Alexander Hamilton's manufacturing message
American politician Alexander Hamilton (1757 - 1804). (Getty Images)
December 5th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Alexander Hamilton's manufacturing message

Editor's Note: Bruce Katz is the vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution (follow him on Twitter @bruce_katz). Jessica Lee is a senior policy analyst at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Bruce Katz and Jessica Lee.

By Bruce Katz and Jessica Lee - Special to CNN

Two hundred and twenty years ago today, Alexander Hamilton presented his Report on Manufactures to the U.S. House of Representatives. This report, commissioned by Congress almost two years earlier, urged legislators to regard manufacturing as an integral component of the emerging American economy.

In stark contrast to the Jeffersonian vision of an agrarian democracy led by virtuous yeoman farmers, Hamilton envisioned a national economy strengthened through diversification and immigrant talent, with a vibrant manufacturing sector complementing the nation’s already sizable agricultural productivity.

Arguing against those who insisted that the government should “leave industry to itself,” he insisted that deliberate government encouragement was needed to ensure that American manufacturers continued to thrive. FULL POST

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Topics: Business • Economy • United States