Cabinet Battle 1 Lyrics

In the realm of musical theater, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” stands as a groundbreaking masterpiece that seamlessly blends history with contemporary music and rap. One of the most riveting and intellectually stimulating moments in the production is “Cabinet Battle #1,” a high-energy showdown between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Set against the backdrop of the budding American government, the Cabinet Battle 1 Lyrics provide a fascinating window into the political and ideological conflicts of the time.

Setting the Stage:

“Cabinet Battle #1” takes place in 1790, with the newly established American government grappling with financial issues. Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury, and Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, engage in a verbal jousting match during a cabinet meeting. The battle revolves around Hamilton’s ambitious financial plan, which includes assuming state debts and establishing a national bank—a plan that Jefferson vehemently opposes.

The Lyrics Unveiled:

Miranda’s genius lies not only in the historical accuracy of the lyrics but also in the way he infuses rhythm and rhyme to make the complex issues accessible to a modern audience. As the battle unfolds, Hamilton and Jefferson trade verbal blows with precision, showcasing their wit, intelligence, and deeply rooted political convictions.

Hamilton, the Financial Architect:

In the opening lines, Hamilton confidently declares, “Ladies and gentlemen, you coulda been anywhere in the world tonight, but you’re here with us in New York City.” This sets the stage for the audience to witness a clash of ideologies unfold. Hamilton, portrayed by Miranda himself, launches into a rapid-fire explanation of his financial plan. With lines like “If New York’s in debt, why should Virginia bear it?” and “Our debts are paid, I’m afraid. Don’t tax the South ’cause we got it made in the shade,” he argues for a strong central government and the assumption of state debts to establish financial stability.

Jefferson’s Resistance:

Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Daveed Diggs, counters with a spirited defense of states’ rights and agrarian values. He questions the need for a national bank and warns against consolidating too much power in the hands of the federal government. Jefferson’s lines, such as “Southern motherfuckin’ Democratic-Republicans!” and “We know who’s really doing the planting,” showcase his disdain for Hamilton’s financial plan and his commitment to a decentralized government.

The Duel Intensifies:

As the battle progresses, the tension escalates. Hamilton and Jefferson take turns countering each other’s arguments with razor-sharp rhetoric. Hamilton, in his relentless pursuit of a strong federal government, declares, “You don’t have the votes,” referencing the political challenges he faces in getting his financial plan approved. Jefferson, on the other hand, mocks Hamilton’s immigrant background with the retort, “Immigrants, we get the job done!”

The Impact of Cabinet Battle #1:

Beyond its entertainment value, “Cabinet Battle #1” serves as a historical commentary on the fundamental debates that shaped the early American republic. The clash between Hamilton and Jefferson reflects the ongoing struggle between federalism and states’ rights, a tension that continues to resonate in American politics today.

Miranda’s Skillful Wordplay:

Miranda’s brilliance lies in his ability to distill complex historical and political concepts into catchy, memorable lines. The rap battle format allows for a dynamic exchange that keeps the audience engaged while conveying the intricacies of the policy dispute. Lines like “Southern states in debt, and don’t forget, don’t tax the West” showcase Miranda’s mastery of wordplay and his knack for turning historical details into compelling storytelling.

Legacy of “Cabinet Battle #1”:

Beyond the musical itself, “Cabinet Battle #1” has taken on a life of its own in popular culture. The song has been dissected in classrooms, discussed in political forums, and even used as a tool to teach history. Its enduring popularity is a testament to Miranda’s ability to make history relevant and engaging for a diverse audience.


“Cabinet Battle #1” stands as a shining example of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s artistic prowess, combining history, music, and rap into a captivating narrative. The lyrics serve as a portal into the political debates of the early United States, offering both entertainment and education. As audiences continue to be captivated by the genius of “Hamilton,” the legacy of “Cabinet Battle #1” endures as a testament to the power of words and music in bringing history to life.

Ambika Taylor

Ambika Taylor

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