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:
[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