Founding Brothers Review

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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 new concept of a democracy. These problems included- the interpretation of constitutional powers, the regulation of governmental power through checks and balances, the first presidential elections, the surprising emergence of political parties, states rights vs. federal authority, and the issue of slavery in a otherwise free society. Ellis dives even deeper into the subject by exposing the readers to true insight of the major players of the founding generation. The book attempts to capture the ideals of the early revolutionary generation leaders and their conflicting political viewpoints. The personalities of Hamilton, Burr, Adams, Washington, Madison, and Jefferson are presented in great detail. Ellis exposes the reality of the internal and partisan conflict endured by each of these figures in relation to each other. Ellis emphasizes that despite these difficult hurdles, the young American nation survived its early stages because of its great collection of charismatic leaders and their ability to settle their disputes through compromise.

Founding Brothers is divided into six different chapters, each with a distinctly different stories. The chapters are titled "The Generation", "The Duel", "The Dinner", "The Silence", "The...
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