As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Hamilton occupies an eccentric, even flamboyant, position compared with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison, and Marshall. Hamilton’s genius, forged during his service in the Continental Army in the Revolution, brought him not only admiration but also suspicion. As the country he helped to found grew and changed, so did his thinking.
This comprehensive collection of his early writings, from the period before and during the Revolutionary War, provides a fuller understanding of the development of his thinking.
Hamilton wrote to persuade, and he had the ability to clarify the complex issues of his time without oversimplifying them. From the basic core values established in his earlier writings to the more assertive vision of government in his mature work, we see how Hamilton’s thought responded to the emerging nation and how the nation was shaped by his ideas.
"Measures of Congress from the calumnies of their enemies, in answer to a letter under the signature of a Westchester Farmer; whereby his sophistry is exposed, his cavils confuted, his artifices detected, and his wit ridiculed, in a General Address to the inhabitants of America, and a Particular Address to the Farmers of the Province of New York. Veritas magna est et prevalebit—Truth is powerful and will prevail. New York: printed by James Rivington: 1774.
On October 14, 1774, the Continental Congress issued its Declaration and Resolves in response to Parliament’s legislative retaliation for the Boston Tea Party. The Coercive Acts, as they came to be called, were four-fold: The Boston Port Act shut the Boston Harbor to all ocean traffic; the second act made the Massachusetts Council appointive and limited town meetings; the third allowed royal officials charged with capital crimes in the colonies to be tried in England; and the fourth authorized the quartering of troops in Massachusetts homes. The Congressional Resolves affirmed colonial rights to life, liberty, and property; the right of “all natural-born subjects within the Realm of England” to participate in legislation; the inability of Parliament to represent the colonies; and the sanctity of immunities and privileges bestowed by royal charters or provincial laws. Americans would not submit to violations of their rights, the Congress declared, and would, in response, enter into a “nonimportation, nonconsumption, and nonexportation agreement or association.”
Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American politician, statesman, writer, lawyer, and soldier. One of the United States' most prominent and brilliant early constitutional lawyers, he was an influential delegate to the United States Constitutional Convention and one of the principal authors of the Federalist Papers, which expounded and urged the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to skeptical New Yorkers. The Federalist Papers—and Hamilton's contributions to them—remain today a standard source on the original intent of the document.