the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Critics also accused him of being an arrogant

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both total fabrications that haunted Hamilton’s reputation for the rest of his life and beyond. Critics also accused him of being an arrogant blowhard whose reputation depended entirely on his association with Washington, who had eventually recognized that he was a pompous charlatan and removed him as aide- de-camp. This was a willful distortion—Washington’s trust in Hamilton was nearly bottomless, and he had released him from his duties as aide at Hamilton’s request, in order to assume a combat command at Yorktown. “They say that I palmed myself upon you and you dismissed me from your family,” Hamilton wrote somewhat plaintively to Washington. “This I confess hurt my feelings, and if it obtains credit, will require a contradiction.” Washington responded immediately with a letter that Hamilton quickly shared with the New York press: “I do therefore, explicitly declare that both charges are entirely unfounded.” This should have sufficed to squash the blatant innuendo against Hamilton, but most newspaper editors in the state, who were in Clinton’s pocket, refused to publish it. New York was clearly going to be a nasty political arena during the ratification debates, in which the power of the Clinton political machine made it the most challenging opponent to ratification, a place where argument was irrelevant because Clinton’s supporters enjoyed more than a two-to-one majority and therefore felt no need to listen or compromise. 16 Nothing in Hamilton’s life had prepared him to accept defeat, so he remained convinced that New York would be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new national order once nine states ratified. He summarized his thoughts in a diary-like essay entitled “Conjectures About the New Constitution.” Ratification was likely, he surmised, since the alternatives were civil war or dissolution into several regional confederacies. Hamilton’s thought process was inherently and instinctively futuristic, meaning that it depended on realistic calculations about where history was headed and then aligned itself with those prevailing currents. In this case, it meant that ratification was a foregone conclusion, as was Washington’s election as the first president. After that, the picture blurred, but Hamilton speculated that the large states would be broken up, and all the states reduced to merely administrative agencies without any political power. If that did not occur, there would probably be a civil war based on sectional differences over slavery. His political instincts were characteristically bold and prescient. 17 Because his selection as a delegate had been blocked by the Clinton partisans, Jay had not experienced the nerve-racking intensity of the debates in Philadelphia, so he reviewed the results of the convention from his perch in New York, where his major task was to provide a single voice for foreign policy amid a hapless Confederation Congress that was essentially living in limbo while it waited to learn whether it had been declared defunct. A letter to John Adams conveyed Jay’s almost mystical conviction that the
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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