the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Down in virginia patrick henry was already moving to

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experiment with a large-scale republican government work. Down in Virginia, Patrick Henry was already moving to avenge his defeat in Richmond by pressuring the legislature to select for the Senate men who had opposed ratification, thereby blocking Madison’s election, though he could not prevent Madison’s election to the House. Up in New York, George Clinton was pursuing the same strategy, designed to make the New York delegation a Trojan horse within the new federal fortress, all the while pressing for a second convention as described in his “circulatory letter,” which was obviously a recipe for reversing the verdict recently reached in the ratification process. 1 Hamilton again focused most of his fire on New York, launching a campaign to oppose Clinton’s candidates for the Senate and the Electoral College. He also published fourteen essays in the Daily Advertiser under the pseudonym “H.R.,” attacking Clinton’s character, his obstructionist political motives, and his corrupt system of patronage. Beyond much doubt, Hamilton was the most skilled political polemicist in America, and he brought the same incredible energy he had displayed as Publius to the task at hand. The Constitution, he believed, was only words on parchment, outlining the framework for a new kind of American republic. Unless those words and framework were implemented by representatives devoted to its success, not men seeking to sabotage its very survival, all the work of the past two years would be for naught. 2 There was one person who was utterly indispensable, the only man in America capable of transcending the local, state, and regional divisions, the “singular figure” whom every American could agree embodied the American Revolution in all its multiple manifestations. Like everyone else, Hamilton assumed that George Washington would become the first president of the United States, and a number of delegates to the Constitutional Convention and state ratifying conventions had voted to endorse the Constitution primarily on the presumption that Washington would head the new federal government. There was, however, one man in America who did not share that presumption, and it happened to be Washington himself. Ever since the spring of 1788, when the prospects for ratification began to look likely, Washington had seen fit to apprise all who inquired that he was permanently embedded beneath his vines and fig tree at Mount Vernon and had no desire or intention to budge. “I am so wedded to a state of retirement,” he explained, “and find the occupations of a rural life so congenial with my feelings, that to be drawn into public life at this advanced age would be a sacrifice that could afford no compensation.” 3 Eloquent testimonials in the Ciceronian style to the bucolic pleasures of retirement were a familiar refrain within the planter class of Virginia. But Washington was not just posing within that rhetorical tradition. “As the great searcher of human hearts is my witness,” he insisted, “I have no wish which aspires beyond the humble and happy lot of living and dying a private citizen on my own farm.”
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  • Fall '16
  • Chemistry, pH, American Revolution, Second Continental Congress, American Revolution, Continental Army

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