This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Founding Brothers Book Essay

1596 words - 7 pages

Study Guides > Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
by Joseph J. Ellis

Follow 28 Members Following

Summary Themes Characters Critical Essays ▻ More ▻
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Summary
print Print document PDF list Cite link Link
Joseph J. Ellis’s Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation discusses the conflicting interpretations of the meaning of the American Revolution as well as the influence of these rival interpretations on the early history of the United States of America. Ellis focuses on the thoughts and deeds of pivotal figures within the Revolution, including Abigail ...view middle of the document...

This view characterizes the stance of the early Republicans.

In contrast, the Hamiltonian interpretation of the American Revolution focuses on the sacrifice made by individuals to advance a great cause. By this view, the American Revolution should be characterized as an act of outright liberty. George Washington and John Adams followed this view, and the Federalists supported them.

Ellis’s purpose is not to settle the dispute between the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian interpretations. Instead, he seeks to explore the creation of the American state and argues that its founding should be considered a “collective enterprise that succeeded because of the diversity of personalities and ideologies.” He also argues that the Founding Fathers succeeded because they knew one another personally and tabled the debate on slavery and because they were aware that they would be remembered throughout history.

Ellis’s first episode tells the story of the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The duel takes place in 1804 and ends with the death not only of Hamilton but also of Burr’s political career. By this time, Burr had risen as high as Vice President under Thomas Jefferson, and Hamilton was considered the “intellectual well-spring” of Federalism.

Although successful, both men were controversial figures. Burr’s personal life was rife with intrigue, and some of his contemporaries argued that his political life was as notorious for its unprincipled party jumping. Meanwhile, Hamilton also had a habit of making enemies. His chief political opponent was Thomas Jefferson. However, Hamilton would set himself against the unprincipled Aaron Burr, even if it meant supporting Thomas Jefferson. By 1804, the two men had fought a battle of words in the press that they failed to resolve. They determined to settle matter by a duel, an act that was illegal by this time.

Although both were elder statesmen at this point and their influence had largely waned, Ellis uses this famous duel to suggest that because the American state was still young and its laws had yet to “congeal,” they fought because of character, and

character mattered because the fate of the American experiment with Republican government still required virtuous leaders to survive.

In other words, because men of dubious honor could take advantage of the still developing state, it was important that the Founding Fathers maintain a virtuous reputation. When Hamilton and Burr dueled, they did so to show that they were men of honorable character.

Ellis’s next vignette takes the reader back to 1790. America’s debt from the Revolution had left the public credit in shambles. Previously, the debt had been paid by each of the colonies. Hamilton’s solution was assumption: the debt of the colonies would be taken up by the federal government and paid as one central body. However, James Madison of Virginia worked to stop Hamilton’s plan. Madison’s argument was that the colonies had not all paid...

Other Essays Like Founding Brothers Book

Bible Dictionary New Testament Essay

1270 words - 6 pages BIBLE DICTIONARY PROJECT 2 CHARLIE MITCHELL BIBL 104 B-53 New Testament Bible Dictionary Project JAMES “And James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder:” (Mark 3:17 KJV). The Book of James can be found in the twentieth Book of the New Testament, or in the division of the bible referred as the Letters of the Epistles. Twenty-one of the twenty-seven Books of

The X-men: How I learned to Love Mutants

2849 words - 12 pages When many people hear about the X-Men, they think of a silly kid's comic book, but that is not so. X-Men, actually most comic books in general, are a unique blend of two classic art forms; drawings, sometimes even paintings, and storytelling. A comic artist must be able to convey the right mood and feeling for his or her art. They must also be able to fluidly tell a story and fit it all in the allotted number of pages. The stories often

The Noble Lie

1383 words - 6 pages their brothers. The second part of the lie is called the myth of the metals. The citizens are not only told that God created them in the Earth, but he made them all different. Each class is made of a different metal. The rulers were gold, for they have the greatest honor. The auxiliaries were silver, and the craftsmen were brass and iron. After they have been created, they lead normal human lives and they are able to have children

Strategic Management Paper

3294 words - 14 pages operated by a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. The corporations' revenues come from the rent, royalties and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. McDonald's revenues grew 27% over the three years ending in 2007 to $22.8 billion, and 9% growth in operating income to $3.9 billion.1 History analysis:  The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald

The Walt Disney Company

4162 words - 17 pages The Walt Disney Company Since its founding in 1923, The Walt Disney Company and its affiliated companies have remained faithful to their commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four

Porter Five Analysis

5593 words - 23 pages influence it greatly. With the social media and health concerns customers can readily supply opinions and influence others with these. All companies in the fast food industry must adhere to social regulations; spend in enhancing their brand reputation, and promoting quality standards so that customers feel safe and content when consuming their products. Company Overview HISTORY8 McDonald’s began in 1940 when brothers Maurice and Richard

Power and Wealth Are Intricately Linked

3253 words - 14 pages , Eric Schlosser wrote in his book, Fast Food Nation, “The McDonald’s Corporation has become a powerful symbol of America’s service economy, which is now responsible for 90 percent of the country’s new jobs.” (Saul 2011) Korn (2012) suggests that Multinational Corporations are increasingly exerting their power and clout in the legislative and regulatory spheres, resulting in a new and alarming world power structure. The pursuit of power and wealth

Women Empowerment in India

5597 words - 23 pages .   Ancient period  From the available documentation, it is revealed that women enjoyed a fair amount of freedom and equality with men in the fields of education and religion during the Vedic period. According to A.S. Altekar, in his well known book "Position of Women in Hindu Civilisation", wrote that in the Vedic period, women from higher sections of society were given equal rights in the field of religion, and they attained distinction in the

The Separation Of Capital Ownership And Control

1577 words - 7 pages The argument of whether the separation of capital ownership and control is an efficient form of organization has constantly been a controversial issue. The criticism whether the controllers’ act is in the best interest of the owners’ wills never end as long as hired managers operate management. As the number of public companies has been increasing over the course of this century, meanwhile the American style of contact based corporation has

The Versatility And Flexibility Of OLED's

1014 words - 5 pages In April 1, 2002, organic light emitting diodes gain rise in the scientific community with their published, more practical form at Ames Laboratory. “Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have developed and demonstrated a novel, fluorescence-based chemical sensor that is more compact, versatile and less expensive than existing technology of its

Comparing The Moral Virtues Of Antony And Julian The Apostate

1103 words - 5 pages Roman emperor Julian the Apostate and Christian leader Antony both exhibited many qualities of character during their existence. Both of them led very distinctive lives although shared several ethical values. Book 25 of “The Later Roman Empire” and the book “Early Christian Lives” show concrete evidence of this. In the following essay, I will argue how both leaders’ lives were devoted to their religious beliefs and their mutual cardinal virtues

Related Papers

Ivan Pavlov Essay

591 words - 3 pages different areas in psychology. For instance, behavioral, comparative, and developmental psychology, were benefactors of his studies, and many consider Pavlov as one of the founding fathers of experimental psychology. Seemingly, Pavlov had two different careers; however, in accordance to the text, An Introduction to Theories of Learning, he started a third career at age eighty. He applied his knowledge of conditioning to mental illness, the result

Ken Kesey Biograrphy Essay

688 words - 3 pages Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado, and brought up in Eugene, Oregon. His father worked in the creamery business, in which he was eventually successful after founding the Eugene Farmers Cooperative. Kesey spent his early years hunting, fishing, swimming; he learned to box and wrestle, and he was a star football player. He studied at the University of Oregon, where he acted in college plays. On graduating he won a scholarship to Stanford

American Culture Essay

1583 words - 7 pages FEATURES '60s American culture altered communication By Nathan Bierma, Special to the Tribune | March 11, 2004 When did the term "rhetoric" become an insult? When did the word cease to mean artfully crafted speech and start to convey scorn, as it does when we hear a campaign speech and mutter, "That's just rhetoric"? The answer is 1965, says John McWhorter in his recent book, "Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why

Rudali By Maheswata Devi Essay

1232 words - 5 pages * | Biography Mahasweta Devi was born in 1926 in Dhaka, to literary parents in a Hindu Brahmin family. Her father Manish Ghatak was a well known poet and novelist of the Kallol era, who used the pseudonym Jubanashwa. He also happened to be the elder brother of the noted filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak. Mahasweta's mother Dharitri Devi was also a writer and a social worker whose brothers were very distinguished in various fields, such as the noted