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Alexander Hamilton

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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1757; the exact year of his birth is unknown. Hamilton was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis or St. Kitts to Rachel Fawcett and James Hamilton, but he spent the majority of his youth on the island of St. Croix. When his mother died in 1768, Hamilton took his first job as a clerk in the offices of merchant Nicholas Cruger. Cruger and a local Presbyterian minister; Reverend Hugh Knox, recognized Hamilton's genius and convinced him to leave St. Croix for New York City. Alexander left in 1772, and never returned again.

In New York, Hamilton attended several academies and schools to prepare himself for college. He eventually enrolled in King's College, which is known now as Columbia. In 1776, Hamilton withdrew from King's College and joined a local New York revolt to fight in the American Revolution. During his first year, Hamilton served as an artillery captain, but moved up quickly in the ranks and became one of General George Washington's military aides.

In 1781 Hamilton left the military. He served as one of New York's most prominent lawyers in the early 1780s, and also began his political career, first serving as a national tax agent. In 1786, Hamilton was chosen to be representative for New York state at a national convention held in Annapolis, Maryland; to amend the Articles of Confederation. When only a few of the delegates from the other states bothered to attend, in 1787 Hamilton called for a second convention to be held in Philadelphia where other delegates took the convention seriously.

Though Hamilton attended most of the proceedings at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, he did not participate much in drafting of the new document. Hamilton argued that a stronger government was needed to correct the mistakes made in the government pointed out in the Articles of Confederation.

The new Constitution was presented to the delegates, at the convention,and there Hamilton signed the document. He believed the Constitution was a step in the right direction, and also that if it was not approved, the union could collapse. Hamilton returned to New York, with this in mind, where he published a series of essays to encourage the people of New York to ratify the Constitution. The essays succeeded in convincing Americans to ratify the Constitution.

When George Washington became the President of the United States in 1790, he chose Alexander Hamilton to be his first Secretary of the Treasury. Although he served in Washington's cabinet for only five years. As Secretary, Hamilton wrote five reports that established American economic policy. Hamilton also encouraged Congress to pay the interest on the debts that the country owed. Hamilton also wrote a report to convince Congress to establish a national bank and control the country's finances, this followed up with a report

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