When I first read a history book such as The American Creation, I ask myself: why did the author write this? What was his purpose or goal? In the first few pages of the book, the Joseph J. Ellis tells us just why he composed this book.
Before authoring The American Creation, Ellis had written another book named Founding Brothers. While he was on a promotional tour for this book around election time, one question popped up in every single one of the stops he made: “How…did the founders invent such weird contraption [like the Electoral College]?” The other question that the author asked himself was: “Why must we [American voters] choose between Al Gore and George W. Bush, whereas American voters two hundred years ago could choose between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?” Ellis then explains his answer to his second question. He utters that the American statesmen present at the creation of the United States had the advantage that they were the firsts. In other words, no other people had been through the same political process. However, the elections of 1800 were quite dirty. Ellis contradicts his answer by saying that, because of the indecent election of 1800, the founding era was not a “pristine political paradise,” as previously thought.
The fundamental question, which Ellis answered by writing this book, was: “How did the American founding happen?” Furthermore, the writer states that The American Creation is a story about a tragedy as well as triumph. He concludes by saying that he believes the historical talent present in the founding era is unlikely to be ever surpassed.
During the first chapter, Ellis presents and explains a variety of topics. He includes details from the prelude to the American Revolution, the French-In...
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...lted in a stalemate, or deadlock. This is why this Battle became known as the Boston Siege. The Siege resulted in a colonial victory: the British agreed to evacuate Boston.
I found the Battle of Boston enthralling. It is a great example of the beginnings of the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain. Peculiarly, a detail I did not have knowledge of was that the Second Continental Congress elected G. Washington as leader of the Army, but he himself did not have much experience in that field. Furthermore, the author states that Washington “purchased several books on military organization and tactics…in the hope of giving himself a crash course on commanding and army.” Although Washington had all the characteristics of a leader, I think Congress took a great risk by choosing him as the Commander in Chief of the military.
The American Creation
This story, as a whole, possesses both strengths and weaknesses. This book has two strengths. One of those strengths is that the book contains pictures. The pictures add a visual context to the story, which is quite useful and helpful to those in the audience that are visual learners. For example, in the eight pages in between pages 138 and 139 contain pictures along with descriptive captions. Some of these pictures include the famous picture or painting of the Boston Massacre, John Burgoyne, Major-General Sir Henry Clinton, Charles Lee, a political cartoon named “Six-Pence a Day”, a self-portrait of Major John Andre, a British drummer and fifer, General Burgoyne’s camp and German mercenaries of the Prince Carl Regiment. Throughout the book, there are also pages that contain various maps. By including these pictures in the book, as well as many others, readers are able to visualize the American Revolutionary War and its events as they read through the text. By doing this, they are able to better understand the book’s content and storyline. The second of these strengths is its organization. By putting the events in chronological order, the audience is able to create a mental timeline of war’s happenings and helps them
This chapter, “Three Old Worlds Create a New, 1492 – 1600,” covers the social, political and economic events that occurred in the worlds that made up America between 1492 and 1600. This chapter explores the history of the small societies that became the United States in broad contest of European exploration and exploitation. There existed conflicts between European kingdoms and this led to interest in colonies that strengthened the emerging nations. The curiosity of Europeans helped introduce them to African and American societies that had evolved over the centuries. The social and cultural collisions of these worlds changed and profoundly influenced Western history.
The author's twenty page preface details “The Generation”, which he asserts that despite current trends in scholarship, the real essence of the revolutionary era lies in the thoughts and deeds of this handful of Patriot elites, which had publicly pledged at great peril to their own lives and fortunes their undeniable support for the ideals of our founding documents. America's most famous (or infamous) duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is the backdrop for first chapter. This might lead one to think Ellis intends to move backward in time through the book, considering it occurred on July 11, 1804, however such is not the case as mentioned. Ellis does manage to present a fairly balanced view of the part played by both participants in the long war of words which finally led to the deadly showdown near Weehawken, New Jersey, providing an accounting of the historical scholarship on this well told chapter of our history.
In the summer of 1775, The Americans prepared to attack the British in Boston. But Washington was informed that they were shorthanded on gunpowder. The Americans had fewer than 10,000 pounds, roughly nine rounds per man. The situation was not expected to improve soon. During the night of March 4th, 1776 in Boston. Washington pulled the unthinkable and surprised the British by placing his army up the undefended Dorchester Heights. The British had ships anchored in the Boston Harbor, which were within range of American cannons. The British army woke up the next morning and was amazed to see how much hard work took place that night by the American army. Since the British army was surrounded they had no ot...
America was born and survived, its rough road into a nation, through a series of events, or moments in history. The founding brother’s book is about a few important figures during and after the American Revolution. These important figures consisted of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, John Adams, George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Each of these men, contributed to the building of America in one way or another. The book breaks these contributions into a few short stories, to help understand what these important figures did.
In a lively account filled that is with personal accounts and the voices of people that were in the past left out of the historical armament, Ronald Takaki proffers us a new perspective of America’s envisioned past. Mr. Takaki confronts and disputes the Anglo-centric historical point of view. This dispute and confrontation is started in the within the seventeenth-century arrival of the colonists from England as witnessed by the Powhatan Indians of Virginia and the Wamapanoag Indians from the Massachusetts area. From there, Mr. Takaki turns our attention to several different cultures and how they had been affected by North America. The English colonists had brought the African people with force to the Atlantic coasts of America. The Irish women that sought to facilitate their need to work in factory settings and maids for our towns. The Chinese who migrated with ideas of a golden mountain and the Japanese who came and labored in the cane fields of Hawaii and on the farms of California. The Jewish people that fled from shtetls of Russia and created new urban communities here. The Latinos who crossed the border had come in search of the mythic and fabulous life El Norte.
The colonists who first arrived in America came to this land because they saw an opportunity to regenerate their religion and to live according to it without subjugation. The immense size of the land sugge...
As an American observes the life around him, noting the many advancements made in merely the last century, he must wonder how America climbed to such a level. The 21st century technology, the military and political power, education and ethics, all came from such meager beginnings, solidified by the Revolutionary War. The Revolutionary War proved to be a significant turning point in the history of our country, but what caused America to win? What were some of the most significant factors in the victory of these American patriots? By examining these three particular factors, America’s military assets, it’s aid from other countries, and its own spirit of independence, one’s understanding of the Revolutionary War, an essential root of this nation, is truly increased.
In the modern day, many students fail to realize the magnitude of history. It is not simply specific events but the experiences of individuals during the time period. These experiences that individuals had brings history to life, allowing an individual to understand the magnitude of an individual’s personal experiences and the importance of national events. Gary B. Nash’s The American People, Creating a Nation and a Society, and Ron Kovic’s Born on the Fourth of July display this concept by presenting the personal feelings of Americans and national events that occurred during the 1950’s to 1960's in the United States of America. Kovic and Nash describe America’s evolution of ideals through displaying America’s conformity, their subsequent
Gordon S. Wood. The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Vintage; Reprint edition. March 2, 1993
The New World, a place of reimagined beginnings and a chance to reform yourself, is often told to have been discovered by than none other than Christopher Columbus when “in 1492 [he] sailed the ocean blue.” The way we look at America now bases itself very heavily off of this belief and the education that came with it. More recently it has been shown that it does not matter whether this is even true historically. There are many disputes to this claim. However, it is a part of the history we grow up hearing about alongside the tales of Plymouth Rock, George Washington, and the Boston Tea Party. These stories have become an essential part of the American Identity, but why? Every nation creates a narrative, a construct of themselves that they present
When the first American settlement on Roanoke Island was established in 1585 it’s primary force, Sir Walter Raleigh, had no idea that this “New World” would evolve into one of the most powerful voices in the modern world. But before it developed it would have to shaped by it’s founders from the Western world. Two of the largest voices in America’s early development are John Smith, who with a group of English merchants, hoped to get rich in this new land, and William Bradford, a puritan farmer who was one of the most influential men involved with the Mayflower compact. In their two pieces they both convey America as a place to escape but fail to reach many other similar conclusions on what America was like at this time.