What was Burr’s vision for America?
Burr oresaw a country that would stretch across the North American continentand take its place among the great nations o the globe. Others in his generationshared that view, but Burr was unique in his willingness to do something aboutit—that’s what the Western expedition was all about. Burr was not contentto wait or the Spanish empire to decay and or its colonies break o throughinsurrection; he wanted to liberate Spanish colonies by orce o arms and takethem! Having a pragmatic turn o mind, Burr avoided much o the politicaltheorizing that surrounded the Revolution and the ounding o the UnitedStates. As a New Yorker, though, he was sympathetic to business interests andthought the nation should support them. Indeed, he ounded the ancestor o Chase Manhattan bank.
What were some of his greatest achievements?
Burr never became president (or emperor), so he was unable to leave the sorto legacy he hoped to create. His ocus on the possibilities o the West helpedto orient Americans to the potential o that region and the opportunities orexpansion. Indeed, later leaders achieved much o the expansion he envisioned. Also, Burr proved adept at retail-level electoral politics, extending the principleso electioneering beyond the drawing rooms o the elite. His activities in New York during the presidential election o 1800 were a laboratory or the new artso attracting votes on a mass basis.
Why does Aaron Burr command attention today?
I would cite three eatures that make Burr worth a close look. He dreamed hugedreams and actually tried to make them come true. In some ways, he embodiedthe American dream on steroids: Go West, conquer huge territories, and launchyour own new nation! Tere is an outrageousness to Burr that is compellingand must be explored to be believed. In addition, he serves as a corrective tothe widespread deication o the other Founding Fathers. Burr was not shy