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The Founding Fathers

A Short Biography of George Washington

A Short Biography of George Washington

From 1789-1797, George Washington served as the first President of the United States of America. Washington is regarded as the “Father of the United States” for his numerous achievements, most notably his role as commander of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and his unyielding efforts to formulate a unified and efficient country.

Washington’s intelligence, charisma, and military experience made him perhaps the most successful and revered general in United States history. Aside from his remarkable accomplishments, Washington’s achievements went beyond the war, extending to the formation of America and the creation of the United States Constitution. Although his closest advisers (Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton) respectively positioned themselves within the Anti-Federalist and Federalist factions, George Washington never affiliated himself with a political party.

The first President of the United States believed that political parties would create stagnation and the creation of opposing sides would impede the collective goals of the country. In regards to the creation of the Constitution, George Washington must be held separate from his fellow Founding Fathers. During the Revolution, Washington was busy
fighting and leading armies to victory over British factions. The “Father of the United States” was tangled in a war, while his fellow intellects were busy contemplating the future and structure of the United States Government.

That being said, in a popular George Washington biography-The Real George Washington-it was revealed that the first President was quite skeptical over the creation of a Constitution. In the George Washington biography, he is quoted as saying, “I almost despair of seeing a favorable issue to the proceedings of the convention, and do therefore repent having any agency in the business.” George Washington’s uneasiness in regards to the Constitution stemmed from a bipartisan sentiment. The goal of finding compromise, of pleasing both contrasting parties, seemed beyond arduous.

Washington had similar fears to prominent Anti-Federalist Party members. He believed that America should be reticent towards the creation of a Federal Government and avoid similar tyrannous actions imposed by the British Parliament. Washington eventually agreed to preside over the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 and oversee the drafting of the United States Constitution. The first President felt as though the original Articles of Confederation severely lacked in finding an appropriate balance of powers. In addition, events such as Shay’s Rebellion and the crippling effects of war, enlightened George Washington to the need of a functional and powerful central Government.

Through the George Washington biography, his sentiments over an empowered Federal Government became transparent. Washington, who was a general at heart, believed that the army needed proper funding and stability to perform its critical duties. Washington’s biggest fear was a nation with a weak heart, one that could be taken over with an effortless assault. Following the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, George
Washington was viewed as the leader of the newly found America. Due in large part to his heroic military efforts, he was lauded as an exemplary Republican and true warrior.

Although not intended to join the Constitutional Convention, Washington was unanimously elected President. Washington rarely participated in debates, but as the need for a national President grew, the delegates of the Constitutional Convention were all aware of the appropriate choice. George Washington received 100% of the electoral vote and
assumed the role of President in 1789. Immediately upon entering office, his support and prestige convinced the 13 states to unanimously ratify the American Constitution.

Who Is George Mason

Who Is George Mason

A delegate from Virginia to the United States Constitutional Convention, George Mason (along with James Madison) is commonly referred to as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”. Unlike Madison, however, George Mason never wavered on his political stances.

Mason was a staunch proponent for the inclusion of individual liberties into the United States Constitution. The patriot from Virginia believed that the Federal Government should be limited in power, and states in congruency with the country’s well-being should have the ability to govern themselves. Mason’s influence can be traced back to 1776, when he first served at the Virginia Convention in Williamsburg.

Mason, a die-hard advocate for individual freedoms, authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776. George Mason firmly believed that the success of a nation depended on the happiness and individuality of its people. A substantial member of the Anti-Federalist movement, Mason felt as though the components that make up the government are more important than the government itself. This individualist sentiment was captured in Mason’s creation of his State’s Constitution.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights was the first document in American History to concretely outline a series of individual rights as they pertained to the greater good of the government. The Virginia Declaration of Rights was the most influential State doctrine and the precursor for the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution.

In 1786, Mason was appointed to represent Virginia as a delegate to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia. The purpose of the meeting was to revise the Articles of Confederation and find an appropriate balancing of powers between the individual, the states, and the Federal Government. While at the meetings, Mason grew frustrated and uncommonly reserved. He refused to sign the ratification of The amended Constitution due to the absence of individual rights.

Many historians have claimed that Mason’s refusal to compromise with the ratification process cost him close friendships with George Washington and other proponents of an empowered centralized government. As a result of his unwavering stance, Mason’s popularity and historical recognition severely waned. Following the meetings, Mason and his fellow supporters moved back to Virginia where the Anti-Federalist Party continued to preach the necessity of a Bill of Rights.

The stance taken by the Anti-Federalist Party was a fervent one; they believed that the newly founded country was ironically and shamefully steering a course of government reminiscent of the authoritative British Parliament. Mason felt that a strong central government would abuse its power and eventually lose sight of the country’s needs and vision. In response to the Anti-Federalist Party’s inertia, the Constitution was again up for revision in 1791.

Primarily influenced by George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15th, 1791. James Madison, the author of the first 10 Amendments, was originally a member of the Federalist Party and proponent of a strong federal government. Whether Madison authored the Bill of Rights due to a change in personal belief or because he needed Mason’s support and the subsequent Virginia vote is still questioned to this day. What is known, however, is that without Mason’s unyielding efforts, the inclusion of individual rights in the U.S. Constitution would have been in serious limbo and perhaps never solidified.

Who Is Patrick Henry

Who Is Patrick Henry

From 1776-1779 and 1784-1786,
Patrick Henry served multiple terms as post-colonial Governor of Virginia.
Henry, who is most widely remembered for his rousing “give me liberty give
me death” speech, is considered one of the most influential and radical Founding
Fathers in United States history.

All Founding Fathers had an
influence in the creation of the American Constitution or the separation from
the British Monarch, the means or efforts, however, vary in terms of ferocity
and candidness. Along with Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry is
commonly referred to as the most boisterous advocate for the American
Revolution, and more specifically, Republicanism.

Patrick Henry was a firm
believer in “clean” governments and refused to accept corruption
among Government officials. Henry’s fervent beliefs on Government actions
greatly augmented a unifying uprising against British rule. Some of the chief
causes of the Revolutionary War simply stemmed from influence and rhetoric of
various leaders such as Patrick Henry.
 

During the mid-1760s, to fund wars and balance a deficit, the
British imposed a series of levies on consumer goods and imports. In response
to the unjust Stamp Act of 1765, Patrick Henry published what is commonly
referred to as the most anti-British piece of legislation ever. Although Henry
was considered just a rookie in Virginia’s legislative body (House of
Burgesses), the young politician successfully produced and argued for the
passing of the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions.

The proposal, written by Henry,
contained such extreme language that it is commonly referred to as one of the
significant causes of the Revolutionary War. Patrick Henry stated the violation
of many principles within the document, including Britain’s unfair enforcement
of taxation on citizens not represented by Parliament. Since America was
founded, British law claimed that the colonials would only be taxed by
governing bodies which represented them. The Stamp Act was a prime example of
treason and one of the many significant causes of the Revolutionary War.
Enraged by the tyrannous actions of the British government, Patrick Henry
vehemently sought justice through passionate and defiant speeches.

On March 23rd, 1775, the House of Burgesses was vacillating
between mobilizing an army against the British Empire or withholding troops and
continuing a non-active approach. Although the exact words of the speech are
debated, Patrick Henry gave an impassioned rallying cry to his fellow
politicians in the favor of mobilization. Henry concluded his speech with what
is now regarded as immortalized American rhetoric, “Is life so dear, or
peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid
it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give
me Liberty, or give me Death!” The crowd in response to such a powerful
speech rose to their collective feet and let out a raucous yell in support of
mobilization. Powerful words such as these were a great spark and one of the
causes of the Revolutionary War.
 

During the Revolutionary War Patrick Henry served as a colonel of
the 1st Virginia Regiment and led the militia to victory in numerous battles.
Following the war, Henry retained his position as Governor of Virginia in 1784.
Although invited, Henry strongly disfavored the Constitution and refused to
attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Henry was a strong supporter of
individual freedoms and firm believer in the attainment of State rights.
Ashamed by the power awarded to the central government, Henry led his fellow
Virginians to reject the ratification of the United States Constitution.

Patrick Henry was arguably the
leading and most influential member of the Anti-Federalist Party. Before he
passed away in 1799 Henry promised himself and his fellow supporters that a Bill
of Rights would be included in the amended Constitution. Along with other Founding
Fathers, Patrick Henry was influential in the adoption and increased momentum
for the inclusion of individual rights in the Constitution. Although an arduous
process, Henry eventually reached his goal, for the first 10 Amendments of the
United States Constitution unequivocally grants freedoms and liberties to the
individual American.


 

Who Is Roger Sherman

Who Is Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman
was the only Founding Father to have signed what is now considered the four
great state papers of the United States of America: the Continental
Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation,
and the United States Constitution. Roger Sherman was a prominent politician
who served on the Committee responsible for drafting the Declaration of
Independence.

In contrast
to more radical or boisterous Founding Fathers, Roger Sherman was a reserved
man, focused primarily on the legal system of America. Sherman served as the
Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and quickly grew a mountain of wealth that
earned him both power and respect. His peers viewed him as an honest, educated
man who perceived the Revolution as an economical and legal issue.

Roger Sherman greatly resented Parliament and
their unjust taxation methods. An active and influential member of the
Continental Congress, Sherman was one of the first Founding Fathers to deny the
supremacy of Parliament. He believed that the British government had no legal
justification to enforce laws or levy taxes on American settlers.

Although
conservative, Roger Sherman quickly became a leader in Revolutionary politics.
Even though the prominent politician was staunchly against British politics,
Sherman still believed that a central government was necessary for the
betterment of man. Sherman originally favored the Articles of Confederation. While
in Congress he drafted a series of amendments which attempted to solidify the
powers of the central government.

Along with
supporters, the Mayor of New Haven envisioned a government stable enough to
levy taxes, establish a Supreme Court, and create a set of legal codes that all
of society would follow. Sherman’s efforts, unlike George Mason or Patrick Henry,
were not focused on the rights of the individual, but instead, on the process
of electing officials and balancing powers within the Federal Government.

When various Founding Fathers and State leaders
met at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 their objective was clear. The
Articles of Confederation represented the first true form of Constitution in
American history. Like many first drafts, the Articles of Confederation was met
with great skepticism. Sherman and the other prominent figures set out to amend
the Articles and create a document that unified, as well as successfully
established, America as a functional and progressive nation.

In response
to the objective, Roger Sherman proposed what is now known as his greatest
accomplishment to American History. The Great Compromise, or Tennessee
Compromise, was introduced by Sherman during the Constitutional Convention and
aimed to organize the inner-workings of the Federal Government. The Great
Compromise was created to alleviate a long struggle regarding State
representation. When the Articles were drafted, the separation of powers
between large and small states were askew. In the Great Compromise Roger
Sherman essentially created the bicameral legislature which resulted in the
current formation of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

The
bicameral legislation (lower House and upper House) in the Great Compromise
featured a legislative structure that balanced powers between heavily-populated
states and their smaller counterparts. The lower House favored the larger
states and based representation on the population of the State. Candidates were
to be elected by the people of the particular State in proportion to the
population. Membership in the upper House, however, was not based on population
and instead allocated two seats to each State regardless of size. Upper House
(presently the Senate) officials were elected by State legislatures until
ratification of the 17th Amendment awarded that right to the people. The Great
Compromise lead the way for the creation of the United States Senate and House
of Representatives and successfully balanced the powers between large and small
states.

Who Are The Founding Fathers

Who Are The Founding Fathers

Background 

The Founding Fathers were a group of prominent American colonialists, responsible for the creation of the U.S Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers of America were various statesmen, politicians, intellects, and authors. They were renaissance men of sorts, responsible for a multitude of societal contributions. The American Revolution, sparked by unjust taxation and a suffocating British Parliament, was intensified through the teachings and influence of such men. 
Although their methods and political thoughts varied, the Founding Fathers all contributed in the unification of America and the subsequent formation of a balanced governing system. Following the Revolutionary War the country needed to adopt a doctrine that would organize and balance the powers of a newly formed government. An arduous task, indeed, the Founding Fathers eventually reached a compromise that distributed powers between the individual colonialist, the Federal Government, and the states.
Alexander Hamilton
A respected leader of the Federalist Party, Alexander Hamilton viewed an empowered central government as the means to a functional society. Hamilton was a cynic at heart. He distrusted individuals from making aggregate decisions. Although coming off a Revolution against an authoritative rule, Hamilton believed that an empowered central government was necessary to properly administer adequate taxation, foreign policy, and legal systems. Faced with anti-Federalist opposition, Hamilton gathered his fellow supporters and produced a series of publications known as the Federalist Papers. The collection of 85 essays was aimed to educate the masses as well as spark Federalist momentum. 
The Federalist Papers, by revealing the connotation of the Constitution, aimed to ratify the legislative document and further empower the Federal Government. Hamilton and his fellow peers were disgusted by the separation of powers outlined in the original context. Too much power was awarded to the states, the country became fragmented, and the taxation/legal system was completely inept. Hamilton and his prominent counterparts eventually reached a compromise: power was awarded to the Federal Government to tax and enforce laws, but the states and individuals also enjoyed various liberties and voting privileges.
Thomas Jefferson


A Summary View of the Rights of British America, Jefferson’s first published work, attacked the British rule as a direct violation against human rights. Jefferson’s thesis and overwhelming ideology revolved around the basic rights of man and the direct attempt by the Parliament to impede such liberties. Following the outbreak of the Revolutionary War Congress appointed a five man committee to author the Declaration of Independence. As a result of his literary genius, Jefferson authored the historical document and quickly became regarded as a thought-provoking leader for the establishment of human rights. During the Constitutional Convention, Jefferson was abroad serving as a diplomat. Although absent, his viewpoints and desire for the inclusion of individual rights were expressed through the Anti-Federalist Party.
Thomas Paine

In Common Sense, Thomas Paine successfully ignited and augmented anti-British sentiments that aided in fueling the American Revolution. Referred to as the “Father of the American Revolution”, Paine effectively spread the thoughts of Republicanism and boosted enthusiasm for American sovereignty. Common Sense separated itself from other anti-British literature. The pamphlet used concise writing to which the average colonialist could relate. Through his writing, Paine offered American settlers an ultimatum: fight for your freedom or take a risk and live life under a dominating and tyrannous British government. 
Common Sense was a rallying cry for the American Revolution. The book was read out loud in local taverns and to militiamen eager to fight the British forces. Although seen as a radical, Thomas Paine’s influence towards sparking a revolution cannot be questioned.

The Short Biography Of Thomas Jefferson

The Short Biography Of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas
Jefferson, widely considered one of the most respected and influential of the Founding
Fathers, served as both President of the United States and principle author to
the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson constantly promoted his ideas of
liberty and Republicanism in the attempt to thwart British imperialism and
provide a new democracy for the American people.

Dissimilar
to many colonial politicians or Founding Fathers, Jefferson was considered a
worldly politician. He was a man of the Enlightenment and routinely made trips
overseas to interact with foreign intellects. The prominent Founding Father
believed in the separation of church and state, and a balancing of powers
between federal and local governments. Jeffersonian Democracy often showed discontent
for authoritative governments, for it distrusted large empires, cities, and
financiers.

In his first published work, A Summary View of the rights of
British America,
 Jefferson
outlined the injustices of the British Parliament and cited numerous violations
against natural laws. Many of the Founding Fathers authored publications that
denounced unjust British taxation as a violation against Constitutional or
tangible laws. Jefferson, however, attacked the levies as an inequity against
human rights.

Jefferson
radically believed that colonists possessed “natural” rights to
govern themselves and the reach of the British rule did not extend to
infiltrate the colonial way of life. Like the other anti-British publications,
 A Summary View of the Rights of British America did concretely expose the
legality issues involved in taxation of colonies that were not overseen by the
Parliament. However, Jefferson’s overwhelming thesis revolved around the basic
rights of the individual and the necessity of separated life from government.

The
publication, represented by the Virginia Delegation, was originally intended to
be delivered at the first Continental Congress. However, Jefferson’s ideas were
simply viewed as too radical. Although the pamphlet failed to reach State
leaders in the Congress, it still served as a critical rallying cry used to
spark the Revolution.

Shortly following the outbreak of the
Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson served as a delegate to the Second
Continental Congress in June of 1775. Although the war already commenced,
Congress felt the necessity to fully establish independence with the
drafting of an official document. As a result of his influence and literary skills,
Jefferson was appointed to a five man committee responsible for authoring the
Declaration of Independence.

Using the
Virginia Constitution as his framework, Jefferson was given chief
responsibility to author the historical document. Even though a quarter of the
original text was deleted, the Declaration of Independence was approved on July
4th, 1776, and served as Jefferson’s most notable and stunning achievement. The
Preamble of the Declaration is still considered one of the most revolutionary
and thought-provoking literary passages on human rights.

Thomas Jefferson returned to Virginia and served
as governor and delegate through 1784. While in office, Jefferson set out to
reform Virginia’s system of laws to better reflect the State’s new status as a
democratic jurisdiction. Along with transforming the education system,
Jefferson established freedom of religion and organized the judicial system for
streamlining purposes. Jefferson also eliminated capital punishment for all
crimes other than murder and treason.

Following
his work in Virginia, Jefferson served as a minister to France from 1785-1789.
Although his abroad status disabled Jefferson from attending the Philadelphia
Convention, he was informed of the specifics and events that led up to the drafting
of the American Constitution.

The author
of the Declaration of Independence was commonly distraught over the lack of
individual freedoms within the document, but generally supported the principles
and ideology of the Constitution. Jefferson’s absence in the drafting of the
Constitution was severely missed. However, his words and teachings perpetually
loomed over the Founding Fathers in attendance. When Jefferson was elected
President in 1801 his impact grew larger as he purchased the Louisiana Territory,
repealed numerous Federal taxes, barred slavery importation, and further
progressed individual rights and thought.

Who Is Thomas Paine

Who Is Thomas Paine

Through his
widely-read pamphlet,
 Common Sense, the words and teachings of
Thomas Paine eventually sparked a following necessary for the American
Revolution. Thomas Paine, a founding father of the United States of America,
was considered a radical intellectual who doggedly advocated colonial America’s
sovereignty from Great Britain’s Monarch. Mostly for his work in
 Common Sense, Paine is referred to as the “The Father of the American
Revolution.”
 

Common Sense was published on January 10,
1776 and quickly became a best-selling piece of literature. The pamphlet which
began circulation following the outbreak of the Revolutionary War was adopted
as a way of life for many American settlers. The words were read out loud in
taverns and small gatherings, effectively spreading the thoughts of
Republicanism and boosting enthusiasm for a separation from British rule.
 

Common Sense strayed away from the generic
anti-British publication; it was a radical, pro-active approach, aimed at
unifying and mobilizing militias to physically fight for freedom. Although
considered crazed by some, Thomas Paine effectively harnessed the emotion of
American settlers and unified them into a widespread uprising against British
rule.

Dissimilar to other influential works of 18th Century
literature,
 Common Sense offered the reader an ultimatum of sorts. The pamphlet’s
objective was to connect with the individual. It was meant to offer a glimpse
into the future. Thomas Paine wanted the reader to ask him/herself a pretty
simple, yet seldom discussed question.
 Common Sense provided a new argument for independence. It compelled
the reader to question what the future would be like under British rule. When
individuals read the pamphlet they pondered the true power of tyranny and how
it could negatively strip society of individuality and freedom. Part of Thomas
Paine’s brilliance was found in his concise and easy-to-follow writing. Unlike
other publications, Paine’s writing style was simple. The average settler could
follow along and be able to attach his/her emotions to the work.

The
political writing was intended to be informal; Paine wanted to mobilize the
Continental Army to fight against British rule. Paine’s objective was not to
reach the statesmen or prominent figures of the colonies, but instead the
average men and women of society who were directly oppressed by Britain’s
unjust taxation and cruel punishments. Although
 Common Sense effectively united colonists together and spawned an
anti-British sentiment, it was referred by many as simply a radical and
untrustworthy source.

A group of
powerful and respected colonists viewed Thomas Paine as a fraud and his
writings as a poisonous attempt to start a Revolution. John Adams and other
influential politicians believed that
 Common Sense was inherently dangerous and would eventually create a radical
democracy unable to properly govern its people.

Following the release of Common Sense, Thomas Paine was quickly thrown into a world of
controversy and scandal. Paine was elected to the Congressional Committee on
Foreign Affairs in 1777, but was quickly relieved of his post following secret
negotiations with France. Thomas Paine was a man obsessed with Revolution and
the fight towards freedom. Following his termination from the Congressional Committee
on Foreign Affairs, Paine stepped out of the spotlight only to later return
with influential works revolving around the French Revolution.

Thomas Paine’s
works and influence may be questioned, but his intentions and his desire to
spark Revolution are undoubted. His words were awe-inspiring and often used to
boost morale of troops during times of war. Without the words of
 Common Sense and Paine’s influence, the rallying cry of American colonists
during the Revolution would have been undeniably softer.

Who Is James Madison

Who Is James Madison

James
Madison was an innovative political philosopher and the 4th President of the
United States of America. Madison is one of the more unique Founding Fathers,
for his interpretation on the inclusion of individual rights in the Constitution
drastically shifted.

Known as the
“Father of the Constitution”, Madison was the principle author of the
Bill of Rights and a leader in the first United States Congress. The
fluctuation in Madison’s ideology stemmed from his jump from the Federalist Party
to the Anti-Federalist Party. Madison originally was a principle author of the
 Federalist Papers and stressed the importance
of an appropriate balance of powers between the Federal and State governments.
In many of the Federalist publications Madison claimed that a large country
with an assortment of interests could better support republican values, more so
than a fragmented country with individual governments. Although this
interpretation was ignored at the time, the viewpoints expressed were adopted
by the Pluralist Party in the 20th Century.

Along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton,
Madison sought to overhaul the Articles of Confederation and alter the document’s
drastic separation of powers between the State and central governments. At the
Philadelphia Convention in 1787, the often shy Madison proposed the Virginia
Plan, which in essence was the establishment of the modern three-branch Federal
system. Madison’s intent in congruency with the
 Federalist platform was to create a powerful and efficient central
government capable of overruling State actions.

During
ratification meetings and open forums, Madison consistently argued for the
proposed 3-branch system and claimed that individual liberties or empowered State
governments would impede the long term goals of a newly founded nation. In the
late 1780s, Patrick Henry and George Mason desired an inclusion of individual
liberties (the Bill of Rights) into the United States Constitution. These men
as well as other supporters of the Bill of Rights were considered opposition to
James Madison and prominent Federalist leaders. Although the stances seemed
concrete, Madison later acknowledged the points raised by the Anti-Federalists
and quickly focused his energies on authoring a set of Amendments which
guaranteed the individual definitive liberties.

The initial stance taken by Madison revolved
around the separation of powers and the need for a fully functional Federal Government.
Madison originally claimed that the inclusion of individual rights
was superfluous; the original Constitution inherently offered such rights
through interpretation. The influential politician felt as though individual
rights were not as crucial as empowering the central government. Madison also
believed that State governments already offered a series of individual freedoms
and their success generally proved futile.

The
Democracy of America proved to be the Federalist Party’s largest barrier. In
order for the original Constitution to be ratified the states had to agree on
the principles outlined in a 3/4 majority vote. Although his intentions are
still cloudy, many believe that Madison eventually authored the Bill of Rights
to appease the Anti-Federalist Party in a compromise to ratify the three-branch
Federal system and original Constitution.

James
Madison offered a series of 12 proposed Amendments in June of 1789. The
proposed package contained a plethora of individual liberties that still
preside over society today. The proposal was later ratified to 10 Amendments
and the official United States Bill of Rights was included in the Constitution
in 1791. Whatever his intentions may have been, Madison authored arguably the
most significant set of individual freedoms found in the United States’
principle legal doctrine.

James Madison’s drastic political shift became
more conspicuous after the adoption of the Bill of Rights. While serving in
Congress Madison joined forces with Thomas Jefferson in an attempt to limit the
power of the Federal Government. Madison, along with Anti-Federalist Party
members, grew horrified at George Washington and Alexander Hamilton’s efforts
to build a government reminiscent of the abusive and tyrannous British
Parliament.

Madison and
Jefferson shared similar viewpoints up until 1812, where the war exposed
America’s ineptness in the form of a weak centralized government. Although
historians have disagreed on Madison’s political vacillations, his efforts,
accomplishments (most notably the Bill of Rights), and impact on American
society cannot be ignored.

Who Is John Adams

Who Is John Adams

John Adams,
one of the most prominent and influential Founding Fathers in American history,
played a critical role in the development of the newly found United States.
Adams, who served as both Vice President and President of the United States,
was considered a revolutionary political philosopher and innovative
sociological thinker.

John Adams
first came to prominence during the early years of the American Revolution as a
delegate from Massachusetts. During meetings of the Continental Congress, Adams
persuaded other Founding Fathers into drafting the Declaration of Independence,
which would solidify America’s standing as a free sovereign nation.

John Adams’ role in the drafting of the
Declaration of Independence was spawned through repeated attempts by
Parliament’s unjust taxation methods on American colonialists. In 1765, the
British Parliament enforced the Stamp Act without consulting American
legislatures. The Act effectively required all colonial publications to be
produced on specific paper produced in London and also enforced a hefty tax on
mandatory British stamps. The Parliament instituted such an Act to raise money
for their army which they viewed as a necessary resource for the American
colonies.

In response
to this unjust taxation, Adams, as well as other prominent leaders, vehemently
protested by publishing articles outlining the tyrannous actions of Parliament.
The main argument offered by Adams revolved around British attempts to deny
American colonists the two basic rights previously guaranteed to all settlers.
The “Braintree Instructions”, the publication written by John Adams,
outlined that the rights to be taxed only by consent and to be tried only by a
jury of one’s peers were directly violated through the Stamp Act of 1765.

The unrighteous actions and violation of civil
rights by the Parliament propelled John Adams into a prominent leadership role
within the United States Continental Congress. As disfavor grew, Adams swore to
focus his energies on separation from the British government. In 1775, Adams
appointed George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the United States
army. Over the subsequent decade, as battles waged on, John Adams urged the
colonies to begin deliberating to solidify local governments through the
adoption of constitutions. Strongly influenced by Adams, this movement sparked
the creation of independent governing State bodies.

John Adams
quickly became regarded as the prominent source for the development of local
governments and solidified this notion with the publishing of his pamphlet “Thoughts of Government.”
 There were many influential
documents published during this era, which enlightened individuals and leaders
to separate governing bodies and the power of free thought. “Thoughts on Government” focused on
the art of politics and the powerful guidance it contains in regards to social
function and human happiness. Adams’ philosophy was simple: the government
should be given power and established to meet the needs and desires of the
individual.

In “Thoughts of Government” Adams wrote that the British
Parliament was an empire constructed of laws and not men. This philosophy ran
deep in American society and politics, eventually influencing the creation of
the United States Bill of Rights.

On June 7th, 1776 John Adams agreed to the
resolution of independence and later played an imperative role in the drafting
of the historical document. Although the Declaration of Independence was
primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, Adams is regarded as playing the most
substantial role in the debate for its adoption.

A few years following
the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams constructed
Massachusetts’ new Constitution which offered an assortment of policies and
societal innovations used to this day. The Constitution written by Adams was
the first to be ratified by the people of the State and the first to feature a
bicameral legislature, a distinct judicial branch, and a clear executive with
two/thirds veto powers.

John Adams’
views on social classes and interaction are still relevant and innovative for
present day society. Adams believed that all forms of society would be
separated based on money or class. This notion was inevitable to Adams. However,
he believed that prominent or wealthy individuals should not take part in
politics because of their inherent power and inability to relate to the common
man. Adams never owned a slave nor believed in the idea of slavery. This stance
is a reflection of the man’s character and stresses his stance on civic virtues.

The Short Biography of John Hancock

The Short Biography of John Hancock

John Hancock
was a prominent statesmen and an influential supporter of the American
Revolution. Serving as Governor of Massachusetts and President of the Second
Continental Congress, Hancock was viewed as an active Patriot necessary for the
establishment of a free nation.

John Hancock
was one of the wealthiest Founding Fathers and decided to use his considerable
assets to unify colonialists when Britain’s reign became overrun with despotic
action. Following Britain’s victory in the Seven Years War the country quickly
amassed a considerable amount of debt. To alleviate the financial burden,
Britain attempted to impose a series of unjust taxes on the colonies. The Sugar
Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act of 1765 (as well as other taxes) were enforced to
levy taxes on consumer staples, but were quickly revolted against by
colonialists. American settlers were not represented in Parliament; only the
colonial assemblies (where the settlers were represented) could levy such
taxes. John Hancock and the majority of settlers thus viewed the taxation
methods of Parliament as a direct violation against colonial rights.

During this
juncture, Hancock was not a politician, but instead, a dominant wealthy figure
who viewed the taxing efforts of the British as immoral, as well as economically
unsuitable. As a result of his public outrage over the taxation methods, John
Hancock grew wildly popular in the Boston area.

Following the rejection of the Stamp Act, British
Parliament attempted to further control the colonial import and export systems.
The Townsend Acts were passed in 1767 and established new rules on imports to
prevent smuggling and increase taxation on all foreign imports. Colonials again
viewed these maneuvers as unjust, for British troops would commonly enter
American ships without warrants and seize imports or place outrageous taxes on
such goods.

John
Hancock, who was obscenely wealthy, commonly stationed ships in Boston and
surrounding ports. When the Townsend Acts were passed, Hancock’s ships were
routinely searched and unjustly taxed with prejudice. The most historically
significant act of abuse by the British on John Hancock occurred on his ship,
 Liberty. Customs officials boarded Liberty without proper documentation
and threatened to fine or imprison Hancock for carrying contraband items, such
as wine, in bulk. Boston settlers who saw the abusive actions immediately
intervened by storming the British agents and beating them. As a result of the
 Liberty situation, John Hancock led an uprising that eventually barred
the obtainment of all British goods and sparked the creation of the Declaration
of Independence.

John
Hancock’s following was not obtained through fiery protest or physical
demonstrations of power, but instead through philanthropy and by treating his
fellow citizens with class and respect. The people of Boston looked to him as a
leader and eventually entrusted him with the overseeing of the Declaration of
Independence.

With support in Massachusetts and seemingly
endless financial backing, John Hancock was elected President of the
Continental Congress in 1775. Shortly thereafter in 1776 John Hancock was the
first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Hancock’s signature was large
and perfectly scripted. He wanted King George of the British Parliament to be
able to read his name without the use of glasses.

The
Declaration of Independence marked the United States’ separation from the reign
of the British Monarch. Hancock played a vital role in the creation and
drafting of the historical document. After the Declaration of Independence was
instituted and America won its freedom in the Revolutionary War, John Hancock
became very ill and was forced to take a leave of absence. Hancock stayed in
Boston where he served as Governor until 1785.

Due to
illness and old age, John Hancock was not fully immersed in the drafting of the
Constitution, but he still voiced his disfavor with the Articles of
Confederation because of a failure to include the Bill of Rights. When the
following Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, Hancock again
was disappointed with the empowerment of a central government. Gravely ill at
this point, Hancock agreed on the ratification and proved to be the deciding
influence for the adoption of the new Constitution.