Founding Brothers

Contrast the the mindsets of Madison and Hamilton on the Consolidation issue.

This is for chapter 2.

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Madison had once enjoyed a collaboration with Hamilton, in which both understood the importance of federal power. However, their beneficial relationship ended when Hamilton proposed his Report on the Public Credit, a document which suggested that the individual state debts should be absorbed by the federal government, partially by reimbursing those who still held securities issued by the government during the war. Madison knew that many veterans had sold their government securities to speculators at a low cost during the economic crisis following the Revolution, and would hence be shortchanged by this arrangement. When he was outvoted by Congress, Madison then shifted his argument to claim that the southern states, which had already paid most of their debt back, were ill-treated by the plan. This argument stuck because it stressed the important of states rights over federal control, and Madison was able to block Hamilton's Bill of Assumption from passing the House of Representatives. His arguments leaned heavy on a fear of central control, linking it to the monarchy that the Revolution had fought against.

Hamilton, as was his nature, vigorously confronted Madison and his allies. He believed that his Report on Public Credit offered a solution to the national debt, which threatened to destroy the nascent government. He was offended by Madison's claims that the plan would penalize veterans. His arguments were not aided by his general pro-England stance. He favored the model of England's economy, which placed money in elitist hands for the overall benefit of the economy.