Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America
Stephen F. Knott, Tony Williams
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"Washington and Hamilton were the duo that made the Revolution and the Constitution work; Knott and Williams are the duo that explain how." -Richard Brookhiser, author of Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
In the wake of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers faced a daunting task: overcome their competing visions to build a new nation, the likes of which the world had never seen. Washington and Hamilton chronicles the unlikely collaboration between two conflicting characters working together to protect their hard-won freedoms. Yet while Washington and Hamilton's different personalities often led to fruitful collaboration, their conflicting ideals also tested the boundaries of their relationship-and threatened the future of the new republic.
From the rumblings of the American Revolution through the fractious Constitutional Convention and America's turbulent first years, this captivating history reveals the stunning impact of this unlikely duo that set the United States on the path to becoming a superpower.
"In a sweeping narrative enlivened by vivid details, Stephen Knott and Tony Williams provide fascinating insights that illuminate the collaboration between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton while carefully tracing the contours of their characters . . . as entertaining as it is informative." -David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, authors of Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President and Henry Clay: The Essential American
the growth in popularity of revolutionary ideas like liberty and self-government for the colonies. Amid this tumultuous atmosphere, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton quickly emerged as leaders of the patriot movement within their respective colonies, although they did not meet until the start of the Revolutionary War. They argued that the colonists had the traditional rights of Englishmen under the unwritten British constitution and the universal natural rights of all humans. But it was
the Continental Congress, attended the convention and heard, as he related to John Adams, Washington deliver a “most eloquent speech” asserting that “I will raise 1,000 men, subsist them at my own expense, and march myself at their head for the relief of Boston.”78 This would have been an uncharacteristic burst of passion in public deliberations where Washington was normally reserved and aloof. Virginian Edmund Randolph asserted that Washington was chosen to attend the Philadelphia meeting “to
affairs or gone abroad as diplomats, leaving the Congress bereft of talent. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams all spent years in Europe as diplomats. Early leaders of the Revolution, such as Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams, served in state offices. Washington wondered, “Where is Mason, Wythe, Jefferson?” He did not want men of virtue and talent to “content themselves in the enjoyment of places of honor or profit in their own country, while the common interests of America are
severed by their dramatic falling out, despite the great victory and their mutual work for a stronger national government. The differences in their ages and stations further eroded any possibility that their relationship would continue after the war, because peace meant very different things to Washington and Hamilton. Washington was the great hero of the American Revolution, and when he retired from public life to his Virginia plantation, he thought it would be permanent and he would only be
ev’ry word.3 This ditty was followed by another Anti-Federalist writer accusing Washington of being Hamilton’s “immaculate daddy,” which fed the rumor (which persists in some quarters to this day) that Hamilton was actually Washington’s son.4 Hamilton’s enemies then tried to drive a wedge between Hamilton and Washington in order to isolate Hamilton in New York and damage the ratification cause. “I have also known an upstart attorney palm himself upon a great and good man for a youth of