The Framers of the Constitution

The Founding Fathers of the United States were political leaders who participated in the American Revolution. They signed the Declaration of Independence, took part in the Revolutionary War, and established the Constitution. The Framers of the Constitution were delegates to the Constitutional Convention and helped draft the Constitution of the United States. The main Founding Fathers were: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.

Almost all the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had taken part in the Revolution. They also had extensive political experience. Four-fifths of the delegates had been in the Continental Congress. Nearly all the fifty-five delegates had experience in colonial and state government.

The delegates practiced a wide range of high and middle status occupations. More than half the delegates had trained as lawyers, although only about a quarter had practiced law as their principal career. Other professions included merchants, manufacturers, shippers, land speculators, bankers or financiers, physicians, a minister, and several small farmers.

Most of the delegates were landowners with substantial holdings, and most were comfortably wealthy. George Washington and Governor Morris were among the wealthiest men in the entire country.

The Founding Fathers had strong educational backgrounds at some of the colonial colleges or abroad. Some, like Franklin and Washington, were largely self-taught or learned through apprenticeship. Others had obtained instruction from private tutors or at academies. About half of the men had attended or graduated from college.

Source: The Framers of the Constitution
Boundless Learning, Inc., CC BY-SA 4.0

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