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Alexander Hamilton vs Thomas Jefferson Essay

American Heritage

Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were very important figures in the American history. However, they had a lot of differences in their political concepts. Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington. His aim was a strong federal govern, and that is why he was called a Federalist. Furthermore, he wanted the individual states to be subject to the federal government. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State under President Washington, and he favoured a government that was not too powerful. Moreover, he thought that the individual states should retain their power. Federalists believed that the economy should be concentrated in the spheres of banking, commerce, etc. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson had another vision of the policy; that is why he was oriented on the development of agriculture. In all respects, he thought that the power should be concentrated in hands of the common educated people. Still, they both wanted the best for the state; however, they saw a different means to achieve their aim (Scott).

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However, the policy of Thomas Jefferson was more beneficial and suitable for American society. Federalism was a survival from the old times, and the state required new approaches and radical changes. In 1800, when Jefferson won the elections against John Adams, it was a revolutionary event because it marked the beginning of Democratic Republican Rule, and the fall of Federalist Party. The ideas of Thomas Jefferson were more likely to be supported, because they were fully democratic and prospective. He did not want special privileges for people and believed in common people, and it is the basis of the Constitution. However, Hamilton predicted industrial revolution and he wanted to use British model for the further development. Nevertheless, Hamilton was often considered as Anglophile, even though his goal was to promote American prosperity and to make the country less reliant on British capital (Federici). The difference between Hamilton and Jefferson’s political views formed new policies and the way of handling those policies. As a consequence of the conflict between these two men, American society has today’s political system. Nevertheless, the conflict was in some ways beneficial to the USA. First of all, it formed two-party political system, and now it works for over 200 years. Moreover, Jefferson and Hamilton’s debate formed American ideas that were usually regulated by armed conflicts. It is doubtless that the conflict between these two figures had a positive influence on the American political and governmental systems. However, they had nothing similar regarding their policies, from the very beginning to the end. These two men had only one thing in common – they both were brilliant politicians and governors in their positions. Moreover, they both loved their country and played a key role in American history.

Tension between Patriotism and Liberty

Another topic for discussion is tension between liberty and patriotism. In fact, there are many debates over the issue of patriotism versus liberty. For the further discussion, the explanation of these two concepts is required. Patriotism is a devotion to one’s own country and people’s concern about its defence. Moreover, patriotism means to love your own country and to show loyalty towards it. On the other hand, liberty is an internal part of American culture. Liberty is the right and power to act in one’s own manner, express oneself the way one chooses. In fact, there are many definitions and opinions for liberty, and each individual can find something personal in this concept. This is why, the topic is very controversial, and there are many opinions on this subject.

Sometimes misunderstanding of patriotism may cause negative influence on the prosperity of the country. Taking into consideration history, it is clear that patriotism may be a deadly weapon in bad hands. For example, in Germany, the rapid change of the regime caused awful consequences. The dictatorship imposed xenophobic ideas that caused a lot of harm to mankind. In fact, it is really confusing when authorities deliver extremely nationalistic ideas by disguising them as patriotic ones. Therefore, it is impossible to speak about liberty when government tries to manipulate the society. People should precisely distinguish patriotism from extremely nationalistic ideas, because such confusion may have lethal consequences.

Nationalism can be a good thing to keep people together, and in this case community may achieve needed goals. Moreover, people will think as a one, and it will keep people together. Nevertheless, too much nationalism may cause xenophobia. As a result, people will think that nobody is right except them; hence, they will not accept other ideas, cultures etc. However, liberty also may have a negative influence on the society. Since liberty and freedom are in some sense the similar notions, they should be distinguished as well. Freedom is good when it has certain restrictions. In the other case, ultimate freedom will cause anarchy and the destruction of the nation.

Therefore, both patriotism and liberty can have positive and negative sides. However, there is no tension between these two notions. When it comes to either of these two concepts, people should not run to extremes and only in this case they will have a positive effect on the state and its residents. Real patriot will fight for the liberty of the country and its people. Anyone else who does it for other purposes is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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