Aaron Burr's Influence on the American Political System

Essay by inodapsHigh School, 11th grade June 2005

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Aaron Burr Refinement of the Political System

The constitution was adopted through the genius and brilliancy of Hamilton ("Hamilton and the U.S. Constitution"). His name was on every tongue, his picture was in every federal household. A magnificent float bearing his name was paraded through the streets of New York in celebration of the great event of the adoption of the constitution. His party was victorious at the polls, national and state level; he sat at the council board of the first president, honored and obeyed.

This great victory demolished the organization of the Sons of Liberty. Nevertheless, the spirit of discontent lurked in the hearts of its now disorganized members. Federalism to them was aristocracy, and aristocracy reigned. The time was at hand for organizing this discontent into a weapon for wresting the state from the hated champions of centralization and privileged interests.

It was the psychological moment. There was needed only a leader, a leader whose genius would rival Hamilton's, whose personality would inspire confidence, and whose courage would dispel fear. Such a one was at hand.

Fate and events had conspired to make Aaron Burr the rival of Hamilton. He was born of a parentage that has significantly influenced the course of scholarship in America. His father, Reverend Aaron Burr, was the distinguished president of Princeton College. His mother, Esther Edwards, was the gifted daughter of the most noted scholar of that period, Jonathan Edwards. These men's genes of brilliant mental talents were transmitted to Aaron. On the contrary, their moral sensitiveness and lofty idealism found no lodgment in his soul.

At the age of eleven, the intelligent boy was ready to enter Princeton. The faculty refused to grant him admission on the basis that...