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With this volume, published in 1965, Adrienne Koch provided other scholars, teachers and others interested in the formative period of the history of the United States was an invaluable collection of source documents. With these writings is revealed the thinking and principles of the five mean who arguably were most responsible for the system of governance that has operated in this nation for over two centuries. The letters of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Hamilton convey their hopes and fears for their own generation and for the future. If anything, the need to read and study the material contained in this volume is more critical today, in 2015, than ever before.
The founding generation recognized that the future would be fraught with dangers and attacks on the form of governance they fought for. Franklin expressed their sentiments well in a letter written in 1788 to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours (with whom he shared an adherence to the principles embraced by the writers of the Physiocratic school):
"The players of our game are so many, their ideas so different, their prejudices so strong and so various, and their particular interests, independent of the general, seeming so opposite, that not a move can be made that is not contested; the numerous objections confound the understanding; the wisest must agree to some unreasonable things, that reasonable ones of more consequence may be obtained; and thus chance has its share in many of the determinations, so that the play is more like tric-trac with a box of dice...."
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