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The Panic of 1791: Hamilton's Reports and the Rise of Faction (A)
Bruner, Robert F.; Miller, Scott C. Case F-1783 / Published November 7, 2017 / 24 pages.
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Product Overview

On December 5, 1791, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton presented to Congress his "Report on the Subject of Manufactures," which proposed significant government support for nascent American industry through tariffs, subsidies, and other incentives. It seemed that Hamilton's politico-economic vision for America had substantial political momentum, yet James Madison and his circle viewed Hamilton's proposals with alarm, and a financial panic in August-September, 1791, raised new anxieties about the rapid political and economic changes occurring in the United States. In the face of these concerns, would Congress sustain its support for Hamilton's vision?


Learning Objectives

Consider how a financial panic induced significant political and civic reactions against the financial sector, and more generally, against policies of national economic development. Review Hamilton's interventions in capital markets to provide liquidity and quell panic selling. Explore the pros and cons of government intervention in markets through economic development spending. Introduce the Bank of the United States, the first quasi-central bank in US history. Profile Hamilton as a "policy entrepreneur," one of the most creative innovators in finance and public policy in US history.

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  • Overview

    On December 5, 1791, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton presented to Congress his "Report on the Subject of Manufactures," which proposed significant government support for nascent American industry through tariffs, subsidies, and other incentives. It seemed that Hamilton's politico-economic vision for America had substantial political momentum, yet James Madison and his circle viewed Hamilton's proposals with alarm, and a financial panic in August-September, 1791, raised new anxieties about the rapid political and economic changes occurring in the United States. In the face of these concerns, would Congress sustain its support for Hamilton's vision?

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Consider how a financial panic induced significant political and civic reactions against the financial sector, and more generally, against policies of national economic development. Review Hamilton's interventions in capital markets to provide liquidity and quell panic selling. Explore the pros and cons of government intervention in markets through economic development spending. Introduce the Bank of the United States, the first quasi-central bank in US history. Profile Hamilton as a "policy entrepreneur," one of the most creative innovators in finance and public policy in US history.