The preface of Founding Brothers sets up the historical context and mood for the following chapters, putting an emphasis on the American Revolution, and its significance and inevitability. After the revolutions the astounding success and America’s liberation from Great Britain, no one was certain America could hold its own for long. It had not yet established an active government and was deemed likely by many to fall apart into individual states. However, the founding “fathers” were determined to have America survive as a successful nation, so they initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787 during which the American Constitution was created. Chapter 1 the Duel
The first chapter of the novel pertains to the battle between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. One morning in the summer of 1804, the two conducted a duel near Weehawken, New Jersey following the code duello. It resulted in the death of Hamilton which consequently tainted Burr’s reputation. Hamilton was shot and killed by one of two shots that were fired. In the aftermath, two stories were known amongst the public: the Hamilton version and the Burr version. The Hamilton version is that Burr was the first to fire and Hamilton impulsively fired into the air upon being shot. The Burr version is that Hamilton fired first, deliberately missing, and after about four or five seconds, Burr fired that fatal shot that killed Hamilton, who instantaneously fell to the ground. Although this version was almost undoubtedly incorrect, it was somewhat of a consensus amongst the public. Ironically, the Burr version is more believable because it contains the break between the two shots upon which was both sides agreed, therefore making Hamilton’s reflexive shot highly implausible. The duel was the result of Hamilton offending Burr and then refusing to apologize. Chapter 2 the Dinner
The chapter’s second chapter goes back to the 18th century, before the events of the...