Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation

In the book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Joseph J. Ellis explores the relationship between the Founding Fathers and their contributions and influences on the new American nation. He does this describing key-moments that established the American nation, following the defeat of the British in the 1776 war of independence, and in addition key-moments in the lives of Founding Fathers. Joseph J. Ellis especially focuses on the lives of Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison. This enables the reader a catch a glimpse into these Founding Fathers lives behind the scenes.

Ellis reveals that these individuals were not perfect, contradictory to popular belief. They were human beings and were in fact deeply flawed individuals.

This is apparent in the infamous 1804 duel between Hamilton and Burr. In this dual, the members were unable to resolve their conflict through compromise and show them using violence to resolve their interpersonal dispute. He continuously analyzes the Founding Fathers and reveals more about their personalities.

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Through stories, he analyzes the Founding Fathers personality, their flaws, and their strength. This makes the Founding Fathers more relatable to the reader and makes it easier for the reader to understand why they did what they did. Joseph J. Ellis argues that the government built today was rooted by the close relationship that these men have formed. Which is why Ellis calls his book “Founding Brothers”, instead to Founding Fathers which goes to reflects on how intimate they were. Their relationship was held by their united convictions that Union must be preserved.

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Even Hamilton last message, before he passed, was that the nation must not fall apart: “It must hang together as long as it can be made to.”. One of the most distinct friendships in this group of people was Adams’ and Jefferson’. Despite having different political views and argument, their bonds as Founding fathers was undeniable, as Ellis points out. A bond that was created by the strive to become independent and free, which was greater that of different political views. With that Adams and Jefferson were able to overcome their differences on political views and were able to renew their friendship. Jefferson stated “ While I breathe I shall be your friend” to Adams. This demonstrates how their relationship was like that of a brother – that even though they might disagree they cannot change that this person is there brother.

Ellis points to the fact that the ability of these individuals to compromise has shaped American politics today. Despite the fact that they had a different ideology, they were frequently able to reach a consensus through compromise. This can be seen at a dinner held in 1790, which is “ most famous for averting a political crisis” as described by Joseph Ellis; Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton were able to set aside their political difference in order to reach a compromise on a plan to pay off the national debt and to locate the capital of this new nation. This is reflected in today’s American politics, where compromise has to be made for the good of the nation.

Founding Fathers has the ability to grasp the reader’s attention and gives a deeper understanding of the lives and the characters of the Founding Fathers. Through their close bond and their shared desire to create this nation, they were able to overcome their flaws and their personal dispute using compromise. This book has very good credentials, it is written from a historian, and uses many different primary sources. It is a good book for anyone who wishes to have a deeper understanding of this extraordinary event in history

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Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from

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