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Contrast the Hamiltonian Federalist belief that the "wealthy and well-educated" ought to run the government with the Jeffersonian Republican belief that the common person, if educated, could be trusted to manage public affairs. What are the political implications of each view?

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Alexander Hamilton and many of the federalists believed that the general population was incapable of governing themselves. They adopted the viewpoint of philosopher Thomas Hobbes who contended that the natural tendency of people was generally evil. Therefore a powerful government was necessary to restrain the people. Hamilton believed that wealth determined the natural elite in American society. As he stated, America should be led by "the rich, the wise, and the well-born." The Federalists behind Hamilton's leadership wanted to create a government which served the elite's interest and they believed if the elite's interests were not ...

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