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Alexander Hamilton on Slavery

Michael D. Chan
The Review of Politics
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Spring, 2004), pp. 207-231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1408953
Page Count: 25
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Alexander Hamilton on Slavery
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Abstract

This article seeks to refute the prevailing scholarly view that Hamilton, like the Founders generally, lacked a deep concern about slavery. The first part examines Hamilton's political principles and shows that they were not Hobbesian but consistent with the views of more traditional natural law theorists. Accordingly, Hamilton understood that the natural rights of man imposed a corresponding duty to end slavery. The second part examines Hamilton's endorsement of a compensated emancipation, his opinions of the Constitution, his conduct of American foreign policy, his involvement in the state abolition societies, and his economic policies to demonstrate that ending slavery was in fact one of his abiding concerns.

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