Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

4-26-2017

School

Helms School of Government

Major

Government: Politics and Policy

Keywords

Hamilton, treasury, Federalist Party

Disciplines

American Politics

Abstract

This thesis examines the impact of Alexander Hamilton and the policies he proposed and implemented as Secretary of the Treasury on the emergence and rise of the Federalist Party. This was achieved both by examination of the content of Hamilton’s financial plans as well as the responses they provoked. Both the support of fellow Federalists and the opposition of those who eventually became the Democratic-Republicans provide insight into the forces driving the partisan split. Information was drawn from both primary and secondary sources, including the writings of Hamilton and his contemporaries as well as subsequent studies of his life and work. The evidence of these sources points to a substantial role for Hamilton in the timing and nature of the formation of the Federalist Party in addition to its political positions. His vision of a unified republic built on a strong commercial foundation set the trajectory for the party and for the nation as a whole.

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