Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation - Preface Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
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Preface Summary

Modern Americans broadly share a sense that members of the revolutionary generation of the 1770s-90s brought about something pre-ordained by the gods: a nation marked by popular government and a market economy. Some of those leaders, indeed, spoke prophetically, but the fact was that they also knew their movement could have failed and they would surely have hanged together as traitors. Had the British army commanders prosecuted the war more vigorously, they could have nipped the uprising in the bud, and evolution rather than revolution would have kept the colonies within the Empire.

That the U.S. became an enduring republic with institutions capable of standing the test of time was largely a matter of luck, inspiration, and makeshift construction. It was unlikely and unprecedented. Republicanism had succeeded only once: in Cicero's Rome. The American colonies had no history of enduring cooperation...

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This section contains 1,071 words
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Buy the Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Study Guide
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