History lessons from Alexander Hamilton [Financial Perspectives]

In an effort to be respective our nation’s birthday this week, I found some quotes from Alexander Hamilton that are great reminders of the responsibility that our founding fathers bestowed on us.  

Hamilton was known as the father of our national banking system.  He was also a Federalist and favored a strong central government, which stood in sharp contrast to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were Democratic Republicans.  History buffs may recall that Hamilton died from wounds suffered in a duel with Aaron Burr.  He also played an instrumental role in helping Thomas Jefferson get elected president in 1800 (even though he was from the opposing party), which was a clear sign that he stood more for principles than for a political party.

Reading a little about what these men did serves as a great reminder that we are stewards of this country and have to fulfill our role in the continuation of all that make America great.   There seem to be many things that separate us but these words should remind you that we are all Americans.  Hopefully our politicians will eventually realize this and find ways to compromise on the many things that ail our country.

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

“It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”

“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.”

“Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others.”

“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of  being less free.”

“Hard words are very rarely useful. Real firmness is good for every thing. Strut is good for nothing.”

“To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.”

“A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.”

“The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly.”

Have a wonderful holiday!

The views expressed are not necessarily those of Cambridge and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security.

Jim Heisler, CFP®, CDFA™, CASL™ Family Wealth Services, LLC 8725 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136 jim@familywealthservices.net 215-332-4968

Jim Heisler is a Certified Financial Planner with Family Wealth Services in Holmesburg. You can read all his Financial Perspective columns here.

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