« Stuff You Missed in History Class

Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr

2009-07-29 | 🔗

As political rivals, Hamilton and Burr began a bitter exchange of insults, leading to a duel in 1804 that resulted in Hamilton's death. Learn about the ideas that drove Hamilton and Burr to violence in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
this episode of stuff you missed in history class is brought to you by the completely redesigned twenty twenty ford explorer this is not a vehicle that going to take you to the moon or to the bottom of the sea but it's one that you can use for all kinds of exploration and adventure and your everyday life azure going around town if you're travelling just going over to the grocery store to get everything you need for your kids birthday party once again that is the all new twenty twenty ford explore the greatest exploration vehicle of all time high on bobby round welcomed ipod beyond the beauty show from i heard radio i'm here to be sitting down different people each week that i think we can all learn from i hurt radio is number one for pod cast but don't take our word for police into the on the beauty i hurt radio app apple todd cast or ever you get your package because we all have something to learn about the real me
welcome to stuff you missed in history class from housetop works dot com eleven welcomes the by catch an editor came his junior joined by fellow editor katy lambert stand here today we're going to take a leader suggestion from our who wrote to tat is to say i know you're really thy thomas jefferson but i read an article in american history about him versus hamilton on banking stated essentially that our current economic was can be attributed to jefferson's opposition and jackson's later support for that position i would enjoy hearing a pod cost hamilton versus jefferson and the national bank issue will do on hamilton although not necessarily the national banking issue because today i think we're gonna focus more on his dual with ehrenberg and part
the story leading up to the door is who alexander hamilton wise as a person and so we will touch on his point of view we call them on the national treasury because they incline unpopular and eventually to his mice and according you run churn hours biography of alexander hamilton jefferson's followers believed that milton was and i quote they deem seized him as a slavish pawn of the british crown a closet monarchist machiavellian intriguer a would be caesar and these assessments are are really unfair actually on jefferson and hamilton were horrible political opponents they the smear campaigns and newspapers against each other after they hired journalists to deliberately cast character aspersions on the other at one point
thus i gaza for back and forth culminated in one printing that the other one had died and because news didn't traveller fast it took a little while to get the word out that no there was no death i mean raises nasty between the two of them and this is all rooted in the arguments which ass it took a little while to get the word out that now there was no doubt jefferson in hamilton felt very strongly about their national identities so to begin with the beginning alexander hamilton ways forward in seventeen fifty five on leave us which is our caribbean island famous forbidden i swear alexander hamilton was born another much else and his birth was illegitimate which is something he could humiliating and his later years and has beginnings were very much shrouded in a bit mastery he was really ashamed that that was his birth
was ten years old his hand they moved to saint croy shortly thereafter his father left and then his mother died and then he went to live with a first cousin who killed himself i know it's not funny the string of catastrophe is it wise and i was watching the pbs american experience aki memory about hamilton and historians catch likening him to a tragic greek figure which is true i mean he really wise here's a man who wants nothing but honour and everything standing in his way to keep him from attaining that position that he is right about all the great greek works were he's right all the statesmen who wants nothing more than to be esteemed alongside them but he had no name to speak of heavy has no money he has no education his aunt uncle and grandmother died also in short succession and seriously talk about humbled there is really know where to go from here and usually
ten by the time that all these things happened and after his cousin died and everyone died he was apprenticed to a mercantile house as a clerk and import export business and that's where things get more scandalous because the rich head of the many thomas stevens took him in and was more came to him and people began to notice how much he looked like thomas a sun edward stephen so much so that they were merely twins and there became thomas stevens was actually his real father and not the father who disappeared and left him in his mother behind but despite any scandal that may have resulted from our assembly to this man he asked first a name for himself in his position as a clerk because you learn the exchange rates he learned how to conduct trade and how to make fair appraisals of imports and exports and he actually had appeared of time in which he took over the business and
since saved at from ruin because the very ambitious he why's he wise and in his position where he was watching the slaves on the island engage the sugar the sugar cane trade and being beaten down sometimes in the fields by their masters he became determined that he would fight against this type of treatment of and he didn't think it was right that people would be oppressed if there are working hard he thought that hard work could save anyone from any station they were born in two and in fact he said i would willingly risk my life though not my character to exalt my station and he did exalt his station actually in seventeen seventy two he wrote a letter about a devastating hurricane that it hit the islands published in the royal danish american gazette and it was so great and so well written that's a lot of people took notice
and a group of businessmen actually got together some money and sent him to the united states educated so here is our first step from the little island that no one had ever heard of united states exactly so he and roles at kings college in new york at eighteen years old and this is why the american revolution starts brewing and you must remember he's a foreigner essentially coming to the united states but very quickly he allowed himself to be swept up and this revolutionary spirit and oh he maintained that for trade purposes and for commerce and colonies ability to be an active part of world politics they will need to maintain some sort of alliance with england he changed feelings was the little bed and eventually in joining and artillery unit and fighting against the british soldiers and kings i was very much a place of british orthodoxy people there were
more aligned to britain and hamilton cod and i did it was common at the time was that the colonists loyalty to the english king but not to parliament so that was sort of the line he was struggling at the time and he did hope that peace could be accomplished with england and maybe we could have some sort of a limited monarchy but he did become right radicalized when he had it up that artillery company and he was very young i believe for that kind of a post and idea of being able to finally put into action he sentiments that he'd been expressing with his pen he got noticed by george washington pretty early on because he was so ambitious and such of a fervent organiser of people and tasks and ideas and why swashing ten drew him man he became a a part of washington subtle coterie and
washington very much relied upon hamilton to do correspondence for him and historians note that when you read general washington's correspondence in his letters and some of the great things is known to have said a lot about it from hamilton is the ghost rider is a very special bond and relationship almost like father son continue to save hamilton throughout his career washington promoted him till the tenet colonel he made in his aide de camp and he very involved in washington settle group until leaving a falling out around seventeen eighty one when washington said that hamilton was disrespectful toward him and and resigned and then came back after washing japan christ you dont oppian george washington bedside definitely not answer for you flash forward in the interest of moving toward the eye the ehrenberg jewel which a new europe curious about when the institution is risk of not being ratified hamilton steps up
he ensures that everyone understands the importance of this document which well not only unify the currency across the colonies but will also establish the essence of order and responsibility and an identity for the different states because they were set went from one another the southern states in the northern states and people lived in what the cities were like he knew that in order for everyone to coexist peacefully after their thoughts for independence and not for more permission to break out between the states themselves there had to be but if centralized government he was known for being really really convincing and now that the constitutional convention and three states have ratified it but that's it and that's what started writing the federalist papers with james madison and john jay and the papers were designed to give a common man's under
the ending of what was actually in the constitution he wanted to appeal to everyone so that they would understand why they should support the constitution but he was known for being someone a lead us because he did use elevated language and who did put a lot of faith and the arrest creasy the intellectuals joyfully run the government by the federalists there's really helped garner support finally because everyone you do look of a constitution the languages of its staff and people were afraid that they were just creating another low monarchy and the united states and he was trying to make it clear that that wasn't the case behind what they were trying to do and it's funny you know that i when he was speaking you money had the floor it was almost like no one could get him to shut is now always more than words were just come port out and he was a little man i hear if seven five seven and described as delicately framed and so i mean imagine
anything has ensured a comparison to make i don't but always envision niles crane from for each other the other however is a similar spouting off these big words all agree with ideas and no one can get be quiet but am was he was free happy with the way that things turned out in the end but is much the federalists papers were designed to get popular opinion too the constitution he why constantly criticised putting too much power in a centralized elite government and hear retorted at one point and would you have representing us in government not the rich not the wire not the learn it and when say what you plaque some person office nato is digging in the garbage now you're management the contrast between him and jefferson started because people associated jefferson being very democratic and someone like hamilton with being cited with the aristocrats i'd and hamilton was making the point that you need people who
your stand money stan credit and trade to actually make the country work he was like him right i can't he was all about the policy whereas jefferson and vision that people should be allowed to live their lives make their own individual choices and he envision this type of a gun in paradise wherever you man toiled in the earth and built his own estate and supported him soften hamilton saw i you know big as united states wise maximizing space making city his and involving the country in trade in building up their their credit line with a rush the world's they could become the power and hamilton as you mentioned before had a much darker view of human nature and he was also very concerned about things just falling into complete chaos he didn't think basically with people could be trusted to govern themselves in and he may have been right and that's why
it was some interesting when he got involved in the resolution because on the one hand he was terrified of this rule he stopped a from attacking a president of kings college but on the other hand he was out captioning infantry and that he didn't exactly get his way with all of the ideas he had for young men if he'd had his way the constitution would have appointed president fruit for life and the president would have tat individual leaders from each state and i didn't turn out that way but he did think that united states should accomplish certain feeds if it wanted to become a good respectable and one of the most controversial ones earliness career after washington had appointed him treasury the secretary was his gumption plan and with that i think he thought the nation should assume the debts of the states where exactly so and it was it was pretty political and
ten had often been criticised for not being political enough he didn't talk like a politician he couldn't smooth users brash and shrill and if people on aside but this was incredibly political maneuver because the people who the most dad in the individual states if he could find to assume their darts and get this was incredibly political maneuver because the people who had the most when people's tries he'd when their allegiance or inhuman he had a dinner with thomas jefferson with madison where he basically struck a deal with them how'd you know i need your state support for this political maneuver and it worked and the agreement they reached with that he was that jefferson and madison have their way and the new capital would be moved to the region beside the potomac donna martin these numerous today it was in new york time and hamilton you know he left new york using new yorker bite
and it was a bigger win to get the assumption ass road and see the capital move a couple states down south and he also garnered more controversy that same year when he wanted to charter a national bank madison jefferson and a whole bunch of other people said it was unkind additional and that was the federal when going way too far and hamilton and washington got it and this is where really sorry to see that division between the jeffersonian republicans who wanted it to be very much a republic bright and the federalists who the power and the federal government jefferson was saying no no no ideas of urbanization and standing army and essentially what he saw the federalists was someone who was a minor aghast whereas hamilton was arguing if you want order an you want power you have to agree to these things and this were i two party system came into play there you have it around
this time as when ehrenberg makes an appearance and alexander hamilton life when they were adding an election for the new york summit seeds and and were defeated philip schuyler who was related to hamiltons wife i believe elizabeth schuyler and that's when things between them started to heat up here hamilton at one point in time if you have power as treasuries secretary to work the system to benefit you why wouldn't you it was unbelievable to aaron further man who had hamiltons authoritative position wouldn't use it for personal pain and hamilton had always been horrified by the idea of doing work just for money he believe then doing work for the honesty at it and for the pride of of wood new case in court he was a successful lawyer but he would refuse
in some cases if you didn't agree with the plaintiff you would only take the case of the hebrew tal hearted the n and this meant in almost a lifetime of destitution for him and certainly a great deal of dat for his family bites you see that the differences in morals and print both between burnt hamilton would would cause nodded professional distaste for one another but a very personal one and there it does i could each other went on i think for a good the errors and it got very personal insults for flung back and forth on each other's character which was a pretty serious thing it wasn't just saying o his ideas or battles like now heap he as a person worthy of consideration for the position of say governor of new york precisely seven hundred presidential race roles around the two tenders for the office are jefferson whom housing
stand and bur another his enemies so here you earlier there were no you can't win either way is torn between the two choices but here to decide who would be best for the country and old only he decides jefferson and because there had been title action hamilton the wine who finally oppressor congressmen over the edge and got him to agree to them four jefferson so the final deciding vote while it didn't come from hamilton came from his influence and theirs could i keep seeing and all the stories i look out of hamilton and bar where hamilton said if there be a man in the world i ought to hate it is jefferson with burma have always personally well but i think this is about the time when he stopped feeling that way so in eighteen oh won its official jefferson as the third president and bur as vice president and senior alexander's oldest son philip hamilton was killed
a dual attempting to defend the honour of the family and the grief of it drove their daughter angelica saying so no one's not separate liquid year and hamilton himself is very distraught over sons does because his son had actually consulted with him as to whether or not he should accept the do challenge and at this point in time the could have was structured so that you can get out of a dual if you're willing to make a public apology and so the prostrate yourself before the person whom it become embroiled in this conflict with hamilton you that if the sun was going to have a future in politics like he'd hoped ever since he was baby really that he had to take soon it become embroiled in this conflict wealth and hamilton knew that if his son was going to have a future policy so hamilton not only because of his sons death due to doing that ass his religious ideas and his moral
and and really is respect for the law he was very much opposed to doing before the famous bur hamilton jaw hamilton had actually been involved and ten other disputes that had never escalated to the point of becoming a full fledged you all human rights to work himself out of them except when we think of that now we picture access to people you getting angry in meeting it no high noon and drawing our guns and it's not how political duels worked in the day now there's a really interesting history behind them and it all it's off with some sort of disk to someone's honour say election or some other political controversy and one person has lost face and therefore lost it we would have tarnish on their good name and i believe it uses with a letter and asylum letters candles and say that you know you had offended me in space
my honour and perhaps you could make a public apology for what you ve done and so the person who is being challenged or put on spot a few well is the principal and the principle has a second who is a friend or a confidant he's going to back up that person i would be your second thank you and and say they send us this notice of the issue then it to the second to help the principle i guess mediate in the public eye what is going on at the two principles can have a beef with each other but in winter to save face in a public way the seconds come in to explain the situation with happening and if the insult her is willing to make an apology to the insult tee then thing can be called off the insult he doesn't accept that apology then things escalate
exactly and leaks gems of an apology is your dissatisfaction that one thing you could do if you didn't really want to have it and then you really did want to have a dual was to ask for an absolute dickie less apology and this at ehrenberg ed yeah here just i dont get burned to be perfectly candid a huge strange man to me in this understanding and he was a descendant of jonathan upwards the preacher whose for the sermon centres in the hand of an angry god i'm from the very religious family background and his father was an important man and academia and he had all the money that he could possibly want and i suppose you that power hungry and he really wanted to be president and he was so mad it hamilton and furthermore hamilton had also alluded to the fact that burden how does way with his daughter
when i read on their return after he had just ten had been much they did in the days king all sorts of accuracy and towards burma again on his character cause he genuinely truly believed where was a really unscrupulous unpleasant man he wise and so bertold hamilton that he wouldn't be satisfied unless i also agree to apologize for every single horrible being dead hamilton etc that over the past fifteen years on what had really set him off was a letter that was published an actual newspaper where hamilton had expressed a court in court spectable opinion of burke to the editor of the paper and that's what bur picked up on this thing like ok you know is it didn't in print now so i have to use against you and that's when he asked hamilton for this weeping apology and at him
just couldn't give now and by this time to your hamilton had fallen on public favour because he'd in a little crazy with a smear campaign that he ran against adams and his party even thought that he was quite right in the head anymore and so and he had an affair that he publicly added to his reputation was never quietly yeah things went licking guide for hamilton and he every reason in the world not to you all and joy and free men who writes about were hamilton jewel outlines is reasons as this the duel violated his religious and moral principles and defied the law threatened the well of his family put his creditors at risk ultimately compelled him to and and hamiltons own words to hazard such and possibly gain nothing but and he's in this really tight position where
can either lose more face or defend what honor he has left and he certainly not going to grovel before bur especially because those four things he truly believed in it was his conviction that bar was not worthy of these positions of public service and if we recall how hamilton started out as a young boy he had nothing and he worked himself into a great position of influence and power and he thought follow on the one thing that i've been getting by on all my life is honour then i'll let you know what i have to risk at this point i defend my honour that i've got so he did right this whole letter with all of his reasons for being in a stool because he knew that it would seem strange to people because it was so out of character for him but he asked sad that here i'm going to shoot that first time he would shoot in the air and he would let bird do what he well and he very often when the semblance of a dual but he would not aim for her and he was counselled against it in all its itself defence you should shoot em alexander and he wouldn't
so the date arrived a lie eighteen o four and agreed and then the law they would fight how can you jersey they would arrive separately and they would be after unseen but they would march into the woods there'd be no witnesses aside from the principles and the seconds because i want to turn is anyone else's name for being involved with his jaw because it was illegal and they were very tricky about it my fate their guns under i think some sort of cloak when they were going across people who are in the boat could trillion they say that they had seen no guns because they were cover coming they knew what was going on that every step has been taken to reassure the day would be able to speak truthfully if pressed for the truth so they walk into the woods and they mark off the ten paces and then they cast lots to decide who is going to take what is it fire from and whose second will call the command and hamilton in a very fortuitously one both but it wasn't for two
and it wasn't going to do for many good because he was the fire and he didn't so bur aimed and he shot and hamilton fell yes and later it was determined that the shot went through his liver and his diaphragm and even the doktor was there to attend to him hamilton new immediately that it was a mortal wound and a painful one at that thirty one hours later he ass when he died and he why's he was in an incredible amount of pain and it was the largest general in new york then had ever turned out for hamilton with such a fixture of new york city and he had done so much for the government and made such strides for his nation and not only that but you know he'd been of a bit of time cat in his day so we had a lot of admirers that people very much more and his loss
he was buried july fourteenth at trinity church and manhattan leaving elizabeth a widow who until the age of ninety seven and was poor from us at that time missed him to her dying day she would always talk about going to see her hamilton in burma and while he was my goodness what a scoundrel people furious with him he left new york's eight years and even though the dual itself is designed to help a man regain his honour that didn't work and burst because he lost all his honor people were furious he had killed hamilton and so who is the story of the famous jaw between ehrenberg and alexander hamilton and i today we don't honour hamilton in the same way as we honour the other founding fathers and this is something that you're probably ridden every by fiscal assessments of hamilton people always comment that he doesn't
as you know a great monument people don't think of him and the woman fuzzy way that we think of someone like jefferson lincoln are washington and really every girl he was trying to achieve with urbanization in the treasury and lines of credit these things came to fruition so we took hats to alexander hamilton we deal we do even if i do still have jefferson there's there's room in my academic heart for both of them and i do appreciate is contributions to so if you want to learn even more about alexander hamilton be birds and the national treasury be sure to check out the website how stuff works dot com for more on this and thousands of other topics does it how stuff works dot com let us know what you think send an email to podcast housetop work stockholm and be sure to check out the stuffing list in his request blood on the house of lords back home
this episode of mr minister classes brought to you by w w formerly wait watchers they have launched the my daddy debbie programme is their most groundbreaking and customize programme ever when you join the my baby to be program you will take a personal assessment that's about your eating habits and your behaviors and that its scientifically matches you up with a proven weight loss plan i'm on the blue plan and it really makes a huge difference for me in terms of encouraging means eat healthy foods so had on over to w debbie dot com that's w w dot com to joint debbie debbie today with a limited time offer a guy it is i've been working as a correspondent and interviewers since i was thirteen and now
seventeen i am so honoured to be the youngest person to have our own tat cast an eye her radio its cause let's be real with sammy j or in depth and unfiltered conversations with liberties activists athletes and influencers will cover topics where curious about topics my guests are passionate about and topics many of us are just too afraid to talk about i get past the fluff to what real we go there and its fun pretty crazy and very revealing listen to us we real with sammy j on the radio up apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast
Transcript generated on 2020-02-06.