Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 - July 12, 1804) was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. He took the lead in the funding of the states' debts by the Federal government, as well as the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. He was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They denounced Hamilton as too friendly toward Britain and to monarchy in general.
Hamilton was born out of wedlock, raised in the West Indies, and orphaned as a child. He pursued a college education through the help of local wealthy men. His father was James A. Hamilton, the fourth son of Scottish laird Alexander Hamilton of Grange, Ayrshire. He was recognized for his abilities and talent and was sent to King's College (now Columbia University) in New York City.
Hamilton played a major role in the American Revolutionary War. At the start of the war in 1775, he joined a militia company. In early 1776, he raised a provincial artillery company, to which he was appointed captain. He soon became the senior aide to General Washington, the American forces' commander-in-chief. Hamilton was dispatched by Washington on numerous missions to convey plans to his generals. After the war, Hamilton was elected to the Congress of the Confederation from New York. He resigned to practice law, and founded the Bank of New York.
Hamilton was among those dissatisfied with the weak national government. He led the Annapolis Convention, which successfully influenced Congress to issue a call for the Philadelphia Convention in order to create a new constitution. He was an active participant at Philadelphia, and he helped achieve ratification by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers which, to this day, are the single most important reference for Constitutional interpretation.