The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Founding Fathers and the Birth of Our Nation
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Essential reading for anyone interested in the leaders who shaped our nation.
Popular interest in the Founding Fathers has surged over the past decade and is beginning to rival interest in the Civil War. People are increasingly looking back to the generation that invented this country's political ideas and institutions for help in today's complex political world.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Founding Fathers presents the Founding Fathers through the issues that defined them-issues that are with the country today.
were also expressing their discontent. Washington hesitated. “To array citizen against citizen,” he said, was a step “too delicate, too closely interwoven with many affecting circumstances, to be lightly adopted.” But in the end he relented and marched at the head of an armed force totaling 12,950 militiamen, gathered from four states. The mere presence of this massive force, larger than the Continental Army during much of the Revolution, made the rebellious farmers give in. By clamping down,
“honeymoon phase,” as we now call it. What would former opponents say when Jefferson tried to implement the Republican program? Also in his inaugural address, Jefferson laid out his values and goals:• Government should be “wise and frugal.” • Government should “restrain men from injuring one another,” but otherwise leave them “free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” • Government should not “take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” • Freedom of speech,
Congress to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper” for executing the Constitution, give it broader authority? That question would be contested hotly in the Early Republic (see Chapters 19-22), and it is still debated today. The Least You Need to Know • Delegates to the Federal Convention represented the interests of their states. • The Virginia Plan called for proportional representation in Congress, but in the New Jersey Plan, each state would have an equal say. • According to
of July in Philadelphia, Federalists organized a victory celebration in the great tradition of Revolutionary street theatre. Each of 44 different groups—cordwainers, bricklayers, coopers, brewers, engravers, whip manufacturers, and so on—tried to outdo the others by constructing creative, gargantuan floats. Butchers marched two oxen side-by-side down the street, one labeled ANARCHY and the other CONFUSION. The banner hanging between their horns read, “The Death of ANARCHY and CONFUSION Shall Feed
religion,” and “that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are of the rule of faith and practice.” Disestablishment was not absolute either. Some states permitted state governments to raise taxes for the support of public worship. Although they did not specify which church would receive the funds, if there were only one church in town, as was often the case, this amounted to government-sanctioned religion. Massachusetts called for the funding of public