Finance and Ideology
The character and quality of national life in the 1790s are not to be understood aside from the warfare of Hamiltonian Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans. Worth noting, however, is that the groundwork for Thomas Jefferson's side of it was laid not by Jefferson himself, but by his friend and fellow Virginian, James Madison. It is to James Madison's estrangement from his friend, Alexander Hamilton, that one must go as a first step in plumbing the political passions of the 1790s. To contemporaries, the Hamilton-Madison rupture and its consequences would not have seemed predictable in any obvious way, though historians in retrospect have offered rationalizations which make it appear as part of a certain unerring drift. This chapter focuses on James Madison, the political economy of Anglophobia, Alexander Hamilton, and the mercantile utopia.
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