The subtitle of this book is ‘Political Economy in Jeffersonian America’. Jefferson was wary of industry. He thought farmers were best suited to fulfilling the role of free citizens of a republic. His vision for the American future was a continental power of small farmers. Hamilton did not share this vision. He wanted to see Commerce, industry and banking flourishing in America and thought that it was through them that America would grow strong and prosper. He did not think they would compromise the character of the citizen or the Republic overall. Ultimately, it was Hamilton’s vision that won out over Jefferson’s although the latter remained influential. This debate in the early years of the Republic is crucial in understanding the political and economic debates about the development of the country after independence and Hamilton’s influence on them.
Alexander Hamilton Books