Thomas Jefferson and the Political Economy of Alexander Hamilton: The Bank; Assumption; Sir Robert Walpole’s System in a New Republic; Lord Bolingbroke



“If, as Talleyrand said, [1] Hamilton divined Europe, it may be properly added that he also divined the system of Machtpolitik under which the European nations operated.” (Charles A. Beard, 1934/1966, pp. 48–49


Interest Rate Money Supply Public Debt Money Stock Free Banking 
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  1. 1.
    See Jean Orieux (1970) Talleyrand ou le sphinx incompris (Paris: Flammarion). His friend’s probity amazed Talleyrand. Thus he learned in 1794, at Albany, that Hamilton was to leave the Treasury to build an estate. “Talleyrand n’en crut pas ses oreilles. Un homme qui abandonnait les Finances pour gagner de l’argent.” (Ibid., p. 219)Google Scholar
  2. 23.
    See Algernon Sidney (1698/1990) Discourses Concerning Government (Indianapolis, Indiana: Liberty Classics; 1990), T. G. West, ed. West reports that the Discourses were written between 1681 and 1683, and that they were primarily “a response to a book by Sir Robert Filmer defending the divine and natural right of kings to absolute rule.” (Ibid., p. xvi) See Filmer’s Patriarchia: A Defence of the Natural Power of Kings against the Unnatural Liberty of the People, published in 1680, but written much earlier. Garry Wills (1978) writes of Algernon Sidney’s (1623–1683) influence on Jefferson. Sidney’s work can be mined for many nuggets asserting the natural rights of man; but I see no connection between Sidney — who chose exile rather than recant his acts as an officer of the (Cromwellian) Commonwealth and was executed for Treason against the Stuarts — and Bolingbroke, whose career was ruined by his treasonable transactions with the Stuarts. What is more, far from being nostalgic about patriot kings, Sidney was virtually a republican.Google Scholar
  3. 28.
    See Lord Acton’s Essays in the History of Liberty (Indianapolis, Indiana: Liberty Classics; 1985), J. Rufus Fears, ed. — a sometimes vapid work. (Cf. John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton. The first essay may have been published in 1877.) ∘ At p. 221, he describes the dinner given by Jefferson for Hamilton and Adams, recollected by Jefferson in his Anas. ∘ At p. 224, he refers to proposals to the Philadelphia Convention (1787) by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton to abolish the states. Is it plausible that a Convention calmly receiving such a proposal would have settled on a compact between sovereign states, as Jefferson and Madison said they did? (See Ch. 3.)Google Scholar

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© M. L. Burstein 1993

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