The Hamilton Diaries discussion

Chapters 20 to 24

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message 1: by leynes (new)

leynes | 36 comments Mod

message 2: by leynes (new)

leynes | 36 comments Mod
Are ya'll ready for a cabinet meeting? (Jefferson definitely wasn't...)

Feel free to watch episode 5 here:

If anyone is up to date or just starting out, let me know. I can't wait to have a discussion! :)

message 3: by Shanna (new)

Shanna (sblack) | 17 comments I think you hit on most of what I wanted to mention in this week's episode. I did like how both Jefferson and Hamilton wanted a second term for Washington because he would hold the country together even as they opposed each other.

There were definitely face palm moments with Hamilton where I wanted him to stop talking.

Now I need to read more about the French Revolution. I have some basic knowledge and then what I picked up from Les Mis haha.

I thought the Fever portion was interesting. Not only the treatments and the politicizing of that, but also the reception they received in New York after they were cured.

message 4: by leynes (new)

leynes | 36 comments Mod
Well, I babbled for 19 minutes so I'd better hit all the important things xD

I am honestly so fascinated by the magnitude that is George Washington. His power and how the people saw him seems so crazy to me, he was like a God to some, even though he didn't even do that much. Don't get me wrong, I think the way he handled politics was very smart and I appreciate that he was always looking for compromises etc. but if you compare the workload that Hamilton had and all the new things that Hamilton invented to Washington's achievements, Hamilton did a lot more to get the country on the right track!

It just seems to me that Washington was regarded as untouchable because he was the Commander in Chief during the Revolutionary War (and had some prestige even before then) - I mean that is perfectly fine but I think it's just crazy that it was regarded "political suicide" if you criticized Washington openly... That's not really democratic and could have turned out really shitty if Washington wasn't such a good-hearted person and had the country's benefit and not his own in mind...

Especially in our day and age I think it is very important to be allowed to criticize politicians and leaders.

message 5: by Shanna (new)

Shanna (sblack) | 17 comments I totally agree about being able to criticize leaders. I teach my 8th graders about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they aren't always so willing to think citizens should criticize the government.

Speaking of criticizing the government and politicians who have their own interests at heart, I'm currently reading Dark Money: the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right. It is interesting to pair with this book because not only Hamilton, but all of them would have been losing their minds. I also couldn't believe I was reading two books that talked about securities and stocks and those kind of things and I wanted to kick myself.

I keep wondering if we have the ability to write and have that be a force for change in our current world. We are so saturated by information, would Hamilton's voice have stood out now and been able to guide the flow of the nation?

I think they would also be upset by the way our political parties are currently running. Party before country seems to be a common theme I am seeing in the Republicans currently. Of course there is this on the Democrat's side as well, I just have seen them more willing to compromise.

message 6: by leynes (new)

leynes | 36 comments Mod
Oh wow, being a teacher you have an amazing perspective on how younger people think. I am honestly surprised that some of your students think that we shouldn't criticize leaders. Please correct me if I'm wrong but you are from the US and teaching in the US, right? And especially with everything that is going on regarding the Trump Administration I find it surprising that they don't think that the media or private citizens should call out a president on his lies and problematic statements.

"Dark Money" sounds like a fascinating read. I was a little overwhelmed when Chernow explained Ham's financial system, the founding of the bank and the stock market, so I don't know if I would get anything out of it :D
I'm currently reading "Twelve Years A Slave" and it has given me an amazing perspective on things. It is sooo frustrating to think about the horrifying consequences which the founders could have prevented if they didn't decide to table the slavery debate in favor of the Southern states during the Philadelphia Convention and later on... I have honestly lost all tolerance for Jefferson (his exploitation of Sally Hemmings is just so disgusting and it makes me sick to my stomach that he never freed her)...

Your point on the oversaturation of information is really interesting as well. Of course it is harder to stand out in the mass of people who are tweeting, publishing, posting pictures etc. but I think Hamilton would have stood a good chance to make himself heard because he was so insatiable and had so many new things to bring the table... And he loves a good fight, so his controversial statements (esp. if he would have been a politician in the 21th century) would be covered by the media non-stop. ;)

I can make next to no comment on American politics because I'm not following them that closely (being from Germany and all...) but I have a hard time wrapping my head around a two-party-system in general. Here in Germany we have 5+ parties who are leading players in every election and different coalitions are formed every time which makes most people feel like they're represented in some way... I don't have an American viewpoint but it seems to me like one half of the people are winners (if they're Party gets elected) and the other half are losers and don't feel represented at all... It's such a complex topic though^^

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