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American Founding Fathers

14 Jan

In 1973, historian Richard B. Morris identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. Today we are talking about 6 of them, their politics, contributions and influence in American History, described in a number of biographical works.

George Washington

An American politician and soldier who served as the first President of the United States, George Washington made a great contribution to American Society. He supported Alexander Hamilton's programs to satisfy all debts, federal and state, established a permanent seat of government, implemented an effective tax system, and created a national bank. By avoiding war with Great Britain, he guaranteed a decade of peace and profitable trade. He remained non-partisan, never joining the Federalist Party, although he largely supported its policies. George Washington's life has been the subject of numerous books:

John Adams

An American patriot who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and the first Vice President (1789–97), John Adams was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist. As a Founding Father, he was a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, and played a crucial role in the creation of the Massachusetts Constitution, which is currently the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world. Adams abhorred the concept of slavery, never bought slaves, and refused to use slave labor. However, in politics he avoided the issue of slavery in order to maintain the unity of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson

A prominent figure in the American Revolutionary War, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809, Thomas Jefferson was an outstanding politician, diplomat and philosopher. He is also remembered as a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights. The most notable events of Jefferson's presidency were the Louisiana Purchase (1803), which almost doubled the country's territory, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806). Being deeply religious, as president Jefferson compiled his own version of the New Testament known today as the "Jefferson Bible".

In a letter to John Adams he wrote:

James Madison

An American statesman who served as the fourth President of the United States, from 1809 to 1817, James Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Madison's political views changed throughout his life. During deliberations on the Constitution, he favored a strong national government, but later preferred stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes later in his life.

James Monroe

An American statesman who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825, James Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States. James Monroe was one of the organizers of the Louisiana Purchase, and the developer of the U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas. Known as the Monroe Doctrine, it became a landmark in American foreign policy.

Benjamin Franklin

A renowned polymath who succeeded as a printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, scientist and politician, Benjamin Franklin was one of the leaders of the American Revolutionary War. He earned the title of "The First American" for his indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment, and in the history of physics he is remembered for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.

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