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Old 06-01-2016, 08:08 AM   #1
Waylander
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American War of Independence and Founding

I'm looking for good introductory books on how the USA was founded and set up politically after the AWI. I've added the Constitution, Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers to my Amazon wishlist, but I was wondering what else you would recommend? Particularly regarding how the Founders were suspicious of mass democracy which influenced their setting up of the Republic.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:51 AM   #2
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The Six Frigates by Ian W. Toll.
https://www.amazon.com/Six-Frigates-...indle-redirect
Quote:
Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.
I really enjoyed this book. It is amazing at how some of the founding fathers opposed the founding of the U.S. Navy.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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You could do worse than Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. You get a few chapters of his early life in the West Indies and of the war. But you also get a good sense of the debates around what direction the newly freed colonies should take.
He was more influential than most history classes give him credit for. He had the ear of George Washington, but he and Jefferson and Madison were at opposite poles of the debate.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylander View Post
I'm looking for good introductory books on how the USA was founded and set up politically after the AWI. I've added the Constitution, Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers to my Amazon wishlist, but I was wondering what else you would recommend? Particularly regarding how the Founders were suspicious of mass democracy which influenced their setting up of the Republic.
There are a lot of good books

The Quartet: Orchestration the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 - Joseph Ellis
American Creation - Joseph Ellis
Founding Brothers - Joseph Ellis (he won the Pulitzer for this one)
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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You also might want to check out

Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation by John Ferling
Adams vs Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 by John Ferling
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM   #6
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The Library of America has published a number of editions of the Founder's writings. Some maybe a step beyond Introductory level, but they're great if you really want to get into their heads. I've enjoyed them.
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