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Compromise of 1790


COMPROMISE OF 1790, a supposed bargain arranged by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Congressman James Madison, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in June 1790. In return for Hamilton's agreement to provide the congressional votes necessary to locate the national capital on the Potomac River, Jefferson and Madison promised to round up sufficient support to assure enactment of Hamilton's plan for assumption of the Revolutionary War debts of the states by the federal government. In order to secure sufficient votes, a further concession by Hamilton involving direct payments to those states with little or no debt proved necessary.


Bowling, Kenneth R. The Creation of Washington, D.C.: The Idea and Location of the American Capital. Fairfax, Va.: George Mason University Press, 1991.

Cooke, Jacob E. "The Compromise of 1790." William and Mary Quarterly 27 (October 1970): 523–545.

Risjord, Norman K. "The Compromise of 1790: New Evidence on the Dinner Table Bargain." William and Mary Quarterly 33 (April 1976): 309–314.

Jacob E.Cooke/t. m.

See alsoDebts, State ; Hamilton's Economic Policies ; Washington, D.C .

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