The Federalists of the 1780s had a glimpse of what America was to become — a scrambling business society dominated by the pecuniary interests of ordinary people — and they did not like what they saw. This premonition of America’s future lay behind their sense of crisis and their horrified hyperbolic rhetoric. The wholesale pursuits of private interest and private luxury were, they thought, undermining America’s capacity for republican government. They designed the Constitution in order to save American republicanism from the deadly effects of the private pursuits of happiness.
Continental Army general; key to winning the war in the South; 1742—86.
Washington’s aide-de-camp, lawyer, contributor to the Federalist Papers, Secretary of the Treasury; 1755/1757—1804.
Continental Army general, chief artillery officer, first Secretary of War; 1750—1806.
Continental Army officer, aide-de-camp to Washington, son of Henry Laurens; 1754—82.
Continental Army general, formerly a British officer; 1732—82.
”Light Horse Harry”; Continental Army officer, Virginia governor; 1756—1818.
Irish-born Continental Army general, formerly a British officer; 1738—75.
Aide-de-camp to Washington throughout the Revolutionary War; 1744—1786.
Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army; first President; 1732—99.
Continental Army general, defeated the British at Stony Point; 1745—96.
The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (2011)