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American Civilization before 1877 - Essay Example

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1. Describe what a gentleman was and how he acted in late eighteenth century America and then select three of the men whom Gordon Wood discusses to show how they fit his description (Washington, Franklin, Jeffereson, Hamilton), or didn't (Burr). Base your answer to this question on the introduction and three chapters of Revolutionary Characters.  To the surprise of many, George Washington’s became great because of his morals and being a gentleman…
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American Civilization before 1877
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Download file to see previous pages He was so proper that a commentator even kidded that “Washington was born with his clothes on and his hair powdered, and made a stately bow on his first appearance in the world”. He is always dignified and looked like a leader. Socially he also like to dance and ride horses which fits in the character of a gentleman of his time. He was not without criticism though. He was criticized as being unintellectual. Adams even mocked him that he was too illiterate, unlearned, unread for his station and reputation is equally past dispute. Thomas Jefferson Jefferson qualified and fitted of being a gentleman because he embodied America’s democratic ideals and democratic hopes. Lincold even said of Jefferson that “the principles of are the definitions and axioms of free society”. He was criticized by Leonard Levy though in his work Lincoln are the definitions and axioms of free society”. According to him, Jefferson was inconsistent and hypocrite. He ripped off Jefferson’s mantle of libertarianism to expose his darker sige: his passion for partisan persecution, his lack of concern for basic civil liberties, and his self-righteousness that became at times out- and- out ruthlessness. Far from being the skeptical enlightened intellectual, allowing all ideas their free play, Jefferson was portrayed by Levy and other historians as something of an ideologue, a doctrinaire thinker eager to fill the young with his political orthodoxy while censoring all those books he did not like. He did not have an open or a questioning mind after all. Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton was the great American capitalist. He singlehandedly created modern American capitalism. He is the founder big state fnancial capitalism. In the 1890 he was He was called a “sound thinker, the constructive statesman”who sponsored a “vigourous, positive, constructive national policy... that implied a faith in the powers of an efficient government to advance natioanl interest.” Robert Warslow described him in 1931 that for a man, he was not noble, as a politician, hewas not an eminent success; as a statesman, apart from financial measures, he was not superior. But as businessman, not in all this period was any man to match him. And this characteristic fitted Hamilton as one of finest gentleman of his time as he embodied the American ideals of capitalism that made it an economic superpower that it is now. 2. a In Revolutionary Characters, Gordon Wood explains "what made the founders different." How do the public lives and attitudes of two of the men he discusses prove his point? Base your answer on the Introduction, the Epilogue, and at least two other chapter America unlike its counterparts in Europe and elsewhere in the world, was created by a sense of belief and not by common ethnicity. It also prides being a gentleman not by birth but by merit. Being a gentleman however connotes different meaning with the forefathers of America. America’s founding fathers were different because for them being a gentleman assumed a moral meaning that was more important than its social significance. Unlike their counterpart in Europe where pure monarchists still define gentility exclusively by the pride of their families, the size of their estates, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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