Founding Brothers Paper
Founding Brothers Paper
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Founding Brothers Paper
Joseph J.Ellis in his book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation presents an interpretation of the historical American Revolution and the impact of the rival interpretation on the early history of the United States of America. The focus of this book is on some of the prominent personalities like John Adam, Ben Franklin, George Washington. The main point of the entire book revolves around the basic idea that all the Americans take their independence for granted, but their forefathers struggled hard to achieve this goal although they were not sure that they would be able to achieve this revolutionary success. In my opinion, this book successfully describes the struggle of the forefathers that how despite the thread they were receiving, they were able to put their interest aside and they became united to achieve success.
Ellis in this book wants to state that although compromise was complicated and extremely tough for the leaders at that time but this was one of the most important aspects of the leaders that they were able to resolve their issue unitedly by compromising certain things that were linked to their interest, and in my opinion this is one of the prominent element of their legacy. The author wants to make a point here that how the founding brothers were able to resolve their issue to benefit the masses .
Founding Brothers shows that the period that followed after the revolution was damaged which was fueled by not only ideological disagreements but also by some uncertainties, practical and political conflicts and even by rumors. The period after the revolution was a period of conflict where the leaders once defeated the British were no longer together in the common cause which Ellis narrated in a way like “ Bound together united against the imperialistic enemy, the leadership strat to fragments when the common enemy disappears, and the different agenda for the new nation must confront its differences". Once the common enemy disappeared from the picture, then the conflict that was suppressed and ignored before the independence suddenly start to rise in full force. Although the legacy of the revolution started to become warfare in itself and certain leaders were blamed for deceiving the revolution by taking the side of the monarchical-style of government. From that point, the conflict of interest of all these leaders became quite intense and their unity dissolved over time.
The element of compromise is described several times in this book, and in my point of view, most of the goals that were achieved by these leaders are by compromising certain points to achieve the bigger goals. To make his point clear the author narrated a resolution of conflict by the compromise of 1790. In this incidence, Alexander Hamilton was able to achieve the federal government assuming state debts and Madison and Jefferson were given the nation’s capital in the South. Although at that time the conflict followed the compromise was severe, but the leaders were able to reach a compromise through discussion, mutual trust, and bargaining .
Ellis in his book also gives credit to the Founding Brothers that their decision to escape the question of slavery was very helpful for the US in the survival of its first decade as a free country. The book also stresses it was not only for practical reasons that the issue of slavery was ignored but the founding brothers were also facing inside conflicts related to the slavery issue. At that time most of them were totally against slavery and referred to it as a moral evil, many of them also ignored the discussion of abolition. Although Ellis wants to convince his audience that the continuation of slavery was not due to the founding fathers, it was the need of the hour, but at the same he let the audience decide about the role of founding fathers in it .
Ellis in this book describes some of the historical events of US and wants to make a point that how the founding brothers sacrificed their interest for the benefit of the nation by compromising on different issues, and then they succeeded in their goal, but the new generation is taking this freedom too easily. Different events are described in this book to make it clear that how even in difficult situations sensible decisions were made to avoid certain conflicts. Different reasons and events support each claim in the book. Although the author took a side of the founding fathers for some of their decisions at the same time, he is not forcing the reader to agree with him. I would suggest that before reading this book, try to empty your mind from any historical background because then you will start doubting the authenticity of the events written in this book.
Ellis, Joseph J. 2002. Founding Brothers: the revolutionary generation. New York: Vintage Books
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