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  • Bart Ridley

The World Was Wide Enough for Both Hamilton and Me

Disney + will begin streaming the film version of the musical Hamilton on July 3. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters in October 2021, but the release date was accelerated due to the pandemic.


I had the good fortune of seeing Hamilton on Broadway with my family in January. I went in cold with no expectations and nothing other than a very limited knowledge of the subject matter. The production did not disappoint. I highly recommend seeing it if you have not yet done so. For those that have seen it before, I expect that you already have it on your calendar to see it again on July 3 or shortly thereafter.



Singing, Dancing, and a History Lesson all in one.


Alexander Hamilton was a lawyer. His rival, Aaron Burr, was a lawyer. Both men were veterans of the Revolutionary War. Both men were leaders with aspirations for their newly formed country. They were not perfect men. Their relationship was contentious.

 

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

 

At the apex of their rivalry, Burr shot and killed Hamilton in a duel. The duel occurred early in the morning on July 11, 1804. Just a mere 28 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


The story of Alexander Hamilton and his rival Aaron Burr is a complicated tale. Yet in many ways it is the story of America.


Hamilton was an Idea Man. The animosity between Burr and Hamilton was based in part on their disagreement as to what America could and should be. Some 215 years after Hamilton’s death, the story of what America could and should be is still being debated.


As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day 2020 and the debates continue, my wish is that we listen to each other, treat everyone with respect, and work together on the true idea of America. In the musical, Aaron Burr basically acknowledges this point after his duel with Hamilton when he sings, “The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me.”


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