William Hogeland: Madison-Hamilton Financial Fight Is Often Misunderstood
William Hogeland is the author of “Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests, and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation.” The opinions expressed are his own.
Americans across the political spectrum who object to intimate links between government and high finance have often upheld James Madison as their champion.
Conservatives who condemn the Federal Reserve, trade regulations and the tax code for strangling markets and restricting freedom often cite Madison as a founding libertarian. Liberals criticizing connections between government and the investing class for concentrating wealth into an ever smaller segment of society look to Madison as a defender of more democratic approaches.
Madison, a Virginia congressman and framer of the U.S. Constitution, went on to serve two terms as president. His clash with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in the 1790s has long been seen as an expression of the starkest ideological division attending the nation’s birth -- a division that persists in U.S. politics. But the fight between the two men was weirder, more complicated and ultimately more revealing of the relationship between finance and the American founding than is usually understood....
comments powered by Disqus
- New museum in Poland -- the grandest space created since 1989 -- tells the story of the Jews
- Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says
- Scientists Say Proof Of Jack The Ripper's Identity Is Fatally Flawed
- Memorial for black Revolutionary War soldiers finds spot on Mall after 30 years
- Sherlock Holmes star to feature in a new movie about Alan Turning
- How Laurel Thatcher Ulrich caught up with the past
- Postal Workers Take on Harvard President, historian Drew Faust
- Symposium held in honor of John D’Emilio
- Thousands of Historic Archives from British Asylums to Go Online
- American Studies Association boycott of Israel: Conservatives say it’s weakening