Ellis asserts in "Founding Brothers" that 1789-1799 was "the most crucial and consequential [decade] in American History [T]he subsequent political history of the United States then became an oscillation between new versions of the old tension . The source of the disagreement [involved] conflicting attitudes toward government itself, competing versions of citizenship, differing postures toward the twin goals of freedom and equality. But the key point is that the debate was not so resolved as built into the fabric of our national identity." Ellis's valid argument does not merely emphasize the significance of the debates occurring during the years of 1789 to 1799. Rather, he asserts that the ongoing arguments between Republicans and Federalists, individualists and nationalists, or Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians, regarding the ideological "true" meaning of the American Revolution, have been developed into the foundation of the United States, and have severely affected its future. The decade of 1789-1799 was full of constant "party wars" with both sides claiming to understand the full meaning of America's independence. The Republicans, under Jefferson and Madison, believed that individual rights are imperative to the success of the union rather than a strong federal government. The Federalists, under Hamilton, and to an extent Washington, believed the complete opposite: a strong government, with a strong central leader is necessary to maintain the political and economic success of the newly formed nation. Ellis's statement has been proven true because the issues that these two parties argued upon, such as the assumption of state debts and slavery, continued throughout the United States" ensuing future, and have thus become pillars of American society.
The topic of assumption of state debts by the federal government illustrates the broader argument of federalism versus republicanism, and has continued as an American economic disagreement many years after the American Revolution.