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

Page 123456


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

Inventing the United States meant not only creating a government, but imagining the future. Thomas Jefferson embodied his vision in the inspiring words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men."

painting of Hamilton

But actions also embody visions. When George Washington chose Alexander Hamilton, self-made man and war hero, as the nation's first secretary of the treasury, along with Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state, he put in power two brilliant men with radically different notions of what the United States ought to become, and different plans for how to reach their goals. While Jefferson cared most about political ideals, Hamilton focused his energy on creating the institutions that would make America a world power.

With what I already know, I'd select:

Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton

Something More


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