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The Provisions Of The Hamilton' S "Report On The Public Credit".

838 words - 3 pages

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804) plunged into revolutionary actionsoon after this arrival in New York from the West Indies in 1773. Heserved in the Continental Army and then in the Continental Congress.He, being an advocate of a strong and centralized government, wrotemany of the Federalist essays that promoted the new constitution.Hamilton participated in the Constitutional Convention. When GeorgeWashington became president, he appointed his intelligent andenergetic ex-aide-de-camp (Hamilton) the position of the Secretary ofthe Treasury of the United States. Hamilton embraced the challenge ofhelping his country out of debt and as soon as he got into office, heset out immediately to correct these economic vexations. He piecedtogether a financial plan from European and English precedents on suchrevenue methods as tariffs and excise taxes. On January 14, 1970, hesubmitted to Congress the details of his financial plan, the "Reporton the Public Credit."In his "Report on the Public Credit," Hamilton stated that publicconfidence in the government was crucial. To do this he urged Congressto "fund" the entire nation debt "at par" and to assume completely thedebts incurred by the states during the recent war. This mean that thegovernment would pay off an initial payment and the rest would be paidoff through time with interest. The national debt at the time was anenormous $54 million. He proposed and supported the exchange of oldwar bonds for new Federal Reserve bonds. He hoped that this wouldestablish a sense that the United States was responsible in paying offits debts. As a result, other nations would allow the United States toborrow more money to establish a good credit. Also, Hamilton made aconvincing case in persuading Congress to assume the debts of thestates by stating that the debts of the states occurred during the warfor independence. States with heavy debts, like Massachusetts, weredelighted with this idea while states with lighter debts, likeVirginia, were less impressed. This way, Hamilton hoped this wouldchain the states closer to the federal government. He also hoped thatthis would shift the attachment of wealthy creditors from the statesto the federal government. He believed that support of the rich to thegovernment was essential in strengthening the central government.In order to lighten the burden of the national debt on the shouldersof the United States, revenue had to be increased. Hamilton suggestedcustom duties, derived from a tariff. Custom duties depended on strongforeign trade, which also strengthened the economy. A low tariff of 8%was imposed on the value of dutiable imports.In 1971, Congress passed Hamilton's proposed excise tax, which taxeda few domestic...

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