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Founding Fathers

Overview
About The Founding Fathers
Fascinating Facts
The Papers of George Washington
George Washington's Farewell Address
The Papers of James Madison
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
Homes of the Founding Fathers
FOUNDING FATHERS QUIZ

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United States (U.S.) Founding Fathers

The U.S. Constitution brought together, in one remarkable document, ideas from many people and several existing documents, including the Articles of Confederation and Declaration of Independence. Those who made significant intellectual contributions to the Constitution are called the "Founding Fathers" of our country.

Many of the United States Founding Fathers were at the Constitutional Convention, where the Constitution was hammered out and ratified. George Washington, for example, presided over the Convention. James Madison, also present, wrote the document that formed the model for the Constitution.

Other U.S. Founding Fathers were not there, but made significant contributions in other ways. Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was serving as ambassador to France at the time of the Convention. He kept abreast of the proceedings in Philadelphia by carrying on correspondence with James Madison. John Adams, as ambassador to Great Britain, wrote "Defense of the Constitution of the Government of the United States of America." Thomas Paine wrote the influential pamphlet "Common Sense," which immeasurably influenced the philosophy reflected in the Declaration of Independence. One of the U.S. Founding Fathers, Patrick Henry, was initially opposed to the very idea of the Constitution! He wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor to the Constitution. However, when an agreement was made to add a "bill of rights" to the Constitution, Henry fought hard for its ratification.

The term "framers" is sometimes used to specify those who helped "craft" the Constitution. "Founding Fathers" often refers to people who contributed to the development of independence and nationhood. However, the notion of a "framer" or a "Founding Father" is not easily defined. For purposes of this website, "Founding Fathers" are individuals who had a significant impact on the Constitution either directly or indirectly. The following list is by no means complete, but it does identify people who played a large role in the development of the Constitution at this crucial time in American history.





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Awesome little book!

   "This is a great handbook to the Constitution and Founding Fathers. Perfect for any Government class in high school and a handy reference."

Stephanie Recore



A Must for Every American

   "This booklet is small enough to fit in a pocket, purse or backpack. I carry a copy in my attache case at all times. I have used and read through this so many times that I needed to buy another copy. Plus it is only $3! Eventually I would like to give a copy of this booklet to all Seniors taking American Government in High School. Personally, I think it is important for Americans to know about their Constitution and Founding Fathers to see how their government works."

Kevin Welker (Carey, OH USA



Good Reference

   "This book is a great reference for any student taking American history or someone who just wants to have it around the house. It has copies of all the important documents in our nation's history plus information about our U.S. Founding Fathers. It includes tons of quotes about both democracy and "the system" and is both informative and humorous. (And besides, it's only a few bucks, so what the heck, right?)"

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