Founding Brothers

Topics: United States, American Civil War, Slavery in the United States Pages: 3 (1009 words) Published: May 5, 2013
The chances of the United States of America surviving as a country were very slim during the revolutionary generation. After winning an almost impossible war it still seemed doubtful that our country would survive. But in the end the people who helped build our country pulled it off. So how did they do it? In the book Founding Brothers Joseph Ellis attempts to answer that question. He does this by giving four main reasons. First, the founding bothers had different personalities and opinions from each other which created multiple solutions to a problem. Second, they all knew each other on a personal level so they were able to work things out face to face. Third, slavery was put aside by the founding brothers so they could focus on keeping the country alive. Finally, they didn’t hide the fact they knew they were going down in history. I felt that Ellis best supported his answers through three chapters.

In the third chapter of the book titled “The Silence” Ellis talks about the issue of slavery and why it was important they put it aside. Ellis States “slavery was an explosive topic that must be removed from the political agenda” [115]. One of the main reasons he states this is because of the issue of the cost abolishing slaves would be. At the time it would have cost about 140 million dollars to do so and the federal budget was only 7 million dollars. Another big reason Ellis believes this was necessary was that “no model of a genuinely biracial society existed anywhere in the world at the time” [107]. Even though it sounds awful, white people did not know what it was like to live with black people in a society on such a large scale. One final reason that he gives is that if the founding brothers tried to eliminate slavery it would most likely cause civil war to break out. Even though civil war does eventually happen in the future because of this issue, the country was way too unstable to handle it during the revolutionary generation. Another thing that Ellis...
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