Foundering Fathers: What Jefferson, Franklin, and Abigail Adams Saw in Modern D.C.! Second Edition

Diplomacy of John Adams
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Nearby Painshill Park, another stop on the Adams-Jefferson itinerary, is an even better demonstration of the naturalistic English garden style that was later adopted in parks around the world. The cunningly planned vistas, including a vineyard and a acre lake, reveal themselves in succession from a network of paths, winding past such surprises as a faux Gothic tower and Greek temple. In their day, though, it was part of a system of relay stations catering to royal mail, private and hired coaches, with postilions to care for the horses while drivers and passengers rested or supped.

The next stage of my trip took me north to the Oxfordshire village of Hailey on the edge of the Cotswold Hills. There I stayed at the Bird in Hand, a reasonable facsimile of a coaching inn surrounded by a delightful maze of hedgerow-bordered, one-lane roads. Bumping along in a tiny rental car with about as much pickup as a golf cart, I could almost imagine myself in an 18th century coach-and-four until a man in a midlife-crisis convertible shot around the bend.

Jefferson especially admired the lakes and waterfall, created by a dam Brown built on the Glyme River. From here it is a pleasant minute drive northeast to Stowe Landscape Gardens, on the grounds of an elite boarding school where young fellows play cricket in jaunty white suits. Before the school opened in , Stowe was a vast country estate owned by the wealthy Temple-Grenville family whose scion, Richard Temple, began creating the great landscape garden there in By the time Adams and Jefferson visited, Stowe was in its prime, renowned throughout Europe for its exquisite panoramas and exotic garden architecture, including a rotunda, Palladian bridge, grotto, Gothic ruins and Chinese pavilion.

He vastly preferred Edgehill, tucked under a forested ridge a few miles east of Stratford-upon-Avon but grew apoplectic when he discovered local people did not know that one of the most important battles of the English Civil War took place there in Jefferson tipped the gatekeeper generously, but neither man recorded his impressions. He did more sightseeing in London before taking his leave weeks later.

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Rainbow Wood Farm, Claverton Down, , www. Langans Brasserie, Stratton Street, London; , www. George Inn, Mill Lane, Bath, About Us. Brand Publishing. As a result, the Founding Fathers label that originated in the 19th century as a quasi-religious and nearly reverential designation has become a more controversial term in the 21st.

First, the United States was not founded on a common ethnicity , language, or religion that could be taken for granted as the primal source of national identity. Instead, it was founded on a set of beliefs and convictions , what Thomas Jefferson described as self-evident truths, that were proclaimed in and then embedded in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. To become an American citizen is not a matter of bloodlines or genealogy but rather a matter of endorsing and embracing the values established at the founding, which accords the men who invented these values a special significance.

Once again, this legal tradition gives the American Founders an abiding relevance in current discussions of foreign and domestic policy that would be inconceivable in most European countries.

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Finally, in part because so much always seems to be at stake whenever the Founding Fathers enter any historical conversation, the debate over their achievement and legacy tends to assume a hyperbolic shape. It is as if an electromagnetic field surrounds the discussion, driving the debate toward mutually exclusive appraisals. In much the same way that adolescents view their parents, the Founders are depicted as heroic icons or despicable villains, demigods or devils, the creators of all that is right or all that is wrong with American society. In recent years the Founder whose reputation has been tossed most dramatically across this swoonish arc is Thomas Jefferson , simultaneously the author of the most lyrical rendition of the American promise to the world and the most explicit assertion of the supposed biological inferiority of African Americans.

Since the late s a surge of new books on the Founding Fathers, several of which have enjoyed surprising commercial and critical success, has begun to break free of the hyperbolic pattern and generate an adult rather than adolescent conversation in which a sense of irony and paradox replaces the old moralistic categories.

This recent scholarship is heavily dependent on the massive editorial projects, ongoing since the s, that have produced a level of documentation on the American Founders that is more comprehensive and detailed than the account of any political elite in recorded history. The political parties of were not organized the way modern political parties are — they were more like modern political interest groups — and they were not an accepted part of a presidential election.

In these political groups involved changing loyalties, back room deals, and political patronage.

Since both Jefferson and Burr were Democratic Republicans, the Federalists had clearly lost the presidential election, but they felt they could, through political dealing and negotiations, decide which man would be president. Once the voting began with no clear sign of a winner, political threats seemed more serious than ever. There was talk of military action to prevent the Federalists from blocking Jefferson from taking office; talk of holding another national election in hopes of different results; talk of an assassination plot against Jefferson; talk of the secession of Virginia if Jefferson was not allowed to take office; personal threats against Federalist electors; and talk of a deal between the Federalists and Jefferson to give him the election if he would agree to continue Federalist policies.

Finally, on February 17, Delaware and South Carolina abstained from voting, allowing Jefferson a clear majority. Jefferson was declared the winner on the 36th ballot. John Adams had already left Washington, and as was the custom at the time, Jefferson gave his inaugural address before taking the oath as president.

Uncomfortable speaking in public, he addressed an audience of approximately people for fewer than 30 minutes. The speech was printed in the newspapers the next day and was well received by members of both parties.

The new nation was only 11 years old and had never had a president under the Constitution who was not a supporter of the Federalist ideas. As you work with this document, think of how Jefferson uses language in an attempt to ease the wounds of this bitter election, focusing on similarities rather than differences.

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Through his beliefs about government and his views for the future of America, note how Jefferson seeks to redirect the political culture of the country, moving from government by an elite group based mainly in New England to government by the people with a broader geographical base. In the first sentence, Jefferson expresses three thoughts about his election to the presidency.

What are they? Is Jefferson planning to govern alone?

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How do you know? In sentence three, to what branch of government is Jefferson reaching out in order to work with them? The legislature. Based on sentences one through three, what tone is Jefferson establishing with this introduction? How does he establish that tone? He establishes a conciliatory tone by complimenting others in the government and making sure they are recognized. He also does not set himself above the members of the audience, even though he has just been elected president, by stating that he plans to work with the members of the legislature.

He attempts to connect the executive and legislative branches, encouraging cooperation. In this excerpt Jefferson connects with his audience and recognizes the other members of government present. Pay attention to the tone Jefferson works to establish in this introduction. Excerpt 2 Close Reading Questions 5. In sentence four Jefferson refers to the recent election. How does he characterize the election of ? This type of vigorous election is a good sign in a government where people are allowed to think freely, even though those from a more limited government might not understand that freedom.


Foundering Fathers: What Jefferson, Franklin, and Abigail Adams Saw in Modern D.C.! Second Edition eBook: Edward Moser: Kindle Store. Foundering Fathers: What Jefferson, Franklin, and Abigail Adams Saw in Modern DC! Double-tap to zoom Format Kindle Edition About the Kindle Edition.

They could be foreigners, non-Americans, but they could also be those accustomed to monarchy. In sentence four, what does Jefferson say that the nation must now do after this intense election? He focuses upon supporting the office, rather than the person. In sentence five Jefferson refers to the rights of the majority as well as those of the minority. How does he compare the two? Why does Jefferson make this statement about majority and minority?

He is reminding the party that lost the election the minority that their voice will also be heard. He is trying to build a connection with the Federalists, who lost the election. What is the effect of this comparison? Note: This is an allusion to the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalists, the opposing party, in and to which Jefferson and his party were strongly opposed. In sentence seven Jefferson uses juxtaposition — placing two ideas close together, usually for comparison — to emphasize the idea of political tolerance.

Identify the two ideas and explain the effect of this comparison.

The Years Bring Enlightenment: The Friendship and Politics of Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson*

They may differ in their opinion but that does not mean that their principles are different. Jefferson focuses on the similarities of his audience by focusing on the fact that the members of his audience share principles. In sentence eight Jefferson uses antithesis, setting two ideas in direct contrast.

enter site How does this support sentence seven, encouraging the idea of political tolerance? He restates sentence seven. Jefferson is speaking of the ideas of republicanism and federalism, not the political parties.

Founding Fathers | List, Achievements, & Religion |

He has de-emphasized political parties in the last two sentences and continues to do so in this sentence. Sentence nine is perhaps the best known quotation from this speech. How does this sentence contrast with sentences seven and eight? In the previous two sentences he has deemphasized the importance of opinion and names and focused upon principles. He repeats that again in this sentence by reminding his audience that they all can believe in the principles of republicanism and federalism.