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Xiphias Gladius

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Thing I learned about Aaron Burr [Apr. 2nd, 2016|11:28 am]
Xiphias Gladius
When Aaron Burr was vice president of the United States, he was tried for treason for putting together a plan to conquer Louisiana and capture it from the United States, then conquering a big part of Texas, which was then part of Mexico which was then part of Spain, and then take the whole thing over for himself. Which would mean he'd have conquered the entire middle portion of the continent up to Canada.

To be fair-ish -- we're here talking about a part of the United States that was only just bought and wasn't really, like, INTEGRATED into the United States. And, while there was a lot of evidence for the plot, there's a good chance that it was made up.

Still -- the idea kind of gives a different image of Burr than the one that you get from the musical HAMILTON. Lis disagrees, saying that it's a logical progression of his character as the musical went on, after "The Room Where It Happens."

Me, I think there's something of a distinction between "I want to work my way into a position of influence in the government" and "why don't I just go ahead and conquer everything from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, and the Rio Grande to Canada?"

From: undauntra
2016-04-02 05:25 pm (UTC)
Sounds to me like an interesting AU premise.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-04-09 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm listening to "Wait For It" from the musical as I read this comment, and it .... doesn't sound like the sort of song written for a unilateral simplistic villain.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2016-04-03 04:32 pm (UTC)
I recommend Gore Vidal's book, Burr. It's a fictionalized account of Burr's life, presenting him in somewhat more sympathetic terms than he usually gets. Also, for a look at him from his daughter's perspective, there's My Theodosia by Anya Seaton. He gave his daughter the best education available, and she was arguably the equal of the most intelligent people in the world at the time. Then he married her off to a dull South Carolina politician, isolating her in a place where she felt alien and abandoned.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2016-04-03 06:00 pm (UTC)
Megalomania comes to mind.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-04-07 11:32 am (UTC)
Yes, although it looked a lot more plausible when no European power had a serious claim to the area, and the United States had no real ability to enforce its claim. Population density over that area was relatively low on average, since many of the First Nations who lived there were largely nomadic, and covered huge territories with very small populations by European standards.

I could see it as vaguely plausible, if not likely. I mean, the main problem is the same one that the United States itself ran into, and still deals with the fallout from: kind of ignoring the fact that there were people already living there who might have something to say about this whole thing.
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