The legacy of Alexander Hamilton tells us that he was Thomas Jefferson’s political rival, a man who fought to secure strong powers for the national government, and the first Secretary of the Treasury.
What Hamilton’s legacy doesn’t tell us is that he also fought for states rights and championed civil liberties for all Americans, even those Americans who had supported the British during the American Revolution.
Kate Elizabeth Brown, an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Huntington University in Indiana and author of Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law, joins us to explore more about the Alexander Hamilton we don’t know, the Hamilton who helped develop American law.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Kate Elizabeth Brown, an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Huntington University in Indiana and author of Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law, joins us to explore how Alexander Hamilton helped develop American law with his legal ideas.
During our exploration, Kate reveals how Hamilton developed and implemented practices that allowed the national and state governments to exercise strong powers together; How Hamilton encouraged the different branches of the national government to work together; And the ways Hamilton advocated for both civil liberties and state powers.
What You’ll Discover
- Alexander Hamilton
- The Constitution of 1787
- The British Constitution and its influences on the United States Constitution
- Cooperation among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government
- Judicial Review
- Hamilton’s ideas about how the three branches of the federal government should work together
- The English magistrate
- The Remitting Act
- Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson
- State government power and authority during the 1790s
- Hamilton’s principle of concurrence
- Limits of state power under the Constitution of 1787
- Hamilton’s ideas about civil liberties
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Kate Elizabeth Brown
- Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law
- The United States Constitution
- Episode 057: Max Edling, War, Money, and the American State
- Episode 098: Gautham Rao, Birth of the American Tax Man
- Episode 113: Brian Murphy, Building the Empire State
- Episode 179: George Van Cleve, The Articles of Confederation
In your opinion, what might have happened if George Washington had appointed someone else to be the first Secretary of the Treasury? If Hamilton had been left out of the executive branch of government and the Washington administration, how would the development of American law be different?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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