Hamilton vs. Burr

Who was worse?

  • Hamilton

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • Burr

    Votes: 4 57.1%

  • Total voters
    7

Thunderbird

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Who was worse: Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr?

Hamilton is in vogue at present, but only because of the efforts of liars like Ron Chernow, who has spent his career licking the boots of prominent bankers.
Burr murdered Hamilton (who had resolved to throw away his first fire). Burr also committed treason. He plotted with foreign powers to detach large regions of the U.S.

The British Minister, Anthony Merry, reported:

"I am encouraged to report to your Lordship the substance of some secret communications which [Burr] has sought to make to me since he has been out of office...Mr. Burr has mentioned to me that the inhabitants of Louisiana [the lands recently purchased from France] seem determined to render themselves independent of the United States and the execution of their design is only delayed by the difficulty of obtaining previously an assurance of protection and assistance from some foreign power....It is clear that Mr. Burr means to endeavor to be the instrument for effecting such a connection....He pointed out the great commercial advantage which his Majesty's dominions in general would derive from furnishing almost exclusively (as they might through Canada and New Orleans) the inhabitants of so extensive a territory....Mr. Burr observed it would be too dangerous and even premature to disclose to me at present the full extent and detail of the plan he had formed....In regard to military aid, he said, two or three frigates and the same number of smaller vessels to be stationed at the mouth of the Mississippi to prevent its being blockaded by such force as the United States could send, and to keep open the communications with the sea would be the whole that would be wanted; and in respect to money the loan of about one hundred thousand pounds would, he conceived, be sufficient for the immediate purposes of the enterprise."
 
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Thunderbird

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According to John Adams, Washington said: “By all that I have known and heard Colonel Burr is a brave and able Officer: but the question is whether he has not equal Talents at Intrigue.”
 

rightwinger

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strollingbones

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i am a long time burr fan and did a happy dance when they reveal hamilton did not fire into the air but had a hair trigger ...quite a shock in nyc when i found you are not allowed to piss on hamiltons grave
 

whitehall

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There is no evidence that Hamilton "resolved to throw away his first fire". Hamilton fired first (narrowly missing according to some accounts) hitting a tree over Burr's head and Burr fired next hitting Hamilton in the lower abdomen. Unless you want to consider that dueling was illegal in both NY and NJ it seems that you can't convict Burr of murder.
 
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Thunderbird

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There is no evidence that Hamilton "resolved to throw away his first fire".
There is Hamilton’s statement, which I linked to in the OP.

Hamilton fired first (narrowly missing according to some accounts) hitting a tree over Burr's head
Accounts differ.
 
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whitehall

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The insufferable system of 17th century "honor" coerced an otherwise intelligent politician to row across the Hudson river on a spring day and get himself shot dead by an outlaw. What does that say about Hamilton's mental stability?
 

Picaro

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Hamilton was a big fan of corruption and an aristocracy, Burr was an adventurer with grandiose plans of his own in the West, building an empire. He was preferable to Hamilton and his cabal of swindlers and traitors; Burr being ambitious in a wide open continent was no crime, and in fact pretty common; being a typical corrupt pol and enabling your friends to steal the country blind was always reprehensible. It's an easy choice who was the best man..
 
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Hamilton was a big fan of corruption and an aristocracy, Burr was an adventurer with grandiose plans of his own in the West, building an empire. He was preferable to Hamilton and his cabal of swindlers and traitors; Burr being ambitious in a wide open continent was no crime, and in fact pretty common; being a typical corrupt pol and enabling your friends to steal the country blind was always reprehensible. It's an easy choice who was the best man..
Burr’s ambition was to foment civil war. Is that admirable?
 

Pellinore

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No one was worse than Aaron Burr. If he's not the most vile American in history, he is certainly in the bottom five.

Edit: Three.
 
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I admire the Founding Fathers, they built a stable and limited government.

Hamilton and especially Burr were little help in this effort.
 
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Thunderbird

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Hamilton tried to push Adams into war with France:

I found Hamilton at Trenton; he came to visit me. I said nothing to him upon politicks. He began to give his advice unasked. I heard him with perfect good humour; though never, in my life did I hear a man talk more like a fool. “The English Nation had the most perfect confidence in Mr: Pitt, and Mr. Pitt was determined to restore the house of Bourbon. The two Imperial Courts were determined to support the Bourbon’s; their Armies were triumphant; Louis 18 would be in glory at Versailles before my Ministers could arrive there. Offence would be taken at my sending a mission to the Directory,” and twenty other wild extravagances in the same style of dogmatical confidence. I answered every one of his topicks with candor and temper
 
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James Madison: Armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

Madison eventually broke with Hamilton.
 
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Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush Monticello, January 16, 1811:

I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen. Another incident took place on the same occasion, which will further delineate Mr. Hamilton's political principles. The room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton and Locke, Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them. He paused for some time: "the greatest man," said he, "that ever lived, was Julius Caesar." Mr. Adams was honest as a politician, as well as a man; Hamilton honest as a man, but, as a politician, believing in the necessity of either force or corruption to govern men.
 

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