Due to the historical significance of the revolutionary epoch, the academic world never ceases to exhibit a deep interest in researching the historical figures of the American Revolution. Personal traits, political convictions, and interpersonal relationships remain the subject of academic studies. In Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Joseph J. Ellis argues that the peculiar mixture of rivalry and accommodation between the American Founders was the beneficial contribution to the establishment of the U.S. federal system.
The book consists of a remarkable collection of biographic sketches about the leading figures of the American Revolution. In great detail, the author provides insights into the interpersonal relations between notable individuals, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Aaron Burr. The academic and professional authority of the author leaves no doubts about the credibility of his arguments. Joseph J. Ellis is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College and a former dean of the faculty (“Note about the Author”). Moreover, the author is a well-known author of the historical books about the American Founders (“Note about the Author”). These facts indicate his high expertise in the history of the American Revolution.
The main theme of the book is the role of the American revolutionary generation in the establishment and preservation of the democracy during its early years. The diversity of political ideologies, represented by the contemporary political elite, contributed substantially to the establishment of the check and balance mechanism. Moreover, the political debates were conducted during face-to-face interactions. While the individual approach might have excluded the participation of the masses, it had initiated the moderate pace of the nation building. Finally, the national leaders tended to avoid controversial issues, slavery in particular, from the political agenda. The consensus would maintain the overall stability of the democratic progress. Therefore, the personal interactions undoubtedly solidified the national unity despite the differences in opinions among the Founders.
Ellis’ work is an elaborate historical narration based on the extensive biographical accounts. The author develops his arguments from the impressive collection of personal correspondence and modern editions of critical works published during the last fifty years. the author makes reference to both private and state-sponsored projects dedicated to the preservation of the contemporary documents. Therefore, the research based on the comprehensive study demonstrates the establishment of its historical accuracy. It allows the author to create lively portraits of the main characters and provide the reasonable interpretation of the discussed events. For instance, the available documents enabled Ellis to describe the political struggle between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison over the adoption of the Residence Act and the Assumption Bill in 1790. While the former fiercely championed the delegation of power to determine the state debt to the federal authority, the later warned about the danger of empowering the new government. The disagreement was resolved by achieving the mutually beneficial consensus during the social meeting. The parties agreed to adopt the new legislation and relocate the government residence to Potomac. The author describes accurately the civilized manner in which the critical issues were addressed.
The historical accuracy of the narration is the most compelling feature of the book. The audience can examine masterfully intertwined biographical accounts and historical facts. For instance, Ellis illustrates the correlation between the social background of the main characters and their personal traits, i.e. the combination of factors that largely influence the outcome of personal interactions between the historical figures. For instance, the lack of aristocratic bloodline imposed the sense of personal burden for Alexander Hamilton. It is believed that his military and political career was driven by the need for earning the general approval and addressing the pressing issues as personal challenge. Therefore, the regrettable duel between him and Aaron Burr was unavoidable since the refusal to defend the honor would signify the weak character. Evidently, the historical accuracy and insights into the characters’ personal dilemma are the most contributive features of the narration that add the historical importance to the book. Without doubt, the author asserts that the tendencies of that time defined the formation of the country. Moreover, he depicts historically truthful portraits of the American Founders and their role in the nation building. The illustrations are document-based and perfectly consistent with the historical record.
The book is a unique combination of the biographical facts and credible testimonies. As the narration unfolds, the author provides the audience with the research-based assertions of the contemporary political elite. The book should be available to the general public due to its historical accuracy and constructive ideas. Finally, it is helpful for understanding the role of the personal exceptionalism and ideological diversity in the formation of the American nation.
During the last two centuries, the American Revolution has been the subject of numerous literary and artistic works. The filmmakers are particularly enthusiastic about exploring and interpreting past events. Directed by Roland Emmerich in 2000, the historical drama The Patriot thrills the audience with the incredibly accurate illustrations of the American struggle for freedom.
The main theme of the movie is the historical events of the American Revolution. It provides the comprehensive account of the war that gave birth to the new country as well as had tremendous effects on the population of colonies. The viewers are able to perceive the scenes of extreme brutality toward the civilians, bloody battles, and personal drama. The action happens in the midst of the fierce struggle between the British metropole and its overseas colonies. Therefore, the movie appeals to the historical memory about one of the turning points in the American history and focuses on the process of national unification. When the colonial population realizes its right and ability for self-governance, the dwellers of the American settlements take the collective action against the tyrannical rule of Great Britain. Evidently, patriotism and protection of freedom are the leitmotifs of the movie.
Meanwhile, the film captivates the audience with its historical accuracy. The Patriot highlights the vulnerability of the imperial reign and the fact that sincere desire for liberation may overcome the oppressive policy of the metropole. The systematic abuse and burdening taxation are the main reasons for the raising call for independence. In fact, the cruelty of British despotism indicates the overall tendency of the Western imperialism to impose its rule on the subjugated population despite its grave consequences. The American War for Independence, in its turn, is the anticipated response to economic and political oppression that may serve as an example of the abused nations across the world. The movie accurately depicts the hardships of military service during the first years of war, including the lack of soldiers and ammunitions. By the end of the movie, the audience learns that the victory was achieved due to the innovative application of the partisan methods of war, timely help from the French ally, and inspiring strategic plans of the American army. The viewers become aware of the political, economic, and human costs of the war. Therefore, the historical accuracy is the main feature of the film. Obviously, the screened version of the revolutionary events is believable since it portrays vividly the brutality and anticipated changes of that time period. The movie relates directly to the patriotic tendencies in the society as well as depicts truthfully the causes and results of the American War for Independence.
Moreover, the movie is historically important as it provides the exciting insights into the life of the society. The Patriot highlights a wide number of social issues that characterize the eighteen-century America. For instance, it indicates the existence of the social division between enthusiastic supporters of liberation and imperial collaborationists during the struggle against the British forces. Moreover, the film incorporates the individual experiences in the depiction of the large-scale events. For instance, the former officer Benjamin Martin fails to avoid the participation in the war that took the lives of his two sons. In other instances, the whole families are brutally murdered for participation in the militia forces or for harboring the British enemies. The illustrations of personal drama within the larger social context are the main strength of the film as well as the indicator of its historical importance. However, the heavy reliance on the physical attributes and moral values of one hero slightly diminish the overall significance of the movie. Moreover, the names of key revolutionary leaders, including George Washington, are rarely mentioned. There is a tangible possibility that the audience may focus solely on the fate of Benjamin Martin and his plans for revenge. In that case, the viewers may treat the historical context as a background for the personal actions.
In conclusion, The Patriot is a successful movie which raises the audience’s interest in the magnitude and historical significance of the American War for Independence. It depicts accurately the prewar debates between the colonizers and dwellers. It focuses on the systematic abuse imposed by the British forces. The film translates the social and political events into the personal experiences of loss and triumph during the war. Therefore, the movie refers to the multiple aspects of the epic events.