Hamilton, Alexander (1755–1804), a United States patriot and statesman. He was a leader in the formation of the United States government. As the first secretary of the treasury he placed the nation on a sound financial basis. He introduced the doctrine of implied powers of the Constitution—the doctrine that Congress has not only express powers (those specifically mentioned in the Constitution) but also implied powers (those necessary to carry out the express powers). Hamilton wrote more than half the Federalist papers, which are recognized as among the most discerning works on political philosophy ever produced.

Hamilton was a man with aristocratic views. He believed in representative government, but thought it should be led by wealthy men elected by property owners. He distrusted the political capacity of the common man, and in one instance referred to the people as a “great beast.” He was a leader of the group favoring strong central power and encouragement of commerce and industry. This group became the Federalist party.

Hamilton was five feet, seven inches (1.70 m) tall, slender, and of remarkably erect bearing. He had supreme confidence in his own opinions and the eloquence to win support for them. He was inclined to be touchy and quarrelsome, however, and his haughty pride often caused resentment.