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, won the Battles of Saratoga; 1727—1806.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson; 1765—1801.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson; 1776—1830.
House slave of Thomas Jefferson; mother of at least six of his children; 1773—1836.
Lawyer, orator, Virginia governor; 1736—99.
Lawyer, architect, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia governor, diplomat, third President, founder of the University of Virginia; 1743—1826.
Personal attendant to Martha Washington; c. 1773—1848.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson, they grew up together; 1743—1800.
Diplomat to France, Continental congressman; 1740—92.
Continental Army general, formerly a British officer; 1732—82.
The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (2011)