the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Hyperactive political climate vitalized by a roughly

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hyperactive political climate vitalized by a roughly equal number of Whigs and Tories with fundamentally different views about America’s proper place in the British Empire. There is a famous scene in which Hamilton rescued Myles Cooper, the Tory president of King’s, from a mob—a scene rendered particularly poignant because Hamilton was already on record as supporting the cause of American independence. The first occasion where he unveiled his political convictions was an impromptu speech delivered to a large crowd on the New York commons in July 1774, in which he endorsed the Boston Tea Party, the boycott of British goods, and preparation for war. He followed up the following year with two essays, A Full Vindication and The Farmer Refuted , both of which were bravura performances demonstrating what became the trademark Hamilton style: an assurance bordering on arrogance; a slashing mode of attack that would one day make him the most feared polemicist in America; the capacity to control and incisively convey a large body of information; and a keen sense of where history was headed, in this case a prediction that war with Great Britain was coming and, even more prophetic, that the Americans would win it by unconventional tactics that eventually eroded the British will to fight. No one could believe that all this was coming from a nineteen-year-old college student recently arrived from the West Indies. Physical descriptions of the young man begin to appear in the historical record about this time, depicting a five-foot-seven lad of fair complexion, auburn hair, and flashing eyes, deep blue or purple in color. Commentators tended to notice his conspicuous sense of self-possession, his unique combination of serenity and energy, and his ability to focus with such intensity on a text or piece of writing that he was oblivious to others in the room, often pacing back and forth muttering semi-silently to himself as if in a trance. But his defining characteristic was the ability to mesmerize everyone in his presence with the speed and flow of his conversation, which was simultaneously dazzling and yet never theatrical in an overly ostentatious fashion. He came across as a man’s man and a woman’s man, meaning that he could dominate a brandy-and-cigars discussion of politics, then move across the room and flirtatiously commend the ladies on their dress or jewelry. Men found him admirable, clubby, and disarmingly potent. Women found him irresistible. All these contemporary accounts suggest a man to the manor born, when in fact Hamilton was a penniless immigrant of questionable origins, whose resources were completely within himself. The only conclusion to reach is that those resources were truly massive and that Hamilton was the poster child for the kind of merit-based natural aristocrat uniquely possible in America. He clearly came from further behind than any prominent member of the revolutionary generation.
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The war that he had been looking for as a young adolescent found him as a young man. He joined the
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