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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

The Most Famous Founding Father You’ve Never Heard of Was Hamilton's Arch-Nemesis and a Deficit Hawk

00:00 37:03
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Alexander Hamilton had a nemesis… and it was not Aaron Burr. After Hamilton enacted a wide-scale spending program to build up America's military and infrastructure, and thus send it into debt, newly-elected President Thomas Jefferson chose a Secretary of the Treasury to dismantle his system—Albert Gallatin.

Considered a “foreigner, a tax rebel, and a dangerously clever man,” the Geneva-born Gallatin was despised by Hamilton and the Federalists. During their political careers, these two economic masterminds were locked in a battle to surmount the other’s financial system for the new nation.

During his twelve years as Secretary of the Treasury, Gallatin overcame his predecessor by
-- Repaying half of the national debt
-- Containing the federal government by restraining its fiscal power
-- Abolishing internal taxes in peacetime
-- Slashing spending

Today I'm talking with Gregory May, author of the new book Jefferson’s Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the New Nation from Debt.

We discuss Gallatin’s rise to power, his tumultuous years at the Treasury, and his enduring influence on American fiscal policy.
September 11, 2018
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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