In 1791, two great minds clashed over an issue of constitutional and historical significance. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson tried to make the case to President George Washington for and against having a national, central bank. Hamilton saw the central bank as the key to America’s economic future, whereas Jefferson worried about the consolidation of power and thought a central bank was unconstitutional. In this episode of POLICYbrief, two experts--David Cowen, President/CEO of the Museum of American Finance, and Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Professor of Economics at Loyola University--explain and analyze this 200-year-old debate that still has relevance today.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.


Learn more about David Cowen

Alexander Hamilton on Finance, Credit, and Debt

Learn more about Thomas J. DiLorenzo:

Hamilton's Curse



Related Links:

[Founders Online] To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 15 February 1791

[PBS] Establishing a National Bank

[Federal Reserve History] The First Bank of the United States

[Constitution Center] Hamilton’s Treasury Department and a great Constitutional debate

[History] Whose Vision of America Won Out—Hamilton’s or Jefferson’s?

[Mises] The Corrupt Origins of Central Banking

[Federal Reserve] America's Central Bank: The History and Structure of the Federal Reserve

[Federalist Society] McCulloch v. Maryland

[Cato] Money and Banking: A Constitutional Perspective