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Founding Fathers

The United States of America’s “founding fathers” refers to the men who served as dominant figures in the development of the nation from the period prior to the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the Constitution up through the early 19th century. The prominent figures around the time of the American Revolution, commonly referred to as the “founding fathers,” include George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson, among others.


George Washington

George Washington is commonly referred to as the father of the nation. Having led the Continental Army to victory over Great Britain during the Revolutionary War, he was shortly thereafter elected as the first President of the United States (1789-1797).


John Adams

 John Adams was a well-known political philosopher and diplomat that served primarily during the Revolutionary War. Adams served as the country’s first Vice President for two terms under George Washington (1789-1797), and later the nation’s second President (1797-1801).


Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, born in St. Kitts and Nevis (a British colony at the time) was a renowned politician, statesman, financier, and political theorist. He was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, the series of interpretive essays on the American Constitution. Hamilton was also one of the principal leaders in the calling of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  As Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington, Hamilton laid the foundations for the U.S. financial system of today. 


Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson served as the United States’ third President (1801-1809), and was one of the more prominent figures in U.S. history for his writings on the ideal of Republicanism and political Enlightenment. He was a primary author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and during his presidency, Jefferson contributed to the territorial growth of the United States through the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.  


Updated: 20 May 2008

Source: U.S. Permanent Mission to the OAS



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