Joseph Ellis is an American historian and professor whose work focuses on the lives and times of the founders of the United States of America . He is a winner of the Pulitzer. He’s written nine books. One of them is The Second Founding: Four Men Who created a Country. He taught at the University of Massachusetts, in Mount Holyoke and West Point.
Joseph explains that America was heading in the wrong direction after
the war. George Washington had fifty-five thousand soldiers fighting in
the war. After winning the war we went into forty million dollars in
debt. Not only were we in debt but we were made fun of by the British
empire and Jonathan Adams is mortified because he represents a
government that doesn’t exists. This is told to John Jay in a letter
written by Abigail Adams.
He explains that the average American doesn’t care what goes around in their surrounding
Four men made the transition from confederation to a nation, they are
George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison.
There were two men that also supported and help but are not as
recognized as Washington, Hamilton, Jay and Madison. Theirs names are
Robert Morris and Gouverner Morris and Thomas Jefferson. One of the
things that this political group diagnosed was the systematic
dysfunctions under the articles, manipulated the political process to
force the calling of the constitutional convention, they also set the
agenda in Philadelphia, they also attempted to successfully orchestrate
the debates and ratified conventions and drafted the Bill of Rights.
This is a great political leadership in American history. Jay is one of
the Founding Fathers that is not the acknowledge. He becomes the
equivalent of Secretary of State during the government under the
articles. He negotiates the Jay Treaty which is the most important
diplomatic negotiation in the early republic. He also becomes the first
Chief Justice. When Washington becomes president and he decides on his
cabinet he thinks of Jay first, he wants to give him any position of his
liking. The reason why John Jay was not acknowledged was because his
papers were not published like the other founders.
Congress notices problems when states establish tariff against each
other. The Annapolis convention fails because only five states show. At
the end of the meeting Hamilton writes to Congress and says, that
everyone should meet again to fix all the problems. He wants to have a
new Convention meet. Hamilton challenges the covenant. Now Jay, Hamilton
and Madison are in fear and write to Washington and they tell him that
they are headed towards Anarchy. Everyone want to recruit Washington;
however, Washington is in retirement and wants nothing to do with it.
Now Washington, he is closer to the ending than the beginning. Back then
males lived to be fifty and that’s how old Washington was at the time.
He was basically planning his death he wanted to die at Mount Vernon
underneath his vine and fig tree.
Madison writes to him in a way that it becomes persuasive. Madison
and Washington are radicals they like change. Madison convinces
Washington to join the Virginia Delegation and the only condition
Washington gives him is that they’ll go for total change. Washington is a
The Virginia Plan is Madison argument for replacing the current
articles with a fundamental government. When this is agreed, this is of
great advantage for them. At the meeting, there is two ghost that is
never talked about, one is Monarchy and Slavery. The words slavery is
never mentioned in the Constitution. The phrase used for slaves was that
species of property. This situation is in bedded in the South. Anyone
that wanted to remove or mention slavery was removed. Washington and
Virginia were out of it because they wanted slavery to end. However,
they sold the slaves because they felt it would make them more money.
They thought slavery would die by itself. Madison is known as the Father
of the Constitution; he is the one that makes most of the changes.
Gourvernor Morris is another Founding Father that does not get
recognized as well. He is best known as womanizer; Ellis compares him to
Trump. He is the man with the peg leg. Houdon makes Washington’s statue
using Gouvernor Morris torso as a model, since they are similar in body
frame and they are both tall. Gouvernor Morris is the one that talks
more in the convention, he speaks more than Madison. Morris is the first
to be against slavery he refers to it as medieval. In 1787 they form a
committee called Style and Morris is in charge, he puts together many
notes and that is how the he writes the Constitution. All the other
states would like to put their input in and Madison agrees, he has every
state vote on the amendments and that is how their input is
incorporated in the Bill of Rights.
We heard the voice of Ellis explaining the important role that each
Founding Father had. He also explained how the Constitution was written
and how slavery and monarchy were two ghost that were never discussed.
He also explained how the Bill of Rights came about.
In class, we discussed the role that every Founding Father played to
build America. Some are famously known and the other two that were not
acknowledged. Some of my classmates were disgusted in how slavery was
to referred to.
Questions still remain: If the founding Fathers worked together to make a difference, why didn’t they end slavery sooner?