Hamilton: An American Elitist

  • Amanda Engel


An unexpected cultural phenomenon, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical brought Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton back into the public eye over 200 years after his death. This paper inquires as to whether Hamilton accurately depicts the political beliefs of its titular character. It also explores the ways in which Hamilton can help us understand the relationship between individuals, social power, and our conceptualizations of the past. In doing so, it concludes that the show fails to address the elitist ideas that saturated Hamilton’s political theory. Consequently, it argues that Hamilton projects contemporary values onto a historical figure and supports the highly contentious Great Man Theory of History.