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This principal architect of the Federalist Papers is exceptional and enigmatic among figures of the revolutionary period Belatedly and only grudgingly admitted to the canon of great American thinkers Hamiltons importance as early nationalist leading exponent of Federalism and political and financial visionary in the critical post-revolutionary years only fully came to light in the mid-twentieth century as scholars eyeing the financial and administrative histories of the early United States began to reconsider his achievements He is best remembered as an outspoken proponent of strong central government and for his authorship of the Federalist Papers but his many other achievements and characteristics make him a difficult figure to grasp He was a brilliant influential and well-respected patriot but he was also a fiercely ambitious self-promoter and opportunist criticized for his arrogance as much as he was admired for his intellect and drive Born in the small Caribbean island of Nevis in 1755 then part of the British West Indies Hamiltons humble origins made him an unlikely candidate for post-revolutionary prominence on the continent His fathers mediocrity in business and his mothers early death seemed to limit his possibilities but his maternal relations recognized the young mans promise at an early age and afforded Hamilton enough support to relocate to Boston in 1772 at the age of 17 Shortly thereafter he moved to New York and enrolled in Kings College now Columbia University His intellectual pursuits soon gave way to a desire to promote the revolution I wish there were a war he confided in a letter to a friend Between an inspirational speech he made in the fields of New York City City Hall Park and his authorship of two pamphlets decrying Loyalist arguments a young revolutionary was born When conflict broke out he assumed the role of artillery captain and was noted for his service in the battles of Long Island White Plains Trenton and Princeton General Nathanael Green recommended Hamilton to George Washington
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