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Study Notes

Founding Fathers

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Founding Fathers is a term used to describe those people who created the United States. Historians disagree on exactly how to classify the Founding Fathers and as a result several different definitions have arisen.

Some of the main definitions of the Founding Fathers are: those people who signed the Declaration of Independence, those people who led the American Revolution, those who were present at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Within in this category the list can be further refined as historians have debated over whether or not to extend the Founding Fathers title to all those present at the Constitutional Convention or just those specific individuals who made a significant contribution to the founding of the United States.

Below is a list of the most ‘famous’ Founding Fathers.

  • John Adams – became 1st Vice President and 2nd President of the United States
  • Benjamin Franklin - distinguished political theorist, freemason and scientist
  • Alexander Hamilton – became 1st US Secretary of the Treasury and wrote 51 of 85 Federalist Papers
  • John Jay – became the 1st Chief Justice of the United States, and 2nd Governor of New York
  • Thomas Jefferson – became 1st Secretary of State, 2nd Vice President, and 3rd President of the United States
  • James Madison – became 4th President of the United States, and key author of the Bill of Rights
  • George Washington – 1st President of the United States.

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