Albert Gallatin and the Jeffersonian Political Economy, 1801–1813: Revenue, Debt, and the “Community of Interests”
- The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 144, Number 2, April 2020
- pp. 123-145
- Additional Information
This article analyzes the ideas and policies of Albert Gallatin, the treasury secretary under presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison between 1801 and 1813. In particular, it highlights the importance ascribed to revenue instead of debt in Gallatin’s policy choices and analyzes the idea of the “community of interests” that Gallatin employed to galvanize the Jeffersonian vision for the new republic. It argues that Gallatin saw individual interests as the basis of the union and that his economic policies sought to strengthen the “community of interests” through internal improvements, free trade, westward expansion, and the establishment of branches of the First Bank of the United States. The article also points to the tragic results of Gallatin’s efforts, which led to increased alienation among, and oppression of, Indigenous peoples and African slaves.