This unit explores Alexander Hamilton in his impressionable years, when he was living and working in the West Indies, notably St. Croix. Surrounded by slavery and commerce, Hamilton grew up as an abolitionist who would seek to free slaves as early as the American Revolution in order to seek manpower to help in the war effort and to undermine the Southern slave-based economic order. An economic genius, Alexander Hamilton would push for the establishment of credit and a national bank, the encouragement of manufacturers, the use of protective tariffs, and the creation of an expandable standing army and navy. He recognized the need for the establishment of a national identity and thought these measures necessary for America to be able to defend its rights and honor internationally while protecting its citizens’ liberties internally.
In these eight lesson plans, students will read a number of editorials, personal accounts, and factual outlines, so they may ably understand how Alexander Hamilton came to such conclusions. They will recognize the beginnings of “civil rights” and “economic values” which Hamilton brought forth in helping to create the greatest democracy and economy the world has ever witnessed.
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