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Hamilton, Alexander

A soldier and political leader of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Hamilton advised George Washington in the Revolutionary War, wrote most of the essays in The Federalist Papers, and was a leader in the drafting of the Constitution. He later served under Washington as the first secretary of the treasury in the new government. A Federalist, he was opposed politically by Thomas Jefferson and both politically and personally by Aaron Burr (see Jeffersonianism versus Hamiltonianism). Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, in which Burr killed him (see Burr-Hamilton duel).

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.