Quotation by Rod William Horton

Hamilton took as his major premise the evil nature of man and followed with the consequent need for an authoritative government in the hands of the propertied, who had a "stake in society" and therefore had most to gain or lose by government; Jefferson argued that since man is naturally well-disposed toward his fellows, all that is necessary for a good society is sufficient training and opportunity to make all men realize that their own good derives from the common good. Hamilton believed the principal duty of government was to protect private property and the sanctity of contract; Jefferson saw it as promoting the general welfare over and above any consideration of wealth.... Hamilton saw American prosperity rising through industrial capitalism; Jefferson looked with suspicion and disfavor upon mercantile activity, found it enslaving, deceitful, predatory, and contrary to man's natural desire to live free and relatively self-sufficient by the fruit of his own labors. Instead of manufacturing, he placed his hopes in an agrarian economy.
Rod William Horton (b. 1910), U.S. educator, critic, and Herbert W. Edwards. Backgrounds of American Literary Thought, ch. 4, Appleton (1952).
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