the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

12 washington was outraged when his remarks on the

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12 Washington was outraged when his remarks on the Constitution—namely, that he was “fully persuaded that it is the best that can be obtained at this time, and that it or disunion is before us”—were leaked to the press by Charles Carter, a correspondent he customarily consulted on agricultural matters. He chastised Carter for the indiscretion, claiming that he had played his last public role at the Constitutional Convention and now wished to return to his Cincinnatus mode. While utterly sincere, he was obviously not a disinterested spectator, since nothing less than the meaning of his revolutionary legacy was at stake. 13 Hamilton, so unlike Washington in his preference for conspicuous engagement, had already gone on the offensive in New York. On the last day of the Constitutional Convention he had made a plea for a unanimous vote from his fellow delegates. “No man’s ideas were more remote from the plan than his were known to be,” Madison recorded in his notes, “but [Hamilton asked] is it possible to deliberate between anarchy and Convulsion on the one side, and the change of good to be expected on the other?” Hamilton realized that his preference for a more energetic and fully empowered federal government, with unlimited terms for the president and senators, was beyond the pale of political possibility. But even though he had once been the most outspoken critic of the lingering ambiguities about federal versus state sovereignty enshrined in the Constitution, he now pivoted in the face of political reality to make himself their most ardent defender. 14 In a series of essays in The New York Daily Advertiser , he focused his fire on George Clinton, the most powerful politician in New York, whose network of political operatives upstate gave him nearly complete control of delegate selection to the ratifying convention. In a series of blistering polemics, Hamilton accused Clinton of preferring the preservation of his own power base in New York to the larger interests of American nationhood. “Such conduct in a man high in office,” he accused, “argues greater attachment to his own power than to the public good .” Clinton’s desire to maintain his own political
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bailiwick led him, wrote Hamilton, to the preposterous conclusion that “the current confederation is equal to the purpose of the union.” It was clear to Hamilton that New York’s size and commercial advantage should make it a major player in the newly configured American republic. But Clinton and his minions were committed to a more provincial agenda, rooted in their own local and state-based interests. The future beckoned, Hamilton lamented, but Clinton insisted upon living in the past. 15 Hamilton loved a fight, but even he was surprised at the ad hominem character of the response from Clinton’s devoted disciples. A pair of newspaper articles with the byline “Inspector” portrayed Hamilton as “Tom Shit,” a bastard of mixed racial origins, and referred to Washington as his “immaculate daddy,” both total fabrications that haunted Hamilton’s reputation for the rest of his life and beyond. Critics also
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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