Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alexander

HamiltonToday in 1755, in Nevis (on Nevis?) in the British West Indies Alexander Hamilton was born. The least well-known, possibly, of the Founders and, possibly, the brightest of them, Hamilton set up the National Bank and the Federal Reserve, and was the first secretary of the Treasury. He wrote the majority of the Federalist Papers, which helped garner support for the new constitution, and advocated many of our cherished American ideals.

To bereave a man of life... or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.

Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.

Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.

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