Thomas Jefferson

Unalterable Constitutions

As the constitutions of the states were implemented and executed during the Revolutionary years, the population began holding conventions for amendment of those constitutions, believing that “Legislatures were incompetent” to do so. Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 306 quoting Farrand, ed., Records of the Federal Convention, II, 91-93. In fact, James Madison believed that “it […]

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Divided Sovereignty

John Adams had strong opinions about federalism. He believed that the government should be structured similarly to the British Empire, given the British Empire’s extraordinary success. At the time of the signing of the Constitution, Adams firmly believed that the Constitution had secured a national government, as opposed to a government dividing its sovereignty into […]

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The Legacy of the Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers have a complicated legacy, and that legacy is constantly undergoing change. While the reverence of the Founding Fathers fluctuates generation-by-generation, certain questions emerge about the Founding Fathers’ effectiveness in setting the foundation for the United States. Gordon Wood, in Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, presented the Founding Fathers’ legacy as: “If […]

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Franklin The Turncoat?

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most well-known and most revered Founding Fathers, had a more controversial history than most modern Americans realize. In the late 1750s and early 1760s, Franklin was a “complete Anglophile.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 79. He made “disparaging comments about the provinciality and vulgarity of America in […]

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The Adulation of the Founding Fathers

Gordon Wood began his 2006 book Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by stating that “[n]o other major nation honors its past historical characters, especially characters who existed two centuries ago, in quite the manner we Americans do.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 3. He continued, stating that Americans “want to know […]

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