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Alexander Hamilton and the development of the American single market
March 19 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Speaker: Gervas Huxley
The Broadway musical “Hamilton” celebrates the life of Alexander Hamilton. More than any other founding father Hamilton understood the implications of creating the ‘United States of America”. One of his objectives was to promote trade between the 13 Colonies believing that “commercial enterprises will have much greater scope, from the diversity in the production of different states.” He then asks the following question: “Whether the states are united or disunited [would there not] be an intimate intercourse between them, which would answer the same ends? In other words do we need political union to promote trade? His answer what that if the states were disunited “intercourse would be fettered, interrupted, and narrowed, by a multiplicity of causes.” Hamilton’s ‘multiplicity of causes’ are the eighteenth century version of what today we call non-tariff barriers. Hamilton argued that “unity of commercial… interests, can only result from an unity of government.” This argument resulted in the Commerce Clause of the US constitution.
The lecture will examine the history of the Commerce Clause its role in creating the American Single market and the opposition the Commerce Clause has attracted for more than two hundred years from supporters of states rights. The lecture will compare Euro-Scepticism from Enoch Powel to Jacob Reese Mogg with the Anit-Federalist and States Rights tradition in American history.
Gervas Huxley is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics.