Hamilton's Reports - Research Article from Americans at War

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Report on the Public Credit

On January 14, 1790, Congress read Alexander Hamilton's first report on public finance and debt. Hamilton declared that the debt of the United States was the cost of liberty and that its payment would generate respect among nations, a widely held view. A nation's reputation, like an individual's, depended on honoring the commitments and obligations made toward others. More daringly, Hamilton argued for transforming the debt into an asset of the national government to be used as money. Hamilton proposed dividing the debt into two categories, domestic and foreign. Foreign debt would be paid in full, while domestic debt would be paid at market value, or par, with the money going to the current owner. It did not matter if either the original owner held the debt or the original value differed from the current market rate. Hamilton asserted that the domestic debt...

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This section contains 1,604 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Hamilton's Reports Encyclopedia Article
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Americans at War
Hamilton's Reports from Americans at War. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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