What Would Hamilton Do?



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Name: ______________________________

What Would Hamilton Do?
Introduction: As the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton had many challenges before him. During George Washington’s Administration the United States faced an “Economic Crisis.” Alexander Hamilton came up with a plan to fix the nation’s economic problems.
Part I: What did Alexander Hamilton believe about government?
Directions: Place a check mark on the lines that are true. Indicate which on which page number you found the answer.
_____ Hamilton believed that the federal government should be strong
_____ Hamilton believed that the government should help the wealthy so that they would help

the poor.


_____ Hamilton believed that the USA should favor England as a trading partner over France
_____ Hamilton believed that the USA should be a nation of manufacturers and not farmers.
_____ Hamilton believed in a loose interpretation of the Constitution meaning that the

government could read between the lines and imply meanings


Part II: What was Hamilton’s plan to fix the nation’s economy and repair the nation’s credit?
Directions: Complete the lines discussing Hamilton’s financial plan below:
1. Hamilton felt that the federal government should place a tax on _________________.

2. Hamilton also favored a tax on products brought into the USA known as a ______________.

3. Hamilton wanted to sell Western ____________ to make money for the federal government.

4. Hamilton wanted to pay off old ____________ by selling new ___________ to fix the nation’s

credit problems and help reduce war debt.

5. Hamilton felt that the federal government should assume all of the states ________ to make

the federal government stronger.

6. Hamilton wanted to establish a National _______ to handle the nation’s financial affairs.


Word Bank

bank | bonds | debts | land | whisky | tariff



Part III: What does Thomas Jefferson believe about government?
Directions: Place a check mark on the lines that are true. Indicate which on which page number you found the answer.
_____ Jefferson believed that the state governments should be strong.
_____ Jefferson believed that the government should help the common man and the poor.
_____ Jefferson believed that the USA should favor France because they too had had a

Revolution.


_____ Jefferson believed that the USA should be a nation of farmers not manufacturers.
_____ Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution meaning that the

government could only do what was specifically written in the Constitution.


Part IV: Thomas Jefferson Objects to Hamilton’s Plan
Directions: Why does Thomas Jefferson object to Hamilton’s financial plan?
1. _____________ might profit from the payment of old bonds since many poor people had

sold their bonds after the Revolution.


2. If the federal government were to assume state __________, the federal government would

become stronger than the states.


3. A _____ on Whisky would hurt _______ people.
4. There is nothing in the Constitution which says that the federal government may establish a

National ________________.



Word Bank

Debts | Speculators | bank | poor | tax




Part V: Washington’s Compromise
Directions: How did George Washington solve this argument?
1. The nation would use ___________ plan with members of Congress voting on each part

individually.


2
Word Bank

Hamilton’s | Washington D.C.


. The national capital would be moved to a new city called ________________.

Part VI: What would Hamilton do today?
Introduction: Today the United States also faces another financial crisis. While not as serious, the nation has entered a “recession” or an economic downturn. Many people can no longer afford their homes. Many banks have stopped loaning money to people and businesses which means that large items such as cars cannot be purchased. Some banks have lost so much money because of bad loans that they are going out of business. Large companies such as the American auto industry could also go out of business if something is not done. States such as California and cities across the country are also in great debt and may go bankrupt. Many people have lost their jobs.
Directions: Based on what you know about Alexander Hamilton, identify two things Hamilton would do to fix today’s financial problems. Explain how each would work.

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