Alexander Hamilton: Ambivalent Anglophile / Edition 1

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Of all of the Founding Fathers of the American republic none, with the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson, has evoked more passions and aroused more controversy than Alexander Hamilton.

In this absorbing new biography, eminent historian Lawrence Kaplan examines Hamilton's conception of America's role in the world and the foreign policies that followed from his vision. Kaplan looks at how Hamilton acted upon his views in shaping the course of American foreign relations.

The author provides a focused, accessible biography of Hamilton and a nuanced assessment of his impact on Federalist Era foreign policy. In the Jefferson-Jackson era Hamilton's persona as an elitist urban aristocrat condemned him as an enemy of an expanding democratic America-an Anglophile at a time when Great Britain was the major adversary. Such was his reputation as an enemy of the common man that his deep-seated opposition to the institution of slavery won little recognition from northern abolitionists.

This book will fascinate readers with its insights into Hamilton and the formative years of the United States of America.

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Editorial Reviews

Kaplan (Kent State U.) draws on the many biographies of the 20th century and on the 27 volumes of Hamilton's (1722-1804) papers for his own account of the US Founding Father who, next to Jefferson, has generated most controversy, both cases primarily in relation to the Federalist debate. His main focus is Hamilton's conception of the US role in the world and the foreign policies that followed from his vision. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Forrest McDonald
A judiciously balanced account of a highly controversial subject.
Bradford Perkins
This briskly written volume is an important contribution to the never-ending debate over early American foreign policy. Kaplan clearly demonstrates that while Alexander Hamilton revered British political institutions, this by no means meant that he was prepared to endorse or accept British policies. Like his great enemy, Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton believed that 'the survival and prosperity of the United States rested on independence from the great powers of Europe.' Kaplan by no means ignores Hamilton's flaws, but his analysis convincingly shows us that Hamilton was indeed an 'ambiguous anglophile.'
Peter Hill
From Kaplan's years of scholarly immersion in the foreign policy of the early Republic comes a masterpiece of clarity and insight into one of its most controversial framers. Alexander Hamilton: Ambivalent Anglophile is a fresh and long-overdue appraisal that distills the insights of an eminent scholar. The dean of historians in his field, Kaplan has captured the essence of Hamilton's personality and place in the strife-torn issues of foreign policy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842028783
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Biographies in American Foreign Policy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence S. Kaplan is University Professor Emeritus at Kent State University and adjunct professor of history at Georgetown University.

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Table of Contents

1 The Rise of a Wunderkind 1
2 The War as Opportunity, 1775-1782 23
3 Toward the Constitution, 1782-1789 47
4 Secretary of the Treasury, 1789-1791 79
5 To the Jay Treaty, 1790-1794 99
6 Behind the Scenes, 1795-1798 123
7 General Manque, 1798-1800 143
8 Epilogue 167
Bibliographical Essay 179
Index 189
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