tv Tony Williams Hamilton CSPAN May 27, 2018 6:51pm-8:01pm EDT
>> ladies and gentlemen it is my great pleasure to introduce three of the greatest historia historians, alexander hamilton we are so excited to welcome them to the phenomenal new exhibit hamilton the constitutional clashes that shaped america coming and we are going to have an incredible conversation about the constitutional legacy. the political historian and contributing editor at the
weekly standard and contributor to the national review and the author of the new book the place of greatness alexander hamilton, the creation of american oligarchy. carroll was the presidential professor of american colonial and revolutionary history and women's history. the author of many books including a brilliant solution inventing the american constitution and the bill of rights institute and author of this great new book alexander hamilton and american biography. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome carol and tony williams. [applause] you did a great podcast.
why don't you lead us off by coming up with what hamilton's constitutional vision was and why the progressives as you say in a recent piece have had an ambivalent relationship? >> if i have to use a word to describe the constitutional vision or the agenda from the constitution and would probably be integration. they saw like so many of the founders did the men that gathered at philadelphia in a ad recognized the need for some sort of a stronger natural union. but hamilton was unique without too many of them not all of them but many of them and he saw the potential for a and led them to
greater national security because the united states of course at that time was not separated from the european powers and you had great britain to the west and spain still in florida. there is a sense of unity among the otherwise disparate former colonists that they might not know each other that if they were both engaged in commerce with each other, that it would help bind them together.
hamilton's vision of the united states i think was more than for instance james madison or john adams. it was rooted in the transformative power of economics and capitalism. >> very helpful. you heard what chase said and talked about the nationalism that was shared with washington. but you also argued hamilton might not have been all that in just in the details of the constitutional structure. >> they talked about an energetic government that readinithink is what you are d describing. the.
other people share. it's from the experience of trying to get money for his army from organizations that did not have the power to attack. it is as a binding force of. hamilton is a real visionary. it affected in 1782 before we had even won the war. he is mapping out what the government wouldn't need to look like and what the people of america would need to do in order to have a seat at the table with european powers.
that is the overriding goal of and that is wher where i shockey colleagues that he didn't care what the actual frame of the government. madison was obsessed with the frame of the government. the. of the meat around the bones were going to be policy and progress and hamilton wanted to be the person to set the policy attitudes at the program in the
areas thaareas that he thought e really important. the largest gold with the power to tax and regulate commerce. that is what mattered most to him. i'm not trying to describ discrs anti-intellectual but he had his eye on what he wanted and were to b be so those were the two elements that he wanted to make america great. it earned him the accusation of being a secret monarchist.
a co-author of the federalist papers to defend the constitution so what can you tell us about the details of the constitutional proposal that affected him at the monarchist? >> by the way, i am not going to wrap my answers. hamilton goes to the convention and it's important to note that he's outvoted so he goes with two other delegates for new york he faces off against two anti-federalists. he becomes very frustrated by that and so he is chomping at the bit to get involved and to
be more involved in what we were saying but he's frustrated and can't do it. .. which just leaves them speechless. literally speechless. [laughter] no pun intended. literally it just they were shocked by the proposal. the center for life, and he did have more and a lot of historians which is something i argument agree with, believe that hamilton was trying to moderate the virginia plan in the eyes of the delegates.
to make it more palatable and swing them away from this plan. we don't really have much evidence for that. but because hamilton was just so strategically brilliant, it is very possible. i think probable. that he did that. but then as it says, he effectively goes home. other delegates left the periods of time and so forth but eventually they left and he didn't have a quorum so he didn't have a vote. it is frustrating, but doesn't have the influence over the constitution convention that madison and others had but he is very instrumental of course. but as the author of majority of the federal speakers and this effort after the ratifying convention where he was, there were 48 antifederalists and
only 16 federalist and eventually he along with others, really had won in new york by three votes. it is a pretty incredible effort after the delegates get this ratified. he doesn't have much influence but he and madison were just they got it done. >> can i add something? >> sure. >> people anti-hamilton people will say he was in monarchist and -- but if you look at many at that convention, his views were not so outside the norm as we might think. madison after all, one of the reasons he wanted the convention so bad was that he said i'm looking at the virginia legislature and they
are corrupt and this is not what a republic should be like. we have to have a more elevated discussion. we have to have men who are more elevated who will be able to guide the republic. and adams, when he and jefferson have, adams is in england and jefferson is in france. when they get a copy of the constitution, jefferson express his his horror that the president, he went to the presidency to rotate every year until of course, he became president. then it was, he was okay, eight years was fine. and i was -- adams writes back and says are you crazy? the more elections you have the more likely something terrible is going to happen. we should have fewer elections, we should have more elections and so, if you put hamilton
argument for this on a continuum it is not as if everybody else is marching this way and hamilton was marching that way. >> i agree. it is a republican speech. not only do think it is strategic but i think he meant every word of it. i think he sincerely believed in it and it was republican and if you look at his philosophy, i would argue that hamilton supports republican government early on. he fights for that government, he believes sincerely in republican principles. and very much so during the 1790s. he is trying to promote economic prosperity for all americans. not just the wealthy. and promote a constitutional rule of law, strong national security promoting a strong union is what he said for all america. he dedicated his entire life to
public service for the republic. whatever jeffersons accusations are, he is not a monarchist. >> great. we have this vision hamilton. with republican principles and now i way to contrast hamiltons republicanism with that of his most influential rival, thomas jefferson. jefferson were devoted two direct democracy, jefferson championing states rights and hamilton national -- jefferson liberally, hamilton economic prosperity. we say all of american history can be -- give us a sense of the clash between philosophies of jefferson and hamilton. >> well, when the nazis overthrew great britain by
declaration in 1776 and finally in the battle of yorktown. what the country had done was set upon a democratic experiment. the likes of which outside of a handful of those inordinately the work is not seen, it did not go well. it was not a good experience. on one hand you have the articles of confederation. which were purposefully stripped of willpower. by states rights delegates. and you also have the state governments which are by the standards would have been democratic. and in places like new jersey and pennsylvania, some states of connecticut not as much but you have real, a real kind of participatory democracy of
happening. by the standards of the contemporary age, is important to recognize we are talking about you know, this is not even universal, white male suffrage. but looked at from if you compare 1787 to today, it doesn't look very democratic. if you compare 1787 to last thousand or so years, it is impressive. it did not go well. and there was a sense that the founders and men of education and reason when look at the situation, they would think back in many respects to the ancient in their almost tragic view of history. the ancients did not see life as we see it like almost with star trek type. we are always forward in getting better and feeling more and more. based on this perpetual cycle
of threshold and then decline that democracy is ruled by the people is inherently weak institution and it collapses. this is a theoretical idea that the ancients spell this out. and this cousin to the american context. it was more than just a bunch of gusty old books. it really look like, if you look at versus the behavior of the state of rhode island, and there creditor and debtor laws, you'll get new york state, they put a new post on you know, imports coming into the port of new york. new jersey and connecticut had to play with. it really looked as though democracy was in the process of failing. and so, the challenge that the framers had and this is a challenging all confronted and they all have their own solutions. but to paraphrase madison and
of the speech he made on june 6, america had already crossed overthrowing georgia therapeutic classical solution of the excess of democracy was to have some sort of -- this whiten they celebrate the british system because it takes a popularly elected house of commons, bounces it with the monarch and so of the social factions are checked against one another. america had already thrown at the solution and then as madison put it, what we need is a solution that solves the inconvenience of democracy while remaining consistent with the democratic form of government. an hamiltons solution which he offers on june 18 is really the sort of reduced the role of popular opinion in the affairs of state. by insulating the president and the senate is still anchoring
them in popular control because ultimately, there were no hereditary states in the hamiltonian. ultimately the president selected by two electoral colleges and senate separated by one. in the end there is still anchored upon public opinion but the idea is that this would allow the natural aristocracy to sort of rise through the ranks of political hierarchy and to be able to make judgments about policy and foreign affairs that are consistent with the true interest of the country and juxtapose to the smallmindedness they see in state legislature. jefferson i would say has a different view where he has more faith in the capacity of average people to govern themselves under certain circumstances. i think you can classify jefferson vision of government as being a series of concentric
circles going outward. on the local level jefferson sees, he was not a libertarian. on the local level they would see control over things like education and things like that. the state level you have control over roads and the national level be primarily concerned with issues of foreign affairs. it reflects jeffersons greater faith in that the capacity of individuals to govern themselves rather than to hamiltons. i think that is the main difference for the commonality that links all these men together that we will discuss is as i said, how do we solve the inconveniences of democracy while many consistent with the democratic form of government? >> fascinating. carol, how much of a democrat was jefferson? did he support the direct
expression of popular will and contrast his mission with that of hamiltons. >> i am a hamiltonian as opposed to a jeffersonian. [laughter] i think that jefferson had not idealized these people however, he imagined they were. he had, when the french revolution turned to guillotine everyone right and left, jefferson still believed that the french revolution ought to be supported. that really this was temporary. that it was important. i always think that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, right? he had, he was able to
immediately pastel paint over a lot of things that a realist like hamilton might say, you know, those people are not following in our revolutionary tradition.those people are evil people. i think jefferson often talked in a different form. what strikes me in the 1790s about jefferson, regardless of his sort of spoken theology, is that he manipulated the common man. when you organize that jeffersonian republican party, he targeted german immigrants, irish immigrants. he understood exactly who to go after, people who hated great britain, the irish. the french immigrants who might have come over. there is a kind of cunning to the way in which he mobilized
the people that i think does not reflect a desire for expanded democracy so much as it reflects a desire for him to get elected. he really thought the federalists were followers of great britain. which to some extent, certainly was true. hamilton said these are the people who we can trade with best and this will fill our proffers in this will make us more prosperous. jefferson called the monocrats there were conspiracies against the people. but when he's doing when he reaches out to his people is trying to build a political base. and so, i'm a little hesitant to describe him and his action as democratic so much as i am always to believe that they
jeffersonian understood the desire of the people. to have a broader voice in government. and they know how to play that. >> it is crucial between ideals and institutions and the problem of parties. in the exhibit there is this phenomenal original letter were jefferson says to his subordinates, go tear hamilton to pieces. set the press on him and destroy him. and they use their party from depressed from their jobs in washington administration to attack each other and the federalist and democratic republicans go after each other. they praised jefferson betraying his as well as as president to have a supported limited national power broadening the scope of the united states with the louisiana purchase more than anything else.and hamilton also slipped on some cases. can you say more about the degree to which hamilton and jefferson as party politicians
betrayed their own nationalism versus localism? >> certainly, in the 1790s, the conflict arises to some degree over the report on public credit. and certainly over -- they have extremely different interpretations of whether it is constitutional. i believe, of course, i will take hamiltons side but he, hamilton no, he looks at the necessary and proper in article on section 8. he says, the bank is related to these foregoing powers. and it seems to be, is an expansive reading but it is a legitimate reading of the constitution. and don't forget, he was at the constitution convention and drinking french wine and having
crazy philosophical explorations about various topics. about property rights, only lasting 19 years and -- and supporting this violent revolution. and so, jefferson has an extremely restrictive view of this clause. he says it is also necessary, almost to the extent that nothing, this federal government which is supposed to be empowered to accomplish, hamilton says it needs the means to achieve the ends. jefferson doesn't believe that. he believes it is an extremely literal reading of it. and it opposes that. but hamilton will win that contest easily. after that, jefferson and hamilton are just -- they clash
and the accusations of monarch is him throughout the bank for, with the dispute over the whiskey rebellion, foreign policy, whether we should support the french or the british. hamilton believed an expansive national security space, supporting the british but promoting the economic development of america. and jefferson is going to oppose him every step of the way. from within the administration. right? even supporting anti-administration newspaper within the state department. it is very duplicitous. >> and again in the exhibition there is a bust -- he respected
his bible so much that he inspired himself by looking at the bust until the day he died. we have two more to move through. we have got to get through and i want you to set up the contrast between hamilton and madison. maybe by talking about the conflict over the bank. and that it was justified what he called the sweeping cause. necessary and proper clause. madison who initially opposed this came to believe that the acquisition of the president and congress and the constitutionality justified it and yet, they were divided. what was the main clashes between hamilton and madison? >> i would say first of all that the fight over the bank of the united states reflected the ambiguous nature of the constitution as a piece of law. that if you were to take a common-law interpretation of
the constitution, you would probably conclude as hamilton did, that the bank follows from as a proper articulation of the various enumerated powers. however, if you on the other hand, was to take the constitution as a statement of republican sentiment throughout the country, would probably -- you probably would need to know several states that had ratified the constitution. including massachusetts.which was really the first test that the constitution faced. the first five states for the first five small states that benefited from a stronger national union pennsylvania, pennsylvania federalists went -- messages was a first date with a was a genuine struggle over the constitution and the solution that they came up with
was the idea of ratification under the good-faith expectation for amendments. now, this is how of course we get what became known as the bill of rights. importantly, several states among them massachusetts, have a recommended amendment prohibiting congress from chartering corporations and granting them exclusive rights. the question then becomes from a republican standpoint, well, if states like massachusetts and the portland, virginia, with a margin was only 10 votes, if patrick henry could look into the future and see that the bank of the united states was going to be chartered and communicate that to the delegates at the virginia ratifying convention would have had those votes for medicine side to his own side? there was a theoretical -- is also amplified by the fact that constitutional -- the
interpretation of the constitution has almost always been when it's done by politicians disingenuous. and i would, as an example of that, i would point to madison in particular. madison was the one who sort of made the point of saying, you know, even he said colonel hamilton wanted to interpret the constitution as he saw fit. but i wanted to interpret it the way convention and more importantly the ratification saw it.okay, fine. but medicine was also the editor of the bill of rights. and he strategically narrowed the scope of actual amendments consistent with his own point of view. jefferson also was disingenuous or strategic or whatever you want to call it about constitutional authority because of course, the louisiana purchase. and john quincy adams later commented and i think he has a point it was a power grab that
was greater in scope and implication than anything done under the first 12 years of the republic. and i think that the framework to look at the battle, the constitutional arguments are interesting. but the bank issue has to be examined in the context of the assumption from the previous summer and this growing sense among the partisans of what would become the republican party of jefferson and madison. something profoundly unfair was unfolding before their eyes in the government in new york. and that is to say that well-connected speculators, particularly in the eastern seaboard, and eastern cities of boston, especially new york and philadelphia, had caught wind of hamiltons program before it was actually announced. what hamilton was not actively tipping people off as a matter
fact, lee had asked him and december 1899 you have any tips? hamilton told him to go pound sand in so many words. but hamilton had a bad habit of choosing lousy characters to surround himself with. in particular he hires william -- to be the secretary of the treasury while he is simultaneously trying to set up an international banking syndicate. the point is word gets out. why does this matter? because state and federal death certificates during the 1790s were trading for pennies on the dollar because people did not expect the government, the federal government or the state government to ever actually pay these back. if you were so much of money in the 1780s and save december 1789 and you get where the hamilton will offer a repayment of the national debt, and then go off the table that are not in the know and by this debt to
pennies on the dollar that is in fact what happened. what you can do is you can start going to the dutch which is what morris does pretty aggressive grants and then he goes to the dutch and he tells the creditors in the netherlands, you might want to buy domestic death certificates because for me because i have it on good authority that the debt will be paid back in full. and then after that, hamiltons bank proposal offers just $25 in hard cash, you can get a bank script. the rest of it was payable in government debt certificates. in a very short period of time, between 1787 and 1791, 15 certificates are being repaid it really just pennies on the dollar. then he turned around and you can use them to purchase what is in effect a guaranteed moneymaker. the chartering in the operation of the bank of the united states leads to the first genuine wall street panic
because the price of the banknotes goes crazy and there's a big bubble and it bursts. jefferson and madison, madison in particular was very aware of this. he is also very aware of how this is detrimental to people who were not in and around the seat of government. which is why at the end of the day, the assumption plan included situating the capital on the potomac river. he is very sensitive to the fact that news travels slowly and that congress had actually put a debate on this plan when it was and also members of congress sent people down to the carolinas and by up bank scripts. this is also why they were suspicious that hamilton was trying to formulate a monarchy. because this is the sort of thing that the british monarch did after the race revolution. he could use what was called the civil list to basically buy off members of parliament. they believe that hamilton was employing the similar system with his economic package. and i think that really speaks
to, if we put aside the hyperbole of the age. there is, at the heart of the battle between jefferson and madison on the one hand and hamilton on the other hand is tension. between, we need to build a prosperous, strong, secure nation. which was hamiltons main goal. and jefferson and madison anxiety that there was something profoundly unfair going on. that this was trickle-down economics. that the rich are getting richer and the rich happen to be friends and madison and hamilton or jeff is his view, cronies of alexander hamilton and others. william dewar especially. >> a certain kind of is. if you take away a lot of -- overview, what's going on is that hamiltons program is
setting the trajectory of the nation economic trajectory or political economy of the nation toward commerce, trade, which is largely located in the northeast. jefferson and madison are from where? from virginia. and when hamiltons plan comes out, madison, who had been his partner, his comrade in arms through all of the plans to get the constitutional convention called through the convention, with the bill of rights, all of the sudden madison is hamiltons enemy. it has a lot to do, there were rich people in virginia. there were rich people in south carolina. but their wealth was based on agriculture. i think he sees very clearly, madison sees very clearly that the direction of hamiltons
program is toward everything that favors the urban north or the cities of the north, people of the north. who are engaged in commerce and trade commerce and trade. this is something that threatens the position virginia was the richest and most prosperous and most populous state in the beginning. and they will begin less significant, the old dominion will not be the leading light of the 13 states is really extremely painful to jefferson and madison. when adams goes to negotiate a peace treaty, the one thing that he is stubbornly wedded to his fishing rights.
often a felon. why? because it is not flyfishing for fun. because fishing industry was a big industry. and it was supported by the lumbering industry and by the shipbuilding industry. ... >> i think we need to think of regional self-interest in both cases. as much as we can think about political theory. >> tony, before we get to audience questions there is a
powerful split between adams and hamilton. both great federalists. hamilton starts attacking adams and adams writes nonpublished offense which he once published after hamilton's death. so why did hamilton break with adams and what was the clash over the constitution? >> the strange thing is there's a debate among federalists. adamson hamilton largely agree on policy. particularly during adam's presidency and he is supporting peace through strength and negotiations during these quasi- wars with france. and they're violating our neutral rights.
hamilton agrees they also want peace through strength but they have engaged in the policy through personal destruction. it became personal. then, adams believe that hamilton kept trying to keep him out of the office and cap manipulating the elections engineering other federalists to win. then, hamilton sent this not very complementary letter about adams which gets published. so he did is ballistic. so what jefferson and hamilton had in the early days, there from the same party and they
agree. it's not unlike today's tea party or john boehner trying to raining congress and so forth and rand paul fighting against him. there is a lot of tension within the party. and then only a few years it will collapse. >> much of it was personal but your forthcoming book, both madison and jefferson were concerned with oligarchy ruled by the few. they both supported a constitutional amendment would've forbidden congress for setting that up a medicine is looking for it to 1930. was hamilton marva supporter of oligarchy and did that distinguish them from adams also
concerned about oligarchy? >> i think they would have had slightly different views. hamilton saw himself as sort of a robert -- sort of a british prime minister. i think he felt that he could channel the interest of the money from the elites to the national welfare. that he could tame the tiger. he had expressed affection. his affection for the british government is very reminiscent of david hughes was also a defender of the raid the the crown, the british monarch a minute later part parliament. it gets twisted in the
jeffersonian party and hamilton once jefferson called not just a monarchy but a monarchy of corruption. you read david and see that this is where hamilton is coming from. it can take the self-interested impulses of the money elite and turn them toward the public good. adam think it's important to recognize that there some the same party and come from the north but they come from different backgrounds. a small free holding economy. hamilton is not born into it but mary's into a wealthy commercial dutch kind of university. they have different views.
adams, unfortunately for him was misunderstood stood and if he was here he would tell us he has been profoundly misunderstood. the better view of adam's role on the money interest is that if adams had been at the convention would have supported a portion meant to in the upper house based on mouth. not because he thought the wealthy was more virtuous, which is a view that hamilton could slip into. adams was worried about the moneyed interests spreading their control throughout the entirety of the government and if they had a branch of the government that was their own they could be contained there. adams has a classical view of
mixed states that is similar to hamilton's. hamilton is also really intermingled with his own view of himself and his own ambitions. it is mixed up and this idea a class of leaders taking whatever instrumentation of government exists and making it work toward the public good. that really distinguish hamilton in many respects. >> it is interesting to hear many of the founders concerned about oligarchy ruled by the many few. taken there move from aristocracy by the few and the monarchy which can generate into
democracy and oligarchy in the case of aristocracy. so, tell us about adams concerned about oligarchy which she shared with madison and jefferson. how where the framers concerned about really by the body. >> i always think hamilton his hatred had nothing to do with policy. he hated hamilton because he thought the people in his party turn to hamilton to lead them. adams, whom i really love but is such a terrible president, adams keeps men in his cabinet who are left over from george washington's cabinet instead of
building around him a group of men who supported him. most of them turn to hamilton task what should we do. they pretty much ignore adams. adams is so sensitive to his own standing to be not appreciated. early on in his life in his life he's constantly saying basically i'm just a lowly worm, nobody will remember me. even during the lull in the revolution he would set they will only remember benjamin franklin, not me. it tears him apart that his cabinet views him as that's nice. now let us go and find out what we ought to do. this is not hamilton's fault,
but he certainly enjoyed that. he wants adams to do what hamilton thinks is best. he wants to play the same role that he did with washington witches a prime minister for the new president and he gets angry when he cannot do that. plus, he wanted to be the general of the army that adams put together when i thought france was corey to attack the. adam desperately tries to prevent this from happening. he doesn't want hamilton to have another honor. it is only washington's intervention and his head of this huge army. he says i want my second-in-command to run the thing. that is the final straw for
adam. this is a very personal conflict. from adams point of view. toward the end of his administration he system and says, i'm going to be president and make the decision. i'm not going to let people push me around anymore. it's a little too late. >> it's important to bear in mind that hamilton really was a force of nature. hamilton writes 30 essays in favor of the jay treaty. >> it's amazing. >> so, hamilton was a problem for many respects. so one thing when you're on the
same side but when you get on opposite sides of the spectrum on a political divide jefferson wrote to madison set he is this with the federal party, they don't have numbers. but they had hamilton. they said he's a hoax unto himself. he gets to this ambiguity where they switch the constitution on a we don't how it's gonna work. who is the leader of the coalition? is it adams or hamilton by virtue of being hamilton? it's hard to appreciate that because he is not a live anymore. he was really bursting at the seams with passion, vigor and
energy. >> women who loved him but men called him little mars. >> we have done our duty of looking at the constitutional vision and now the audience once more, what sort of person was see? our first question to tell us more about his temper and why did he admit his affair? we have though letter and it's so cool in the exhibit downstairs. we had paced out the dual you can stand at either side and see how close they were to each other when they stood. it is remarkable. tell us more about his temper
and why he admitted the affair. >> he is a man of energy that is bursting forth. he gets selected secretary of the treasury of a friday. he's securing loans and so forth and hitting the ground running on monday. when he is solicited by congress to write opinions or reports why write 4000 words when you can write 24000 words. he is the smartest guy in the room contrary to what can be said is a smartest man but unfortunately he lets everybody know it. because they're such a genius there there's more than a touch
of arrogance. there's not a lot of humility. but he dies relatively young. i think i have outlived him now. but he is a young man throughout all this public service and he just wants to win immortal fame. he wants to be the guy in charge and making policy. he largely does. his very successful. >> of hamilton had not been called in the duel how would history have been different? >> by the time they had the dual hamilton stay had passed. jefferson and the republicans had taken over.
at one point hamilton says there is no place for me anymore in this country. it's very sad. she feels as if his time is over because of the triumph. so i think you once confessed to the affair was he wanted to defend himself against claims he had been involved with inside training. this more important that his reputation as a political leader is pristine where his reputation as a man, married man could be sacrificed for that. that probably tells you a lot about hamilton. >> he was constantly investigated by the republicans in congress in the 17 '90s
they because of conceived improprieties in office. you talk about dotting every iron crossing every t, the reports you do to defend himself or meticulous. they never proved anything. as i argue in my book, he is constantly. >> he is consistently in denial of his personal on but his public honor as well which is why he relates. >> then he goes and buys his wife a new house. i was told my students like kobe bryant brought that big ring.
that's what it is. >> would hamilton be an anti- trump republican today? a rockefeller republican or democrat? >> he would be hamiltonian. >> with the democrats -- >> he was his own ideology. certain strands of it get pulled forward to the time and the emphasis on commerce and finance get pulled forward. others on aristocratic controls or minimizing democratic involvement. that is the case with all of them.
to piggyback on that, he at times could display a shoc shocg level of naïveté. he never admitted time off of this program. this is what madison and monroe, they were all convinced madison was finding his own pocket. he wasn't. but he had a certain group of people around him who were all getting rich. hamilton himself never made a dime. his june 18 speech where he calls for a monarchy without hereditary titles, think in many respects there i reflects a
naïveté. his confession of the affair is naïve. -- was john adams and his harebrained scheme to split the vote so he could sneak pick me into the office. hamilton oftentimes just played the fool. as brilliant as he was it's interesting to look at him and madison in that regard. they did not have the historical player. but hamilton was blindsided in the spring of 1791 madison decided to turn on him and make his life miserable. hamilton couldn't see it coming.
>> he was also naïve with women. this mariah reynolds would write to him for years. as i lie here in my bed with my hair flowing over my booze of i think of mr. hamilton. >> hamilton wrote and says don't worry madame, we will protect to and they say, oh, for god sakes is extremely naïve. in many ways it makes him a little more adorable.
>> there is a chance and circumstantial evidence that suggests that james reynolds who is maria's husband there is evidence to suggest that he was james red old was working with dewar who was on the treasury board of the federal government to basically defraud soldiers in virginia. they used it as an opportunity to set up the first tried unsuccessfully for a banking syndicate basically using his public powers. hamilton had a terrible time reading people. he was played by william dewar and reynolds.
>> a lot of these examples are from the later 1790s. while we argue in our book on washington in hamilton is that he had such a close alliance for decades in washington was a good judge of character and was moderate and more deliberate. and less easily fooled. and he loses washington as an ally when he retires from presidency. many of the political come to the form. >> we have time for one more question. it's a great debate for the national constitution center. in light of the great polarization in america today, are the lessons to be learned for the battles between hamilton and jefferson? did they anticipate our current polarized politics or can they shed light on compromise?
>> already engaged in the politics of personal destruction and way more partisan and insulting each other than we will be, their debates and attacks on each other were extremely public and very nasty. i will say this, the debates we have been talking about, the wonderful thing about it is to think about they were very much influenced by the constitution. it was a personal preference or what they thought might be good for the country. who is deeply rooted in their understanding of the constitution. it was an extremely
constitutional argument. it's constitutional but in other words they took the constitution seriously. i think we all wish they would do a little more that. >> it is inspiring to see this was a constitutional battle of ideas. all of us have a duty and education to educate ourselves about it. and to see they were clashes of principle rather than purely personality. go see the exhibit. please join me in thanking a wonderful guest. [applause] [applause] [applause]
[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> book tv is on twitter and facebook. we want to hear from you. to test, twitter.com/book tv her poster, facebook, facebook.com/book tv. >> was happen now is every single group in america feels threatened. not just blacks and other minorities, whites feel threatened. a study in my book says 67% of the white working-class feels they are more discriminated against the minorities. it is not just muslims and jews in buddhist ruth feel threatened, christians not feel
threatened. with the me to movement, such as women, it's men, every group feels threatened. and every group thinks the other tribe is being persecuted against is ridiculous. that's part of the change. the second reason has to do with why you're the expert on this. when you read stuff in the papers it's wrong. there's this white supremacy and white nationalism, it's not helpful to call half of the country white supremacist. that's not what's happening. it's much more what jd referred to. what i call we all must have two white tribes now. it's not just money, it's
educational level and a cultural divide has split america's white majority. it's interesting that you use the term ethnic. earlier my field was ethnic conflict. it's very difficult on there's instruction o views. if you do not intermarry with each other, ethnic, groups often don't seem to be ethnic differences if you can intermarry because that difference goes away. this is something new in america because of the drastic decline in geographic mobility. tom brokaw was just talking
about this, people from the midwest would do education or go to silicone valley or got to california, or any of the coast and come back. now it's so expensive. silicon valley, new york, and education is no longer the root it was to mobility. so there's much less fluidity. the coastal elites is a misnomer because they're not all coastal and they are not all elites. that refers to professors, journalists and others. they are also not all white. people like me, whether you're a
republican or democrat you view yourself as tolerant. you know minorities and believe in religious freedom. he probably think of yourself as not tribal. you believe in human rights and individual rights. this group tends to be very tribal. there is so little intermarriage between this coastal white but mixing with like my own family. my husband is jewish, it's like the ethnic divide between the two white tribes. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org.