The Gilder Lehrman Institute has an array of resources on Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Era available to everyone. Our online materials in the History by Era section of the website include 8 essays, 14...
In 1781, British general Cornwallis decided on his own authority to advance into Virginia, looking for a climactic, set-piece, winner-take-all battle with the rebels. Cornwallis ignored the possibility that he was marching his army into an inescapable trap.
Richard Brookhiser explores Alexander Hamilton’s financial legacy in the United States.
Banks and banking seem rather mysterious. What do banks do? Why have they for so long been an integral part of our economy? Why, as in the financial crisis that commenced in 2007, do banks every so often get into trouble and create serious problems for the country?
The presidential election of 1800 was an angry, dirty, crisis-ridden contest that seemed to threaten the nation’s very survival. A bitter partisan battle between Federalist John Adams and Republican Thomas Jefferson produced a tie between Jefferson and his Republican running mate, Aaron Burr. The unfolding of this crisis tested the new nation’s durability.
Muffie Meyer describes the work that went into the American Experience film on Alexander Hamilton.
In 1787, fifty-five men met in secret to write a constitution for "a more perfect Union." This exhibition of five early printings of the US Constitution opens a window into the process by which the draft evolved into the Constitution we live by today. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the only institution to hold all of the first five printings of the US Constitution.
In 1807, Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted on charges of treason for his "adventures" in the American West, but he had fallen out of favor in American life long before, after he had run for president against Thomas Jefferson, served a single term as vice president, and shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. A free spender, a womanizer, and the only Founding Father who was actually descended from the English aristocracy, Burr was famously secretive and conspiratorial. In this lecture, historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, argues that Burr's true treason was not his actions in the West but his naked ambition and his lack of principles and character that made him a threat to the young republic.