Richard Buel, Jr.
Many people would be surprised to learn that the struggle between Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party and Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party defined--and jeopardized--the political life of the early American republic. America on the Brink looks at why the Federalists, who worked so hard to consolidate the federal government before 1800, went to great lengths to subvert it after Jefferson's election. In addition to taking the side of the British in the diplomatic dance before the war, the Federalists did everything they could to impede the prosecution of the war, even threatening the Madison Administration with a separate peace for New England in 1814. Readers fascinated by the world of the Founding Fathers will come away from this riveting account with a new appreciation for how close the new nation came to falling apart almost fifty years before the Civil War.
Introduction * The Combustibles * Massachusetts Ablaze * Dividing to Conquer * Paying the Piper * The Struggle over Declaring War * The Perils of Peace * Toward the Hartford Convention * Epilogue * Afterword