How did George Washington’s administration implement the powers of the national government under the new U.S. Constitution?

How did George Washington’s administration implement the powers of the national government under the new U.S. Constitution?

Explain the key controversies that arose regarding Hamilton and Jefferson’s advice to Washington concerning the national economy and how those controversies were addressed.

*This analysis needs to be supported with at least FOUR quotes from these resources below:


TOPIC: Alexander Hamilton v. Thomas Jefferson (1780s-1790s)

TOPIC: What should be the focus of the U.S. economy – manufacturing or farming?

DOCUMENT 1: Alexander Hamilton’s Report to Congress on Manufactures


[1] The expediency (usefulness) of encouraging manufactures (i.e., industry, factories and businesses that make or sell man-made goods) in the United States, … appears at this time to be pretty generally admitted. The embarrassments which have obstructed (blocked) the progress (growth) of our external trade (foreign trade), have led to serious reflections (consideration) on the necessity of enlarging the sphere (area) of our domestic commerce (trade within the states) …

[2] [M]anufacturing institutions … augment (increase) the general stock (supply) of industry (trade) and production… [B]esides the persons regularly engaged (working) in them, they afford occasional and extra employment to industrious (hard-working) individuals … who are willing to devote the leisure (spare time) … to collateral labours (additional work) … The husbandman himself experiences a new source of profit and support from the encreased industry of his wife and daughters; invited and stimulated by the demands of the neighboring manufactories.

[3] Manufacturers, who listening to the powerful invitations of a better price for their fabrics, or their labour, of greater cheapness of … raw materials, … would probably flock (leave) from Europe to the United States to pursue their own trades or professions … Here is perceived an important resource, not only for extending (growing) the population, and with it the useful and productive labour of the country, but likewise (also) for the prosecution of manufactures (growth of factories), without deducting (decreasing) from the number of hands … drawn to tillage (farming) …

1. Text adapted from



DOCUMENT 2: Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Jay regarding
manufacturing (Aug. 23, 1785) 2

[1] DEAR SIR, — I shall sometimes ask your permission to write you letters, not official but private. The present is of this kind, and is occasioned (brought about) by the question proposed in yours of June 14. “whether it would be useful to us to carry all our own productions, or none?” … We have now lands enough to employ an infinite (unlimited) number of people in their cultivation (farming). Cultivators (farmers) of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous (energetic), the most independant, the most virtuous (good and moral), & they are tied (attached) to their country & wedded (committed) to its liberty & interests …

[2] As long therefore as they can find employment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners (sailors), artisans (i.e., skilled laborers who make things like shoes, furniture or glass) or anything else … I consider the class of artificers (craftsmen or skilled laborers) as the panders (people profiting from) of vice (immoral habits) & the instruments (causes) by which the liberties (freedoms) of a country are generally overturned (overthrown).


DOCUMENT 3: Jefferson’s Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 17913

[1] The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed (implied) by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated (given) to the United States, by the Constitution.

[2] They are not among the powers specially enumerated (listed): for these are: 1st “A power to lay taxes” for the purpose of paying the debts of the United States; but no debt is paid by this bill, nor any tax laid (created).

[3] “To borrow money.” But this bill neither borrows money nor ensures (guarantees) the borrowing it. The proprietors (owners & stockholders) of the bank will be just as free as any other money holders, to lend or not to lend their money to the public.

[4] To “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the States ….” To erect a bank, and to regulate commerce, are very different acts. …To make a thing which may be bought and sold, is not to prescribe (propose) regulations (rules) for buying and selling.

[5] Nor are they within either of the general phrases … The second general phrase is, “to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the enumerated powers.” But they can all be carried into execution (carried out) without a bank. A bank therefore is not necessary, and consequently not authorized (allowed) by this phrase.



TOPIC: Alexander Hamilton v. Thomas Jefferson (1780s-1790s)

DOCUMENT 4: Alexander Hamilton’s Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States, 17914

[1] [T]he objections of the Secretary of State (Thomas Jefferson) are founded on a general denial of the authority of the United States to erect (create) corporations… It is conceded (admitted) that implied (suggested) powers are to be considered as delegated (granted) equally with express ones (specifically written). Then it follows, that as a power of erecting a corporation (i.e., bank) may as well be implied …

[2] The only question must be … whether … the corporation to be erected, has a natural relation (connection) to any of the … lawful ends (aims) of the government. Thus a corporation may not be erected by Congress for superintending (managing) the police of the city of Philadelphia, because they are not authorized to regulate the police of that city. But one may be erected in relation to the collection of taxes, or to the trade with foreign countries, or to the trade between the States …; because it is the province (authority) of the federal government to regulate (control) those objects …

[3] It is essential to the being (existence) of the national government, that [Jefferson’s mistaken] conception of the meaning of the word necessary should be exploded (destroyed)… [N]ecessary often means no more than needful, … incidental (related), useful … It is a common mode of expression to say, that it is necessary for a government … to do this or that thing, when … the interests of the government … will be promoted … [I]t was the intent of the Convention, by that clause, to give a liberal latitude (open-minded freedom) to the exercise (use) of the specified powers. … “to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution … all other powers vested (granted) by the Constitution in the government of the United States … ”

[4] To understand the word as the Secretary of State does, would be to depart from its obvious and popular sense, and to give it a restrictive operation (limited meaning) … Such a construction (understanding) would beget endless uncertainty and embarrassment. The cases must be … extreme, in which it could be pronounced (stated), with certainty, that a measure was absolutely necessary … There are few measures of any government which would stand so severe a test.

[5] If the end (goal) be clearly comprehended (understood) within any of the specified powers, and … is not forbidden by any particular provision of the Constitution, it may safely be deemed (determined) to come within the compass of the national authority… Does the proposed measure abridge (limit) a pre-existing right of any State or of any individual? If it does not, there is a strong presumption (belief) in favor of its constitutionality …

4. Text adapted from

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