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From Pulitzer Prize–winning American historian Joseph J. Ellis, the unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. We all know the famous opening phrase of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this Continent a new Nation.” The truth is different. In 1776, thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British. Once victorious, they planned to go their separate ways. The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor a political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their autonomy as states. The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men most responsible—George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement. Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government. The Quartet unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth—one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America. From the Hardcover edition.
The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis | Summary & Analysis Preview: The Quartet is an historical account of the debates and events leading up to, during, and immediately following the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America. The quartet is four politicians that played an integral role in the creation, shaping, and implementation of the Constitution and early federal government in the US. These include George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. Each man had some involvement in the American Revolution, which lent credence to the worthiness of their cause and ability to establish a national government. Washington served as the head of the Continental Army. Hamilton served as Washington’s aide de camp and later served as commander of his own troops. Madison was a commissioned colonel of the Orange County militia from Virginia and served on the Continental Congress. Jay also served on the Continental Congress and negotiated the terms of the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War… PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary & Analysis of The Quartet • Summary of book • Introduction to the Important People in the book • Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
This fascinating multivolume set provides a unique resource for learning about early American history, including thematic essays, topical entries, and an invaluable collection of primary source documents. • Provides readers with an easy-to-use collection of primary sources in virtually all areas of early American history • Offers encyclopedic coverage of both specific topics and broader concepts or themes in early American history • Collects a wide range of materials, both primary and tertiary, into a single multivolume resource set • Presents information in a concise, accessible tone and in a format that is easy for students to navigate
Joseph Ellis follows Washington from his military career to his presidency, illuminating the difficulties the first executive faced as he worked to keep the emerging country united in the face of adversarial factions. He details aspects of Washington's private life - his marriage and subsequent entrance into the upper echelons of Virginia's plantation society, his large debts, his attitude towards slavery, his relationship with his profligate stepson - that shaped the public figure. Throughout, Ellis reveals to us Washington in the context of 18th-century America, allowing us to comprehend the magnitude of his accomplishments and the character of his heart and mind as they might have been perceived in his own time. Brilliantly conceived, His Excellency is a revelatory biography, likely to be one of the seminal American history books of the decade.
What did the Declaration declare? An enduring mythology has grown up around the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Generations of Americans believe that Jefferson wrote it in his Philadelphia study, influenced only by the stirring of great events around him. Challenging this romantic ideal, the five historians included here find that the document was the result of many influences and that it may have even been a collaborative writing effort on the congressional floor. Investigating various angles of the argument, the authors pose a variety of opinions on the Declaration's authorship, influences, and ultimate impact.
In Understanding the Divide: A Presbyterian Elder, a Roman Catholic Theologian, and Basic Questions of the Christian Faith, a Presbyterian Elder and a Roman Catholic theologian reflect in dialogical fashion on basic but critical dimensions of contemporary Christian faith. How should we interpret the Bible? How do we get to heaven? What are sacraments and what is their function? Who are the saints and what role if any do they continue to play in the life of the Christian community? Tom Tasselmyer, a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, and Lyle K. Weiss, a Roman Catholic theologian, respond to these and other questions offering two distinct contemporary visions of an ancient faith. In alternating chapters, Tom and Lyle engage in dialogue concerning basic questions of Christian faith from Reformed and Roman Catholic perspectives, providing readable, intelligible, and accessible answers to questions believers are asking while simultaneously stimulating ongoing thought and fostering mutual respect between two rich traditions within the broader Christian family.

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