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WHO WERE THEY? OUR FOUNDING FATHERS?. GEORGE WASHINGTON Appearance: tall, built, and a superb athlete Led the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.

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Presentation on theme: "WHO WERE THEY? OUR FOUNDING FATHERS?. GEORGE WASHINGTON Appearance: tall, built, and a superb athlete Led the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War."— Presentation transcript:


2 GEORGE WASHINGTON Appearance: tall, built, and a superb athlete Led the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War Never attended college (no formal education) Knew no foreign languages Afraid of public speaking A man of few words and not know for saying remarkable quotes Liked dancing and horseback riding Interested in perfecting social manners and his social image, which meant wearing fashionable clothes, acting like a gentleman, and caring how others saw him

3 GEORGE WASHINGTON (CONTINUED) Known for his great character: humility Able to resist power in moments of temptation Retired after he won the Revolutionary War (does not become leader of the new country as many thought he would) As President he avoids monarchy and establishes many democratic precedents (Ex: the title Mr. President) Leaves the Presidency after only two terms He appears uninterested in his own personal gain This is why his peers looked up to him and why many consider him, still to this day, the greatest president to ever have lived

4 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Successful business man: owned paper mills and rental properties Also a famous inventor His book Poor Richard’s Almanac offered advice to the common people Concerned for the happiness of ordinary people Hid his true feelings well—many times historians cannot tell in his writings if he is being serious, witty, or humorous

5 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (CONTINUED) He is most remembered for his passion and ambition to overthrow the British He is betrayed by the British At the beginning of the American Revolution he remains loyal to the US Then he gets fired since a government official blames him for the civil unrest At this point he becomes a patriot Major role: he persuaded the French to join the Patriots He succeeds and gets not only French soldiers but also French money to buy weapons

6 THOMAS JEFFERSON Tried to perfect himself by studying European food, music, painting, and poetry Very interested in the field of science Valued education, believing it would help all people become civilized and refined Not open minded—very opinionated

7 THOMAS JEFFERSON (CONTINUED) Stood for the rights of individuals Wanted people to be judged by their merits, not by their birth right Disliked big, centralized government that took power away from the people Did not think the government needed to control trade (government then becomes self interested) He believed the people themselves would eliminate corruption by voting for virtuous, responsible leaders

8 ALEXANDER HAMILTON His father left him at an early age His family immigrated to North America from Scotland His family did not have much money or personal fame Gets recognized for his excellent writing abilities Also fights in the war and eventually serves next to George Washington Personality: ambitious, angry, arrogant, high strung, and easily excitable

9 ALEXANDER HAMILTON (CONTINUED) Created a strong national government Established a national bank Wanted a permanent army Wanted the government to regulate businesses Wanted the government to select various businesses to build roads, canals, etc. Many people thought his plan made the government corrupt

10 JAMES MADISON As a major writer of the Constitution he… Valued religious freedom Worried that the majority or “popular crowd” would overrun the minority Created a system of checks and balances to monitor government officials Also writes the Bill of Rights

11 JAMES MADISON (CONTINUED) As president he… Had a strict interpretation of the Constitution Did not want the federal government to have too much power In other words he disliked the idea of a national bank, standing army, or law that regulated businesses He wants free business where everyone has a common interest in peace Also begins to promote civil rights

12 JOHN ADAMS Arrogant—knew he was smart, disciplined, and dedicated Not well known or quoted Believed he did not get the credit he deserved Defended the British during the Boston Massacre European diplomat during the Constitutional Convention First Vice President under Washington Second President of the United States Believed American government driven by money

13 THOMAS PAINE Had no formal education Immigrated from England at age 37 Looked careless—sort of un-kept Proud that he was a self made man—he had no connections who pulled strings for him Wrote Common Sense, the book that persuaded many colonists to declare independence from King George Persuasive since writing style is not elite—wording suits the ordinary person of his day Later in life attacks Christianity Is misunderstood and loses favor with the public

14 AARON BURR He was born into a wealthy family Enjoyed spending money on lavish living Lacked virtue: swindled a widow out of her fortune Not interested in fame or thinking about government Thought he deserved power because of his birth and because of patronage He did not think he had to earn it through studying, strong character, or hard work Challenges Hamilton and kills him Loses favor with politicians as a result

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