Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence society
“Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on the bow of a ship heading for a new land / In New York you can be a new man.”
This quote shows how the “American Dream” influenced society at the time. There was a belief that in the New World, you had control over your future, and this gave many pseudo-Americans the drive and ambition to make a name for themselves.
Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and societies
“When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden / Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden / Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick / And Alex got better but his mother went quick”
This shows how Hamilton’s position in society as someone in poverty impacted his relationships with his parents. His father left when he was very young, presumably to do with the fact that he was “debt-ridden.” Also, disease was more common among the lower classes, so his relationship with his mother was cut short.
Collective identity is constructive and can change over time
“Will they know what you overcame? / Will they know you rewrote the game?”
In this quote, the “they” refers to the Americans, and it is asking if America can understand the struggles of Hamiliton. This shows a change in identity because the world is a very different place from the seventeen hundreds.
The physical environment influences the nature of social, political, and economic change.
“Then a hurricane came and devastation reigned / a man who saw his future drip, dripping down the drain”
When this song talks about the hurricane that hit St. Croix, the economic status of the island was negatively impacted, and he realized that he was running out of options.