Are what are some of the problems with Ron Chenrow(you can be brief)? I was thinking of buying the Hamilton bio, but I need to know what basis I need to look for.
Ron Chernow is an extremely biased author. So completely absorbed in the person he is writing about he looks past every incorrect or stupid thing the figure has done. He barely criticizes Hamilton’s faults and waxes and wanes on and on about what an amazing guy he was.
He plays out the whole “everyone was against him” and “he was just misunderstood!” far too in depth when in some circumstances (such as the Quasi War army overtake) Hamilton was at fault and it was not another individual who was against him. In any occasion where Hamilton was at fault, Chernow immediately rebukes what occurred by placing Hamilton at fault and the other person as the one who was against him the entire time. For example: the Reynolds affair. The way Chernow displays this whole debacle as illustrating Maria Reynolds as a wench is absolutely disturbing considering after this she was forced to change her name due to the shame she had attached to her. In the Quasi War where Hamilton was clearly at fault, he shows then President John Adams as the once who “defiled” his legacy.
In the biography, Chernow states that Hamilton was a fervent abolitionist in the New York Manumission Society and was a champion of freeing slaves his entire life. Later he states that Hamilton most likely owned one of two slaves that he inherited when he married (for power and money) into the Schuyler family. The Schuyler family was one of the most powerful slave owning families in the colony at the time. Chernow shows this marvelous Alexander Hamilton who was worked to free slaves his entire life. After speaking of the New York Manumission Society, Chernow further goes to display an attitude towards John Jay because he owned slaves and was in the Society. Excuse me? You’ll rip on John Jay for owning slaves and being in the New York Manumission Society but you will not show down Alexander Hamilton because he did the very same thing? Alexander Hamilton was in no way in abolitionist, he may of wanted free slaves but he differential besides the war did not work at any point in his life towards abolition. I spoke of why Hamilton was not an abolitionist here.
In total, Chernow is definitely very education, an extremely talented author who has the ability to construct an entire eight hundred page biography on a man who made it to a mere forty-nine years and yet not a single Jefferson biography, Adams biography or Monroe biography (there are few of those) has ever surpasses six hundred pages. I highly recommend his books, you’ll learn a lot but there are many reasons why Chernow in my mind is a completely biased author who has received NO criticism and it worth some.
Do you know that Madison and Jefferson rarely used the rank “general” to refer to Hamilton? Even years after his promotion to major general in the Quasi-War and after his death, they continued to use “colonel” (his rank at the end of revolutionary war). Does anybody know why?
I was looking into which Hamilton’s portraits are the closest to what he actually looked like. A lot of them were painted after his death, or even during his life were actually copies from other potraits, and even the copies made by the same artist from their own work look different. I couldn’t find any good listing, and information on art pages is lacking. In my search, I came across this article:
The Life Portraits of Alexander Hamilton Harry MacNeill Bland and Virginia W. Northcott The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 12, No. 2, Alexander Hamilton: 1755-1804 (Apr., 1955), pp. 187-198 Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
It’s from the 1955, so definitely outdated, but it’s the closest I could find to a comprehensive list, so here we go. It lists 16 portraits, but I will shorten the list because some of them were made by memory, or look like the artist has some problems with perspective and coonstruction of volume (it happens a lot with older painters).
The earliest portraits it lists are by Charles Willson Peale, 1777:
This one was long considered to be of Washington, and I can see why; to me, it actually looks more like Laurens by the same painter.
This portrait by Peale was lost at the time the article was published, but we all know it now - the one Eliza embroidered so beautifully. There are also some later portraits by Peale, but I don’t find them very life-like, style-wise. (Not that these two look very much like other Hams portraits, either, but we don’t have anything else from that period.)
The first of the big Trumbull portraits (1792) is actually based on the bust portrait painted by Trumbull for John Jay, apparently this one:
The full-length portrait is a copy of this bust with the body added to it, not from life but probably from someone else modelling. (So, not Ham’s pretty legs, pity.)
Then we have the Ceracchi bust. The terracotta model for it was produced about the same time, from life, but it is somewhat difficult to reconcile the painting and the sculpture. Of course, Ceracchi worked in the Roman tradition and probably embellished the likeness towards the more heroic and cesarian looks. On the other hand, the later portraits cited as having great likeness also show sharp and strong lines similar to this one.
The article cites Allan McLane Hamilton as saying that the Sharples miniatures had the best likeness. The miniature was stolen by Talleyrand for his fanboying, and then after Hamilton’s death, an oil copy was ordered and sent back to Eliza because the pastels wouldn’t survive the travel. (There’s actually a bunch of copies made by the artists themselves, which one was the first is unclear.)
This portrait by Weaver shows Hamilton in his General’s uniform for the Quasi-War, also considered having great likeness:
Finally, this potrait by Ezra Emes, painted in 1802 (after Philip’s death), Eliza called “a perfect and excellent likenes”.
Now I really wish someone took all these portraits and made an electronic reconstruction. And age-reversal.
If we look at this question solely from the standpoint of ideas and of intelligence, Alexander Hamilton would likely have made a very good president. If, however, we look at it from the standpoint of personality and politics, he would not have.
Alexander Hamilton was a brilliant man. He wrote most of the essays that became the Federalist Papers. He was the one who devised the economic plan that became the basis for the economic development of the United States in the early years after the ratification of the Constitution. He was a very smart man who had lots of good ideas.
However, that is not all there is to being a president. Hamilton was also very difficult to like. He was seen as a very arrogant man who rubbed many the wrong way. He was blunt and very good at making people dislike him. Several reasons also of course include his conquest for glory, including his army experience in the Quasi War and his invasion plans. He was an ultra nationalist who in my honest opinion, would not of made a good president. I doubt he would of ever followed advice from his cabinet or respected any of the farmers (he was angry because farmers were too self sufficient). Hamilton didn’t understand the view point of the farmers or how their lives work making his entire presidency favorable towards cities and factories.
Between this and his contempt for the common people (he favored a monarchy of sorts), he would not have made a good president for the early United States.
I realized that a lot of my FRUS headcanons revolve around their relationship becoming more established in the late 19th/early 20th century so I decided to summarize some of their history in that time frame as I interpret it relating to the characters. I wrote most of this from memory so I apologize if I miss anything major/over-simplify anything here.
France’s 3rd Republic was established in 1870, after decades of on-and-off political turmoil & numerous changes in governments. Relations between the US and France had been tense on several occasions since the American Revolution, but they still would refer to their alliance as unbroken in later years & have touted the fact that they’ve never been at war with each other since America became independent (because they both collectively act like the quasi-war didn’t happen; Francis was in a pretty bad mental place at the time so they likely wrote it off due to that; same with Alfred and the tension that arose during the American Civil War)
France & America became increasingly close once the 3rd Republic was established. America tended to view France as a ~bastion of democracy in Europe~, and therefore started favoring France over other European allies in a lot of ways.
The Statue of Liberty was presented to America to commemorate the US centennial.
They were definitely huge drama queens about being ~beacons of liberty and democracy~.
America was experiencing rapid industrialization & economic growth at a rate that was probably shocking to the European nations, making America an increasingly attractive trade/political partner.
The Spanish-American War occurred in 1898, in which America picked a fight with Spain and then took a bunch of his colonies, effectively ending the Spanish Empire. (America then turned around and granted Cuba independence, even though Cuba actually wanted to become a US state. They remained close allies until the Cuban Revolution.) This is the point when the Europeans collectively said “holy crap when did that American kid become so strong”.
Going into the 20th century, America & France were also engaging in a lot of collaboration/exchange of ideas in the development of film, aviation, etc. I really feel like they would have bonded a lot over film, and I tend to view film history as a very big part of Alfred bc of the way that American cinema has affected cultural consciousness)
By the turn of the century, America would have been interacting with European nations way more than ever before. Not just because they would have been more invested in developing their relationships with him do to the way he was growing into a world power, and because of the large influxes of immigrants that America was experiencing, but also because travel and communication between Europe & North America advanced considerably. During the American Revolution, it took an average of 3 months to sail from France to the US. By 1912, it took an average of 7 days. The first transatlantic telephone call was from the US to France in 1915.
America was understandably reluctant to get involved in WWI because it was a hot mess & even England would have stayed out of it if France and Russia hadn’t threatened to kick his ass if he rescinded on his alliance with them.
However, there was a not insignificant public sentiment that America should be helping France, and America would try to provide aid to them in whatever ways he could get away with while maintaining his neutrality. When America did get involved in the war, it was very much framed as “going to help France specifically” because America was wary of monarchists. There was a lot of rhetoric about “repaying the debt to Lafayette” & standing by France due to the history of their alliance.
America showed up to WWI not knowing his way around Europe for shit and getting lost a lot, but he was also overzealous and full of energy. America’s arrival caused the trench warfare to finally shift into a mobile war, pushing the Germans out of France & being a bit more rough with the Germans than was strictly necessary in the process. England was super bitter about America taking so much control over the Allied war efforts.
American soldiers were very popular with French women so I am 100% about Francis fawning over Alfred for being so tall and buff and rich
Based on the literature from this period, I tend to imagine that America stuck around in Paris for a while after the end of WWI, with he and France trying to cope with their mutual PTSD from WWI by spending a lot of time drinking and smoking and seeing films together, with Alfred writing angsty novels while Francis draws/paints.
I headcanon that Alfred went full Jay Gatsby mode in the 1920s, throwing a lot of big parties to show off his money & generally being wildly overindulgent. I also imagine that Francis very much enjoyed those parties & having someone to drink excessive amounts of champagne with.
As WWII started, America was once again reluctant to get involved in a war, but also very much wanted to be able to help France, and would emphasize that to rationalize having to ally himself with dirty monarchists & commies. Even though America declared war on Japan before anyone else, he made “liberating France” his #1 priority. America was eager to rush into France but England basically had to hold him back, and throughout their time in North Africa & Italy there was a lot of tension between England and America over who got to call the shots, with England insisting that they take a more cautious approach in fighting the Germans.
Not gonna get into Cold War-era stuff yet because this post is long, ask me in a couple weeks
I’ve not seen the show, I just have the album. But does the show skip the Quasi War with France? Where Hamilton, as head of the army, was making plans to invade Louisiana and Florida. His critics say he was planning a coup to make himself dictator, while his supporters say Hamilton was just trying to defend America’s interests with war looming with France and Spain.
This is something I’ve read about before in Joseph J. Ellis’ First Family: Abigail and John Adams. Ellis, who won the Pulitzer for Founding Brothers, thought Hamilton was serious in his vision of an American Empire with him as it’s dictator.
Whatever Hamilton’s real views were, this is what ended his tenure in the Adams administration. It was depicted in the John Adams mini-series (made by Tom Hooper, who also directed the film version of Les Mis). See clip in the link below (this video has embedding disabled):
One relationship I really think the Hamilton musical hits out of the ballpark is Alexander’s relationship to Washington. Besides the obvious emotionally frought surrogate father issues going on, I am very impressed by how Miranda walked the line to portray Hamilton as Washington’s indispensable right hand, and NOT as some (*cough*Jeffersonian*cough*) historians would have it, a puppet-master. I mean, that theory is nodded to in “Washington on Your Side”, but it’s clearly Jefferson’s view rather than objective reality being expressed.
My own reading of history, when you compare the policies of the Washington Administration to what Hamilton pushed for as leader of the Federalist Party and acting-Senior Officer of the Army during the Adams administration (Quasi-War with France, Alien and Sedition Acts), is that Washington was actually a moderating force and rather than doing whatever Hamilton wanted, we only KNOW about the stuff he approved, because Hamilton didn’t bring up anything Washington didn’t approve publically. Effectively meaning, Washington always agreed with Hamilton’s position in Cabinet meetings because those were the positions he’d already green-lit Hamilton to push for him. If that hadn’t been the case, Hamilton would have been arguing for forging an alliance with England against the French Republic pretty much as soon as Robespierre came to power and Lafyette had fled - as opposed to the Washington-approved position of neutrality.
Which is not to say that all the positions were purely Washington’s and Hamilton was a mouthpiece - the debt assumption and bank were doubtless Hamilton’s creation, but he only fought for them because Washington had approved it behind closed doors.
The musical gets this right with Washington’s farewell address as well. Yes, Hamilton wrote it. Because Hamilton was a writer and Washington was not (George is in fact one of the only Founding Fathers not to have been a journalist or academic). But like any good Presidential speech-writer, it was still his President’s sentiments and intent he was writing under the President’s guidance.
There’s still people who see Alexander Hamilton as a Slytherin, and because this is obviously serious business, I felt the need to explain why Hamilton is historically Gryffindor.
Let’s look at the dominant traits of the two houses:
Gryffindor: bravery, chivalry, courage, daring. Slytherin: cunning, ambition, self-preservation, power
Lots of people stick Hamilton into Slytherin because he was ambitious. I’ll readily grant he was that, but if that trait were the single qualifying factor, then all the Founders would be sorted into Slytherin, since they were all ambitious little shits. People also give him more credit for cunning than he deserves. Certainly he tried to be the mastermind behind his party, to get things done behind the scenes to help things run more smoothly. But he wasn’t particularly good at it. Everyone knew which political pamphlets were his, despite using pseudonyms. No matter what Adams thought, Hamilton was never successful in maneuvering elections to his desired outcome. Rather than seek compromise and appeal across the board, Hamilton preferred to talk his enemies to death about why he was right and they were wrong. So while he may have wanted to be a good politician, he really wasn’t one.
People sometimes forget that the Sorting Hat also takes into account what house you prefer based on what personal traits you hold most dear. And, Hamilton, above all (above his family, his job, &c.) valued honor. And linked to this, I cannot imagine a Founder who lacked self-preservation more than he did, both in what was good for his career and what was good for his very life.
Take, for instance, his relationship with Washington. Hamilton almost severed probably the most crucial partnership of his career over a minor rebuke. A Slytherin would have gravitated to and above all court someone as powerful and influential as Washington (or at least someone his equal), but through Hamilton’s own admission, he was always something of an ice queen to the general, keeping him at arm’s length and refusing to satisfy the role of son that Washington seemed to expect of him, at least until shortly before Washington’s death.
This was also the guy who wrote not one, but two career-ruining pamphlets, something I cannot imagine a Slytherin doing. In the first, he had allowed his chivalric weakness of helping beautiful women in distress to get him caught in a honeytrap with Maria Reynolds. When it was revealed in the papers, along with accusations that it was a cover-up for insider trading, Hamilton, rather than just ignoring it as would have been better for his reputation, countered the charge of speculation with a 95-page pamphlet detailing his adultery, so his public honor could be saved. In the second instance, Hamilton was willing to blow up his political party, that which gave him a stepping stone into power, because Adams was mean to him, had pricked his honor by accusing him of being a British sympathizer among other things, and he felt everyone should know that.
There was also, you know, the eleven affairs of honor, including one instance where he challenged an entire political party.
But as far as power, Hamilton’s ambition drove him to where he believed he could do the most good, not to where he could get the most dominance. He certainly liked having influence on people (which is what caused the rift between him and Adams when the latter didn’t appreciate that), but Hamilton by-and-large wanted fame. And not fame in the sense that he’s popular and everyone loves him, but the lasting fame that comes with doing good deeds for one’s country. Hamilton had turned down multiple opportunities for lasting power, declining positions in the Senate and as a Supreme Court justice, on top of never running for president. He never used his position as Treasury Secretary to make a single penny of personal profit, and refused to give his friends insider tips when they asked. Because he thought it was wrong. And Hamilton wanted to be a hero so bad, it’s what drove him to make and expand his army during the Quasi-War, because he would be seen as the general at the lead of an American empire.
So while Hamilton certainly had ambition in spades, he held the Gryffindor traits of bravery and chivalry in much higher regard than self-preservation and power for the sake of power. He distrusted people who adapted themselves to whatever political purposes suited their interests - it’s what caused his riff with Aaron Burr (an actual Slytherin for those who want a comparison). Like Adams (another Gryffindor imo), Hamilton was so fixed to his principles he was willing to argue in favor of unpopular legislation at the expense of his own popularity multiple times. So while Slytherin might be his secondary house, Hamilton was such a Gryffindor, it hurts.
What was the XYZ affair and what was the significance?
who: John Adams, Charles Talleyrand, Agents X, Y, & Z, France, United States
During 1797, problems were arising between the Republic of France and the United States. In an attempt to avoid further conflict and possibly war, President John Adams sent three American diplomats to France to participate in formal negotiations with the French. However, when the American diplomats arrived in France, they were informally approached by agents of the French Foreign Minister, Charles Talleyrand, who demanded bribes and the like. While these “shady” forms of diplomacy were somewhat common in Europe, they were improper according to American diplomacy etiquette, and so the American diplomats were greatly offended and left France immediately without ever making it to the formal French negotiations. The American people were generally offended, and the Federalist party took advantage of this opportunity to increase the U.S. military power. This ultimately led to the undeclared Quasi-War (1798-1800), fought between France and the United States.
Since my latest list of history anecdotes includes the Sedition Acts I’ve gotten some questions. I probably shouldn’t of put them on the top moments in American history but hey it’s too late now.
I don’t find the Acts themselves funny, because they infringed on the 1st amendment, which is not cool. It’s more the over simplification/absurdity of the entire thing, because everyone tends to boil the Acts down to John Adams being salty, which he was, but that’s beside the point. They are a whole lot more complicated, and Adams wasn’t really that supportive of them but they passed in the legislator, and he signed them because he wasn’t really opposed to them either. Remember, the country was sort-of-not-quite at war with France, and he wanted to foster unity among the people (which wouldn’t happen because the Quasi War is complicated). It was the wrong way to go about it. I laugh at the oversimplification of the reasons why they were passed.
Another thing. The Sedition Acts led to the arrest of James Callendar (? Spelling idk), the journalist who broke the Reynolds scandal and was paid by Jefferson to dig/dish the dirty on political opponents. Anyway, he was arrested bc of the Acts and spent nine months in jail, and after he got out he went to Jefferson to get compensation or something (I can’t remember, but that’s not the point), but Jefferson snubbed him and gave him fifty bucks. So Callendar got pissed and went to a federalist paper in Richmond, where he published the details of Jefferson’s “affair” with Sally Hemings and revealed that Jefferson had paid him off for gutter journalism. So because of the Sedition Acts Jefferson was fucked over in history.
The U.S.S. Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the United States Navy (and the oldest commissioned warship in the world). The ship was launched in 1797 as one of the 6 original heavy frigates built by the United States government following the Naval Act of 1794. The ship was first used to protect U.S. merchant vessels during the Quasi War with France, as well as to defeat Muslim pirates off the coast of North Africa during the first Barbary War.
During the War of 1812 the Constitution defeated the British Navy ships HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane and Levant in battle. During the battle with the Guerriere the Constitution earned its nickname “Old Ironsides” after sailors witnessed cannonballs bouncing off her hard oak side.
The ship was built out of southern live oak from Georgia, and was constructed in Boston, MA. The ships copper work was done by Paul Revere, and its name was chosen by George Washington.
The Constitution is now stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston where it is manned by a full U.S. Navy crew.
This might be a loaded ask, but... What on earth started John Adams' hatred of Hamilton? Why did he dislike him so much that he basically made it his life's mission to do so in every way?
I made a post a couple weeks ago where I stated I think the Adams-Hamilton feud was the result of three things: personality conflict, political differences, and culture clash rooted in xenophobia (in that post I discussed Adams’s hangups about Hamilton’s being a Scotch West Indian). So let’s discuss some of the former.
Let’s start with the political. In actuality, Hamilton and Adams had a lot of political beliefs in common, though Adams was more of a moderate Federalist and Hamilton the leader of the High Federalists. Both believed in a strong centralized government and were wary of France. But there were some key differences: Adams did not trust banking systems, whereas Hamilton obviously wanted to consolidate the state banks into a centralized banking system that answered to the federal government. Hamilton believed a standing army was becoming necessary to combat European forces in the West, but Adams believe a strong Navy would keep them at bey.
But what really caused the political conflict started when, after Washington stepped down after two terms, it came up for a vote for who would take his place. Adams, naturally, thought as having been vice-president, he was the natural choice. Hamilton wanted someone more along High Federalist values, and so lobbied for Thomas Pinckney: in Hamilton’s ideal world, he wanted Pinckney as president and Adams back as vice-president (and he did the thing period to keep Jefferson from being either, remember this is when the person with the second highest votes became VP). Obviously it didn’t work, with Adams becoming president and Jefferson his VP. But Adams never forgot and never forgave Hamilton was his meddling - nor would the Republicans let him.
During Adams’s presidency, he inherited Washington’s Cabinet and didn’t make any changes. The Cabinet members, being High Federalists, increasingly started going to Hamilton for his opinions on matters. This, understandably, upset Adams, tho he never actually cleaned out his Cabinet until it was too late. Then he and Hamilton got into an ugly mess with regards to the army being built after the XYZ Affair and the Quasi-War - after making Hamilton the second-in-command, Adams began pushing for peace with France, which upset Hamilton who suspected France was just going to fake peace with America and then later use its connections via its allyship with Spain and land in North America to launch an attack. Adams got his peace (and Jefferson lucked out when France did begin sending troops to the New World) and disbanded the army. That, coupled with a lot of nasty personal remarks leveled at Hamilton made the latter issue an affair of honor against the POTUS, which Adams understandably ignored, and then that pushed Hamilton to release the infamous Adams Pamphlet.
Then the Election of 1800 happens, and since it obviously worked so well the first time, Hamilton pushed the Federalists to vote for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and withhold enough votes from Adams to make him the VP again. Many factors ended up getting the Republicans elected (the biggest ones being the 3/5ths Clause, and Cotesworth Pinckney’s cousin Charles Pinckney straight-up bribing South Carolina electors to vote for Jefferson and Burr) but Hamilton got the blame and Adams never forgave him for his loss of a second term.
With regards to the personality conflict: Adams was an older statesmen, had been part of the Revolution since Massachusetts started the thing, and so believed he was due a degree of deference he frequently didn’t feel he was getting. He was utterly appalled by what he felt was the lack of respect he was getting from Washington’s administration, being stuck in the Senate where people wouldn’t listen to him. But then Washington’s listening to Hamilton, this young “upstart” in Adams’s view, giving him responsibilities and seeking out his counsel. This was a problem when Adams became president. Hamilton was used to having older statesmen seek out and agree with his opinions, but Adams found this aspect of Hamilton insolent. Hamilton found Adams’s snubbing of him, that he wasn’t grateful for his opinions, to be degrading.
They were also both really bad at compromising when they believed themselves to be in the right opinion, they were both extraordinarily indiscreet, very vain, and both seemed to have a sort of “fuck this I’m going to blow this mother up” mentality when things got to their boiling points rather than keep level headed.
Now had they both sat down and actually got it all out with one another, I think things might have turned out for the better. But Adams always aimed his hatred of Hamilton to anyone who wasn’t Hamilton, meaning Hamilton was getting all of this info from his friends who were telling him that Adams was saying all of these terrible things about him (that he’s an agent of the British, constant snipes at his illegitimacy, etc.) that Adams would refuse to admit or source; Adams had been much the same with Benjamin Franklin. Which was a bit of a core difference: Hamilton’s hypersensitivity made him start issuing challenges when he was insulted; Adams stewed on abuse for years before confronting it via a third party (he didn’t respond to Hamilton’s pamphlet against him until nine years later, five years after Hamilton’s death when Hamilton couldn’t counter).
There was also things about Hamilton that Adams just found morally repugnant. He, of course, found his adultery to be a sign of weak character, tho later used this as an excuse to believe the worst in Hamilton whenever he heard - or made - an amorous story about him (Timothy Pickering said Adams collected such stories obsessively). He also had huge hangups about Hamilton’s illegitimacy, basically believing that good fathers produced good sons, and because Hamilton was born a bastard, he was exempt from ever being capable of good character.
Tbh it’s really tragic that Adams and Hamilton just constantly assumed the worst of each other because if they had been capable of working together, things nationwide might have had better outcomes in the long run.
Which founding father would you fight in a parking lot? (myself I'd fight all of them other then Washington because I don't want him to beat my ass)
I shall rank the founding fathers based on how willing I am to fight them in a Denny’s parking lot
1. Thomas Jefferson: yes the dude’s six two or something, but I’m five ten and probably stronger. Also, he has no military experience and is secretly a scared beb, so I could definitely beat his hypocritical ass in a fight.
2. James Madison: I’m 70 pounds heavier and 6 inches taller than jmads I could basically step on him. He’s just as bad as Tjeffs.
3. Alexander Hamilton: hell if it was modern day, his duel with Burr probs would have happened in a Denny’s parking lot be real. Hamilton is also a smol beb who deserves an ass-kicking because of that goddamn Reynolds Pamphlet and the fact that he’s the entire reason we have political parties in the first place. I have a good three inches on him.
4. John Adams: the entire Adams administration was a fucking mess okay, with the Quasi War and the XYZ affair and shit. He deserves a fight simply for fucking up, but he’s very round and could maybe over power me, but only if Abigail lets him.
5. Ben Franklin: he’d probably fight me just for the fun of it the dude was fucking bonkers. 5/10 for fightablity because we are roughly the same height but he is heavier than me.
6. George Washington: WOULD NOT FIGHT REPEAT WOULD NOT FIGHT THE DUDE WOULD KICK MY ASS TO WILLIAMSBURG AND BACK, or he’d just give me the dad stare and say “I’m not mad, just disappointed”
1. I’m 100 percent sure this is not referring to
Rhysand. Besides the fact that it would
destroy the mating mythology SJM has weaved into both books, the reviews that
have come out so far make no mention of a romantic betrayal of this magnitude
for Feyre at the end of ACOMAF. The
comments have been:
“She does take a seriously liking to killing over time though. I mean the girls agrees to be blind for like a year so that she can become an assassin.”
Saw this in response to the show’s non-book canon Arya characterization where she talks about killing making her happy.
This is just so off. Arya doesn't like killing. She doesn’t enjoy it, derive pleasure from it, or whatever. There is a very distinct difference between wanting certain bad people dead and taking pleasure in killing. Most every character (can’t think of an exception from Davos to Sansa to Brienne to Ned to Catelyn) has either killed or wished specific individuals would die- often both. That doesn’t mean they enjoy killing people.
Look at Westerosi society, killing is a form of punishment, it’s ridiculously commonplace. People are sentenced to death for treason, accusations with little proof (losing a trial by combat means you die,) deserting the Night’s Watch, ect. I don’t know how people are still struggling with this notion that wanting people dead and killing them is not a mark of enjoyingother people’s pain or deaths.
And I don’t know why this is so hard for people to get, but Arya isn’t with the Faceless Men because she wants to be an assassin. She has never professed that. Ever. Has no desire whatsoever for that. It’s all over the books, screaming at you, that Arya is there because she has nowhere else to go. Cat? From the ship Nymeria? Beth as in Beth Cassel? Killing for justice? Demanding to know why someone is sentenced to death and justifying his assassination so it can make sense to her? Arya’s not cut out for this at all, which is why the FM keep talking about her not being able to become one of them. When people think she wants to be a FM and be there-
“I want to go north, to the Wall. Here, I can pay.” She gave him the purse. “The Night’s Watch has a castle on the sea.”
“Eastwatch.” The captain spilled out the silver onto his palm and frowned. “Is this all you have?”
It is not enough, Arya knew without being told. She could see it on his face. “I wouldn’t need a cabin or anything,” she said. “I could sleep down in the hold, or… I could work,” said Arya. “I could scrub the decks. I scrubbed a castle steps once. Or I could row…”
“No,” he said, “you couldn’t.” He gave her back her coins. “It would make no difference if you could, child. The north has nothing for us. Ice and war and pirates. We saw a dozen pirate ships making north as we rounded Crackclaw Point, and I have no wish to meet them again. From here we bend our oars for home, and I suggest you do the same.”
I have no home, Arya thought. I have no pack. And now I don’t even have a horse. ASoS
Jon Snow on the Wall. That was where she had wanted to go. She told the captain as much, but even the iron coin did not sway him. Arya never seemed to find the places she set out to reach. AFFC
Fear cuts deeper than swords, she told herself. “Arya.” She whispered the word the first time.
The second time she threw it at him. “I am Arya, of House Stark.” “You are,” he said, “but the House of Black and White is no place for Arya, of House Stark.”
“Please,” she said. “I have no place to go.” AFFC
I have a hole where my heart should be, she thought, and nowhere else to go. “I’m strong. As strong as you. I’m hard.”
“You believe this is the only place for you.” It was as if [the Kindly Man]’d heard her thoughts. AFFC
When Dareon had first appeared at the Happy Port, Arya had almost asked if he would take her with him back to Eastwatch, until she heard him telling Bethany that he was never going back. AFFC
“It is not too late for you to leave us. Is this truly what you want?”
Arya bit her lip. She did not know what she wanted. If I leave, where will I go?ADWD
I mean, really? How much more obvious does GRRM need to make it before people get it? Arya isn’t with the FM by choice, she doesn’t want to be an assassin, she wants stability and basic human comforts (like a place to sleep and food every day- something she is in awe over when she first arrives in AFFC.) “She did not know what she wanted. If I leave, where will I go?” That’s what she thinks when she’s scared of the human mask things pre-assassination. It’s not even subtle, Arya feels trapped. She’s been a prisoner of war, a quasi-slave, a hostage, homeless, starved, beaten, threatened with rape, lost everyone she loves, is penniless and companionless, and she’s only eleven, so of course she feels that there’s no place for her to be safe.
But she 100% doesn’t like killing. She feels she should, that it’s the right thing to do, administering justice and so on-
As she worked, Arya thought about the people she wanted dead. She pretended she could see their faces on the steps, and scrubbed harder to wipe them away. The Starks were at war with the Lannisters and she was a Stark, so she should kill as many Lannisters as she could, that was what you did in wars. ACoK
“That was what you did in wars”… this is why Arya is likened to child soldiers. She’s so entrenched in death, violence, and pain all around her (and administered to her,) that she fully believes that killing horrible, scum of the earth people (like Raff the Rapist and the Tickler torturer) is for the best, for the survival or herself and good people.
She doesn’t like it. She doesn’t enjoy it, get a rush of pleasure from it. She thinks she should, thinks maybe it’ll make something right, bring justice to an unjust world.
If she actually liked killing, why do all the deaths she causes bother her so much that her last ADWD chapter she has nightmares about the horrors of it all?
Sleep did not come easily that night. Tangled in her blankets, she twisted this way and that in the cold dark room, but whichever way she turned, she saw the faces. They have no eyes, but they can see me. She saw her father’s face upon the wall. Beside him hung her lady mother, and below them her three brothers all in a row. No. That was some other girl. I am no one, and my only brothers wear robes of black and white. Yet there was the black singer, there the stableboy she’d killed with Needle, there the pimply squire from the crossroads inn, and over there the guard whose throat she’d slashed to get them out of Harrenhal. The Tickler hung on the wall as well, the black holes that were his eyes swimming with malice. The sight of him brought back the feel of the dagger in her hand as she had plunged it into his back, again and again and again. ADWD
She is deeply disturbed and traumatized by it all. She doesn't enjoyit in the slightest.
Moreover, she worries over people’s lives that she doesn’t even know, she feels great empathy and knows the value of life. For example,
The ferry seemed to shudder, and Arya slipped, landing painfully on one knee. The man with the broken pole was not so lucky. She heard him shout as he stumbled over the side. Then the raging brown water closed over him, and he was gone in the time it took Arya to climb back to her feet. One of the other boatmen snatched up a coil of rope, but there was no one to throw it to.
Maybe he’ll wash up someplace downstream, Arya tried to tell herself, but the thought had a hollow ring.ASoS
And on one last note, Arya had no desire to be blinded. If anything, we as the readers should be horrified and saddened that this young girl feels that allowing herself to be blinded is the only way she can be at all safe.
“How long must I be blind?” she would ask. “Until darkness is as sweet to you as light,” the waif would say, “or until you ask us for your eyes. Ask and you shall see.”
And then you will send me away. Better blind than that. ADWD
Because Arya wishes for her sight- to the point of almost tears- but doesn’t just because, as she states next chapter, she doesn’t know where else to go if she’s kicked out of the House of Black and White.
[E]ven if Americans became serious about emulating the citizen militias of the ancient republics in order to avoid creating a standing army, Hamilton’s own principles would exclude the possibility because of the “peculiar institution” that made the ancient militias possible, namely, slavery. What the devotees of citizen militias sometimes forgot was that the ancient republics relied on slaves to provide their citizens with enough leisure to train and to fight. For America to have had true citizen militias rather than the pallid versions found in the states, slavery would have had to become more pervasive. Not coincidentally, the strongest proponents of citizen militias in America - Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry, John Taylor, etc. - generally came from the slaveholding South. Slavery, however, was morally repugnant to Hamilton. He also believed that America’s slaves, like the helots in ancient Sparta, constituted an Achilles heel. During the Revolutionary War, he accurately predicted that Great Britain would exploit America’s vulnerable southern flank by issuing proclamations that promised freedom to American slaves who escaped and joined the Loyalist side, and he singled out Virginia for being “incumbered by a numerous body of slaves bound by all the laws of injured humanity to hate their Masters.” Hamilton would express similar concerns during the Quasi-War with France. Thus, to the extent that effective citizen militias required a substantial slave population, prudence and justice precluded relying on them for the nation’s defense.
Michael Chan, Aristotle and Hamilton on Commerce and Statesmanship
how do you think history would have been different if hamilton had ever been president? like, for example, if he had somehow run in the election of 1800 or something idk
aw man i have nothing to do at work and i am prepared to do incredible amounts of pointless research, welcome to ALTERNATE HISTORY WITH CAT SWANJOLRAS.
so if we’re gonna put hamilton in the election of 1800, we’re gonna need to make some changes to pre-1800 history. the fact is that alex was, for a lot of reasons, unelectable. let’s lay out a few:
he slept with another man’s wife with that man’s knowing consent, paid over a thousand dollars to that man to keep quiet about it, then detailed the entirety of this affair in a pamphlet and published that pamphlet in the newspaper.
i mean. that alone.
let’s lay out some other stuff, though:
the dude tended to make enemies the way most of us make casual acquaintances. bro challenged a lot of people to duels, for one thing; for another, by the time he and aaron burr fought, he… really didn’t have a lot of friends left. (see exhibit a: Who The Fuck Is Nathaniel Pendleton.)
let’s not forget: the federalist party as a thing had collapsed by 1816. they were not popular! i’m gonna put most of the blame for this on the adams administration– this is definitely just my opinion, though, there are multiple explanations, form your own theory.
but in general: there were the alien and sedition acts, the jay treaty, the quasi-war with france (hamilton was a big war hawk on this issue!) and higher taxes in order to fund a larger military, the fact that john adams was not a particularly likable personality (and it would’ve been hard for anyone to follow up george “literal paintings of him ascending into heaven” washington, tbh, and adams was really the opposite of the charismatic people-pleaser he would’ve needed to be to have any sort of popularity.)
in sum: hamilton was a highly disliked asshole, his party was full of highly disliked assholes, and on top of that, the reynolds pamphlet.
so: let’s say no reynolds pamphlet. let’s say no quasi-war with france, let’s say adams is left to his own devices to run the presidency how he likes and hamilton doesn’t control his cabinet from behind the scenes. let’s say the blame for alien & sedition acts is placed on adams’ shoulders and hamilton somehow gets away clear of it. (sorry, adams, you’re fucked in this alternate history.)
election of 1800, in this case, is adams vs. hamilton vs. burr vs. jefferson. adams is obviously a goner; god knows how the democratic-republicans would’ve dealt with running against hamilton, but it probably wouldn’t have been up to the delegates like the actual election of 1800 was. hamilton pulls off a frankly miraculous victory, gets himself into the white house along with– hmm.
charles pinckney, adams’ running mate in 1800, is an obvious choice for hamilton’s running mate as well. but since this election was so highly contested, and this was still before the passage of the twelfth amendment which created the current running mate system we have today, i’m gonna say hamilton’s vp would’ve either been thomas jefferson or aaron burr.
let’s all take a moment to laugh as hard as we can, shall we?
okay, so: the hamilton administration.
hamilton’s goals are going to be something along the lines of a) improve relations with england, b) consolidate more power to the office of the president, c) expand the power of federal government as opposed to state government, d) improve big-business, especially industrial businesses.
some more specific things that hamilton would’ve wanted to have happen during his administration:
probably no repeal of the alien & sedition acts. they were incredibly politically useful for hamilton– he locked up benjamin franklin bache under the sedition act– and he might’ve let them lapse about halfway into his first term, but i definitely think there would’ve been arrests under them during the hamilton administration. this would’ve sucked and been a major blow to the first amendment as we know it today.
takin a wild guess here and saying that the national debt probably would’ve grown.
would probably have made more of an effort than jefferson to inhibit the slave trade. the constitution forbade the end of the international slave trade until 1808, so he wouldn’t have been able to do anything major, but he’d have given at least verbal support to abolitionist groups.
on top of that, would’ve likely lent government help to growing trade/industrial economic practices. i don’t know enough about economics to detail this, but hamilton as president right at the beginning of the industrial revolution would’ve made the u.s. an even bigger player in it than it already was.
honestly: at the end of hamilton’s term(s) we would’ve been rich as hell. not necessarily better, but rich as hell.
courtesy of @alisand: the fact that he wasn’t american-born (he was a natural-born citizen according to the constitution, since he was american by 178whatever! but he wasn’t born in america) would’ve definitely opened up conversation about that later down the road
what the fuck would hamilton have done about the napoleonic wars. hopefully he would’ve been bright enough not to, like, actually declare war on france, but who the fuck knows.
most major change: i doubt he would’ve accepted the louisiana purchase, if only because of distrust of france. (side note: “oh, the constitution should be interpreted NARROWLY, i’m going to narrowly interpret it to let me buy HALF THE CONTINENT” jefferson you fucking hypocrite.)
i still think he would’ve acquired florida, though likely through different circumstances than jefferson.
(alis suggested, interestingly, that hamilton would’ve been happy to pursue westward expansionist policies in exchange for things given to him by the dem-reps and southern farmers. i have no idea what those would be but that’s fascinating.)
in a lot of ways, this is asking “what would’ve happened without western expansion?” (thanks @na-vhenan for this question.) this is such an unbelievably large value change for the u.s.– we have to throw out the majority of the 1800s on that alone. (no manifest destiny? no transcontinental railroads? no oregon trail? probably no civil war, or at the very least civil war at a much later time?)
we’d also be looking at a government with a lot more power than ours currently has– hamilton would’ve set some precedents, and part of those precedents would’ve involved the reduction of civil liberties. we’d be looking at a more industrialized economy, a more urban population, big businesses with more power.
we’d be a lot richer; we’d have a bigger national debt. we’d have a bigger military. we probably would’ve either gotten rid of slavery a lot sooner, or not gotten rid of it until a lot later, depending on stronger and more vehement abolitionist policies vs. the cotton gin’s effect on the south’s economy.
eta: NO MARBURY V. MADISON??? NO JUDICIAL REVIEW?? WHAT THE FUCK, WHAT THE FUCK, WHAT THE FUCK, anyway, i’m sure alex would’ve used this to his advantage somehow
in terms of hamilton himself– well, he probably would’ve lived longer! it’s hard for me to believe that he would’ve been a two-term president, because jesus, he’s alexander hamilton, that kid is getting jerked out of office after 4 years if he isn’t impeached first.
the maria reynolds scandal still would’ve broken; if he’d been lucky, it would’ve broken once he wasn’t president any more. he would’ve been unpopular as hell, and i’m willing to bet that we wouldn’t like him quite so much as we do now.
THOSE WHO ARE BETTER AT HISTORY THAN ME, FEEL FREE TO ADD YOUR TWO CENTS.