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"Alexander Hamilton: America's Financial Brainpower"
Alexander Hamilton: America's Financial Brainpower
Quentina Green
One must wonder where would America be today financially and economically without the aide of Alexander Hamilton. Sometimes credited as Father of the Treasury, had a profound effect on the American economy. Born illegitimate on the West Indies island of Nevis, left orphaned and penniless at the age of 13, educated by a local clergyman, and in spite of his ruthless beginnings became our countries first Secretary of the Treasury ("Who Is That Guy on the $10 Bill). His contributions include the establishment of credit of our young country, formation of a national bank, the Bank of the United States, and the proposition of tariffs that provided revenue and encouraged manufacturing.

When Alexander Hamilton was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in September of 1789, he was faced with many dilemmas. The first dilemma was the national debt. By December 1789, the total public debt was up to $74,500,00 (Kraus 276). $12,000,000 of the debt was due to foreign countries for loans to finance the war, $22,500,000 of the debt was state debts, and $40,000,000 of the debt was the nation owed for other federal obligations (domestic debts) (Kraus 277). The nation was a crucial point in its existence and needed a solution to its financial problems. Hamilton sent the first part of his plan for the nations economic success, the Report on the Public Credit, to Congress in January 1790 (Sylla). He proposed that all the nations debts be paid off by par, meaning completely paid. Hamilton argued that the debts had to be completely paid off to establish good federal credit, and Congress agreed (Sylla). The government's responsibility of the states debt was subject to debate for Congress. Most of the southern states had fulfilled paying off most of their debts and didn't want to assume the debts of the...

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