Skip to comments.The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783-1789
Posted on 05/31/2015 6:55:34 AM PDT by cotton1706
Very good book. Joseph Ellis never disappoints.
A very good book paralleling the current situation. It took time to get the people (and the legislatures) ready for a convention then. And it will now! It may take several election cycles, to remove those standing in the way, in Arizona, in Texas, in North Carolina, in North Dakota, in Virginia, etc.
And also, a single issue convention, on a Balanced Budget amendment (which currently has 28 states supporting it) may be a help, for as James Monroe puts it in a quote in the book, regarding the Annapolis convention, where delegates gathered on a single subject (commerce), “If it succeeds, it can be repeated as other defects force themselves on the public attention, and as the public mind becomes prepared for further remedies.”
Knowing so little of the political backroom games I wonder if this was a good thing. Was the civil war orchestrated for this end as well? I believe the states should have kept their sovereignty if the founders knew that once the poor vote themselves money, it’s all over. They probably knew more about history than our current politicians?
Article V ping!
The 1783-1789 period was tumultuous. Prosperity didn't follow the peace. Little is known of this confusing period at FR. It is definitely worth studying today. What passed for government under the Articles of Confederation began to dissolve before the battle of Yorktown. Morris, Morris and Washington were the de facto executive branch of government that didn't have one.
While The Quartet looks like a worthwhile purchase, I'd like to read a comparison of it and Gordon S. Wood's The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 before I buy.
Ping. I’ve ordered this book.
Thanks for the heads up. Both now on my to do reading list.
I’m reading The Quartet now and I’ve read Wood’s book as well. Both well worth reading.
I further admit my respect for books tends to increase with their age.
In another claim that will provoke controversy, Ellis' reading of the second American revolution is avowedly elitist. He argues that most people had no interest in nationhood because a broad national vision would be inconsistent in some ways with their limited goals such as avoiding taxation and living beyond their means. Ellis recognizes the controversial nature of his perspective. He writes in the book's Preface:
"All democratic cultures find such explanations offensive because they violate the hallowed conviction that, at least in the long run, popular majorities can best decide the direction that history should take. However true that conviction might be over the full span of American history, and the claim is contestable, it does not work for the 1780s, which just might be the most conspicuous and consequential example of the way in which small groups of prominent leaders, in disregard of popular opinion, carried the American story in a new direction."
Thank you for posting this. The book arrived from Amazon today, and fortunately it’s the large print edition. My eyes are getting too old and tired for small print.
If it were to pass there’d be rioting, a massive deflation/depression, and then a beautiful rebirth. Expect there to be blood in the streets before the elites let a CC on a balance budget amendment.
I just now stumbled across the FR Book Club section. thanks
for the review. I never know whether a mainstream publisher
book is worth even a look.
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