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Founding Brothers Book Review

734 words - 3 pages

The Founding Fathers were a revolutionary group, diverse in personalities and ideologies but shared the common goal of American liberty. They understood that the citizens should have a say in their government, and the government only obtains its power from the citizen’s consent. In order to avoid endless debates on issues that needed to be solved immediately, the revolutionary leaders compromised their beliefs. Joseph J. Ellis writes of the compromises that changed the constitutional debate into the creation of political parties in, The Founding Brothers. The 3 main chapters that show cased The Founding Brothers’ compromises are The Dinner, The Silence, and The Collaborators.
In The Dinner, the men compromise on Hamilton’s Assumption Plan. When an exhausted and unkempt Hamilton tells Jefferson that he wishes to resign from Secretary of Treasury because his financial plan “was trapped in a congressional gridlock” because of James Madison’s strong disapproval of it, Jefferson agreed to help him. The recovery of Public Credit assumed that the “federal government would take on all the accumulated debts of the states” . However, Madison disapproved of this plan because he worried that Hamilton valued speculators over the common man who had fought in the Revolution. Also, many states had already paid off their wartime debts, so the Assumption Bill would do them an injustice by “compelling them, after having done their duty, to contribute to those states who have not equally done their duty” . Later on Jefferson invited Hamilton and Madison over to dinner, their discussion lead to a

compromise. Jefferson’s account suggests the growing divide, showing that without a mediator, the ideologies are too far divided to achieve legislature compromise. This is confirmed by Jefferson and Madison maintaining their relationship following the dinner. This would birth the Republican Party, creating the first two-party era in American history.
Chapter 3, The Silence, takes place a few months later, where petitions were presented to the House of Representatives for the federal government to put an end to slavery. Although, “slavery and the slave trade were incompatible with the values of the American Revolution” and the revolutionary leaders wanted to eliminate slavery, they had to silence the petitions because the South could not “do without their slaves” ....

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