CelebrateHamilton to Feature Spannaus and Sylla

June 27, 2023—Alexander Hamilton’s economic vision will take center stage at this year’s CelebrateHamilton festivities, sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society. The keynote speakers will be Nancy Spannaus, author of Hamilton Versus Wall Street, and Richard Sylla, a renowned Hamilton scholar and author of Hamilton, An Illustrated Biography.

CelebrateHamilton to Feature Spannaus and Sylla
Alexander Hamilton, as depicted in one of many John Trumbull paintings.

The lectures will be given on Sunday, July 16, starting at 10 A.M. The venue is Hamilton’s final home, The Grange, in New York City, a national park site in which the AHA Society is an official partner. Other features of the weekend’s activities include a walking tour of Hamilton’s New York (Lower Manhattan) led by AHA Vice-President Sergio Villavicencio; a commemoration at Weehawken (the site of Hamilton’s fatal duel with Aaron Burr); and the traditional remembrance ceremony at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, where Hamilton is buried. (For a full schedule on these free events which begin July 15, click here.)

Spannaus has entitled her talk “Alexander Hamilton Versus Slavery.” Drawing from her research on her upcoming book Why American Slavery Persisted,[1] she will argue:

From his first political acts in the American Revolution, to his death, Alexander Hamilton consistently attacked the practice of slavery, both morally and economically. Implementation of his economic principles, as set out in the Report on Manufactures, was essential to ending the evil of slavery peaceably. When we abandoned Hamilton’s American System principles, we virtually doomed ourselves to a Civil War.

Sylla plans to focus on Hamilton’s magnum opus, the Report on the Subject of Manufactures. He described his approach as follows:

Both proponents and critics of modern industrial policies–government interventions to correct purported flaws of free markets–sometimes trace the origins of industrial policy in America to Hamilton’s 1791 Report on Manufactures. I draw a distinction between industrial policies and industrialization policies, and I argue that Hamilton’s Report was more about the latter than the former.

The AHA Society was founded in 2011 by the late Rand Scholet and is the nation’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about Alexander Hamilton’s life and legacy. The AHA Society has provided extensive online resources, led programs at historic locations and museums, dispelled myths, facilitated scholarship, and served as official nonprofit partners to important Hamilton sites.

Whether you are an American history buff, a Hamilton fan, or just deeply concerned about the state of our economy and ship of state, you are cordially invited to attend.

[1] Aspects of Spannaus’ research for the book are published on her blog americansystemnow.com and in various classes available on the blog’s You Tube channel.  A summary presentation can be found here.

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