Hamilton's National Bank

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In this lesson, students participate in two rounds of a role play to help them understand the role of banks in facilitating economic growth through loans. Round 1 is conducted without a bank. After the first round, students read excerpts from Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton’s 1790 report to Congress in which he proposes a national bank because the United States had few banks at the time. Students then conduct Round 2 of the role play with a bank. After the round, students read excerpts from and summaries of the statute creating a national bank, Thomas Jefferson’s opposition, and Hamilton’s rebuttal.

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See related lesson: Constitutionality of a Central Bank

Concepts covered in this lesson include:

  • Banks
  • Capital formation
  • Capital resources
  • Collateral
  • Gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Loan
  • Risk
  • Risk-reward relationship
  • Savings
  • Usury

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Audience:   Middle School, High School, College, Consumers
Language:   English
Subjects:   History, Economics
Resource Types:   Activity, Lessons, Primary Source Documents
Concepts:   Banks, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Interest

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