Alexander Hamilton has been cast in a starring role for impeachment's closing argumentsBreaking News
tags: impeachment, Alexander Hamilton, Trump
THE BIG IDEA: Just as oceans rise and empires fall, Alexander Hamilton keeps coming up in the room where it happens.
Alexander Hamilton wrote 11 essays in the Federalist Papers about the powers of the presidency, including two specifically about the power of impeachment. He’s certainly a legitimate source to cite when debating what the framers intended when they drafted the Constitution.
But the orphan from the West Indies who became our first treasury secretary has also become something of a historical celebrity since the last impeachment fight 21 years ago, which helps explain why his name is coming up in the public debate much more than it did last time.
The musical bearing Hamilton’s name, which debuted on Broadway in 2015, remains a culturally resonant sensation. It’s helped the man who never became president – spoiler alert: he was killed in a duel – overshadow fellow Founding Fathers who did, including his “Federalist” co-author James Madison and arch-rival Thomas Jefferson.
A group of more than 700 historians and scholars published an open letter last night urging the House to impeach President Trump. It’s no coincidence that the letter mentions Hamilton six times. The signatories include public intellectuals like Robert Caro, Ken Burns and Ron Chernow. Chernow wrote the 818-page biography of Hamilton that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the hip-hop show that dramatically transformed public perceptions of the Founding Father.
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