pay off its debts and manage its finances. Eventually Hamilton won out, but the First U.S. Bank, located in Philadelphia, was nonetheless run by a private company, ensuring limits on government control. Before the First U.S. Bank was chartered, Hamilton wrote a defense of the chartering of a national bank by asserting it was constitutional.
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