Founding Fathers & Founding Brothers
Founding Brothers opens with a look at two of the many crises faced by George Washington during his term as America's first president. At a time when any conflict had the potential to dissolve the fragile union, Washington surrounded himself with brilliant men who were bound by their undying devotion to America, but often bitterly divided about how best to serve their common cause. At a secret meeting arranged by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison reached a critical compromise on their rival views for America's future. Just months before his death, Benjamin Franklin signed a petition calling for an end to slavery--forcing a reluctant Congress to confront the issue that would eventually divide the nation.
America's first truly contested presidential election took place in 1796, with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson vying to replace George Washington. In keeping with the standards of 18th-century American politics, neither man actively campaigned, and Jefferson even claimed not to know that he was a candidate. Adams's victory ended the long friendship between the two former revolutionaries, and while Jefferson served as Vice President, Adams never consulted him on political matters. Nor could Adams trust his cabinet; held over from Washington's administration in an attempt to provide continuity, these men took their orders from Alexander Hamilton. About the only advisor he could rely on was his wife, Abigail, and Founding Brothers reveals how she played a key role in the defining event of Adams's presidency, the passage of the hated Alien and Sedition Acts.
Melissa Jo Peltier
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