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Founding Brothers Review

1284 words - 5 pages

Founding Brothers ReviewFounding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation is a Pulitzer Prize winning book, written by Joseph J. Ellis. It was published in 2000 by Vintage Books in New York. Founding Brothers takes an alternate view on the Founding Fathers of our nation who made the early decisions for the then young, American Republic. These "brothers" are the central political figures of the American Revolution: namely, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, John Adams, George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Ellis carefully examines each individual in their specific events which allows us to see their full contribution. These characters defined what kind of nation America would turn into and how America would survive its rocky beginning. Ellis not only establishes their importance to America, but also encompasses the fact that they were human, as well, which accounts for flaws they had. This realistic feature Ellis inputs puts a twist on the relations among the political figures and characterizes the point of view of America in a way that we, readers, can better understand. This is facilitated with ease as Ellis also wrote other novels such as Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which shows that Ellis, indeed, has done some research. The book is broken up into 6 chapters, all of which contain a specific issue or moment that is now deemed revolutionary for its contribution to the success the Union.The first chapter is known as "The Duel". It is the most famous pistol face-off in the history of America between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Although Aaron Burr won, they were both losers as Burr was known as the most despised national leader by society and was ridiculed because of the confusion of what exactly happened during the duel. Usually these duels end up with both participants missing each other, and establishing a peace treaty to settle their differences. However, this duel was between two participants of high prominence: Hamilton, second to George Washington-the most powerful figure in the Federalist Party-, and Burr, the second-ranking official in the federal government. The conflict arose because of political insults which led to their pride being jeopardized which settled with the duel. Their fatal encounter represented a momentary breakdown in the dominant pattern of nonviolent conflict within the American revolutionary generation.The second chapter is known as "The Dinner". It is an interesting chapter revolving around a decisive dinner party hosted by Thomas Jefferson where a compromise was made by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison which is said to have saved the Union. Hamilton advocated the "assumption" plan (the federal government assumes all state debts from the Revolutionary war), which he said would tie all the states fiscally to the United States and ultimately strengthen the national government. On the contrary, James Madison wanted...

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