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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 16, 2016 1:30am-2:01am EST

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some way to fit in, i still -- i don't fit in. >> andy rosegen, al jazeera, chicago. >> and that's our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us, the news continues here on al jazeera america. have a great labor day weekend. >> pull a sawbuck out of your wallet, there's alexander hamilton born and raised in the caribbean, he made his future as the fledging super power, two centuries of honoring men, campaigners hope to pull andrew jackson off the 20 and replace him with a great american woman.
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then hamilton's treasure secretary jack lew, it's the first american president for a depreciation. appreciating him before he's depreciated, it is the "inside story." ♪ >> welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. i'm going to break form today and acknowledge and announce a bias. i think alexander hamilton is a coolest founding father. not born to genteel respectability, in new england, he was born out of wedlock on a tiny caribbean island, had to fall back on his talents and got others to pay his college tuition in new york and through raw talent and burning ambition
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was a stand outsoldieout soldier and politician. yet the american treasury is about to shrink hamilton's importance. at the very same moment his story is being told on the broadway stage to rave reviews. >> i've seen the play, it's that good. >> i was blown away. it is revolutionary, it will revolutionize american theater. >> rock stars and a-listers lined up of the broadway premier last month of what's being held as a heartbreaking american masterpiece. the founding found story of founding father alexander hamilton.
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a score set to hip hop is undoubtedly boosting the program's profile but hamilton's life and history may be just as thrilling as the bells and whistles that help bring his story to life. >> he was washington's right hand man during the war for independence. a de facto chief of staff. >> educated at what's now columbia university. hamilton made a name for himself in the continental army. he was barely 20 when he became washington's closest assistant. >> he edited led the development of the most famous work of political thought, the federalist papers along with james madison and john jay and wrote two-thirds of it and that's the foundation of american political thought. >> when washington was elected
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president he appointed hamilton first secretary of treasury. a monumental feat after the system was bankrupt from the revolutionary war, convincing investors to buy bonds. the base of the economy. >> he had a coherent financial vision at a time when the science of economics was in its infancy. it wasn't perfect but it pushed us in the right direction. >> hamilton's name has also lived with infamy for more than two centuries due in large part due to his untimely death in a duel a lendingary argument with aaron bur. burr. now one of the most common daily tributes to hamilton's legacy as
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a leader is on the endangered species list. >> there is a reason why you want hamilton on one denomination of the american currency. because he's a man who made the currency functional again. >> within the next five years hamilton's face will take second billing on the $10 bill. the treasury department plans to give the main spot to an exemplary american woman. most drastic makeover in a century, some are questioning why the man who helped create it was the first choice to be diminished. >> hamilton restored america's credit rating and that is beginning of national greatness. >> just as we're appreciating hamilton on today's "inside story," america's preparing to depreciate his place on the currency. today on the program a reminder of just who this mafn wa man wad
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what he did, we'll begin with the alexander hamilton awareness society, yes that's a real society, and rand shilley, you've longs thought hamilton didn't get his due. >> that's true ray, it's a pleasure, thank you not only new york city but the whole nation so it's good to be with you. >> and now, facing a re-think of the $10 bill, what is the hamilton appreciation society make of that move? >> well, it seems very surprising, because secretary lew mentioned that our currency forest the nation about who we are. and the current $20 bill with andrew jackson who was an owner of slaves a trader of slaves and his history with indians was not
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respectful. in contrast that with alexander hamilton. he founded hame hamilton college. he was a leading abolitionist. he never owned a slave. so if we're going to communicate our values worldwide, it seems surprising to many of us that hamilton would be diminished in a way, and the $20 bill would remain intact. >> yet in 2015 you do recognize that it's kind of high time we had a woman or at least recognize that half of our society is making a contribution to our national life, no? >> i agree, ray. we've been big cheerleaders and partners with barbara howard and susan stone with the work in the
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'20s and their success on hamilton on the 10s remain. the fact that there's a petition at 46,000 votes hopefully to your audience's reach we could day. >> are you surprised whether you hear american history spoken of, when you know how it's being tawd, that hamiltotaught, that t have the stature of washington, jackson, that set up an owner's manual for the country? >> ray that's one of the favorite questions ever asked. because for years the greatness of leamed hamilto alexander hamilton wasn't known. the aha society, i was a business consultant for ibm and
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the analysis showed factually who of founding fathers contributed the most to george washington's success during the war, during establishment of the constitution and during the two terms as president and there is no founding father. so we have a responsibility to finding a way to share that essence of alexander hamilton's greatness. being a war hero as was mentioned earlier calling for the constitutional convention in philadelphia, in fact i'll be speaking in indianapolis, speaking in annapolis, he led the call for the ratification of the constitution new york state. he was a leading precedent setting lawyer. one of the most courageous things that alexander hamilton did after four years of putting
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his life on the line, fighting against the loyalists he turns around within six months of evacuation day in new york city and defended the loyalists which allowed them to stay from the overreach of the lawmakers of new york state, they rebuilt new york city and therefore, in 1785 just a year and a half later it became the capital of the united states, until 1790 when it moved to philadelphia for ten years and on. so alexander hamilton has had a profound effect, getting out there and that's why the music am is getting the people interested in the aha society. to our events. >> very quickly it sounds like you don't believe the last word has been said on this matter. >> no i don't, and secretary lew
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has said he wants to hear from the american people. there is not one person that does not believe the women deserve to be on the 20s and the person who established our economic financial banking and monetary system should remain on the 10, no question about it. i hope he's listening and jury program the "inside story" helps contribute to that, ray. >> rand shilet is president of the alexander hamilton society, thanks for joining us. in many ways we're living in alexander hamilton's era not thomas jefferson. doesn't match 2015 as well as hamilton's vision of a bustling >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need.
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>> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> when do we want it? >> now. >> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.?
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>> you're watching "inside story." i'm ray suarez. an appreciation of the founding father with a face on the $10 billion, faces depreciation. treasury secretary jack lew has announced that one of our bills will give way for the face of a woman. before that happens we're looking back at hamilton,
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caribbean, new yorker, soldier, thinker. and now laying down moves on broadway, written by a 20th century new yorker. lynn miranda. now presidential historian nathaniel green. douglas hamilton. since just about all of us will never have this experience, what's it like to open up your walter and see your great great great great grandfather on the bill? >> thanks for having me and when i do open my wallet up and hamilton's there which he frequently is, you know, it's a great reminder for me and for everybody else in this country that does that, to see one of the individuals that played such a significant role in the formation of this country. >> were you surprised by secretary lew's announcement doug? >> i was surprised. i had made one trip to the
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treasury, spoke to the folks there did a little talk. i knew there was an announcement of putting a woman on a bill but i didn't know they were talking about diminishing the role of alexander hamilton on the bill. >> this isn't a pulling down of the treasury revolutionary kind of moment. yet were you surprised at the same time, about the decision itself? >> well, alexander hamilton's legacy in american history i think in some ways, is more befitting of his place on currency specifically because he was the first treasury secretary and because he was so influential in shaping american finance but you know it doesn't really trouble me vex that hamilton will have to share some time with a woman on the bill. i think it is right and good that we are expanding out the people that are represented on our money. i think it's a good reflection
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of acknowledgment of a great many people besides the name brand founding fathers like hamilton have made contributions to our history. but in terms of hamilton's legacy, we've already spoken about and covered many of hamilton's contributions. i 30 it' think it's important to remember too that hamilton is thought of as the architect of american capitalism. the free market your honor encumbered by government regulation, we have to remember that alexander hamilton was in fact in favor of a powerful central government. that's what precisely he sought to built. he wrote about the importance of a powerful executive, he devotes more federalist papers to that than there are devoted to the house or the senate or the judiciary. he also, that was also the motivation for his establishment
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of this robust financial plan that he puts forth in the early 1790s. that was a marines to an end to establish a powerful fiscal military sedate. >> douglas hamilton if you run down the accomplishments of alexander hamilton, and people are sometimes critical of them as well as praising of them, are people surprised, do they even know that this one guy did all these different things? he lived like two lifetimes before he was cut down very early in life. >> right, yeah, i think people are surprised and that's why we're so pleased that this musical is coming out because it helps people get a better understanding of him. it's unbelievable how many people i run into including school teachers that talk about president hamilton. people had no clue that he was never president. and then it goes on from there about his contributions which have been mentioned. people really don't have an
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understanding of him other than the fact he's the guy on the $10 bill and probably that he was killed in a duel. >> let's talk a little bit about the federalist papers, read probably on a snoozy early spring afternoon as people are looking out the window in their american history class, but they're really important aren't they? >> they are important and they're important not because they are the sort of gospel handed down about our constitution but because they are a very important concerted effort on the behalf of hamilton and jay and madison to solicit the ratification of the constitution. their whole purpose, if you read them carefully, to convince the american people and particularly to new york, they're addressed to new yorkers, that the constitution was worth ratifying. the constitution had many people around the country were
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persuasivapprehensive about the constitution. the federalist papers were fundamentally designed to convince voters that the constitution was a great thing. >> gentlemen stay with us. transambiguity informative messages and paying attention to
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>> welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. many of the world's great nations derive sense of themselves from the very idea that they are very old. even if their political systems are new, their peoplehood is ancient. think of russia, china, germany,
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the united states likes to look at itself as a very young place, even though its order is 225 years old. we aren't as obsessed with our history as people are in other places. as we appreciate alexander hamilton, i want to ask my guests whether americans can manage the trick of being very much in the now while still keeping in mind the memory of the man, who was the first treasury secretary , professor green, douglas hamilton, how do we balance the need for modern heroes and heroines, with someone like your great great great great grandfather? >> while the american currency is very important and we have seven individuals represented there, you know, there's a lot of other opportunities i think with monuments and street names and there's different things i
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think that can be done. not to say that a woman doesn't belong on a bill and we fully support that as rand mentioned. but i think you know picking alexander hamilton in this case i'm not sure if somebody has to go i'm not sure he's the first guy that should go. i think he's made a significant contribution. he should be there. i also think that a woman on a bill would be great and i think the women on 20s have done a lot to promote that. so i think we keep to what we're doing, having the discussion publicly about this and i think we resolve this. but to take hamilton off the front of the $10 bill at this point in time i don't think is very well thought out. >> so s
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ojourne ojourner truth, others, women -- >> people who are from traditionally marginalized groups is a great way to signify. that they ar ever every bit as worthy of study. >> what about alexander hamilton? >> if hamilton has to share some space with a woman i don't think that's going to diminish his legacy in american history. no credible historian would diminish the importance of alexander hamilton. many have tried to demonstrate the complexity of hamilton's legacy, not just an immensely important part of the
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revolution, and as washington's aide de camp. but the blending of private money with government authority. that was really his vision of the early nation and as you mentioned, we are very much still in that vision, 200 years later. >> how about that douglas hamilton, that no matter whether he's on the $10 bill or not, hamilton is going to be a person of central importance to american history. it's not really that important whether he's on the 10. >> i think over time what i'm concerned about is that as we focus more on today's values, again, i'm all for promoting that. but now we're starting to erase founding fathers off of bills. and the next thing you know i mean the streets that are named after them those are going to change. maybe the monuments that are named after them, maybe those are going to
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change. but for alexander hamilton today the contribution he's made and the retelling of that by the musical i think has opened a lot of people's eyes and a lot of education has taken place to help them understand his contribution and that's kind of where i'm at. >> and do you think that we've heard the last word on this, that this may actually have a court of appeal very quickly? >> jack lew has said that he's gotten probably much more attention on this than what was expected. and i think they're thinking through what they're going to do and it will be interesting what his decision is. >> presidential historian nathaniel green teaches history at northern virginia community college. and douglas hamilton is great >> we're here to fully get into
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