the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Provided no deadline for acceptance of their

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provided no deadline for acceptance of their amendments, Jay observed, the Clintonites were clearly bluffing. Best to humor them, harmlessly endorse their sense of significance, then fold them into the union with their honor intact. Although Madison, who for good reasons regarded himself as the chief conductor of the ratification
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symphony, spent most of August and September 1788 worrying that New York’s desperate gambit might transform the music of ratification into a cacophony, events proved Jay’s judgment correct. New York had no desire to become a larger version of Rhode Island. Once ratification was assured , Washington tried to explain how a political movement for a national government, which only two years earlier had appeared hopeless, had somehow managed to overcome the odds and triumph. “A multiplicity of circumstances…appear to have cooperated in bringing about the happy resolution,” he observed, citing Shays’ Rebellion as a near calamity that prompted the calling of the Constitutional Convention, “which then ushered us to permanent national felicity.” In the same ironic vein, he thought that the very hopelessness of the task, and the strength of the opposition, “had called forth abilities which would otherwise not perhaps been exerted that have thrown new lights on the science of Government [i.e., the Federalist Papers], that have given the rights of man a full and fair discussion.” 57 Washington had developed a flair for providential interpretations during the war, when he had firsthand experience with the way American independence, what he called “The Cause,” had experienced multiple moments when everything was at stake, and providence—the fates, pure luck, whatever one wished to call it—had come to the rescue just when all seemed lost. He was now bringing that same providential perspective to the ratification of the Constitution. In both instances, as he saw it, America seemed to be destiny’s child. A more secular and less spiritual interpretation would emphasize the role of what historians, somewhat awkwardly, call human agency. In Washington’s version of how history happened, the gods were always in control. And perhaps they were. But on this earth, rather than in the heavens, four men made history happen in a series of political decisions and actions that, in terms of their consequences, have no equal in American history. And they were not quite through.
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Chapter 7 FINAL PIECES You will permit me to say that it is indispensible you should lend yourself to its [the government’s] first operation. It is of little use to have introduced a system if the weightiest influence is not given to its firm establishment, in the outset. Alexander Hamilton to George Washington AUGUST 13, 1788
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H amilton took the lead during the final phase of the story, which was all about ensuring that the new federal government was administered by men of talent who were committed to making the experiment with a large-scale republican government work. Down in Virginia, Patrick Henry was already
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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