tv Jefferson and Hamilton CSPAN December 14, 2013 10:45am-11:56am EST
their career doing manual labor jobs, doing service industry jobs. this is one thing that really hasn't changed you know ,-com,-com ma lots of different aspects of the clinical. broadcast television cable news the rise in canada center collections big money in politics and client unions, while all of this is happening one of the constants during the last 100 years or so is that working-class people are not getting elected to political office.
historian john ferling examines the repertory between thomas jefferson alexander hamilton. this program from a history center is just over an hour. [applause] >> hello everybody and i want to thank the atlanta history center for inviting me in and providing much nicer weather for me than six years ago when i came in and my wife carol and i were driving in that day. we looked at the monitor on the dashboard of the car and it was 103 degrees as they came in. it's much nicer tonight. i want to thank you for coming out and especially on a night
when my pittsburgh pirates are struggling to stay alive. i guess we will find out how they came out when this is over. i want to talk with you tonight about jefferson and hamilton. they are political battle was over the shape and character of the new american nation and that battle has in a sense never really ended. it puts one in mind of a line from faulkner when he said the past isn't dead. in fact the past isn't even past because jefferson and hamilton's battle was over the same kind of issues that have been perennial battles in american political history. struggles over the power and intrusiveness of the federal government, over which americans were to be empowered, over the distribution of wealth and over the size of the american
military. the reputations of hamilton and jefferson have ebbed and flowed over the years. jefferson was the predominant figure all the way down to the civil war. in fact hamilton was almost forgotten during much of that time period but it was a rural society. jefferson's party was triumphant during the early part of the 19th century and jefferson predominated. but then jefferson's reputation suffered somewhat as a result of the civil war. a u.s. after all a southerner and a slave owner and following the civil war the country began to industrialize, following the lines that hamilton had emphasized. hamilton's reputation soared but then jefferson's came back again
in the early 20th century. franklin roosevelt's new deal embraced jefferson and it was during roosevelt's presidency in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of jefferson's birth at the jefferson memorial in washington d.c. but then after world war ii with the cold war, with america triumphant militarily and industrialized urbanized nation hamilton's reputation soared again and jefferson's has plummeted somewhat in the aftermath of the civil rights revolution and revelations about his relationship with sally hemings. and in fact, during the lifetimes of jefferson and hamilton, both men were praised
and condemned just as they have been by subsequent generations. for example, governor mora maurice said of hamilton it seems as if god had called him suddenly into existence but he might assist to save the world. and there were those who condemned hamilton like abigail adams who said not only that she thought hamilton wished to be america's napoleon but she said, i have read his heart and his wicked eyes in the very devil is in them. [laughter] her husband john adams said of hamilton, his talents are greatly exaggerated. he wishes to destroy everyone in his way and adams was just warming up with those comments. he went on to call hamilton a breath of the scottish peddler.
his ambition, his restlessness and always grandiose schemes come on condensed a super abundance of secretions which he couldn't find enough to absorb. [laughter] jefferson was praised by some. abigail adams said of jefferson, he is one of the choice ones of the earth and john adams lauded his extraordinary mind and praised him as a gifted writer. lafayette called jefferson good, upright and enlightened. thomas ship in the philadelphia was on a european tour following his schooling and while in france he met jefferson and said of jefferson he's the wisest and most amiable man in europe.
there were those who didn't care for jefferson. charles carol of harrington said jefferson was too theoretical and fanciful to be a statesman and one of jefferson's enemies in virginia john nicholas said that he thought jefferson was the most intriguing and double faced man in american politics. so, these two have had the pros and cons thrown at them since their lifetime and by generations that followed. the two were similar in some ways been different in many ways. they were different in the sense that they had very different, a very different youth. hamilton didn't grow up in an impoverished background but what a sociologist would probably call a lower middle-class background. jefferson on the other hand was the son of a plantar aristocrat,
and his mother was from the prestigious randolph family in virginia. he grew up on a plantation near present-day charlottesville. they were different in appearance. hamilton was about average height. he was about 5 feet 7 inches tall in those days but very small in stature and many people describe hamilton is having a somewhat feminine manner about him. jefferson on the other hand was quite tall. he was about 6 feet 2 inches which for our time period would be the equivalent of someone who is about 6 feet 5 inches or 6 feet 6 inches towering over most other men.
jefferson was described by many people as having a mild and pleasing personality but rather shy and rather serious, somewhat grave demeanor, a man with poor posture where hamilton tended to stand ramrod straight according to many people. jefferson was described as a senator from pennsylvania while he was secretary of state as entering a room, speaking without ceasing, rambling in his talk but offering spicy comments and scattering information, some of it really and said that observer. hamilton tended to be rather outgoing in his personality, somewhat domineering where is jefferson was quite reserved. jefferson hated confrontations throughout his life.
hamilton relished them. jefferson tended to be a somewhat manipulative individuaindividua l. hamilton seemed to attract his followers by the force of his personality. around women when they were young, jefferson was quite shy. hamilton on the other hand fancied himself as a ladykiller and in fact, when the army would go into winter quarters and a number of young women would calm to camp with their fathers, hamilton courted so many of them that washington's wife martha washington named her tomcat hamilton. [laughter] both became lawyers, but jefferson hated practicing law. the moment that he got married and was independent economically
he quit his legal practice for good. hamilton loved practicing law. he loved the give-and-take of the courtroom and the fighting that went on and jefferson had a passion for architecture and gardening. hamilton was largely indifferent to that. during washington's presidency, early in the presidency when they were still in relatively good terms jefferson invited hamilton to his residence in new york and when hamilton came in he saw the pictures of three men on the wall. hamilton asked, who are those three men? jefferson responded, they are the three greatest men in history, john locke, sir isaac newton and sir francis bacon. hamilton corrected him by saying no, the greatest man in history was julius caesar. jefferson never got over that
and never forgot that. for all of their differences and there were similarities between these two. both had rather unhappy youths. jefferson tellingly referred to youths at the time of what he called colonial subservience. if you think about that a little bit, that comes from a man who was the author of the declaration of independence, break away from the subservience. hamilton endured in the a youth that a novel is like charles dickens would have been hard pressed to write about i think. jefferson -- hamilton's mother was branded by the courts as a horror. his father abandoned the family. his mother and father never married so hamilton was an illegitimate child and the
bigots of that day not finding enough to occupy their prejudices visited much of it on illegitimate children. not so much on the parents but on the child himself so that hamilton i think must have experienced a thousand cruel lows in his youth. we know that he was discriminated against in the sense that he could not attend public schools where he was growing up. i think out of that youth, hamilton is really shaped. i believe in the old adage that the child is the father to the man and in this instance i think hamilton comes out of his youths guard and is driven from map point on to seek fame, to seek
renown, to seek respect and that drives him throughout his life. another similarity is that both surprisingly grew up with slaveowning parents. jefferson's father owned about 200 slaves and hamilton's mother owned five slaves. both were extremely ambitious. jefferson spoke of that little tincture of ambition as he put it, but there was more than a little in jefferson and a great deal and hamilton. ..
and helped further their career and in hamilton's case, a presbyterian minister rose money--raised money to send hamilton to the mainland colonies to study. the hope was hamilton would attend princeton university but his preparatory education was deficient and after prolonged study on his own he wound up at columbia university. jefferson was shepherded along
by william small, his favorite professor at the college of william and mary and later by andrew wyeth, the leading lawyer in virginia at the time, a signer of the declaration of independence. they were similar in the sense that both were affable. i mentioned earlier jefferson was shy and reserved but once he got to know someone, he was quite open and friendly and had many friends throughout his life and so too did hamilton when he was washington's aid during the revolutionary war. the other aids not only liked him but called him ham or hammy and piled around with him. and more significantly jefferson and hamilton were alike in one other way, they were both revolutionaries. both were caught up in the
american revolution. hamilton is i think the more intriguing of the two. when one tries to determine why he became a revolutionary, if you are a cynic and i am cynical, one could argue that hamilton was merely an opportunist. that was part of what went into him becoming a supporter of the american revolution. i don't think he was alone in that respect. you could say that about virtually every one who was a major figure in the american revolution. if you think for a moment he comes to new york, knows very little about the background of the protest against england which started almost a decade before he arrived in new york and i think he looks at the
situation and as hamilton was always want to do a rather calculated decision which would be the best way for me to go, if i choose england, can i rise very far? if i choose america and a new nation emerges, doors will open and the way will be clear perhaps for me to rise. i would not say opportunism alone explains hamilton's revolutionary debt. he was a recent immigrant to new york, and like recent immigrants, many of those immigrants embrace their new country, as they see their new country as a place that has given them opportunities that did not exist where they came from and they fall in love with
their new country and want to serve their new country and hamilton was to be sure and in tents american nationalist from the 1770s until his death in 1804 and he serves and risks his life for his country during the revolutionary war. i think there was more to hamilton than merely opportunism. in jefferson's case i think he becomes a revolutionary through studies of the enlightenment. he is introduced to the enlightenment in preparatory school. he delves further into it at the college of william and mary and the idea of the line meant was to question everything and jefferson does question everything including his society
in virginia. he wonders why there are so many people in virginia who have so little property and so little power and so many others have so much power and books that england and asks the same questions about england as well and for jefferson the american revolution from the very beginning was about reforms, reforming virginia, breaking away from england, creating an america that would offer a thomas paine's term in common sense the birthday of a new world, that was what jefferson was after, i think. during the american revolution, the two played very different
roles. hamilton was a soldier. he went into the militia on the eve of the outbreak of the war into the continental army, and for the first year of fighting he is an officer in an artillery company. an observer at the time saw hamilton during washington's retreat across new jersey in the fall of 1776 and instead of hamilton he is a mere stripling, small, slender column almost delicate in frame, marching with a cocked head pulled over his eyes. apparently lost in thought with his hand resting on a can. every now and then patting it as if it were a favorite horse or hat place thing. hamilton, a year into his service in the continental army,
was offered a position as an aid decamped to washington. he didn't want the position. he had been offered as a position as an aide to board sterling and turned that down. he wanted a field command. after all, he was unlikely to win glory at a desk job but he could possibly win glory in a field command. when washington offers him a position as an aide, hamilton debated it for several days before he finally accepted it. he accepted it because he thought it would be a short-term appointment leading to his appointment as commander of the brigade which happened with some of washington's other aides. he never grew very close to washington.
washington was cold, olympian in public and apparently the same way in private. hamilton had lost his father who abandoned the family when hamilton was only about can or 11 years old and died think he may have wanted washington to be a father to him and washington was not going to be his father or anyone else's father. it was a rather cold, distant relationship and at one point there was a blow up between the two. in february of 1780 one, washington has hamilton in the hallway at headquarters and said i need to see you about something and hamilton had a load of papers and said let me put these down and i will be right in but along the way he was distracted by -- fell into a conversation and forgot all about washington. when he remembered he went in to
washington's office quite wait and washington upgraded him. no one keeps me waiting, washington said to hamilton, and hamilton's response was i quit, and he did quit, as washington's age. he told some other people including his father in law, general schuyler, what he would done, general schuyler told him to get back to washington and apologize and hamilton did that and continued to serve washington in an untitled position but he said at the time to a friend, i really don't like washington. i have seen him up close and on the inside and he is a course individual and he is an overrated individual, hamilton said. but also, as he put it to martha
washington following washington's death in 1799, washington is my egis to success. he stuck with washington and washington stuck with him during the remaining years. jefferson's revolution was extremely different from hamilton's. when hamilton was with washington and in battle, fighting in seven major engagements during the war, risking his life, at one point being surprised by the british patrol and when they shot at him, having to dive off of his boat into the school -- the schuylkill river and swim for safety. jefferson served in the house of burgesses, then in congress and while in congress, 15 months in
congress, the principal author of the declaration of independence. almost immediately after independence was declared, jefferson left congress and returned to virginia because he was interested in reform. the continental congress was simply going to be a managerial body that managed the conduct of the war and the conduct of the army and hamilton wanted to return -- jefferson wanted to return to virginia and carry out as many reforms as he could. he didn't always succeed, but he pushed for reforms in the land laws of virginia so that land would become more available, at one point he even proposed that all landless men, all landless free men be given land,
something that didn't fly with the virginia assembly. but he did push for religious toleration, reform of the criminal statutes in virginia, and many of his reforms were eventually realized. in 1779, with the war effort really suffering, washington came to the conclusions that the best man who once served in congress, men like benjamin franklin and john adams and jefferson, had left and the congress was suffering in their absence and washington wrote to george mason in virginia and said very pointedly, where is jefferson? when his country needs him? that got back to jefferson and,
stung by washington's apparent criticism, jefferson agreed to serve as the governor of virginia and he served two extremely difficult and not terribly successful terms as the governor of virginia. i think almost anyone of the governors would have had difficulties jefferson had but he certainly did have a tempestuous time as governor. for both, the time period on the cusp of the 1780s and during the 1780s were pivotal moments. for hamilton, i think the pivotal moment is the collapse of the american economy. it begins to collapse in 1777 and has utterly collapsed by
1779. i don't think hamilton understood the reasons for that collapse and washington didn't either. both initially thought it was due to lack of good leadership by congress. the problems where really much deeper than that. hamilton, beginning around 1779, began getting up at headquarters early in the morning, lighting a candle and reading books, studying, studying economics, reading hobbs, reading the guy who has my favorite name of all, the characters from the revolutionary era, maliki possible white --posselwaite. hamilton read those and in the
course of reading those he came to the conclusion that the english had the right idea. the english economic system was the perfect system. it was a system that featured a strong government, strong enough to tax, strong enough to regulate commerce, it had net national government, it hannah funded debt, it was in fact what many historians now call a fiscal military state. it was a state in which given the economic measures that had begun to come in to play around the 1690s in england the nation had plenty of money to expand and as it expanded it acquired
more wealth which flowed back into england and enabled it to had morceau england had been a rather backwater country in the affairs of europe, had by hamilton and jefferson's time become the largest empire in the world's since the roman empire, the most powerful country which won the french and indian war. hamilton begins to articulate this vision of the english economic system for of america and in a series of essays that he published in newspapers in 1780 when he was only 25 years old, writing as what he called the continental list. the pivotal moment for jefferson in the 1780s occurs when he goes
to france. i am not sure what jefferson really envisioned after his disastrous gubernatorial experience, but he had certainly failed and he said he was finished with politics for all time. i think what jefferson may have envisaged was a life somewhat like benjamin franklin who after all retired when he was in his early 40s and wrote the luminously, writing pamphlets and newspaper essays and jefferson, i think, saw himself perhaps as becoming the sage who would sit atop that hill at monticello doing as franklin had done. but jefferson's life took a wrong turn. his wife died in september of 1782 of complications from childbirth and jefferson, after
a time in which he appears to have been almost suicidal, he says in one of his letters, he hints that he might have committed suicide had it not been for the fact that he had three daughters at that point. once he began to come out of that somewhat, he wanted to get away from monticello and a diplomatic assignments abroad seemed the perfect thing. he went to philadelphia where congress was meeting in december of 1782 and stays there for 75 days. hamilton was a member of congress at that point. hamilton was very close to james madison and jefferson was very close to james madison and i suspect the two must have met during jefferson's stay in philadelphia although there is no record in any of their
correspondence in which either says anything about the other. jefferson eventually received an appointment as a diplomat in europe that turned into a position as united states minister to france and he lives in paris for five years, 1784 until 1789 and it was a pivotal moment for jefferson. his ideas had already formed. he long since had turned against monarchies and against aristocracy and as i said earlier, when did major reforms that would usher in this new world of which he dreamed. but in europe, in france and in england on a short stay in england when he visited john and
abigail adams, jefferson sees the mark pickle aristocratic world for the first time and he says once he sees this, peasants in europe lived a more wretched life than the most conspicuously wretched american lived. it was an epic scale of wretchedness, jefferson said. he quoted full fare who had said that in europe one is either the hammer or the and ville and in a monarchist people were the and the. jefferson concluded monarchy and the aristocracy and the church that . jefferson concluded monarchy and the aristocracy and the church that supported them were the causes of the enormous eat
quality of wealth. the wealthy were attended by scores of servants. the wealthy kept much of their land idle for their pastime of hunting while most people were landless. when people like madison from america wrote to jefferson and told him in the 1780s that there were americans in the economic flight that america was experiencing after the revolution, told jefferson some of those gentry in america where now wistfully thinking of the gold days of marquee of 417od o 41776 jefferson said in a reply
if anything thinks they are conservatives of public happiness, send them here to see with their own eyes that those who will are confederacy against the happiness of the mass of the people. jefferson came home in 1789, not to stay, he planned to be in virginia for only about 6 months. he wanted to get his own economic affairs in order and he wanted to get his oldest daughter martha married while he was in virginia. then he hoped to go back to france, where he could be an observer of the french revolution that had already begun. when jefferson came home, he knew that a new constitution had been written. he had read the constitution. wasn't terribly happy with it, but he knew that washington
hamilton said in that speech that he favored a monarchies for the united states, he favored one house of congress would be an arrest it -- aristocratic body in which the members held their seats for life and he recommended that the states be done away with entirely. as jefferson looked at things, as he studied hamilton's economic program, as he heard what hamilton had said come as he became more familiar with the constitution, jefferson, i think, saw hamilton and his forces setting about to bring about what he thought of as the europeanization of america. they had a constitution which gave the national government enormous power. after all there was the supreme law of the land claus in the
constitution and the necessary and proper cause. he saw in hamilton's economic program a program that would concentrate wealth in few hands. he saw in that program a situation in which in time northern businesses and finance years would control the american government. already jefferson said, there was a corrupt squadron as he put it in congress, willing to advance the interests of merchants and finance years over and above those of the average person. he saw an incredibly powerful chief executive in the constitution. things were safe when washington was fair, but who knew what
would happen after washington? he saw a fiscal military state if that would lead to a gargantuan military. before the end of the 1790s, the size of the army had been increased almost tenfold by hamilton's party and hamilton had emerged as the leading figure, the inspector general of the provisional army. jefferson, in short, saw hamilton's program as leading to the do of the birthday of a new world that he treasured. in the end, i think it is jefferson who triumphs politically. jefferson wins the election of 1800 and he calls his victory in the election of 1800 the revolution of 1800. he wrote to thomas paine shortly
after taking office and told him that his election finds us return generally to sentiments of former times, meaning to the sentiments that had been shared by most americans in 1776. he says in his inaugural address the wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to attaining these ends. they must be the creed of our political faith and touched on what to try the services of those we trust and what were those ends? they were a jealous care of the right of election by the people and absolute acquiescence in the decision of the majority. those were quote from jefferson's inaugural address.
but if jefferson won that election, that revolution of 1800, the rivalry between these two ended with both winning and both losing. hamilton won, i think, in the sense that the country is transforming the economically. his economic program was successful as washington repeatedly told jefferson during the 79s. it lead to a changing face of america. in 1776, almost all americans had lived on farms and farms in 1790 when hamilton proposed the first of his economic measures. but by 1840 in new england, one in three in new england's labor force was working in a factory and that was a harbinger of
widespread change throughout the 19th and 20th centuries but if hamilton won in that respect he lost in other ways. in the very last letter that hamilton wrote a couple days before the duel in 1804, he writes our real disease is democracy. and he calls democracy in that letter a poison. that was what jefferson was trying to boost as he made clear in his inaugural address. poignantly near the end, hamilton, who realized that his day had perhaps come and gone, wrote every day prove to me more
and more than this america world was not made for me. jefferson's world was changing too. he had wanted, he had favored an arcadian america in which most people lived on farms, and he envisaged that lasting for generations as the country expanded all the way to the pacific coast which would take centuries perhaps to accomplish, but jefferson who lived until 1826 saw those smokestacks, those factories in new england and new that his world was vanishing. unlike hamilton, jefferson seemed to shrug off his losses. we might as well require a man to wear a coat that fitted him as a boy as civilized society to
remain forever under the regime of their ancestors, he said. but he also rejoiced that the flames of the american revolution have spread around the world and led him to proclaim that life and liberty are on a steady advance. and of course jefferson was certain that he had played--double role in establishing what he callwhat h hope, a world without tyranny and aristocracy. [applause]
>> please go to the microphone. >> thank you very much for your talk. i am a john adams person myself some of these two guys are interesting to me. i had a professor in graduate school who told us once that the more he studied jefferson and hamilton the more he liked hamilton over jefferson. i am curious after spending so much time with these two men where you fall in terms of who had a better vision for the country and just in terms of your particular -- affection for these two. >> i think i really started as
jeffersonian but as i went along i came to admire much about hamilton. i certainly admire his military service during the revolution. he was an extraordinarily brave individual, came under fire many times. obviously bright, obviously had without a doubt the right economic program in most respects at least for dealing with the crisis that existed at that time period. i didn't abandon jefferson in the course of that, but i came to admire both of them. i think as i look at things now, my sense is that much of what jefferson saw hamilton economic program leading to has come to fruition. i think at we live in a society
that is increasingly a plutocracy. wealth is distributed just as jefferson said that it would be. power is increasingly connaught i think, not so much on main street but in wall street. so i think jefferson saw the dangers that were inherent in hamilton's program. i do want to mention, one thing i mentioned in my preface to the book, in one respect, jefferson, in many respects jefferson sold hamilton short. in one respect i think jefferson didn't really understand that within hamilton's economic program, there was the spreading of the wealth through the
industrialization of america which might have come even if hamilton had never lived. but he did live and he did advocate so give him some credit for that. i think that distribution of wealth that grew out of that raised a good many ships and as i said in my practice i came from working-class background. my family on the john ferling side came from germany in the 1870s. i was with the fourth generation to come along in america but the first to have an opportunity to go to college and my dad was sort of an example of what came out of hamilton's program. he worked in an industry, was able to send aid to college. i wound up at miridmiring both s
of them. >> i think everyone is thinking in modern times, where are they today on the current government dispute over clean resolutions, and cling resolutions, closing national monuments, who is who today and where would they be standing? chief among them, harry reid? >> i don't want to dodge your question but it is really tough to try to take somebody from the eighteenth century world which was so different from our world. one of my favorite kline's comes from a novel by l.p. hartley you
might have read called the go-between and in that novel his opening sentence is the past is a foreign country. they do things differently there. they really did things differently back in jefferson and hamilton's time. makes it very difficult to see how they would react. but jefferson obviously favored a small government and more power for the states and so forth. even flirted with nullification which seems to be a variant of what is going on now with the shutdown of the national government, and hamilton favored obviously a much stronger government. so the power of government is essential for liberty, hamilton says in the first federalist.
that is as close as i can come to put them in a contemporary context. >> is there a contemporary point where jefferson and hamilton realized they were putting us on the path towards political parties and factions which hamilton warned us of in number 10? >> jefferson, in the wake of the passage of the bank bill, washington signing of the bank bill, jefferson and madison go on that famous for up to new york and jefferson's intention was not to found a political party but just to take people who had had reservations about the constitution and even more so people in congress who had reservations about hamilton's economic program that unfolded to that point and to bring about
a concerted opposition, not to undo what hamilton had done necessarily but to prevent him from going in -- any further with that. jefferson hadn't planned a political party. it becomes, the group that he founded becomes a political party and within a year, madison calls it a party and calls it the republican party and that name would stick through the 1790s, and hamilton does the same in response. he rallies people that supported his vision and put together the federalist party. pretty early on they realized, the early 1790s that something like political parties were around and no question that in the presidential election in
1796, the first contested, the third election but first contested presidential election, both sought political partiaw p being in place. >> reporter: washington became the father figure to lafayette and there was quite a relationship father to son in that relationship. i have to give worthiness to washington as the father of our country. >> i said i was the cynic and remember that lafayette was french and france was our ally. how much of washington's relationship with lafayette was diplomatic and how much was father/son? probably some of both. >> exactly.
no dichotomy there. in response to the person who wondered how they would stand today these two giants of our past in today's world, you had quoted and i found it remarkable, talking about the coat and still fitted as a boy, of civilized society to remain under the regimen of their father's ancestors but the next line that i think people will find pertinent to jefferson's mind and his wonderful visionary mind for today is quite the opposite of what many people, how they stereotype jefferson's views of today. jefferson said after he or quote, each generation has the right to choose for itself a form of government it believes most from motive of its own happiness. a solemn opportunity of doing this every 19 or 20 years should
be provided by the constitution. >> he says very much the same thing during shea's rebellion when he is in france and many people were outraged by that, jefferson passed it off and said the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots. team measured a generation as lasting 20 years or so. he was as i said a revolutionary who favored change, change in a sense that each generation -- >> could provide for itself its own happiness. quickly, it was hamilton that is responsible for jefferson being our third president. >> that is right. >> hamilton was never president, but he adds a federalist wes a
before a federalist majority house, though we different political philosophy is a man of principle and he cares about this country as much as i do whereas burr is a small minded man who only things of himself. i want to sway the house to vote for jefferson for president. that is how jefferson, that is very fitting for a jefferson's vision to be above hamilton's and hamilton's capitalist vision to uplift jefferson's egalitarianism. >> i think he sort of grudgingly thought that as bad as jefferson was, he was better than aaron burr. >> what do you say?
>> thank you for your remarks. enjoyed them very much. joseph ellis presents jefferson has a very dogmatic and rigid and even self righteous partisan. that seems to contrast so much with jefferson, the enlightenment thinkers, the revolutionary, the great mind of cosmopolitan fought. i am curious whether you see that contrast being jefferson and what you think of ellis's for trail? >> i agree with much of ellis's portrayal. certainly jefferson's views form in the 1760s i think. he expand those views but never
questioned them. he remains an adherent of those views that that was true of most people at most times. >> thank you kindly for your presentation. with james madison writing the constitution and being almost a neighbor, right up the road from montpellier, who do you feel had a greater input into madison in that production of the constitution? jefferson or hamilton? >> i am not sure either influenced hamilton, or madison that much. madison was a savvy politician.
he looks at the situation in the 1780s, he is fearful that the union isn't going to survive. he read deeply into possible constitutional or political solutions to it. i don't think he talks with jefferson much at all. jefferson is gone during that time and doesn't have much of a dialogue with jefferson. his fate talk about constitutional issues but doesn't let jefferson know what is going on behind the scenes. he works at that on his coin. they are at the annapolis convention together but i would not say hamilton influenced him. madison was is the man.
>> in the course of writing this boat, the relationship hamilton had for the federalist papers and jefferson as a mentor did your opinion of madison change at all? >> not really. my problem with madison is i guess it was probably just some of his thoughts beating to the constitution. i think there were other solutions that were available without going as far as he went and that was my problem with madison primarily. my views didn't change that much.
>> do you think that jefferson was particularly disloyal to washington when he was secretary of state and was saying things and doing things to oppose washington? and the other thing is what do you think about the book about monticello? >> annette gordon reed, and of little more wary of accepting madison's story completely, basically i accept it but she accepted in total. it is a good book and that and the first book and ed gordon
reeve wrote dealing with jefferson was an excellent book as well. >> with jefferson was disloyal when he was secretary? >> i would not say disloyal. he went to washington repeatedly and told washington what he thought about hamilton, told washington his fears of where hamilton's program was leading, they discussed it, they argued about it. last time they talked washington cut him off and said i don't want to hear any more essentially. but his republican party was
working against obviously hamilton's programs and so many things that hamilton was doing, crushing the whiskey rebellion and whatever with washington's assistance that he opposed but i am not sure i would say disloyal. there was one incident with jefferson in 1793, decides he is going to resign from the cabinet. he had been in the cabinets in 1790, wanted to go home, was having financial problems and wanted to attend to those problems at monticello and washington rides from his residence in philadelphia, the president's house in philadelphia out into the outskirts of philadelphia where hamilton, jefferson was living and meets with jefferson and
tries to persuade jefferson to stay on in office. it is the only instance that i have ever been able to uncover where washington went to someone's house during his presidency and pleaded with them to do something. he i think remains at that point very much attached to jefferson. he persuaded jefferson to stay on for six more months but jefferson left after that. >> thank you. >> at one point in time, can't remember the date, hamilton and madison had a very close relationship and was pretty close to jefferson and that fell apart somewhere along the line and i don't understand how that fell apart but it got to the point of those guys made harry reid and john boehner seem like best buddies.
>> it really begins to fall apart in 1791. no one was more surprised than hamilton about madison, that once the bank bill becomes law hamilton and jefferson began to oppose it banned for this rally your group around, stop hamilton from further activities. that is when the break occurs. it is intriguing, no one ever understood completely why this was the case, jefferson became the predominant figure for madison. madison listens to jefferson, follows jefferson, is played by jefferson and jefferson manages
apparently to convince him this is what i saw in europe, this is where hamilton is taking us, there is great danger there and madison tends to follow jefferson more than hamilton. when hamilton learned that madison had deserted him, hamilton's remark was interesting. he says madison is not a very worldly person and you could take that to me, he is not a very sophisticated person and he is being manipulated by jefferson and it may have been some truth to that. [applause] roker >> please join us for a cool drink and a book signing outside. thank you for coming.