History of the American Revolution discussion

Most Important Founding Father

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message 1: by Brad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Brad Hart Who do you think was our most important Founding Father? There is no doubt that they were all important, but who do you believe played the most important role?

My vote: George Washington hands down!

message 2: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Patrick | 6 comments Can't debate the significance of GW, but I'll throw in a big second place vote for Alxander Hamilton.

Not only was Hamilton an important asset to Washington as one of his aides during the Rev War, and not only was he one of the key advocates for getting New Yorkers to vote for the Constitution, but he also had the foresight to see beyond the narrow economic thinking of his time and place. In the policies he tried to adopt and adhere to as the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton paved the way for the United States to become the economic behemoth it is today.

Two caveats to this post...

1) Lots of sweeping statements in my above comments...I'll try to gather some specifics relating to my last sentence and edit them in later.

2) I'm not saying that America's becoming an economic behemoth was a good or bad thing, but it is a historical fact, and Hamilton's role in getting this process started (or actually, keeping it moving) makes him important. As for where I stand, I think capitalism has been more of a positive force than a negative one for the U. S., but I know there are other who have a different view, and I respect that. Many abuses have been committed in the name of capitalism during our history, which may or may not have occurred if Jeffersonian economic polices had been adopted instead of Hamiltonian ideas.

Brad, ignore the caveats if this ends up being just you and me in this group (I hope not!). I know you already know all this stuff.

message 3: by Brad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Brad Hart See...this is why we need you for our blog! You make terrific comments!

message 4: by Lena (last edited Jul 16, 2009 05:01PM) (new)

Lena (Weathy) | 11 comments In my opinion, all of the Founders were important in their own way. But if asked who was the most important in the Revolution, I will say George Washington. For American politics, Alexander Hamilton.

message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Van Slyke (steve_van_slyke) George Washington. Not a great general but absolutely the right person at the right time to lead Colonies to becoming States and finally a Nation. Indispensable.

message 6: by Loren (new)

Loren | 4 comments That's hard to say; I'd agree that Washington is probably THE most important - still I'd like to throw some love to John Adams as a power behind the scenes of the declaration and our relations with other nations who didn't get the credit so many others did.

message 7: by Douglas (last edited Dec 22, 2010 02:44PM) (new)

Douglas (dougkotti) | 8 comments This is a difficult question to answer readily. One would need to review the extent and quality of the Founder's contributions. George Washington, the most talented leader of his generation, deserves top consideration. Alexander Hamilton, devoted soldier and brilliant theorist and innovative Treasury secretary, deserves recognition although he was very controversial as some of his critics were concerned he fancied himself an American Napoleon. Thomas Jefferson, for obvious reasons, is always near the top of such lists. James Madison, very influential at the Constitutional Convention and later in the first Congress and as President, looms large despite his diminutive physical stature. James Monroe is often omitted from consideration, but let's examine his record: brave soldier during the Revolution; secretary of state; President of the United States; at the center of many significant events in the early years of the new nation. John Marshall, also an outstanding soldier during the Revolutionary War, served as secretary of state under John Adams and most memorably as the greatest Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

There are so many others whose contributions have dimmed over time but who merit consideration: James Otis; Gouvernor Morris; Patrick Henry (even though he actively opposed ratification of the Constitution); Benjamin Franklin; and of course, John Adams.

message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay Hauser | 1 comments Without any of the Founding Fathers, America wouldn't be what it is today. But, if any Founding Father was essential to America's founding, it was definitely Ben Franklin. He was the model upstanding citizen. He's not called "The First American" for nothing. Without his assistance in convincing the French to help the American cause using the results of the Battle of Saratoga, we would have lost the war. Additionally, John Adams, to quote 1776, was "Obnoxious and disliked". Without Ben Franklin's counsel, Adams' hubris would have gotten the better of him, and Richard Henry Lee would have never proposed independence. In the Declaration of Independence, one can feel Jefferson's eloquent penmanship and literary talent, Adam's determination, and Franklin's moral principles.
He's my favorite.

message 9: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Channell | 2 comments I believe John Adams is the most important founding father. clearly George Washington was an important leader, but John Adams was a strong influence in his acquiring the job. He worked tirelessly in the Continental Congress in the early stages of the war, he was very involved in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. It is hard to choose just one, but if forced to, I would say John Adams. He might have been "obnoxious and disliked," but the reason for this might have been his unrelenting devotion to the cause.

message 10: by Zach (new)

Zach | 2 comments Without a doubt I believe it to be John Adams. Many of you have already touched on why so I won't repeat the reasons. John Adams is the epitome of determination. No matter the circumstances he would always put the nation first and try to make it a powerful country. He was an amazing man, politician, diplomat, and also a great father

message 11: by Selena (new)

Selena Joy Layden (selenajoylayden) | 4 comments Who is the most important Founding Father?

Gosh - what a tough question. I think it really depends on what you believe are the most important roles as many of the men during the time played such different roles in furthering the patriotic cause. That being said, let me throw a couple of options into the discussion.

I think Benjamin Franklin was certainly a huge contributor. Without his backdoor discussions, his ability to promote the patriotic cause through print, and his negotiation tactics, it is questionable as to whether the French would have joined the American cause (and they were certainly a huge help through their military, their financial backing, and the fact that they did recognize America as an independent country). Franklin also certainly helped with propagandizing the cause as well as helping to find compromise in many situations.

I can also throw Thomas Jefferson into the mix. His influence in Virginia's legislature laid much of the groundwork for the Declaration of Independence and eventually the Constitution. Jefferson also wrote most of the Declaration of Independence. He served as the governor of Virginia and as a US President. During his term, the size of the United States more than doubled.

All of this being said, I would say that the late 1700s saw a fortuitous congregation of men who were able to apply their talents and knowledge to further a cause that is certainly still important to us today.

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