Back to course catalogue

Alexander Hamilton:
America’s Political Philosopher?

In recent years, Alexander Hamilton has catapulted back into our public consciousness. In this course, we’ll read some of Hamilton’s fundamental works—The Federalist Papers, the Pacificus-Helvidius debates, and reports he composed as our nation’s first Treasury Secretary—to familiarize ourselves with his thought, especially on politics and economics. What did Hamilton think about democracy and monarchy? What did he foresee as the role of the judiciary and constitutional interpretation? What did Hamilton think America could do to make itself great on the international stage? In reading and asking these questions, we will go beyond the observation that Hamilton was one of our country’s most important founders; rather, we’ll concern ourselves ultimately with whether Hamilton is our country’s quintessential political theorist.

This course is generously supported by the David Fleischer Forum on American Civilization