History- Gallatin paper

History- Gallatin paper - AlbertGallatin American Financier...

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Albert Gallatin American Financier and Diploma Michael Lepri U.S. History Prof. Deasy 11/08/07
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Albert Gallatin was a European who came overseas to America and served the US for over 60 years, remarkably influencing American politics and finances . Gallatin was involved in the Pennsylvania legislature and played a major role in the Whiskey Rebellion. He was elected to the US senate, where he argued with Hamilton before becoming the fourth Secretary of the Treasury. As Treasurer Gallatin managed the national debt and was successful as the central banker for the US. Gallatin was born in Geneva in January 1761, to Jean and Sophie Gallatin; both died before Albert was ten . Albert was raised by a friend of his mother who also happened to be a distant relative of his father, Mlle . Pictet . He was taught at home by Mlle. Picet before being sent to a boarding school in 1773 and then to the academy of Geneva where he graduated in 1779 . Gallatin was number one in a number of his classes at the academy including his favorite at the time, Philosophy . His family was well acquainted with Voltaire and it isn’t a stretch to assume that Gallatin was influenced by him . There was not much opportunity for a young intellectual in Geneva, so Gallatin decided he was going to America where he could, “drink in a love for independence in the freest country of the universe” (Stevens 10) . Once Gallatin arrived in America he went to Boston where he began tutoring French at Harvard . He then moved to Pennsylvania and bought land in Fayette County, called Friendship Hill . He was so interested in the politics of America that he quickly got 2
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involved . He found the ideas of a weaker executive and judicial branch than in Europe very favorable . Gallatin was, to his surprise, chosen to represent Fayette County in Harrisburg for a state wide meeting to propose new amendments to the constitution . Gallatin was popular at this conference because of his speech which included the idea that the Constitution was too loosely worded . For example, he stated that the condition that Congress might levy and collect taxes could very easily be abused . Gallatin was so well received by the Fayette County people that he was elected to the lower house of the legislature under the new state constitution, which met in Philadelphia . Knowledge of Gallatin’s financial ability was soon discovered, and he began to give financial reports to the House as State Treasurer . His first statements on finance reported on the debts of the state and his outrage at the way Alexander Hamilton’s way of handled it . Gallatin hated debt in private and public life, and lived very humbly on his low salaries . He found a way for Pennsylvania to pay off the debt by borrowing and using the following year’s state revenues to pay off the debt and the interest . Gallatin also believed that the states resources must be placed in a “permanent and beneficial footing,” (Walters 43) so he created the new Bank of Pennsylvania
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2009 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Bullard during the Spring '08 term at Fairleigh Dickinson.

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History- Gallatin paper - AlbertGallatin American Financier...

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