Because these issues are still important, the Minneapolis Fed has based its 20th Annual Student Essay Contest on them. You can write your essay about any one you wish, or several.You can also look at the big picture of their economic visions, or pick a contemporary controversy that reflects their differences.In addition to their quarrels over specific policies, Hamilton and Jefferson also didn't agree on the big picture.
To that end, he thought an agrarian society made up of independent farmers was best; the "Empire of Liberty," he called it.
Hamilton thought Jefferson's vision was antiquated and that an agricultural economy would keep the United States poor.
When politicians say we need to tailor agricultural subsidies to support small family farmers, there are echoes of Jefferson in their voices.
When others argue for unified national goals in education, rather than a variety of state goals, Hamilton's ghost lurks in the background. " These two great men differed on a number of issues of economic significance.
When we learn about the early history of the United States, the issues considered important then might seem largely irrelevant now.
Sure, the framers of the Constitution debated the fundamental purpose and scope of government, but they agreed upon a framework that's been used ever since.Many in the South were skeptical of that plan, largely because Southern states had paid off more of what they owed and didn't want to assume responsibility for the Northern states' debts. The federal government would assume the debt, in exchange for placement of the nation's capital in Jefferson's native Virginia.In this way Hamilton was able to ensure that the debt would not be defaulted upon. Controversy still rages over the level at which economic policies should be conducted.Are their concerns over matters of economics relevant in our modern, technological society? Consider the disagreements between founding fathers Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.Hamilton and Jefferson were famous rivals, disagreeing publicly on many issues, from the power of the federal government to the limits of democratic rule.These programs are largely intended (at least in theory) to support small family farmers.So whose side are you on: Hamilton's or Jefferson's?But this controversy is still alive, and Jefferson's voice can be heard today, for example, in the reaction to problems in the subprime mortgage market.The debate over Federalism in the early years of the United States may seem to be only a political issue, but it also had important economic aspects.Some of their biggest and best-known differences were over economic matters.The issues Hamilton and Jefferson disagreed on may seem arcane and remote, but their opposing viewpoints can be seen in many contemporary issues.