A central difference between Hamilton and Jefferson is discussed at a reception table for Jefferson upon his return as Ambassador to France. John Adams: Part 5: Unite or Die

HBO John Adams Alexander Hamilton explains the US Treasury Central government theory to Jefferson.

jeffrey-hamilton-songbird singing from top of post-unsplash

The “Hamilton” Broadway musical Uber hit of the 21st Century may leave one with the impression that Hamilton was well-loved during his historical time. What is clear from contemporaries and contemporaneous writings for Hamilton’s period is that Hamilton and Adams/Jefferson had distinct differences in our constitutional’s Republic formation and the future direction of the United States of America. One broad distinction between Hamilton and Jefferson comes from their views on generational U.S. debt.  Hamilton concluded that we needed a National Bank (see the Fed) that could borrow from other Nations (see Great Britain and the Netherlands). Jefferson concluded that we should not leave our heirs (children/grandchildren et al.) debts from our generation’s national expenditures. Jefferson was also concerned about the national Treasury concentrating power in the Northeast with the money powers in Massachusetts.


Whose Vision of America Won Out—Hamilton’s or Jefferson’s?


“We live, without question, in Hamilton’s America,” says Stephen F. Knott, professor of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College and co-author of “Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America.”

Hamilton had the foresight to see the United States emerging as an economic and military power that would surpass Great Britain and the other European powers. All of Hamilton’s policies as treasury secretary and as President Washington’s closest advisor were designed to convince his fellow Americans to, as Hamilton put it, ‘think continentally.’ He wanted the citizenry to think of themselves first and foremost as Americans—not New Yorkers or Virginians.

“Hamilton became the nation’s first treasury secretary at a time when the citizens of South Carolina and New Hampshire had about as much in common with one another as they did with someone from Tasmania. Hamilton succeeded in creating an American sense of identity in part by creating institutions that would bind the people to the national government, not their respective states, such as the national bank and the assumption by the national government of the state debts from the Revolutionary War.”

Knott tells HISTORY that without Hamilton’s contributions, it would have been next to impossible for the United States to have emerged as a superpower during the 20th century. “Hamilton’s economic vision was contrary to that of Jefferson’s, and as such the United States might not have moved—or at least not moved as quickly—in the direction of becoming a manufacturing nation and the world’s largest economy by late in the 19th century,” he says.

“Hamilton was the father of American capitalism, which arguably produced one of the highest standards of living in the world,” Knott says. “His policies at the Treasury Department were designed to enhance the development of manufacturing. His economic policies such as a national bank, tariffs to protect American manufacturing, and the stabilization of the nation’s finances, which enabled the country to establish a good credit rating, all contributed to the overall rise of the United States as an economic superpower.”

Knott also notes that Hamilton was the driving force behind the publication of the Federalist Papers—writing 51 of the 85 essays while working in concert with James Madison and John Jay—that laid the theoretical blueprint for an “energetic executive,” a model followed closely by Washington.

“From the beginning to the end of this most important first presidency, Washington followed Hamilton’s advice, much to Thomas Jefferson’s distress,” he says. “Remove Hamilton from Washington’s cabinet, and you would have a number of very different precedents. Hamilton was determined to infuse as many elements of energy and permanence into a new national government under the Constitution that would allow the nation to defend itself from foreign attacks and domestic insurrections, and provide an environment conducive to economic development.”

Knott says that Hamilton’s vision of a United States in which its citizens thought “continentally” had ramifications when the country faced its greatest crisis during the Civil War. “The concept of union, of American nationhood, was embedded deeply enough in parts of the North that Union soldiers were prepared to die for that principle. It is no accident that Hamilton was a revered figure during the Gilded Age, seen by presidents such as James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and other Republicans as the most impressive Founding Father.”


“Jefferson is chiefly responsible for the disentanglement of government and religion and the general consensus at the time of the Revolution that the government would be republican and most of its office-holders elected,” Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University, tells HISTORY. He points to republican principles championed by Jefferson such as local control of education, democratizing land holding, and decentralized government. In addition, he says the Louisiana Purchase orchestrated by Jefferson is the primary reason that America became a transcontinental country, which allowed it to eventually become an economic, military and diplomatic superpower.

Gutzman also points to the principles in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that was drafted by Jefferson and widely copied by other states and incorporated into the U.S. Constitution by James Madison. “In England, you couldn’t attend Oxford or Cambridge or serve in Parliament if you weren’t Episcopalian. Jefferson thought that was wrong,” he says. “The Jefferson view is that the government can only pervert religion. The government can only impose on people’s consciences, so it shouldn’t be involved.”

Although Jefferson was himself a member of Virginia’s landed aristocracy, he spearheaded the dismantlement of its system of primogeniture and entail, which prevented landholders from dividing properties to future generations. “In colonial Virginia, 85 families owned about two-thirds of the land, and you can’t have a republic with 85 families owning most of the land,” Gutzman says. “With the change, instead of aristocratic land distribution, you had a free distribution from one generation to another and land highly divided. It’s an extremely republican ideal.”

Jefferson’s grave marker lists his founding of the University of Virginia, but not his time in the White House, as one of his primary achievements, and Gutzman says there’s a good reason for that. “People don’t even realize Jefferson is the man who conjured every university these days,” he says.

Prior to the founding of the University of Virginia, university curriculums were more aristocratic, according to Gutzman. “The centerpiece of the curriculums were Greek and Latin. Students came to class to recite what they memorized,” he says. “Jefferson believed instead that students should study what they desired and thought useful. Instead of reciting what they memorized students demonstrated their knowledge with essay exams, which weren’t used anywhere before the opening of the University of Virginia in 1825. Every post-secondary school in America is now the University of Virginia. It’s the mother ship of American post-secondary education.”

Jefferson advocated the power of state governments to such an extent that when Jefferson talked about his “country,” he was referring to Virginia, Gutzman says. “In general Jefferson thought that to have a republican society it had to be highly decentralized. It didn’t mean, though, that he thought it wasn’t necessary for the federal government to have all the necessary strength when it came to diplomatic and military matters.”

Gutzman argues that the debate over the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton was settled in the election of 1800. “In the 1790s Hamilton wanted to use the military to tamp down political dissent, and his party was responsible for the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to speak out against the government. I think that was the route America would have followed if not for the Republican success in the election of 1800. The victory meant that an aristocratic model of government was done. That was a lasting victory. Jefferson said the election of 1800 was as real a revolution of government principles as 1776 was in its form. The contest between the two was so lopsided that Hamilton’s party literally ceased to exist.” (1)



(1) Whose Vision of America Won Out—Hamilton’s or Jefferson’s? 


Cicero by Jody Bray twitter

Confident your Republic can withstand four years of Authoritarian rule in these United States? Consider for a moment how our National divide is today compared to 2015. How did our founding fathers source information about the tenure and Fragility of democratically elected Republics? Adams, Jefferson, and Madison all looked to Cicero. Cicero: Defender of the Roman Republic Cicero was a Roman orator, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher. During political corruption and violence, he wrote about what he believed to be the ideal form of government.


President Thomas Jefferson is a painting by War Is Hell Store which was uploaded on March 19th, 2012.
Alexander Hamilton the Federalist

HBO’s John Adams – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams’ faith in humanity


A scene from HBO’s John Adams miniseries in which Thomas Jefferson and John Adams illustrate their differences of opinion on having faith in humanity.




John Adams – The Miniseries (Adams meets Col. Washington)



One of my favorite scenes from the JA miniseries is when Tom tells John he is resigning. I just love Paul Giamatti’s and Stephen Dillane’s acting in this scene.

Tom: “To the Revolution.”
John: “Whose?”
John Adams: Part 5: Unite or Die

David McCullough

David McCullough on John Adams


librarian of Congress James H. Billington engages noted author and historian David McCullough in a discussion on John Adams.

Speaker Biography: James H. Billington is the 13th Librarian of the United States Congress.

Speaker Biography: David McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United State’s highest civilian award.

On September 21, 2004, The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with David McCullough. To celebrate the 2004-2005 lecture season, the John Adams Institute paid tribute to the American patriot, John Adams, who provided the institute with both the original inspiration and namesake. 2005 marks the 225th anniversary of his arrival in Amsterdam, and for the inaugural lecture, we welcomed his biographer, David McCullough.

Credited by The New York Review of Books as ‘by far the best biography of Adams ever written,’ John Adams is as engaging a read as it is historically enlightening. In McCullough’s acute portrayal, not only Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, and Washington emerge as fully-formed.

David McCullough is one of the foremost biographers in America. John Adams was a national bestseller and TIME magazine’s best nonfiction book of the year in the year of its publication, 2001.

David McCullough discussed “The Pioneers: The Heroic Stories of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West” at the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

– David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize for “Truman” and “John Adams” and twice received the National Book Award for “The Path Between the Seas” and “Mornings on Horseback.” His other acclaimed books include “The Johnstown Flood,” “The Great Bridge,” “Brave Companions,” “1776,” “The Greater Journey” and “The Wright Brothers.” He receives numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation”s highest civilian award. His new book is “The Pioneers: The Heroic Stories of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West.”

What an amazing storyteller he was. David McCullough was not trained as a historian, perhaps that’s why he was one of the giants. A lot of historians get wrapped up around facts, figures, names, and dates and they lose the most important element, the story. History is just that, stories. And if you can’t write a good narrative you can’t capture people’s imaginations. I recently had to put down a book on this same time period because the author literally got down to the number of knots on the ship rigging of the day. That is just an example of taking your brain out for a walk. McCullough never took his brain out for a walk, he took our brains out for a walk, and there is a world of difference between the two. He’s gone now and I doubt we will see his kind again. RIP sir. Thank you for Truman, Adams, 1776, and the other books you shared with me and the rest and the world. We are better for you having written them.

Itinerant Patriot

The election of George Washington was weirder than you think

The first U.S. presidential election in 1789 had none of the features Americans associate with elections today: no campaigning for office, no political parties or conventions, and no primary elections. Election Day was in January rather than November. The Electoral College was taken seriously rather than being treated as a formality. This was the only election in which a state was disqualified from participating. And there was only one issue at stake: whether the Constitution itself should be scrapped.

The final results of the election were that George Washington received 69 electoral votes and John Adams 34, making them president and vice president, respectively. John Adams should have received at least 49 votes, but many of the electors who wanted to vote for him voted for other people instead because of a scheme that Alexander Hamilton helped create. So instead of Adams receiving 71% of the electoral vote as he would have, he only received 49%

.0:00 Introduction 0:35 Why 1789? Why not 1776? 2:59 The procedure for electing the president 6:41 How the states chose their electors 8:54 The major election issue 9:58 The New York debacle 12:04 What the anti-federalists wanted 16:46 The plot to prevent Adams from accidentally becoming president 17:31 Electoral College results 20:10 Conclusion


DHFFE = The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections, 4 vols. (Madison: the University of Wisconsin Press, 1976–89)

[1] Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill: the University of North Carolina Press, 1969), pages 128–132
Jere R. Daniell, Experiment in Republicanism: New Hampshire Politics and the American Revolution, 1741–1794 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), page 210

[2] Neal R. Peirce, The People’s President: The Electoral College in American History and the Direct-Vote Alternative (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1968), pages 39–48
Lawrence D. Longley, The Electoral College Primer 2000 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pages 18–19

[3] New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Election Law, 12 November 1788, DHFFE 1:790
Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Election Resolutions, 20 November 1788, DHFFE 1:510

[4] Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, chapter 13
Jere R. Daniell, Experiment in Republicanism, pages 210–214
Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pages 15, 35
The image shown here is the mural “The Anti-Ratification Riot in Albany, 1788” created in 1935 by David Cunningham Lithgow, located in Milne Hall at the University at Albany.

[5] Alexander Hamilton to James Madison, 23 November 1788, DHFFE 4:95
William Tilghman to Tench Coxe, 2 January 1789, DHFFE 4:125
Alexander Hamilton to James Wilson, 25 January 1789, DHFFE 4:148

[6] James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 8 December 1788, DHFFE 4:109
Edward Carrington to James Madison, 19 December 1788, DHFFE 4:115
Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia), 31 December 1788, DHFFE 4:122
A Marylander, Maryland Gazette (Baltimore), 2 January 1789, DHFFE 4:126
Marcus Cunliffe, “Elections of 1789 and 1792” in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789–2001, vol. 1, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2002), page 15

[7] Tench Coxe to Benjamin Rush, 13 January 1789, DHFFE 4:140
Alexander Hamilton to James Wilson, 25 January 1789, DHFFE 4:148
Wallace & Muir to Tench Coxe, 25 January 1789, DHFFE 4:149-150
Tench Coxe to Benjamin Rush, 2 February 1789, DHFFE 4:160
Marcus Cunliffe, “Elections of 1789 and 1792” in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789–2001, vol. 1, pages 13–15
John Ferling, John Adams: A Life (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992), pages 298–299
Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (New York: Penguin, 2004), page 272

[8] William Stephens Smith to Thomas Jefferson, 15 February 1789, DHFFE 4:178
John Trumbull to John Adams, 17 April 1790, DHFFE 4:290

[9] Benjamin Rush to Tench Coxe, 19 January 1789, DHFFE 4:144
Benjamin Rush to Tench Coxe, 5 February 1789, DHFFE 1:401
[William Bradford, Jr., to Elias Boudinot], 7 February 1789, DHFFE 4:168
Federal Gazette (Philadelphia), 9 February 1789, DHFFE 4:172

[10] William Tilghman to Tench Coxe, 25 January 1789, DHFFE 4:149
William Tilghman to Tench Coxe, 9 February 1789, DHFFE 4:172
Benjamin Rush to Tench Coxe, 11 February 1789, DHFFE 4:173
Elbridge Gerry to John Adams, 4 March 1789, DHFFE 4:190

[11] Georgia’s throwaway votes:
James Seagrove to [Samuel Blachley Webb], 2 January 1789, DHFFE 2:438
James Madison to George Washington, 5 March 1789, DHFFE 2:478

[12] John Adams to John Trumbull, 7 April 1790, DHFFE 4:290–291
John Adams to John Trumbull, 25 April 1790, DHFFE 4:291–292
John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, 20 July 1807, DHFFE 4:292–293
John Ferling, John Adams: A Life, page 299
John Patrick Diggins, John Adams (New York: Times Books, 2003), page 42
Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, pages 272–273


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Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Jefferson vs Alexander Hamilton (AP US History – APUSH Review)



This is a brief introduction to the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton during the Washington Administration that led to the formation of the first two party system in the United States. This lecture is intended for AP US History (APUSH) students but may be helpful to students of government and politics, as well.

From 2001: David McCullough on founding father John Adams


Are you striving to prove the brilliance of the speaker or the truth of that is being argued?

Notice how in her criticism she still showed that she had full confidence in his ability. A good partner exposes your weaknesses but never fails to express their confidence in your ability to correct them. This is why Abigail and John lasted all their lives. Marriage should be seen as all life ought to be seen, with mutual respect even amongst and especially during, the struggle.


The Burbles
Seven months ago (edited)
In an earlier scene, Willis admitted to Pitt and Thurlow he’d never read Shakespeare – because “I’m a clergyman!” They looked at each other in astonishment and no wonder; for any learned man, that’s a major omission, but for a doctor specializing in ‘afflictions of the mind,’ it is extraordinary because WS’s works included many of the greatest insights and descriptions then available of the problems that beset inner human life.

One year ago
This is significant not only because it’s a real king reading a play about a mad king. Whether or not Lord Thurlow did anything in this scene specifically, his shock as to the propriety of letting George III read King Lear would have been genuine since all play performances were banned during the King’s madness.


A brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear to the remission of King George III’s illness.

For many good reasons, a close companion to the John Adams series is the “Madness of King George” film.  This scene, the most poignant and lyrical, of King Lear with the Mad King George in the role of King Lear is a gentle scene of resonant Shakespeare tragedy reverie for King George. One may generously conclude that Shakespeare and the Tragedy of King Lear is the best medicine for what this Royal suffered under.  Regardless this scene is ripe with pathos and something close to sublime, credit due to the actors, most especially Nigel Hawthorne as King George, who occupy King Lear’s role with parallel resonance. (1 a)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest stage and screen actors both in his native UK and internationally, the unparalleled Nigel Hawthorne was born in Coventry, England, on 5 April 1929, raised in South Africa, and returned to the UK in the 1950s with his extensive work as a great gentleman of acting following during the decade as well as in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. His portrayal of ‘Sir Humphrey Appleby’ in the BBC comedy Yes Minister (1980) won him international acclaim in the 1980s. In 1992, he was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for his sublime interpretation of ‘George III’ in Alan Bennett’s hit stage play, “The Madness of King George III” and he was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in its brilliant film adaptation The Madness of King George (1994), both of them exquisitely directed by Nicholas Hytner. (1 b)

King George III was considered a highly cultured monarch during his long reign. He founded and supported the Royal Academy of the Arts, became the first British monarch to study science, and established a massive royal library. Unfortunately for him, however, most people remember King George III for two things: 1) losing the American colonies and 2) losing his mind.

In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers programmed a computer to “read” George’s letters from over his 60-year reign (1760-1820). Their results suggest that the king suffered from “acute mania,” an excitable, hyperactive condition that could resemble the manic phase of what is now known as bipolar disorder.

Using machine learning, the researchers taught the computer to identify 29 written features to differentiate between people with mental disorders and those without. These features included how complex the sentences are, how rich a vocabulary is used, and the frequency and variety of words.

The computer then searched for those features in the king’s letters from different periods in his life. The differences were striking when it compared writings from periods when he appeared mentally sound to those from periods when he seemed unwell.

“King George wrote very differently when unwell, compared to when he was healthy,” Peter Garrard, professor of neurology at St. George’s University of London and a co-author of the new study, said in a statement. “In the manic periods, we could see that he used less-rich vocabulary and fewer adverbs. He repeated words less often, with a lower degree of redundancy or wordiness.”

Garrard and his colleagues also had the computer compare writings from times when other things could have influenced the king’s mental state (different seasons, for example, or during wartime vs. peacetime). In those comparisons, the computer’s analysis found no difference in the king’s language, suggesting the differences it identified were due to mental illness.

Historians and scientists have long struggled to identify the cause of King George’s famous “madness.” In 1969, a study published in Scientific American suggested he had porphyria, an inherited blood disorder that can cause anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. Researchers noted in 2005 that the king’s doctors might have worsened this condition by treating him with doses of arsenic (i.e., poisoning him).

Widely accepted for many years, the porphyria diagnosis became a long-running play by Alan Bennett, “The Madness of King George.” In 1994, the play was adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Nigel Hawthorne in the title role and Helen Mirren as the king’s long-suffering wife, Queen Charlotte.

(Credit: Public Domain)

But a more recent study, published in the journal History of Psychiatry in 2010, argued against porphyria as the cause of King George’s symptoms. Its authors claimed the earlier research ignored or underrepresented evidence from medical accounts of the king’s condition. They also pointed out that there’s little evidence to indicate George’s urine was significantly discolored (a key sign of porphyria).

In their new linguistic study, Garrard and his co-authors describe the porphyria diagnosis as “thoroughly discredited.” Instead, they write: “In the modern classification of mental illness, acute mania now appears to be the diagnosis that fits best with the available behavioral data.”

The researchers have used similar techniques before when they analyzed how the writings of author Iris Murdoch changed with the onset of her dementia. In the future, they hope to look at how modern patients write during the manic phase of bipolar disorder to create a more solid link to King George and other possible historical cases of the illness. (2)

(1 a) Paul Langan, Cool Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(1 b) Imdb

(2) © 2023 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



Who was George III, and was he a bad king?

  In this video, made with the support of the Royal Collection Trust, we explore the reign of George III. Was he the aspiring tyrant that comes down to us from the American Declaration of Independence, or has his reign been misunderstood? Find out with Royal Holloway student Sam Angell.
tim-hufner-Fern Fronds in black and white unsplash

John Adams: A Closer Look (HBO)

Learn more about the American founding father John Adams and his portrayal in the HBO Films’ Miniseries Event ‘John Adams.

How historically accurate is the Musical Hamilton? We know that Miranda made a valiant effort for accuracy yet?



Here is a PDF of the contrast and compare between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamiton (including a Venn Diagram) which clearly diagrams the differences between Jefferson and Hamilton.

Is the BMPCC 4K still worth it in 2021? | STOP ASKING


There seems to be an influx of videos on YouTube asking if “the BMPCC4K is still worth it.” It’s time to stop asking. In this video, we cover why it’s still worth it in 2021 and for the next 5 years. What do you think?

BMPCC4K 2022 | Best budget cinema camera for filmmakers


Should you buy the Black magic pocket cinema camera 4k in 2022? Well, it depends. This is my journey and process on how I came to decide that is was the best camera for me and my budget. I’ve been using the BMPCC4K for over 6 months now so here are my thoughts.

A budding filmmaker like you needs the Blackmagic Pocket 4k VS Hollywood Movie Camera | Red Dragon


BMPCC 4K Review – I spent one year with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K, am I still in love?

BMPCC 4K Review – I spent one year with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K, am I still in love? Another BMPCC 4K Review?! I didn’t just buy the Pocket 4K and use it for a week. I used the BMPCC 4K for a full year before producing this in-depth camera review on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K to provide my fellow filmmakers with the knowledge they need before you purchase the Pocket 4K. Find out why in 2020, I think the BMPCC 4K is the best value cinema camera for filmmakers like you. Learn how I put this entry-level cinema camera to the test when it comes to filmmaking and videography work in the field. In this 1-year review, I also show you some BMPCC4K Footage that I’ve shot, as well as show you some low-light footage from the BMPCC 4K.