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Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

  • Hamilton And Jefferson Were At War With Each Other Over Washington’s Heart on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#1) Hamilton And Jefferson Were At War With Each Other Over Washington’s Heart

    The feud between Hamilton and Jefferson began as a battle for the approval of George Washington. When Washington became America’s first president in 1789, he appointed both men to serve in his cabinet, Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury and Jefferson as Secretary of State.

    Both Hamilton and Jefferson had a close relationship with George Washington. Hamilton was only 22 years old when he served as Washington’s secretary during the Revolutionary War, and the two remained close for years after the war. In fact, Hamilton encouraged a reluctant Washington to run for president, calling Washington “indispensable” to the new nation.

    On his end, Jefferson shared a similar background to Washington: Both were Virginia planters, both married widows named Martha, and both distinguished themselves during the Revolution—Jefferson by penning the Declaration of Independence;  Washington by winning the war. 

    Unsurprisingly, both men saw themselves as Washington’s closest advisor, which only fueled the rivalry. 

  • Jefferson’s Baseless Attacks Finally Angered Washington on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#4) Jefferson’s Baseless Attacks Finally Angered Washington

    Jefferson refused to let go of the idea that Hamilton was not just a political rival, but a traitor to their newly-formed United States.

    In October 1792, Jefferson told Washington that Hamilton was heading a monarchist plot to seize the government. Jefferson claimed that Hamilton had told him that the “Constitution was a shilly-shally thing of mere milk and water, which could not last and was only good as a step to something better.”

    In response, Washington dismissed Jefferson’s claims as ridiculous. The President added that he sided with Hamilton because the New Yorker's plans actually worked, already bringing financial stability to the new country.

    In his own response, Jefferson concluded that Washington’s brain was enfeebled by age.

  • Jefferson Waited Five Years To Spill Hamilton’s Secret Affair on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#7) Jefferson Waited Five Years To Spill Hamilton’s Secret Affair

    As the rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson boiled, it grew more and more personal. In 1796, while Jefferson was running for President, Hamilton accused the Virginian of hypocrisy. Jefferson might seem like a simple, humble farmer, Hamilton declared, but the Virginian's reputation was “a flimsy veil to the internal evidences of aristocratic splendor, sensuality, and epicureanism.”

    Was Hamilton referencing rumors about Jefferson’s affair with his slave—and his dead wife’s half-sister—Sally Hemings?

    Jefferson decided it was time to open the floodgates. He turned to his “attack dog,” muckraking journalist James Callender, to finally reveal the salacious tale of Hamilton's affair.

  • In Their First Major Showdown, Hamilton Clearly Won—But The Fight Wasn’t Over on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#5) In Their First Major Showdown, Hamilton Clearly Won—But The Fight Wasn’t Over

    Hamilton held sway in Washington’s cabinet, but things changed with the election of 1796. Jefferson himself ran for President, but fell short, earning himself a spot as John Adams’s Vice President due to a quirk in the Constitution (which would quickly be corrected).

    Hamilton marshaled the Federalists, his political allies in Congress, to oppose Jefferson’s Republican Party. In 1798, Hamilton’s Federalists passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, designed to suppress political dissent. 

    Jefferson raged against the law, calling it “detestable” and “worthy of the 8th or 9th century.” As for the Federalist government, it was a “reign of witches.” And Jefferson saw Hamilton as the impetus behind the whole mess, proclaiming him “our Bonaparte” at the same time that Napoleon was conquering Europe.

  • The Two Men Had Very Different Visions For America on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#2) The Two Men Had Very Different Visions For America

    Hamilton was from the Caribbean, born the illegitimate son of a Scottish peddler. His adopted home, New York City, shaped Hamilton into a proponent of urban commerce. To Hamilton, America’s cities and its merchant economy would drive progress. He believed a strong central government was necessary for the country’s survival.

    In Jefferson’s eyes, Hamilton was advocating a return to European-style monarchy, undoing the progress made during their War for Independence. His own agrarian perspective favored a decentralized government, which he believed would allow for the greatest degree of personal liberty and virtue. 

    Both men believed they could sway Washington toward their vision for America. 

  • Callender Accused Hamilton Of Adultery And Corruption, Forcing Hamilton To Admit The Affair on Random Things About the Beef Between Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Goes Deeper Than You Thought

    (#8) Callender Accused Hamilton Of Adultery And Corruption, Forcing Hamilton To Admit The Affair

    James Callender published the story of Hamilton's affair in 1797. He called James Reynolds a pimp and printed Maria’s letters to Hamilton. He also attacked Hamilton's loyalty to his country, writing, “So much correspondence could not refer exclusively to wenching... No man of common sense will believe that it did. Hence it must have implicated some connection still more dishonourable.”

    At this, Callender publicly accused Hamilton of large-scale corruption, the same charge that Jefferson had been pushing for years.

    Hamilton believed that his only chance to defend himself against the corruption charge was to admit to the affair. “My real crime”––and his only crime––“is an amorous connection with his wife.”

    Hamilton’s admission was shocking. Naturally, it did little to help his reputation. One New Yorker told Hamilton, “You have widened the breach of dishonor by a confession of the fact.”

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With the 1800 presidential election approaching, Americans are more divided than ever. The struggle between the Hamiltonians and the Jeffersonians was a major event after the establishment of the U.S. federal government. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson are leaders of the "Federalists" and "Republicans". The feuds between the two most influential politicians greatly promoted the political stability of the United States and the development of capitalism. 

Different growth backgrounds and class interests make them have differences in the understanding of democratic political principles. The controversy between them is a controversy between two parties, and even between two political thoughts, which has a profound impact on the American political system. The random tool explained 11 details about their relationship.

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