Hamilton's Central Bank: Then and Now

August 04, 2020

Keynote Presentation by Niel Willardson

Presentation slides (PDF)

The recent televised release of Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton” has created renewed interest in the life and accomplishments of the main character—Alexander Hamilton. Not only did he play an important role during the Revolutionary War and the framing of the Constitution, Hamilton also envisioned and formed the First Bank of the United States, the precursor of today’s Federal Reserve System.

In this recorded Zoom presentation, Niel Willardson, senior vice president and general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis discusses Hamilton’s life, his influence on the Federal Reserve and the infamous duel that killed him.

  • (8:22) – The importance of The Federalist Papers
  • (10:30) – Hamilton’s financial revolution
  • (16:00) – The room where it happened
  • (18:56) – Influence of the first national bank on today’s Federal Reserve System
  • (30:10) – The duel and Hamilton’s legacy
  • (37:30) – Q&A session

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This popular lecture series addresses key issues and provides the opportunity to ask questions of Fed experts. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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