Commonplace Book #93

[Albert] Gallatin matters greatly.  It is nearly impossible to describe the practical progress of liberal republicanism in early America without focusing on Albert Gallatin, yet in virtually all narratives involving the founders, he never seems to be more than a supporting player.  He would become, under Jefferson and Madison, the longest serving treasury secretary in American history.  His relationship with Burr in the 1790s tells us much about the coalescence of the northern Republican element: both Burr and Gallatin favored an independent economy (free from foreign, especially British, dependence), supporting commercial growth and western expansion.  Influenced by the Enlightenment, they fashioned themselves as rational Republicans, social liberals, independent thinkers.  They saw politics as a thinking person’s game, in which rational planning was essential to partisan victory.  His greatest political strength, as Gallatin said about himself, was the intensive research he conducted into political-constitutional issues–such as he and Burr displayed when they defended his right to be in the Senate.  Cut from the same intellectual cloth, Burr and Gallatin were natural allies.

Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, 134-135.