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Old 12-08-2014, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Outside of the United States
107 posts, read 113,131 times
Reputation: 74

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I want to ask historians and researchers, as well as common citizens, who, Jefferson or Hamilton, is a conservative hero, according to both today's and nineteenth century's meaning of conservatism? How about those two schools, colleges and universities teach? What is the common view of conservatism and who or what creates it? Who is regarded, seen and known more common as a father of American conservatism?

Let me explain, expand and introduce. Those two are merely representatives, despite of their own greatness, of a certain political though. It can be also John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay or Daniel Webster, or even finally William H. Seward, on the Hamiltonian side, and James Madison, John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson on the Jeffersonian side. Of course, many call Hamiltonians and Whigs conservative, despite their American System and regulatory policies. On the other side, are not Jeffersonian and Jacksonian policies, free of federal supervision and regulation, epithome of American conservatism? So American conservatism is on the side of states rights, like John C. Calhoun has been, or it stands for federally supported nationalism in style of New England conservative champion and great statesman Daniel Webster?

My question is about a first and a second party system, or Jeffersionan and Jacksonian democracy respectively, which roughly encompasses period from the beginning of the Great Republic to last antebellum federal elections of 1860, but you can also post how you see the subject in later years, especially if you consider Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson conservative, as in fact, they were very closely-minded in their domestic progressive agenda, despite party rivalry. And of course such specimen as Calvin Coolidge or Ronald Reagan. Cause if we consider Hamiltonian interventionists as conservative, how presidents who championed small government as a basis of their conservatism, can still be regarded conservative?

Can you see my point? Most of American statesman, excluding Democrats after New Deal and Great Society, through history of the United States can be called conservative, and this makes the term, not only obscure in meaning, but also contradictory in itself.

I know that today there are at least two major trends in American conservatism, reflected in two major wings of the Republican Party, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, the latter being to some degree related to libertarians. The two positions can be associated with each other as well as be derived from opposite order of values and different political philosophies. Here lies a problem? Jugding of one's conservative attitude from two separate points of view, economic and social, ends up in rulling out that almost everyone is or have been a conservative?
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:31 AM
 
2,687 posts, read 1,791,267 times
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I'm not sure how Hamilton would be a conservative hero. He supported economic interventionism, tariffs, the national debt and expansive powers for the federal government (he was a driving force behind the Bank of the United States, an early supporter of a central banking system). Hamilton's politics would definitely make him conservative as 19th century Britons would understand it, his views closely aligning with the likes of Disraeli. But in mordern parlance, Hamilton was the 18th century equivalent to a big government liberal.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:16 AM
 
9,985 posts, read 6,506,354 times
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Both Jefferson and Hamilton would be considered "conservative" by today's standards,
but, as you probably know, Hamilton was more of a statist (Federal state).
Jefferson would be considered Libertarian today, Hamilton would probably be a
Tea Party Republican.
Let the shots against me fly...
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Outside of the United States
107 posts, read 113,131 times
Reputation: 74
Well, I would never say that Hamilton, measured by today's standards, could be member of Tea Party Caucus or suport it, or even could be member of the Republican Party. And the other hand, I am even more asurred that he could not by any means be called liberal. I see not a single drop of liberalism in him, besides classical liberalism, which is not a tenet of American liberalism. I would say that nowadays there is no such party with which Federalists and Whigs could share a view. Because this requires a party, that is not only socially conservative, but also favors federal presence and regulations, but not in neoconservative way. And Democrats nowadays have, in my eyes, more socially progressive agenda than economic progressive one.

Indeed, Hamilton was a statist, of course, he has championed cause of strong federal presence and supervision over the nation. But did he oppose Jefferson social values? Even, it might be said that not, implications of their economic views show an opposition of their social positions. Hamilton, proponent of not only central banking, but also industrialization, expansion of commerce and diplomacy, so consequently, urbanization, in contrary to Jefferson isolationist and agrarian stands. One may say, this is approach to economic and foreign policy. Yes, it is, but it also shows social viwes of two men and two factions.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:00 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,881 posts, read 5,483,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Votre_Chef View Post
I'm not sure how Hamilton would be a conservative hero. He supported economic interventionism, tariffs, the national debt and expansive powers for the federal government (he was a driving force behind the Bank of the United States, an early supporter of a central banking system). Hamilton's politics would definitely make him conservative as 19th century Britons would understand it, his views closely aligning with the likes of Disraeli. But in mordern parlance, Hamilton was the 18th century equivalent to a big government liberal.
He could be considered conservative since he opposed mobocracy (a big threat at that time). He also favored a sound monetary policy and restrictions on public incurrence of debtors.

One could make the case that Jefferson was because of his advocacy of small government. Yet when he got into power it was clear he talked a good game, but didn't walk the walk.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Outside of the United States
107 posts, read 113,131 times
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Well, it is clear now, that mobocracy is already, from the time of Jacksonian Democracy, in place, increased after desegregation and push even further after each amnesty. So, well, today it cannot be issue. Growing up nowadays Hamilton would have a hard time trying to overturn universal suffrage and voting rights.

What sound monetary policy means exactly?

I have heard it some time, I think when reading about W. McKinley and W. J. Brayan competition to the highest office.

It is something like deflation, Milton Friedman and monetarism?
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,370 posts, read 4,579,025 times
Reputation: 4055
The modern concepts of "conservative" and "liberal" have little meaning in the era of Jefferson and Hamilton. Ultimately, they stood for two different, and now largely anachronistic, visions of America, one an agrarian democracy of farmers, not unlike ancient Athens, and the other a mercantile power centered on its great ports, not unlike 18th century England. In general, both conservatives (states rights) and liberals (civil rights) claim Jefferson as their own, while virtually no one claims Hamilton, since nobody is less likely to be liked than a banker, no matter how much they might in reality be needed.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:54 AM
 
5,137 posts, read 6,189,717 times
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neither were considered conservative in their day. Militantly liberal more like it. Shook up the status quo.

And I am not sure Jefferson would qualify as a conservative today. A populist maybe. And Hamilton was more of a statist and that is nowhere near conservative.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:26 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,881 posts, read 5,483,197 times
Reputation: 11091
The Revolution and drafting of the Constitution were infused with Enlightenment ideology. Most of the actors were "small 'l' liberals" but would be considered conservative today.
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Old Today, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,041 posts, read 8,216,889 times
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Hamilton was a Federalist until his death, Jefferson turned Democrat in 1800.
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