The Revolution and the Early Republic
Ellis in his book, ‘The Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation’ engages various historical, political leaders in a lively narrative on the revolution and history of America. Although these men had very different viewpoints and beliefs, they still managed to collaborate. This would be unimaginable in the modern America’s political arena. The collaboration between the founding brothers was a symbol of an instance when political leaders behaved well; putting away all their interests for the well-being of the nation. The founding brothers sat countless meetings together sharing beliefs, experiences, and revolutionaries. In my opinion, all the founding brothers were revolutionaries in the sense that they did something never done before in history. They were all bold enough to challenge the most dominant economic and military power of the time, the Great Britain. However, I find Jefferson the most appealing having left the legacy of drafting the Declaration of Independence. I think Washington was equally indispensable in the group. Washington stepped down from presidency without any external pressure (Ellis 125). This paper will engage the two selected founding brothers in an imaginary conversation with the slaves, the free blacks, women, anti-federalists and the militants. The conversations will be based on the burning issues of the time. Although the paper will not assume a dialogue structure, the paragraphs will depict the different viewpoints.
The United States’ Revolution was expected to bring forth some favorable outcomes to the citizens having undergone seven years of war. Everyone was optimistic that their lives would take a different course. The slaves, black Americans, and women were undoubtedly the most affected by the Britain colonialism. These groups played a great role towards the achievement of independence. They expected that their political, economic and social contexts would be transformed. On July 4, 1779, in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson stated that, “All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights (Jefferson 1).” This expressed his attitude against slavery which had long existed in America. Although the debate on slavery had been there in America for quite some long, its abolition discussions had been silenced. The other leaders thought that the abolition would lead to a civil war.
The abolition of slavery eased the slaves from slavery. They were no longer required to work in farms for little or no pay without their consent. However, this did not necessarily lead to a transition in their lives as they had expected. They were still excluded from the privileges that were enjoyed by the Native Americans. They had expected that they could be compensated for all that they had done for the country. Their standards still lingered behind those of a medium citizen. This was the greatest injustice done to the slaves. The foreign country did not even consider to take them back to their native lands.
The Experiences of Women
When Jefferson declared that all human beings were equal, he simply meant that the injustices based on race, gender and social class were to be ended (Jefferson 1). Women had experienced a lot of inequalities from the male-dominated societies. The black America women were the most affected. A woman would hardly get justice in a court of law. Sojourner Truth was the first black American woman to get justice in an American court.
The women had grown reluctant of their rights and had begun accepting the supposition that they were inferior beings. They suffered in the hands of men in the patriarchal societies without questioning. The condition was even worse for the women working in plantations. This prompted the women to turn their private agonies into public battles in the quest to attain justice. Sexism and racism are actually intertwined, and a combination of the two would definitely be a crisis.
Politics and economy
Ellis in his chapter on ‘Farewell’ recounts the one most important acts in the American history. Washington’s decision to step down as the president was a heroic action in American history. This puts a distinction between the man and the legend in Washington (Ellis 122). Thomas Paine in his article on the origins of the government negates the worth of politics in a nation. He argues that a government, which rises from politics is produced by human wickedness (Paine 1). The governments act in negatively reinforcing our vices. The government is a punisher of the citizens. Economies only thrive in politically stable nations. This means that politics hardly contribute to the well-being of a nation.
Many ordinary people did not like Washington’s step-down. They would have wanted him to rule forever because he was a good leader. By this, Washington implied that he was a great leader than the people had thought. The act of sacrificing the top seat of the nation would only be taken into consideration by an extraordinary leader. If all leaders would have taken the example set by Washington, America would have been greater. Washington took a bold step to indicate that America was greater than any individual leader.
The Revolutionary War
The Revolutionary war was a global war which started as a conflict between the 13 colonies and the Great Britain. The States had declared independence as the United States of America. George Washington played a great role in the successes made in this war. The Congress in 1776 appointed him as the commander of the Continental Army. The Great Britain was defeated by the Americans in 1781. This defeat led to the independence of the thirteen states.
The contributions of the state militia in the Revolutionary War cannot be overlooked. At the beginning of the war, British significantly had some advantages compared to America. The United States had no central government and no national army. There were also n banks or a stable financial system. America, therefore, presented many inefficiencies. It was the great sense of patriotism in the army systems that led America to superiority.
The Debate over the Constitution
All the Founding brothers were federalists a stand which was supported by the constitution. They favored a very strong and centralized government. The founding brothers believed that the most appropriate government system would be more controlled and the one that reflected the needs of the nation as a whole.
The anti-federalists were very much opposed to a centralized government. They required that most of the powers be confined at the state levels. The states in the Southern argued against the Congress’ intention to make laws to abolish the slave trade. The anti-federalists cited the Bill of Rights in opposition to a centralized government. This Bill protected the citizens against government control.
The Founding Brothers were all deeply gifted and flawed. None of them could be favored over the others as they played equally important roles. Furthermore, they held meetings together to combine their views and share their experiences. Independence was a collaborative and collective thing of all. Although the Founding Brothers might have had some misunderstandings, later on, their original unity cannot be outlawed.