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Founding Fathers: The Revolutionary Generation

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If there is one thing all Americans can agree on, it is that the government is slow acting. Too slow acting, almost like it doesn’t do anything, and when it does something, it is not the right thing (even till this today). The easiest answer to the problem of the government’s inefficiency is to place the blame on a person or branch of the government, such as the President, Congress, or Senate. However, what most Americans either do not remember or do not know is that the government was designed to be inefficient. Contrary to popular belief, the government is not meant to answer every complaint we have as it is quite impossible. The founding fathers were classically liberal in 1790, meaning they believed that the American people should and would live their lives how they desired, and the government would only interfere when one’s actions were, as philosopher John Stuart Mill described it, “other-regarding and harmful”.

The United States was “more a fragile hope than a reality”. The Founding Fathers combined the ideals as we know today as, The Declaration of Independence. The book goes through six episodes: Hamilton and Burr’s duel, Washington’s farewell address, Adams’ political partnership with his wife, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence of friendship. Three overall themes for the chapters are collaboration/leadership, patriotism, and friendship.

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In chapter 1, Hamilton states, “Tell them from me, at my request, for God’s sake, to cease these conversations and threatening about a separation of the Union. It must hang together as long as it can be made to”. Hamilton was making his opposition clear about the declining of the Federalist party in 1804. Hamilton had seen his own reputation stumble along with that of his party, he nevertheless reveals his main purpose which was to keep the Union together. Even when the relationships between the Founding Fathers were bitter, they shared a purpose that the nation could fall apart. This message has special significance because it is the last letter Hamilton ever wrote, the night before he died in a duel and was devoted to squelching the federalist ideals. It serves as a good correlating theme for collaboration and leadership; the Founding Fathers were in unity together even after politics tore them apart.

In Chapter 6, Adams exclaims, “You and I ought not to die… before we have explained ourselves to each other”. ​ The friendship between Adams and Jefferson plays a main role within the book, and the way it serves as a symbol for these men who bonded over freedom, then split over party concerns. Adams makes a request that ultimately complied with Jefferson, and reveals the extent to which all of these men invested in the survival and success of the union they helped create together. Adams and Jefferson had at one point quit their friendship due to different political views, and it was important for them to explain to each other the reasons for their behavior. In the end, their friendship resumed, because they recalled that the fascinating spirit from the time back of a shared love of nation and independence, was more important than the ideological differences. The theme presented is friendship; John Adams resonates with Thomas Jefferson to fix their friendship of posterity despite their different ideals.

In conclusion, the book,​ ‘Founding Brothers’, ​demonstrates the personalities and obstacles from 7 historical men that impacted our nation’s history. The themes tie together by showing how these men were able to create the formation of the country’s new government, led war for independence from Great Britain, and united the 13 colonies. Overall, collaboration/leadership, patriotism, and friendship are major themes that help describe this national great selling book.

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Founding Fathers: The Revolutionary Generation. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Founding Fathers: The Revolutionary Generation.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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