Here is an excellent column from Business Week detailing how Alexander Hamilton built the American economy. It’s a very well-written piece, and worth reading in full. I’ll only excerpt a bit that relates to my series of posts on the Federalist Papers.
Hamilton didn’t create America’s market economy so much as foster the cultural and legal setting in which it flourished. A capitalist economy requires certain preconditions to take root. It must establish a rule of law through enforceable contracts, respect private property, create a trustworthy judiciary to arbitrate legal disputes, and offer patent protections to promote invention. The abysmal failure of the Articles of Confederation to provide this stable business climate was one of Hamilton’s main incentives for espousing a new Constitution.
That is something to keep in mind when reading Hamilton’s contributions to the Federalist Papers, as it certainly serves as the prime motivation for his support for the Constitution.
H/t: Shawn at Rerum Novarum.