American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of by Joseph J. Ellis

By Joseph J. Ellis

National Bestseller

Acclaimed historian Joseph J. Ellis brings his unprecedented skills to this riveting account of the early years of the Republic.

The final sector of the eighteenth century continues to be the main politically inventive period in American heritage, while a committed workforce of guys undertook a daring scan in political beliefs. It used to be a time of either triumphs and tragedies—all of which contributed to the shaping of our burgeoning state. Ellis casts an incisive eye at the slow speed of the yank Revolution and the contributions of such luminaries as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, and brilliantly analyzes the disasters of the founders to safely resolve the issues of slavery and the remedy of local american citizens. With available prose and lovely eloquence, Ellis delineates in American Creation an period of mistaken greatness, at a time whilst knowing our origins is extra vital than ever.


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Additional info for American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic

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Although the larger contours of this hyperbolic pattern continue to hold, over the last forty years most academic historians have essentially abandoned the founding and founders altogether in order to focus their scholarly attention on the inarticulate, peripheral, dispossessed Americans—women, slaves, and Indians. Ironically, this shift in focus, rooted in a conviction that mainstream politics is overworked terrain, has coincided with the publication of comprehensive editions of the papers of the most prominent founders that, taken together, constitute the most complete documentation of human endeavor by any political elite in recorded history.

9 Second, they established the first nation-sized republic. Until then it was presumed that republican governments based on the principle of popular consent could function only in small areas like Greek city-states or Swiss cantons, because the inherent weakness of republican government made it incapable of decisiveness or the management of a far-flung population. This presumption was proven wrong, and in the process the very definition of what it meant to govern a people was transformed forever in ways that put all coercive forms of political authority on the permanent defensive.

Now, however, the sheer scale of its recently acquired American empire, plus the sudden recognition that governance of its expanded domain required more management than a few secretaries and clerks in Whitehall could muster, forced a major overhaul of this accidental empire into something more appropriately imperial. 5 There then ensued a decade of parliamentary legislation—the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, the Coercive Acts—all designed to fold the colonies into the empire by placing them within the authority of Parliament, which represented the collective interests of all British citizens everywhere.

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