There were many men involved in the establishment of the government, the laws regulating states and people, and individual rights in the construction of the United States of America. Two men stand out as instrumental to our founding principles: Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Thomas Jefferson was an educated, articulate and accomplished man from a well-respected family. He had a great understanding of farming and of the relationship between man and his environment, working diligently to balance the two for the best interest of each. He “considered himself first and always a man of the land” (Jewett, 2005). His vision of the New World was of true, idealistic freedom with limited government involvement; an educated farmer, a moral man who would sustain himself off of the very land his freedom was based.
Alexander Hamilton was born a bastard child in the West Indies and demonstrated great intellectual potential at an early age. He was sent to New York City for schooling and studied at King’s College, now Columbia University. His vision of America took a more capitalistic tone and “he was determined to transform an economically weak and fractious cluster of states into a powerful global force” (Tindall & Shi, 2010). Hamilton advocated a strong central government. He was bold and persuasive and his philosophies quite extraordinary for his time.
Jefferson’s agricultural viewpoint was vastly different from Hamilton’s manufacturing perspective. Though they both envisioned a great and prosperous nation, they had contrasting opinions on how this should occur. Hamilton, a Federalist, believed the rich and powerful should be the central government for all people, as they knew better how to foster and protect the emerging American industry from foreign competitors. In scheming to fulfill his visions of prosperity, Hamilton used the newly ratified constitutional laws as nothing more than a set of guidelines, opening the door to constitutional interpretation. As an example, in his efforts to establish a central national bank and raise desperately needed capital for the new republic, Hamilton encountered opposition from James Madison as “he could find no basis in the Constitution for a National Bank” (Tindall Shi, 2010). Thomas Jefferson further argued that the Tenth Amendment reserves to the states and the people powers not delegated by...