In Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis discusses how the relationships of the founding fathers shaped the United States, looking not only at what happened historically but the myths that have prevailed in modern times. I have few issues with this book one of which is that the narrative often jumps from one time and place to another, and while it provides the relevant information and keeps the reader’s attention, it can be hard to follow at times. In addition there are times were he explains the same incident more than once, which is distracting and unnecessary. Despite this Ellis supports his thesis well through stories of political and personal events between the founders, and clearly shows how it affected their treatment of each other. …show more content…
I believe that this was an excellent choice on Ellis’ part as the introduction left me somewhat confused due to the time jumps, and more than a bit bored. Thus the mental imagery of these men rowing through the swamp to “the interview at Weehawken” is both colorful and captivating. The most interesting part of the chapter though is not the duel, but the later description of the mounting animosity between these two men and the missed opportunities to save Alexander Hamilton’s life. It also emphasized the importance of a good personal reputation at the dawn of our government. This is shown in the failing careers if the two duelers, not so much because of their politics but due to the negative reputations they gained with the public and their fellow politicians. This is especially emphasized by the slander against Burr for the death of Hamilton and the lack of liable laws to protect him and his reputation. This slander, as Ellis provides convincing evidence that Hamilton shot first and was thus neither innocent or a martyr, is now the enduring myth leading to questions of the legitimacy of some of the other stories of the founders. One example is the story of Thomas Jefferson’s dinner where he, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison supposedly solved the issue of the location of the capitol and the national debt.
The second chapter starts with this
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Out of the six chapters, I prefer to write about Chapter One and Two: The Duel and The Dinner. This book was very intriguing and helped in the understanding of the post-revolutionary America and the lives of the founding brothers and what they went through.
The founding fathers, or as the book calls them the founding brothers, are an assorted group of men from wildly different backgrounds. In political terms, they were divided. Yet, they came to together to help shape this country into the place it is today. Now on their journey towards the making of this country they did encounter some trouble. They encountered heated debates among themselves though for getting through these debates they show just why they deserve to be called, founding brothers.
In the year of 1776, the United States became an independent country. At that moment, the great men who fought for its independence began to create the government and shape American politics. In Richard Hofstadter's The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It, he identifies twelve of the most influential men and the political traditions they created, including the Founding Fathers who started it all. Additionally, Hofstadter informs the reader of other significant government officials including Andrew Jackson and his democracy, the progressive, trustbuster Theodore Roosevelt, and ending with Franklin D. Roosevelt and his programs of the New Deal. Richard Hofstadter's ideas are brilliantly
In the book Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis, the author relates the stories of six crucial historic events that manage to capture the flavor and fervor of the revolutionary generation and its great leaders. While each chapter or story can be read separately and completely understood, they do relate to a broader common theme. One of Ellis' main purposes in writing the book was to illustrate the early stages and tribulations of the American government and its system through his use of well blended stories. The idea that a republican government of this nature was completely unprecedented is emphasized through out the book. Ellis discusses the unique problems that the revolutionary generation experienced as a result of governing under the
Overall Joseph J. Ellis showed the significant role the leaders played in the founding of our country. Each character that Ellis brings forth in a story had a great impact not only on America then, but also where America’s nation is concerned today. Ellis also shows the importance of knowing about the roots of the founding fathers of our nation. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation is not only informative, but also compelling in its stories to keep the reader intrigued.
The Founding Brothers tells the tales of the ordinary lives and challenges that the founders or framers of the United States faced. One of the challenges was the common goal to ensure that the nation that the forefathers helped build would stand the test of time. The author, Joseph Ellis, wants the reader to understand better that the founders were more than just men, that were all white and male. Instead, the founders were men that knew the problems that the country was facing after its gaining independence from the British in the American Revolutionary War. They all fought each other tooth and nail over things that they felt were essential for this new republic to survive. Nevertheless, they all met each other to form political compromises that would aid in building the strength and future position of the new republic. These compromises would help settle many disputes that threatened to divide the new nation in half. Even though, they dealt with issues -like slavery, they understood that the entire world was watching and waiting to see what would become of this new government system that.
Joseph J Ellis included “The Duel” in his book, Founding Brothers to show the extreme complexity behind the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. This duel is normally represented in a short few lines that includes the date, the location, the outcome, and little details about the fashion in which they dueled. Although these representations are short and concise, they do not give the duel the justice it deserves. Ellis’ model does so by adding a lot more detail to help the audience understand it was more than a short and random interaction. Ellis explains how in order to understand the duel, one must examine the many and intricate causes of it, rather than what actually happened in those few seconds on top of the cliff in Weehawken, New Jersey. Ellis’ record of the most famous duel in American History can be used as a historical reference for the songs “Your Obedient Servant” and “The World Was Wide Enough” that are a part of the Hamilton soundtrack. One thing that was made sure after reading this book and listening to this song is that Lin Manuel Miranda did his research and made the songs in his soundtrack as historically accurate as possible.
The book being critiqued in the following review is Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis. Ellis’ goal in writing this book was to define the political events and achievements that gained historical significance because they framed the successive history of the United States. Ellis wrote on this specific topic because he felt the need to argue the fact that the American Revolution and the greatness achieved by the founding generation were the result of a collective effort. Ellis emphasizes that the success of the United States, at the time of its formation, was not an inevitable conclusion. At the time, it was an improbable result that
In Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph K. Ellis discusses a great deal of challenges that the revolutionary generation faced at home and abroad as well as how the relationship of the founding brothers shaped the new nation. Ellis discusses the compromise for the new location of the capital, the debate of slavery and why it was a big issue and lastly the friendships of Thomas Jefferson with George Washington and John Adams in three main chapters that are The Dinner, The Silence, and The Collaborators.
The Founding Brothers did not know the type of impact they had on the American Revolution. They were simply trying to live and better the community. Some were unable to see the greatness of America and how their portrayal in it affected the country. The U.S. government was created for the people and by the people to establish a legislative body. The nationhood and independence stemmed from these motivated, devoted Founding Brothers through their work, leadership, and their faults that made America.
In the book the Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis, the author puts the key players of post – revolution America on BLAST! His slam book, closely mirrors the political turmoil of today. It is marred by a war of words between candidates, personal attacks, media bias, party politics and long standing feuds. Ellis’ factual account of the historical crisis explores challenges each of these ordinary men, our founding fathers faced as they come together to established order and declare their independence from Britain in a brave new world.
Chapter one of the Founding Brothers commences during the time after the American Revolution, when the unfledged nation was still in its infancy. This is the only chapter that is out of chronological order. A duel, often coded as an interview, was an outlawed event between gentlemen that used one-on-one combat to settle disputes and protect honor. That being said, Colonel Aaron Burr challenged General Alexander Hamilton to a duel that consequently resulted in the death of his opponent. Ellis addresses that the reason that Burr initiated the duel is because “ Hamilton had been libeling him through their crisscrossing careers in public life”(para. 30) and furthermore, that Hamilton couldn’t back out because if he did his reputation would be tainted.
On July 11th 1804 in the early hours of the morning two men met at a private location to defend their honor and settle a dispute that had been building for possible more than two decades. The dispute would be settled by a duel leaving one man unharmed and the other fatally wounded with less than a day to live. The names of the two men were Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Even though both men knew what the consequences would be if they accepted the challenge of a duel they still decided to participate and defend their honor which in those days was how a man was valued, if you could not stand by your word and were not an honorable man you were not trustworthy and certainly not respectable.
1 Joseph J. Ellis, “The Duel,” in Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, (New York, NY: