The Constitution of the United States was a result of a conglomerated effort, both fueled and inspired by the foremost of political thinkers and authors of the time. The framers of the Constitution are considered to be every individual involved in the construction of the document, from its inception to its actual penning. The Fathers of the Constitution are considered to include not only those members of the Continental Congress responsible for restructuring the perceived flaws of the Articles of Confederation, but also the representatives sent from all of the 13 states, which had a hand in its transformation.
Subsequent to the approval of the content of the Constitution, the document was sent to Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1787 to receive its final modifications. Pending the approval of the document itself at the Constitutional Convention, the Constitution was distributed to all 13 states of the United States in order to win the approval of at least 9 of those states - the ratification of the Constitution was commensurate on this.
Yet, most historians cannot agree on a conclusive Father of the Constitution. Although quite a few of the men present at the ratification of the Constitution have been credited with the honor of Framer of the Constitution, the following list illustrates the main contenders:
Alexander Hamilton, a representative from New York, as well as a renowned Federalist, has been credited with the initial ideology expressed in the Constitution. The practices that were proposed in his Federalist Papers, a direct explication of the perceived flaws of the Articles of Confederation, have been credited with both the inspiration and the framework of the Constitution.
James Madison, a Federalist credited with the collective authorship of the Federalist Papers, has been considered by many to be the Father of the Constitution. Due to his acumen in political thought and theory, he applied a majority of the tenets expressed in the Federalist Papers to the ideology of the Constitution, oftentimes regarded as providing the groundwork and structure to the document.
Thomas Jefferson, who has also been credited as the Father of the Declaration of Independence, as well as John Adams are both considered to be the primary framers of the Constitution. Yet, in an ironic turn of events, they were both in Europe on diplomatic assignment during the ratification of the Constitution - neither of the two signed the document.
Many historians argue that without Roger Sherman’s introduction of the Connecticut Plan, a selection process for individual State legislation, the ratification of the Constitution might never have taken place. As a result of his ingenuity and ability to meet the collective needs of all 13 states, he is credited as a Father of the Constitution.
Though historians might never agree on who was the single-most prominent Father of the Constitution, there exists at least one facet upon which a majority of historians agree: The framers of the Constitution were amongst the most innovative, revolutionary, and progressive political minds of their time.