Day 2

Founding Brothers Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    What are Ellis's goals in this chapter? How does he organize the chapter to achieve them?

    Students should identify that Ellis begins with the smallest possible version of the story, a paragraph-long account of the duel, and gradually expands his focus to include the Hamilton-Burr correspondence leading up to the duel, their longer history as political adversaries, and eventually the duel as representing a political and ethical struggle over the fate of the newly-formed republic. Ellis's goals here could be to tie one of the most narratively interesting episodes in the country's founding to larger political dynamics; to portray historical figures as complex characters whose...

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