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Jefferson's Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the New Nation from Debt

Jefferson's Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the New Nation from Debt

by Gregory May


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WALL STREET JOURNAL review: "One of Mr. May's strengths is his ability to convey a vivid sense of the times. When Britain attacked the U.S. naval frigate Chesapeake in 1807, Gallatin received a message from Jefferson bidding him to come in haste. 'If you arrive before half after three, come and take a family dinner with me,' Jefferson pleaded, a poignant reminder that, in Jefferson's time, official duties set with the sun... [May] credits Gallatin with ushering in an era of official frugality and mourns that we have "lost sight of the pragmatic, liberal republicanism he practiced"

George Washington had Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson had Albert Gallatin.

From internationally known tax expert and former Supreme Court law clerk Gregory May comes this long overdue biography of the remarkable immigrant who launched the fiscal policies that shaped the early Republic and the future of American politics. Not Alexander Hamilton—-Albert Gallatin. To this day, the fight over fiscal policy lies at the center of American politics. Jefferson's champion in that fight was Albert Gallatin—-a Swiss immigrant who served as Treasury Secretary for twelve years because he was the only man in Jefferson's party who understood finance well enough to reform Alexander Hamilton's system. A look at Gallatin's work—-repealing internal taxes, restraining government spending, and repaying public debt—-puts our current federal fiscal problems in perspective. The Jefferson Administration's enduring achievement was to contain the federal government by restraining its fiscal power. This was Gallatin's work. It set the pattern for federal finance until the Civil War, and it created a culture of fiscal responsibility that survived well into the twentieth century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621576457
Publisher: Regnery History
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 714,139
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

An internationally known tax expert, Greg May has spent three years analyzing Gallatin's role in the finances of the Early Republic. Greg graduated from William and Mary with highest honors in history and from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the law review. After clerking for Justice Lewis Powell on the Supreme Court, he had a long career in tax and corporate finance. He and his wife live in Virginia.

Table of Contents

Illustrations xiii

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 Becoming Republican 1

Chapter 2 Political Promise 23

Chapter 3 Gallatin's Insurrection 41

Chapter 4 Opposition Leader 61

Chapter 5 Republican Triumph 87

Chapter 6 Debt and Democracy 99

Chapter 7 Frugality's Price 141

Chapter 8 Republicans at War 179

Chapter 9 Redemption 221

Chapter 10 Republican Rebirth 259

Acknowledgments 309

Endnote Abbreviations 313

Notes 317

Index 505

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