Ellis's own telling is more triumphal than critical. His list of the American Revolution's five major achievements is breathtaking: the first successful war for colonial independence in the modern era, the first nation-sized republic, the first truly secular state, the first attempt to apportion sovereignty (i.e., the state and national governments) and the creation of the two-party system.
Its two major tragedies will seem obvious to many, though probably not to the "divinely inspired" crowd: the failures to stop slavery and to find a place in the new nation for American Indians.
These defeats seem to affect almost every aspect of our history. Many opposed a national bank out of fear that a central government strong enough to establish one could abolish slavery, Ellis tells us. The Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation's size, showed there would be no saving the Indians east of the Mississippi and gave rise to the debate over slavery in the new territory, helping pave the way to the Civil War.
For more on the Founders' shortcomings, see Fun 4th of July Facts.