Joanne Freeman's Affairs Of Honor

994 Words4 Pages
The years following the American triumph over the British monarchy were characterized by patriotism, passion and political revolution. However, those years were also times of confusion, uncertainty and government unrest. In Affairs of Honor, Joanne Freeman takes the audience through the personal lives and papers of five founding fathers to reveals the complex culture of politics and the importance of honor in the earliest days of the republic. By investigating the link between politics and culture, Affairs of Honor thoroughly demonstrates the significance of rank, credit, fame, character, name, reputation and honor in the critical period(?) of the United States. According to Freeman, “There was no precise model for this political experiment. There was no other government in the modern world...there were few absolutes and many questions...almost every rule, standard, and practice left open to debate; the most trivial decisions yanked fundamental principles into view.” (page #) And debate there was. In 1787, the United States Constitution was written at the Philadelphia…show more content…
After a series of “paper wars” between the political opponents, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, which Hamilton accepted. According to Freeman, Hamilton accepted Burr’s challenge for a number of reasons. “In his mind, the duel; was a praiseworthy attempt to serve the common good...yet it was also an intensely personal attempt to preserve his public career. To prove to the world, and to himself, that he was a man of his word, a man of courage and principle, a leader.” (166). His explanation alone is an illustration of the sacredness of honor and the lengths politicians took to preserve their own. Alexander Hamilton was an embodiment of the ambiguities of honor - which left politicians feeling “conflicted and guilt ridden, unable to reconcile the competing demands of honor, politics and morality.”
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