Writing Homework Eleven Student One

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Sean N.

The Argument in the Undiscovered Country [GOOD TITLE]

Dear reader, please for a moment surrender your imagination to the written word, let reality bend, and follow the page to a different place. Come along to somewhere not of this world, of this life, to Limbo, to the banks of the Styx, where the dead wait. Gaze upon Charon at his ferry, watch Virgil and Dante go on their most magnificent tour, and listen to the sounds of Tartarus and Hell on one side and the choirs of soft voices on the other. Turn and look, there are two men, great men whose voices and words changed the world, and whose spirits now ponder its current conditions. The pair are Americans, or were for that matter, one is Andrew Hamilton, who most justly defended Peter Zenger and the other is John Adams, who once, as president, led the noble union of which we know and cherish. We step closer as the two talk and argue, what was said before we arrived we do not know, but we may listen to their duel and gain wisdom from it. [TERRIFIC OPENING PARAGRAPH!]

Andrew Hamilton: Mr. Attorney, I must be plain and particular, the oppression of free speech soon leads to the oppression of all liberties. By taking away that right from but a few, you start down that path to injustice. Free men have a claim to speak their minds, no matter what their thoughts are.

John Adams: My dear Mr. Hamilton as Dr. Tillotson once said “Ignorance and Inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind” if we let the ignorant spread their malice and mistruths, we have let ruin spread. You make it sound as if I want to censure the presses, I merely wish to silence the voice of hate.

Andrew Hamilton: But we are not talking of just one person, just one poor printer, or just one small speech. No, we are talking of the rights of all Americans, and by the censure of one, you censure them all. It is a dangerous slope on which you tread, Mr. Attorney.

John Adams: We have been on this side of Jerusalem for a long time, you and I, and much has past that will strengthen my argument. How much sway is in this evidence, I leave you to determine....

The former president waves his hand, and in the curling smoke and rime, rising from the River Styx, color begins to swirl and take shape. Like a tapestry of fog an image forms. A man giving a fiery speech to a cheering crowd, the words he speaks are cruel horrible things, but he says them well, and he bends and shapes the crowd, like a sculptor at the marble. [VERY GOOD WRITING] This powerful and terrible man lead his country to evil things, he would be the scourge of Europe, the man that ["WHO", NOT "THAT"] would make the Second Great War immortal. [EXCELLENT - YOU PAINT THE IMAGE WELL WITH WORDS]

John Adams: What if he had been silenced, what of that Hamilton, what lives could have been saved. The means by which one goes about stopping such a being, can surely be redeemed if they prevent such acts as that man committed. Would not the lives of so many millions be worth that censure?

Andrew Hamilton: You claim what is shown was the result of no censure,nay, what it truly was, what was really shown, was the censure of good men. That beast made sure to silence the little presses, before he spoke such words. Those who gave the utmost care to preserve liberty were silenced on the grounds that their ignorance would “...let ruin spread...” as you put it so sublimely, Mr. Attorney.

John Adams: Those men did not speak out until it was too late, they ,as you, scoffed at first, and told themselves a man has a right to say what he thinks, and when they sat idle his power grew.

Andrew Hamilton: Mr. Attorney, government is like a great river, when kept in its bank it is beautiful and useful, but when it grows too large and floods, it causes irreparable damage. Let me now bring evidence for you to judge...

The older man waved his hand in a similar fashion as Adams had. In the swirling mist a new tapestry arose, one of a frozen waste, of a camp where inmates without names endured the cold. Political prisoners, locked up for their voices, cast into the deep cold so that the one party may go unchecked.

Andrew Hamilton: This is your silence of the ignorance, this is your means by which the greater innocence is preserved. Mr. Attorney, you know well that without liberty life is a misery. This is why a Man’s speech should not be hushed.

John Adams: Then what say you of the present ignorant, those who claim that God hates the Jews, that he hates those who prefer the same sex. The Hateful Ignorants have their freedom of worship, but they have no right to call death upon others, they have no right to speak such blights at the funeral of a fallen soldier. Their hate and blaspheme at first appalls, but their poison words soon spread and other like-minded fools feel secure in taking unjust actions against the innocent. That, after all, was the purpose of our most respected constitution, was it not, to protect the weak, to let them live their own lives without fear of death or harassment, from bigots, because of race, religion, or preference. Is that not why we have our constitution?

Andrew Hamilton: What you claim we should do is a terrifying thing, not because it is cruel, or because it is evil, but because it would be so easy to do. If we could but silence hate and lies, if we could but do that so much would be saved. Can it be done, Mr. Attorney, without causing the hate it sought to prevent? Nay, nay it cannot, if we silence one voice, it is too easy to silence the next, and in moments the voice of freedom is lost. The right to speak one's mind, that right of Freedom of Speech, that is the foundation on which ourselves, our posterity and our neighbors have built our justice. It must remain untouched, unsullied, and uncensored.

And so we leave the two lawyers, or former lawyers, they will argue more, of similar and different things, others will join the discussions, and words and speeches that mirror their old lives will be given. They have eternity to do as they please, and as most great speakers please, the wish to argue matters, whether or not they can change those things at all.

Brief Biography of the Cast

Andrew Hamilton was born in Scotland circa 1676, later in his life he Emigrated [LOWERCASE "E"] to Virginia. In Virginia he married into influence and pursued his career in law. Hamilton is most famous for his defense of Peter Zenger. Zenger published an article, a completely true article, about how the Governor of Virginia had tried to rig the elections. Even though what he said was true, Zenger was still guilty of libel, and was to be tried for it. Hamilton took the case pro bono, he was an advocate of free speech and eager for such an opportunity. Hamilton had Zenger acquitted even though he was guilty, this is known as jury nullification. Zenger's acquittal made other newspapers feel secure in printing the truth, this paved the way for the American Revolution. Jury Nullification is now a key part of our justice system, it is one of the many ways citizens are protected. It should be noted that Hamilton was not a Founding Father and was not alive at the time of the revolution.

John Adams born October 30th 1735, he was a president, statesman, diplomat and Founding Father, however, above all else he was a lawyer. Adams was born in Massachusetts, he went to Harvard University and studied law. Adams’ presidency was not very successful, the shame of the X,Y,Z Affair was a disgrace to the presidency. Adams was one of the finest lawyers the world has ever known, and excelled in court. He is famous for the defense of the British Soldiers of the “Boston Massacre” an event that helped light the fire of the revolution. Adams’ skills as a lawyer probably led to his failed presidency, he argued with everyone, even his own cabinet. As a Founding Father his political ideals and belief in a strong republic led this nation to the greatness it has now attained, and for that we are eternally grateful to him.

Adams was chosen to argue because in his time as president he censured the press’s criticism of his administration. Hamilton was chosen for the argument because of his defense of free speech.