American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of by John Lamberton Harper

By John Lamberton Harper

Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) was once an illegitimate West Indian emigrant who grew to become the 1st U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. American Machiavelli makes a speciality of Hamilton's debatable actions as overseas coverage adviser and aspiring army chief. within the first significant examine of his overseas coverage function in 30 years, John Lamberton Harper describes a decade of sour department over the function of the government within the financial system through the 1790s and attracts parallels among Hamilton and the 16th century Italian political adviser, Niccolò Machiavelli. Harper offers an unique and hugely readable account of Hamiltonas well-known clashes with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and his key function in defining the U.S. nationwide safety approach. John Lamberton Harper is Professor of overseas coverage and ecu reports on the Johns Hopkins college Bologna heart. he's the writer of the USA and the Reconstruction of Italy, 1945-1948 (Cambridge 1986), winner of the 1987 Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian ancient reports, and American Visions of Europe: Franklin D. Roosevelt, George F. Kennan, and Dean G. Asheson (Cambridge 1994), winner of the 1995 Robert Ferrell Prize from the Society of Historians of yankee international family members. His articles and reports have seemed in different courses, together with the yankee historic evaluation, The magazine of yank heritage, the days Literary complement and international Affairs.

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Hamilton never saw his father again after the latter left St. Croix in 1765. His feelings toward him were a mixture of shame, loyalty, and compassion. ” The elder Hamilton was an ever-present negative example, both fortune’s victim and someone who had failed to capitalize on his opportunities. 17 ` visceral If the Machiavelli family’s social position is the key to Niccolo’s preference for broad-based politics in his native city, Hamilton’s feelings toward his father help to explain his early political orientation.

Faced with the prospect that Congress would not pay the pensions (half-pay for life as in the British service) it had promised them, embittered Continental Army officers (numbering some five hundred fifty, in command of about nine thousand enlisted men) in winter quarters at Newburgh, New York, seemed prepared to take matters into their own hands. ” Rather than disapprove of the army’s efforts to gain redress, Washington should “take the direction of them. This however must not appear: it is of moment to the public tranquility that Your Excellency should preserve the confidence of the army without losing that of the people.

He also embraced the British financial revolution launched in the 1690s. According to J. G. A. Pocock: The institutions of the new finance, of which the Bank of England and the National Debt came to be the most important, were essentially a series of devices for encouraging the large or small investor to lend capital to the state, investing in its future political stability and strengthening this by the act of investment itself, while deriving a guaranteed income from the return on the sum invested.

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