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In this book the Founding Brothers there were so many key factors starting with “The Duel” between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr on the 11th of July 1804. Some small stories about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, so starting with Hamilton who is the Federalist Party and leading a campaign to take on state debt. Hamilton made a lot of enemies such as John Adams and Aaron Burr. Now on to Aaron Burr who was the third vice president of the United States, and serving during President Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.
Burr served as a continental army officer in the American Revolutionary War. Now a little about their feud with each other, the two had been political rivals, but the main cause of the duel was because of some harsh remarks allegedly made by Hamilton about Burr at a dinner.
Burr challenged Hamilton after he continuously offended him both personally and politically. Hamilton was mortally wounded and therefore permanently ruined Burr’s reputation.
During the duel, Burr bought Van Ness and Hamilton bought Pendleton. There was a code that needed to be followed legal because back then dueling was known as an illegal activity it had been dubbed as “an interview”. Hamilton had planned not to shoot but shots were fired and it was a lot of confusion about where the shots came from and when. As a result of shots being fired Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton but here’s a twist within the same time the duel was taken place Alexander Hamilton’s oldest son Philip Hamilton was shot and killed by George Eacker.
The next major cause was “The Dinner” the theory was that there must have been more than one meeting and secret dealings made to come to their conclusion. Thomas Jefferson held the dinner for Hamilton and Madison on the 20th of June 1790. Thomas Jefferson wanted so badly to help the men settle their disagreements. Madison would not protest Hamilton’s idea of government assumption of state debt because if Hamilton allowed him to create the national capital on the Potomac River. Jefferson opposed the plan because he felt as if states should charter banks that could give money. Jefferson also believed that the constitution had not given the national government the power to create a bank and later regretted helping to pass Hamilton’s plan.
The chapter “The Silence” to me is the most interesting. This chapter took place on February 17th in the year 1790, when two people who are known as “Quakers” served a petition to the house to put an end to slavery once and for all. There has been a wish to end slavery which caused a fight between the North and South. This was known as the fight for civil justice the war which started because the South said that they needed slavery while the North was ready to abolish slavery. A man by the name of James Jackson said that slavery was a “necessary evil” and had to be ended for the greater good so that when slaves were free that would have severely increased the debt.
This petition encouraged by Ben Franklin who then became president in 1785 of Pennsylvania’s “Abolition Society” in April of 1787. A constitution would not allow slavery to end until at least the 1800s, with this happening it almost made laws favoring abolition until James Madison convinced the government to change it to “Congress has no right to interfere with slavery” which I believe is the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. I will never understand why it took the constitution so long to let slavery end. Did they not want African-American people free and to have the same rights as them, did they not want more help during wars or strength in numbers with the help of African-Americans who wanna help fight for their country.
A chapter that stood out to me was the chapter that was mainly about some of George Washington’s best moments, and when Madison wrote the first draft and Hamilton revised it four years later known as “The Farewell” because it’s fairly known as “Washington’s Farewell Letter”. Jefferson opposed this and began name-calling Washington he was very hurt by critics who tried to hinder his reputation. He wanted unity at home and independence aboard and wanted a national university that could have mentioned, however, it was never created, it was then stated that Washington was retiring so the country will be on its own and was advising on how to survive without a king. Sadly later in the year of 1799 Washington died of pneumonia on December 14th. Later on the Supreme Court, Justice John Jay created Jay’s Treaty with England to prevent another war. address illustrated that we need to put aside narrow interests to the larger cause.
In the chapter known as “The Collaborators,” John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the two obvious presidential candidates however, they trusted and loved each other which gave them the name “odd couple of the revolution”. Adams was almost unbeatable in Revolutionary credentials. This led the competition of the Stamp Act which caused Adams to become friends with Jefferson after leaving Paris to help create the Massachusetts state constitution, became instead of resident in 1789. Adams couldn’t help in congress because he suggested calling Washington, Jefferson heavily criticized this which strained their friendship.
Jefferson started receiving help from Madison, Abigail ended up helping Adams, and with the help, Adams was able to win the elects that resulted in the votes of 71-68. Soon after Jefferson became vice president but they no longer had a close friendship. Adams made the mistake of keeping many of Washington’s cabinet members because they were more loyal to Hamilton, used his wife more than his cabinet and made another mistake of signing the Alien and Sedition Acts. After signing this act successfully avoided a war with France and England.
In the last chapter to talk about is “The Friendship”, in July 1801 Adams was back in Massachusetts farming. Abigail wrote Jefferson giving out condolences for the loss of his daughter, and he wrote back thinking they wanted to become friends again. Abigail wrote back offended because Jefferson questioned some of Adam’s decisions and he claimed not to have been guilty of the actions she accused him of. In the year of 1812, on January 1st Jefferson and Adams began writing to each other with an exchange of 158 letters, both men were writing for the future generations. Later on in the year of 1823 friendships officially began again. Adams began writing therapeutic letters to his friend Benjamin Rush about Jefferson. Both men wrote about many controversial topics and events, but sadly Jefferson and Adams died in the year of 1826 on July 4th.
Soon the Founding Brothers begin talking about their ten suggestions on how to end slavery. As said in chapter 3 the Quakers were the ones who proposed a petition for the African Slave Trade to end. Which caused Benjamin Franklin to propose a different petition calling for the end of slavery, this one being written by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Franklin’s proposal said that the slave trade was immoral and that the constitution empowered congress to take whatever action it deemed necessary and proper to cut the stigma of traffic in human beings. But the constitution said to forbid any new laws about slavery until at least 1808.
Whereas Thomas Scott’s argument was slavery was not explicitly protected by the constitution. Congress uses the Declaration rather than the constitution as a guide to state that all men are equal. Which caused a debate between Thomas Scott and James Jackson because he took it upon himself to state that he supported slavery based on Biblical references and that the deep South was economically dependent on it. Thomas Jefferson’s said that based on 76’s that all men should be free, he also believed all slaves born after the 1800s should be set free and that slavery should not be allowed to be expanded into the western territories. As a result of his opinion by 1712 Virginia legislation allowed all slave owners to free their slaves at their discretion.
One of the other Founding Brothers James Madison’s opinions on the slave trade was that slavery was immoral but he refused to push for a federal law. Instead, he believed that slavery should be dealt with at the state level. All these disagreements caused the North and South to believe their arguments to be self-evident. The south forced an eight-day delay where they offered every pro-slavery argument they could. They used a 1790 census which revealed many for slaves live in the South to argue slavery would not just simply die out. They argued that the Northern delegates have no right to dictate the behavior of the South. The fear of the dissent that the Founding Brothers feared most. Madison might have engendered a situation that maintained his beloved state control, but he also acted in a way that would limit serious conflict.
The other Founding Brothers, Franklin excluded, ignored the issue not because they lacked strong feelings, but because they knew that their authority could tip a balance into conflict. Madison used his political rhetoric to keep the house unsettled over the question. He made certain that no constitutional abolition had been passed, and that the committee’s final recommendation kept slavery out of federal control. Ultimately, the committee passed three resolutions, most central of which was the insistence that congress lacked authority to abolish slavery. This resolution passed by a count of 29 to 25, and the question of slavery remained off the congressional docket for 20 years. Neither Madison nor Franklin’s interference deterred the course of history. The slavery debate eventually moved from congress and into the churches and community halls, where it festered for decades until it’s national purging occurring civil war.
While his goal was to limit federal control, he was hardly a pure Southern defender. Not only were his moral feelings in conflict with those of many Southern delegates, but he was also appalled at their insistence of airing the arguments publicly. His goal was to make everything going on a non-issue. Madison was pragmatic enough to know that Biblical references would only go so far and in fact, could hurt his cause. With Franklin’s role in the debate, his place got reflected in the way that his word was so severely shaken in the House of Representatives into action it otherwise would not have taken. His death, which happened so soon after the declaration that the legacy of slavery would tarnish the new country’s reputation, has an almost poetic meaning since history would prove him correct.
As unable to act in any notable way, congress was given a test run at both the private and public levels and it utterly failed the populace by refusing to either broker a compromise or acknowledge in spite that the compromise’s impossibility. It was absent during the 1790’s debate since it marked the first time in American history that a debate within the House of Representatives resulted in such heated public discussions. Even though Jefferson had lots of anti-slavery laws he tried to pass, but he owned hundreds of slaves anyway.
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