If you’re anything like me, you absolutely devour little-known facts about the Constitutional era of American history and the founders of the United States. Sometimes, when you get caught up in stories such as Alexander Hamilton’s political rivalry with Aaron Burr or Thomas Jefferson’s fascination with France, it can be easy to forget what exactly these people did that made them so admired. It’s important to remember not only the folksy details, but also the great accomplishments of the people who built America. The following is a quick, three-point summary of the most important things each founder (as defined by historian Richard B. Morris) did to contribute to the beginnings of our country.

George Washington

  • Served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution

  • Presided over the Constitutional Convention

  • Served as the first President of the United States

John Adams

  • Served as a Delegate to the Continental Congress

  • Advocated for and helped draft the Declaration of Independence

  • Served as the first Vice-President and second President of the United States

Thomas Jefferson

  • Served as the US minister to France

  • Wrote most of the Declaration of Independence

  • Served as the second Vice-President and third President of the United States

Alexander Hamilton

  • Wrote most of the Federalist Papers, which defended the Constitution

  • Served as the first Secretary of the US Treasury

  • Advocated for the Constitution and a strong central government

James Madison

  • Wrote most of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

  • Served as a member of the House of Representatives and as Secretary of State

  • Served as the 4th President of the United States

Benjamin Franklin

  • Served as Postmaster General, US minister to France, and US minister to Sweden

  • Served as the Governor of Pennsylvania

  • Was a prominent abolitionist

John Jay

  • Served as the US Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State

  • Served as the first Chief Justice of the United States

  • Wrote five of the Federalist Papers

    Katie M
    CONTRIBUTOR
    Katie is a liberty-loving follower of Jesus residing in sunny North Carolina. She strives to empower young women to become leaders and activists for important causes. She loves crafting ideas and proving points and competes in debate and mock trial. Outside of politics, she enjoys music, dance, good books, and good tea.

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