Founding Fathers, Ranked
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- •George Washington (1732-1799)It's hard to adequately explain the enormous impact GW had on our country in 500 characters, but there probably wouldn't be a country if it weren't for George. He led an inexperienced ragtag army in a 10yr battle with little money, resources or support. But the most meaningful thing he did was prove that power can be uncorrupted. He showed the world that a man could advocate his 'throne' when the term is done, and a man can lead for the good of his people over personal interest.
- •John Adams (1735-1826)Not just because I love McCullough's book + Giamatti's performance in the mini series, but Adams was the shit. Brilliant + passionate, he championed Washington for General and then President. He came up with the tripartite government (judiciary, executive, legislative), built the Navy, and while Franklin was spreading syphilis all over France, Adams was the guy who got the French to join the war, turning the tide in the Revolutionary War at long last. The only non-slaveholder Founding Father. ❤️
- •Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)Renaissance man, Franklin's accomplishments are well known--inventor, scientist, author, postmaster, printer, author, statesman, diplomat, slut. His achievements and influence are substantial in the birth of our nation. The respect he had in the community, both in the colonies and in Europe, legitimized the Colonies' fight for independence. The man also knew how to party. I love Ben -- his writings show a wit and brilliance that stand the test of time.
- •Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)Principal writer of the Declaration of Independence, he eloquently elucidated the Colonial's grievances with Great Britain and why they were declaring independence. TJ played an integral role pushing sovereignty from British rule and represented Virginia in the Continental Congress. And although he owned slaves (all the Founding Fathers did except Adams), he led the charge for abolitionism, putting anti-slavery language in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence (later removed).
- •James Madison (1751-1836)Madison was instrumental in drafting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and, along with Hamilton and Jay, spearheading the Federalist Papers. Once the colonies were free from British rule, the Founding Fathers knew that a strong centralized government was crucial to the survival of the United States. He spoke over 200 times at the Convention to ratify the Constitution, moving States sovereignty to Federal control.
- •John Jay (1745-1829)Under appreciated, Jay had a prominent role in the establishment of the country, first as President of the Continental Congress, then as Spanish diplomat during the Revolutionary War, and then Washington appointed him as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was one of the chief authors of the Federalist Papers, which propelled the notion of a strong, centralized federal government, and as New York's Governor, was a strong abolitionist, freeing the State's slaves in 1829.
- •Alexander Hamilton (1766-1804)The first Secretary of the Treasury, established the first US bank and the basics of US economic strategies. He wrote half of the Federalist Papers, pushing for strong central government, and was Washington's right hand man during the Revolutionary War. He's at the bottom of this list because he turned on Adams, causing Adams to lose his bid for second term as President.