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Autor:   •  April 18, 2017  •  Book/Movie Report  •  993 Words (4 Pages)  •  168 Views

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David Milam

Barbe 3rd 


The founding brothers is a non-fictional book written by Joseph J Ellis, receiving extremely high praise and awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize and being listed as a national bestseller. In this novel, Ellis explores how a group of extremely talented yet flawed Individuals-Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison-took over the daunting task of creation what we now know as the United States of America, now one of the most powerful and greatest country on Earth. It truly gives the reader much more respect for the US, giving six packed chapters of the ultimate struggle at task, but ultimately overcome by the founding father, or founding brothers, by combining the ideals of the Declaration of independence with the content listed by the United States Constitution to create the ideal government for equal success throughout a country.

One of the biggest and most controversial concepts in not only American history, but world history, would be slavery. Ellis dedicates the third chapter, The Silence, about the early struggles of slavery not only throughout the United States, but throughout the government. It highlights how split the northern and southern states were split between the idea of owning slaves and putting a stop to the Slave Trade. Ben Franklin and a Quaker delegation both present the idea to the House of Representatives, but it is split half and half whether to finally put an end to the Slave Trade. When reading this chapter, Ellis does an excellent job of showing just how hard it was to come to a definite answer to the proposed problem of eventually ending slavery. The southern states were extremely stubborn, not willing to give Franklin any breathing room to work with. On the other end, the northern states were willing to compromise, not even bringing up the emancipation, or freedom, of black individuals. They just asked for more rights for African Americans, hoping it would eventually lead to the freedom for all. The debate really does an excellent job of not only foreshadowing the splitting of northern and southern states, but how hard it was to come to a definitive answer of slavery until the Civil war.  

Chapter four, The Farewell, George Washington is riddled with sickness and is coming towards the end of his presidency. The concept in this chapter is less indirect, but is extremely important. Washington was a normal person, except coming from an extremely good background of leadership throughout his time in the United States. Ellis does seem to have some sort of bias against Washington throughout the novel, but portrays the idea of social and political power mobility throughout the working systems of the United States. He highlights the skills and experience Washington lacks to run a country, struggling with simple things such as grammar or writing ability. Ellis mentions towards the end of how anybody can become president of the United States, really highlighting the fact of political mobility. Washington was really nothing special at that time as far as his basic knowledge reached, but was voted to become the first president of the United States, really inspiring whoever is reading this chapter. It shows not only how America really is the land of opportunity, but to never give up. Washington struggles greatly throughout, trying not to show his physical weaknesses with fighting the Inevitable battle of age and the mental aspect of things with trying to keep up with the great gifted minds of this era in the early yet upcoming USA.  

The last and maybe most important political concept in American history would have to be political freedom. The United States is one of few places in this world that the citizen has full political freedom to choose or support the person they want representing them, not only on the presidential level, but on all levels of state wide and federal government. They could even run for an office if truly desired. The last two chapters, The Collaborators and The Friendship really portray this, however, it isn’t the prettiest. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had forged this legendary friendship known throughout politics, but it came to an end due to political idea differences. Adams ultimately won the job for the second president of the United States, taking Jefferson along as his go-to man, becoming the vice president, but it quickly proved to be more of a challenge on their relationship than their actual jobs. Adams presidency was hit by an excess of struggling challenges, but the biggest coming from Jefferson, who gave an unfair amount of criticism to Adams about the way he chose to run the country. Jefferson won the office in 1800, finishing off the final amount of friendship they had left. I personally believe Adams came out victorious with his way of politics overtime, but both were extremely important for the carving of the greatest country in the world. Even in the office of presidency and vice presidency, you can have political freedom, but now the vice president normally has extremely close views to his running partner, the president. It was really an amazing way Ellis shared the idea of political freedom with the reader, making it almost personal by telling a story about two of the closest friends in American history who not only greatly contributed to independence from Great Britain on July 4th, but actually died on the same day 50 years Later-July 4th 1826.


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