Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were similar and different in multiple ways. The course of events shaped their lives in various ways and they were always competing with each other. The duel between Hamilton and Burr transpired for countless reasons such as family backgrounds, personal careers, and political goals.
Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had quite a difficult relationship. There were many instances where the two were greatly opposing each other. Due to these instances and others in which Burr had felt completely insulted by Hamilton, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. At the Duel, Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach. Hamilton died the next day. Burr was never charged for the murder of Hamilton, but some still consider Burr completely unjust in his actions of challenging and killing Hamilton.
Today we look back at the American Revolution and picture a united people fighting for inalienable rights, but to grasp the impact that Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” had upon his contemporaries we must understand the situation in the American colonies in 1776. When Paine wrote his pamphlet, the colonist and The Parliament in London, were almost 10 years into a debate over the rights of limited self-government by the colonies. In the months preceding the publication of Paine’s pamphlet the situation had steadily worsened until the April 19th, 1775 armed confrontation between Massachusetts colonists and British Army soldiers. By the end of that day, blood had been shed by both sides, and armed colonists placed the British garrison in Boston under siege. Despite this violence, most colonists viewed the events as a part of a struggle between Englishmen that would be resolved with the continued allegiance of the colonies to the Crown, but with more favorable treatment from London. It was with this popular mindset throughout the colonies, that Paine would deliver his “Common Sense” pamphlet arguing for complete independence from England. Paine understood that to make his argument resonate he needed to appeal to the public in a manner that had yet to be done.
In many U.S. history classes all over the country, the Alexander Hamilton Vs. Aaron Burr duel is taught with little detail. Hamilton is a founding father, Burr is the Vice President, they challenge each other to a duel and Hamilton dies. However there is much more to the story as Hamilton consciously made the decision to throw away his shot and give Burr all of the power. This may not be the kind of decision that most people would make in this situation, but for Hamilton it was necessary. Alexander Hamilton had been through a great deal of hardships in his life. In the beginning his childhood was dark and filled with death, he tainted his love life and career with an affair, he gave his son fatal advice, and by speaking what he thought to be true he landed himself a spot in the duel against Burr. Within all of these aspects, Hamilton found himself helpless and no matter what he tried, he could not seem to fix the situation. Perhaps Hamilton decided to lay his fate in the hands of someone else for once because he never truly felt in control.
The duel between Hamilton and Burr transpired for countless reasons such as family backgrounds, personal careers, and political goals. In early 1804, Burr decided to run for governor of New York and lost partly due to Hamilton’s opposition and insults he had written in a newspaper that Burr decided to act. By this time, the two of them have been rivals politically for fifteen years and Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, in order to redeem his reputation and worthiness as a political leader. On the other hand, if Hamilton refused he would be destroying his career along with his reputation. The duel took place on July 11, 1804 and is considered today as being very symbolic in the political life of the country. Hamilton and Burr met in Weehawken and they each loaded their pistols in one another’s presence. They calculated the distance, and had someone else give the command. Hamilton and Burr both fired at the same time, with Hamilton being murdered with a shot to the abdomen. Consequently, Burr was charged with murder but never arrested due
“Your Obedient Servant” is the song in the musical that reference the letters Hamilton and Burr wrote back and forth leading up to the duel. These letters speaks about their many interactions in which one of them won over the other. Hamilton did many things in order to keep Burr away from gaining powerful positions
Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton share a series of correspondence revealing their distrust towards each other. Burr challenges Hamilton, “name a time and a place, face to face” (266). Hamilton answers “I don’t want to fight” (267), but accepts the challenge: “Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn” (267) when he must. The two meet “across the Hudson and dawn” to duel. Hamilton “aims his pistol at the sky” (273) but Burr strikes him “right between his ribs” (273). The action stops before Hamilton dies, and Hamilton contemplates “Burr, my first friend, my enemy, may be the last face I ever see?” (273). Hamilton is taken away and Burr is left alone, considering his actions: “He may have been the first one to die, but I’m the one who paid for it.” He shows his obvious regret when realizing “The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me”
The chapters are titled "The Generation", "The Duel", "The Dinner", "The Silence", "The Farewell", "The Collaborators" and "The Friendship". In "The Duel", the story of the legendary duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is related in its entirety. It was by far the most prominent deadly standoff between two men in history. Ellis relates the background and brief biographies of the two men involved in the duel. He also reveals the context for the duel, a culmination of political and personal jabs at Burrs character by Hamilton. In fact these jabs held a good deal of truth, and finally resulted in Burr challenging Hamilton. Both Hamilton and Burr went to the plains in Weehawken to conduct the duel in defense of their honor and characters. Historically, Hamilton is seen as a martyr in the duel and Burr seen as a treacherous murderer. This Hamiltonian viewpoint is dominant among historians because it is widely believed that Hamilton went into the duel not intending to fire a shot and that Burr fired the first shot. Ellis believes this version of the story to be wrong. He believes that Hamilton honored his bargain of not firing on Burr, wasting his first shot by firing it into the trees. Burr, thinking that Hamilton fired at him, shot and killed Hamilton with his shot.
At the time of the duel, Hamilton’s Federalist party was in decline after losing the Presidency. After his dull Vice Presidency, Burr had lost the support of even his own Republican Party. This fear of political amnesty explains why these two would be willing to risk their lives for political reputation. Honor was a reoccurring theme in this chapter, as was the separation between the private and
Two men waited. Anxiously they watched as their friends negotiated, watched as the day’s proceedings were determined, watched as they prepared themselves for the worst—turning their back on their armed enemy, walking ten paces, and engaging in a race so critical that losing by a millisecond could mean losing one’s life. Such were the reckless and recognized risks of dueling, and such were the risks for Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr when they met on July 11, 1804, to participate in an illegal pistol duel. Although Hamilton had an overall captivating life, an intriguing theme that can be observed throughout his life is conflict. His childhood, his competition with Thomas Jefferson, and his continual clash with Aaron Burr are three examples
“The kernel of truth in Hamilton’s distinction between personal and political criticism of burr resides here. In sense that is was an accurate statement of Hamilton’s assessment. Burr’s reputation as a notorious womanizer or as a lavish spender who always managed to stay one step ahead of his creditors did not trouble Hamilton.” The only thing that did worry Hamilton was the ominous fit between Burr’s political skills and the opportunities for mischief so clearly available in a nation whose laws and institutions were still congealing. “The problem with Hamilton’s distinction, however, was that the putative barrier between personal and political criticism, or private and public behavior, kept getting overwhelmed by real choices.” This was a crucial moment in developing America’s personality. Burr finally stepped up and did what was finest for the Nation. Hamilton’s personality was also essential for the hard situations. The personality difference was a huge significance, it made the founding fathers more substantial and have closer relationships with each
This is the time when George Washington was the president. After college, elementary school and his job, he met George Washington. According to a different article in Newsela Hamilton was George Washington's former aide. They started the first African American school. They also fought for Native Americans equal rights. It is proved just by those sentences that George Washington trusted Alexander Hamilton more than anyone. Judging by history it is clear to say that they won the Revolutionary war together. After the revolutionary war it was the next election. Time for George Washington to leave and for the next president to come up. Hamilton voted for Thomas Jefferson rather than Aaron Burr, sadly this is the part that lead to Hamilton’s
Hamilton looks nothing like Burr and is a child from a French-Scottish home. He once disguised himself in the war where he got the senior officer position. He was one of the important leaders of the Federalist Party to the United States of America. During The Duel, Hamilton was 49 years old and his party was severely declining after losing the presidential election to Thomas Jefferson. Ellis states Hamilton’s eagerness as “kinetic energy increasingly expressing itself in bursts of conspicuous brilliance”. Even though Hamilton was not so good that morning, he decided not to really shoot on the first try. According to his statement, he had no intentions of hurting Burr and hoped maybe Burr might stop and think of peace before making the move. Burr and Hamilton joined the political stands around 6:00AM to 7:00AM. Since the duel was illegal, it was called an interview and it was called an interview and it was made in a way that people did not recognize what it actually was. Since Hamilton was the one being put in the ring, he had the chance to pick his weapons. He picked his brother-in-law’s pistol for the fight as this same pistol was used by his son who died. These pistols had hair-trigger and only needed just a little pressure to fire. Hamilton knew about this but of course, he did not inform
Hamilton laughs at them because he is wrong, but he goes on to further taunt them “If I can prove that I never broke the law/Do you promise not to tell another soul what you saw?”. He does this in order for no one else to find out about the affair. It shows that Hamilton cares more about his work and reputation rather than his family. Hamilton tells Burr, Madison and Jefferson about his affair, “I may have mortally wounded my prospects/ But my papers are orderly!”. He finally reveals the details to another person, upon hearing this Burr promises not to tell anyone else. Hamilton says “As you can see I have done nothing to provoke legal action/Are my answers to your satisfaction?” He is trying to prevent a lawsuit against himself. It moves the plot forward, Burr doesn’t have any evidence against Hamilton. Burr stops trying to incriminate Hamilton at least for
Hamilton decided that the duel was morally wrong and shoots in the air, missing Burr on purpose, while Burr’s intention was to kill, wounding Hamilton in his stomach which leads to his death the next day. Aaron Burr was later charged with murder he serves no time but, he’s political career is ruined. The ending of the musical was the most moving for me, specially the song “The World Was Wide Enough” indeed it was for the both. When Burr screamed “WAIT!” I could tell the regret in his voice. This musical was inspiring and the way it portrayed an important part of US history makes me think what would’ve or could’ve happened if Hamilton was here today? I did not know what I was signing up for at the beginning but it was definitely a moving and memorable experience I will share with others. Oh stubborn Hamilton, one lost his life, the other his name, politics truly is a dangerous