Alexander Hamilton, by John Trumbull, c. 1792
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Oil on canvas of Alexander Hamilton, wearing a golden brown jacket and white ruffled shirt.

Credit: Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Avalon Foundation 1952.1.1

As the nation's first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton of New York was also the architect of a nation financial policy. To stabilize the new nation's economy and strengthen the federal government, Hamilton argued successfully for federal assumption of the states" $80m debt from the war for Independence. To cut the debt, he proposed the first federal tariff, a federal bank to issue a national currency, and the 1791 federal tax on whiskey. When farmers in western Pennsylvania opposed the tax in the "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794, Hamilton accompanied President Washington from Philadelphia to suppress the rebellion.

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