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A New System of Government
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Jefferson vs. Hamilton Key Events Maps Transcript Webography

Page 123456


The Virtue of the People

You Decide: Who had the more enduring vision for the United States, Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton?

Alexander Hamilton believed that people were by nature selfish and sinful, inclined toward greed rather than virtue.

"Has it not. . . invariably been found that momentary passions, and immediate interests, have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility and justice?"

-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #6


Thomas Jefferson held that though the people might make mistakes, governments could usually rely on the public's good judgment.

"I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. . . . They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves."

-- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787




I'd Select:

Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton



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