Comparison Between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson

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Hamilton and Jefferson's Visions for America

Hamilton and Jefferson strived to achieve their visions for America, some of their perceptions led to a completely different outcome while others pointed to a similar result. Both of them had completely different styles in delivering their idea to the American citizens. The drive to see the fulfilment of their dreams for the American prompted them to compete in presidential elections in 1800. Jefferson won and his views were closer to being fulfilled (Cooper).

Hamilton's Anticipation for America

The two leaders had anticipation for America; Hamilton anticipated to see the United States becoming an economic and military power that would outdo Great Britain and other European countries. His policies as President Washington's closest advisor and Secretary to the treasury were designed to sway America to think continentally. He desired for the Citizens to deliberate of themselves first Americans and not to identify with their respective states. Hamilton became the first secretary to the treasury and succeeded in establishing an American sense of identity by creating an institution to bind people to the national government and not to their states. Hamilton was the father of capitalism, through his policies at the treasury departments, he intended to enhance the development of manufacturing sector, his economic policies allowed America to establish an excellent credit rating, which contributed to America becoming a superpower (Klein).

Jefferson's Influence on America

Jefferson was also a great leader, his vision for America was entirely different from that of Hamilton, his influence on the American political history cannot be compared to that of Hamilton. After America attained its independence from England, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence that was used by the delegates, it gave Americans values and language for liberty, and from the declaration, America was founded (Cooper). He pervaded the spirit of republican to the Americans which continues up to now. Jefferson ensured that the government and religion were disentangled, he made sure that the spirit of republican came with advantages such as decentralization of the government, the inception of local education, and democratization of landholding. Through Louisiana Purchase arranged by Jefferson, America became a transcontinental country, which eventually developed to the military, diplomatic superpower, and economic giant. Jefferson drafted the principle for religious freedom in Virginia; other states widely adopted the law, it was also integrated the American constitution. Despite being a member of Virginia's landowning nobility, he contributed to the destruction of the system which hindered landowners from dividing their lands. He founded the University of Virginia and insisted that instead of student memorizing what they studied, they should be given liberty to learn what they desired. The University became the source of all-American Post – Secondary education. To establish a complete republican society, Jefferson indicated that there was a need for devolution, but insisted that the national government was mandated to have powers in diplomatic and military matters (Klein).

Hamilton and Jefferson's Different Perspectives

Hamilton represented the interest of trade and manufacturing which they believed would spearhead changes and growth in the world. He thought that a stable Central government would be able to establish sound public credit and stable currency, he emulated the government in England where the Central government held all the powers. He insisted that America must have confidence for commercial activities, industrial development, and the operation of the government. Hamilton's visions were more efficiently organized government while Jefferson once alleged that he was not a friend to very energetic government. Jefferson primarily represented the agricultural interests and values, he claimed that democracy thrived well in rural setting where the farmers were self-sufficient hence felt little need for a stable central government and termed the central government as oppressive Jefferson dreaded tyranny as his thoughts were about freedom while Hamilton feared anarchy as his thoughts were in terms of order. An earlier crash between Hamilton and Jefferson led to a new interpretation of the constitution. Hamilton presented a bill to establish a national bank, Jefferson representing individuals who believed in the states argued that the law mandated all powers that the federal government and states government held and it did not mandate the government to set up banks (Hamilton vs Jefferson).

Decentralization and Differences

The decentralized states were Jefferson's ideas of a government where the citizens would have a say; the idea emanated from witnessing the French revolution. At the time of the revolution, he had been a minister to France. He saw the revolution as the liberal enlightenment of the citizens. Hamilton believed that the Federal Government should repay revolutionary war debt, Jefferson termed the move as unfair since some of the southern states had already repaid their debt. Hamilton tried to increase the tax on whiskey which led to the emergence of whiskey revolution, Jefferson was also against this move (Hamilton vs Jefferson).


Jefferson and Hamilton were the most significant founders of the American government. However, the two were very dissimilar, they had different ideas on the American government, and their differences continued. However, amidst their diversity, they were able to establish a stable government. Their differences presented different ideas by dissimilar people, while Jefferson represented the farmers from the south, Hamilton served financier from the north.

Works Cited

Cooper, Elise. "Hamilton vs Jefferson."4 July 2018. American Thinker.

25 October 2018. .

"Hamilton vs. Jefferson."n.d. Exploros. 25 October 2018. .

Klein, Cristopher. "Whose Vision of America Won Out—Hamilton’s or Jefferson’s?"12 June 2017. History Stories. 25 October 2018.

November 24, 2023

Government History

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