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The Founding Fathers

Plain old me

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Ooh, new forum...

right, I'll get to the point...as my profile says, I am a seventeen year old British student, studying History. Part of which is the birth of liberal democracies, in particular the formation of the US Constitution.

A very small part of this is the difference in opinion of the founding fathers...the info we discuss in class has been...

Charles Beard - the idea that the founding fathers were motivated purely out of self interest.

Forrest Macdonald - the idea that they were visionaries, putting forward ideas for the whole Americn people.

Ed Countryman - sort of halfway, they served their own interests, but generally their interests were the interests of the whole nation.

As I said, quite brief, so it would be helpful and interesting to hear the opinions of you guys over the pond, who have actually grown up in the US. What did you learn of the founding fathers? and what is your opinion of them?
 

128shot

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To us, their super heros.

Their the equivlant of watching the terminator 5 times in a theator, they're just amazing for their time.

At least thats how they taught us to protray them in many ways.

I think they were visionaires, and that it was both self interesting and a nations interest to do what they did.
 

cnredd

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I think those guys thought this thing through with a ton of thought involved. I also believe that they were lucky enough to create it at a time when they could.

Can you imagine doing what they did in today's age? With the internet, media, and talk show hosts? Lawyers and lobbyists? Political Action Committees??

We'd be dead in the water...
 

Plain old me

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128shot said:
they're just amazing for their time.
cnredd said:
I think those guys thought this thing through with a ton of thought involved. I also believe that they were lucky enough to create it at a time when they could.

Can you imagine doing what they did in today's age? With the internet, media, and talk show hosts? Lawyers and lobbyists? Political Action Committees??

We'd be dead in the water...
One of the things that does come across is the idea that the notions they were laying down, though taken for granted today, were super-modern in those days, and have laid down some firm principles that even fellow western nations are struggling to keep up with today.
 

ShamMol

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They were all wealthy, white, and concerned with perserving their right to make lots of money...let's be honest. They created the world's first true republic, but they did so for personal reasons, not for philisophical ones.
 
G

gdalton

ShamMol said:
They were all wealthy, white, and concerned with perserving their right to make lots of money...let's be honest. They created the world's first true republic, but they did so for personal reasons, not for philisophical ones.
Well, some of them lost everything they had fighting for their republic.
I think they worked very hard to create an entirely new form of government with the idea that people should have a voice on how they are governed, and also as a way to give people a chance to succeed (not everyone, some where slave owners and preferred to stay that way) with their hard work and not just be labeled by there family tree. But of course there was some self preservation involved they where people after all.
I think all and all they did a fantastic job of trying to keep the majority happy without giving them enough control to trample the minority.
 

ShamMol

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gdalton said:
Well, some of them lost everything they had fighting for their republic.
I think they worked very hard to create an entirely new form of government with the idea that people should have a voice on how they are governed, and also as a way to give people a chance to succeed (not everyone, some where slave owners and preferred to stay that way) with their hard work and not just be labeled by there family tree. But of course there was some self preservation involved they where people after all.
I think all and all they did a fantastic job of trying to keep the majority happy without giving them enough control to trample the minority.
Of course, and I don't disagree with anything you posted at all, but I just think that we idealize them too much. The first signer of the Dec. of Ind. was John Handcock, who was the wealthiest man in America-he was thinking for himself and in later writings (at least according to my textbook) even admitted to that in addition to the principle factor. I just think that we tend to say it was all about the principle and independence and not about self-want.

We were really the first true democracy (because Greece honestly doesn't count) and they made some serious mistakes in the constitution when they made it, though we never admit to that. One might ask why, but instead we just instead just tend to forget and say how great they were...really sad in my opinion. I think that we have to have the idealism and the cynical nature for it to come out to be at least semi-truth.
 

MiamiFlorida

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Plain old me said:
Ooh, new forum...

right, I'll get to the point...as my profile says, I am a seventeen year old British student, studying History. Part of which is the birth of liberal democracies, in particular the formation of the US Constitution.

A very small part of this is the difference in opinion of the founding fathers...the info we discuss in class has been...

Charles Beard - the idea that the founding fathers were motivated purely out of self interest.

Forrest Macdonald - the idea that they were visionaries, putting forward ideas for the whole Americn people.

Ed Countryman - sort of halfway, they served their own interests, but generally their interests were the interests of the whole nation.

As I said, quite brief, so it would be helpful and interesting to hear the opinions of you guys over the pond, who have actually grown up in the US. What did you learn of the founding fathers? and what is your opinion of them?
Men ahead of their time....human frailties and all.
 

nkgupta80

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They were all wealthy, white, and concerned with perserving their right to make lots of money...let's be honest. They created the world's first true republic, but they did so for personal reasons, not for philisophical ones.
its a combination. You can't say the whole revolutionary war and the drafting of the constitution was based purely on personal gain.
 

Connecticutter

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They certainly had ideological goals, and they probably believed strongly in the ideals of the revolution. Of course, they were pragmatic about it as well. They compromised on slavery because it would have led to another struggle that they chose to leave to future generations. They sort of had an "anti-revolution" which took a step back from the articles of confederation, when that experiment was percieved as not working.

Of course, they realized that the system had to be based in self-interest. Any system that doesn't assume self-interest will usually fail, in my opinion.
 

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John Hancock was in the "shipping business".

He was a privateer, which is basically a government sanctioned pirate.

Samuel Adams was a great propagandist and blew the whole Boston Massacre thing into this huge thing. In school text books, I believe they still have this picture depicting the boston massacre with the officer ordering them to fire on civillians.
 
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Connecticutter

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FinnMacCool said:
Samuel Adams was a great propagandist and blew the whole Boston Massacre thing into this huge thing. In school text books, I believe they still have this picture depicting the boston massacre with the officer ordering them to fire on civillians.
I wonder what Sam Adams thought about the fact that his second cousin, future president John Adams, defended the British Troops in court.
 

Ethereal

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They were all wealthy
It's no suprise that the greatest political genuises in American history were wealthy. I suppose it would have been more appropriate to champion the Founding Fathers if they had been living in abject poverty whilst drafting the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

and concerned with perserving their right to make lots of money
And this unsubstantiated theory is based upon, what, exactly? I can't wait to hear this one.

let's be honest.
Just because you're being honest doesn't change the fact that you're totally erroneous in your assessment of the Founding Fathers. Hitler was honest, but he was still mistaken about a great many things.

They created the world's first true republic
Big deal! That doesn't change the fact that they were wealthy.

but they did so for personal reasons, not for philisophical ones
This must be your first time in a real debate so I'll give you a few pointers. Facts, examples, and accredited literature are often very solid debate tactics, as opposed to relying on the use of unsubstantiated opinions.

He was a privateer, which is basically a government sanctioned pirate.
You're even stupider than the last person! Actually he inherited a highly successful colonial trade buisness from his paternal uncle, Thomas Hancock.

However, while serving as the President of the Congress of the United Colonies (this was prior to the our country becoming the United States of America in 1789) he did draft an order of Congress which outlined the duties and restrictions of American-backed privateers.

Here are the principalities of his edict:

II. You may, by force of arms, attack, subdue and take all ships and other
vessels whatsoever, carrying soldiers, arms, gunpowder, ammunition,
provisions, or any other contraband goods, to any of the British armies or
ships of war employed against these colonies.


VI. If you, or any of your officers or crew, shall, in cold blood, kill or
maim, or by torture or otherwise, cruelly, inhumanly, and contrary to
common usage and the practice of civilized nations in war, treat any
person or persons surprized. in the ship or vessel you shall take, the
offender shall be severely punished.


IX. You shall not ransom any prisoners or captives, but shall dispose of
them in such manner as the Congress, or, if that be not sitting, in the
colony whither they shall be brought, as the general assembly, convention,
or council, or committee of safety, of such colony shall direct.


Additional articles:
You shall permit all neutral vessels freely to navigate on the high
seas or coasts of America except such as are employed in carrying
contraband goods or soldiers to the enemies of these United States.


Samuel Adams was a great propagandist and blew the whole Boston Massacre thing into this huge thing.
Hold the phone! You mean to tell me that there was propaganda during the American Revolution? That's amazing! Wow! You're smart.
 

FinnMacCool

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Woot. We have a new resident troll. Calling people an idiot isn't, I'm afraid a very good debating tactic. Especially when your wrong.
 
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Ethereal

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You've rendered me speechless by your total inability to read and subsequently comprehend standard English. Did you bother reading my post or did you just automatically assume you were correct and that there was no need?

Well, I'm sorry to rain on your parade but I've already posted information on John Hancock's Congressional order while serving as President of the Congress of the United Colonies in my previous post that you obviously failed to read.

Just in case you're actually reading my post this time I'll post the specifics for you once again.

However, while serving as the President of the Congress of the United Colonies (this was prior to the our country becoming the United States of America in 1789) he did draft an order of Congress which outlined the duties and restrictions of American-backed privateers.

Here are the principalities of his edict:

II. You may, by force of arms, attack, subdue and take all ships and other
vessels whatsoever, carrying soldiers, arms, gunpowder, ammunition,
provisions, or any other contraband goods, to any of the British armies or
ships of war employed against these colonies.

VI. If you, or any of your officers or crew, shall, in cold blood, kill or
maim, or by torture or otherwise, cruelly, inhumanly, and contrary to
common usage and the practice of civilized nations in war, treat any
person or persons surprized. in the ship or vessel you shall take, the
offender shall be severely punished.

IX. You shall not ransom any prisoners or captives, but shall dispose of
them in such manner as the Congress, or, if that be not sitting, in the
colony whither they shall be brought, as the general assembly, convention,
or council, or committee of safety, of such colony shall direct.

Additional articles:
You shall permit all neutral vessels freely to navigate on the high
seas or coasts of America except such as are employed in carrying
contraband goods or soldiers to the enemies of these United States.
As you can plainly see it is common knowlege that John Hancock drafted the rules and regulations of privateering while serving as the United Colonial Congressional President during the Revolutionary War. What you fail to understand is the simple fact that John Hancock himself was not a privateer; he was a highly successful Colonial Tradesman.

And even if he was a privateer that wouldn't have changed the fact that he was a great American Patriot. Do you know anything about the privateers and what they did during the Revolutionary War? Obviously not since you missed this direct quote...from your own link!


If it weren't for those privateers and their swift ships during the Revolutionary War, we might be singing "God Save the King"!
The privateers served as our Navy during the Revolutionary War. They helped to cut off British supply routes, collected intelligence on British fleet movements, and engaged in a great many battles on the high seas. And they were nothing like pirates since they were governed by strict rules and regulations set forth by John Hancock in the aforementioned Congressional Order.

Next time try actually reading my post. I know it's longer than a paragraph, but that's the beauty of debate.


However if you search John Hancock Letter of Marque you'll see that its there.
You can do your own research. You definitely need the practice.
 

FinnMacCool

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You win. :2razz: I stand corrected.

Just out of curiousity though, what made you want to register on these forums and post replies to this thread? Are you just very defensive about the founding fathers or something? History buff?
 
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FinnMacCool

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Aw shut up Gysgt. I went to Boston and I took a tour guide with one of the people from the official freedom trail tour and he said that he was a privateer? I am inclined to believe that he didn't lie but obviously Ethereal here has proved me wrong.
 

Ethereal

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You win. I stand corrected.
Debate is a tricky beast. I've learned that through many butt-whippings myself.

Just out of curiousity though, what made you want to register on these forums and post replies to this thread? Are you just very defensive about the founding fathers or something? History buff?
I'm a very active participant at another forum and I just felt like expanding my horizons a little bit. This was the first forum that came up and since I enjoy history that was the first topic I picked.

And yes, I'm a very big supporter of our Founding Fathers.

Bwahahahahaha. You got your butt kicked by 'Ethereal'.
Yer next Gunny!
 

FinnMacCool

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You'll probably find that this forum is better then most. Its actually moderated you know. Less trolls. People still post useless **** but people are smarter here so they actually keep you on your toes.

However I have to admit I didn't really exhibit that here very well.
 

Ethereal

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You'll probably find that this forum is better then most. Its actually moderated you know. Less trolls. People still post useless **** but people are smarter here so they actually keep you on your toes.
Truthfully I've only been to a few forums, and haven't stayed at any of them except the one I previously mentioned. It's one hell of a forum and I've been made to look stupid there a great many times. But there is a quote from Fahrenheit 451 that I especially like...

"You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn."
 

Plain old me

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Oh, the debating stopped...ah well...

Cheers for the responses, differing opinions, which we seemed to have up until a few posts ago, go down well with my exam board, I can feel that A heading this way...


...assuming I actually get a question on the founding fathers.
 

taxpayer

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Fact is that our founding Fathers were just a bunch of SNOTTY RICH people that did not care or want any laymans opinion of what should be in the constitution.

As usual the RICH think that they can speak for everyone else. They think that them being rich makes them smarter then the poor.
We all know now that this is NOT TRUE.

The rich have had control of our Gov since day one and just look at how our country is all screwed up.
What we needed was the average working mans opinions in our constitution.
All in all I have to say that they did a good job with our constitution but it may have been better with a few laymans opinions added.
 

Canuck

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you disturb the tombs of the American super heroes

start a new revolution
American revolutionists are glorified in America yet every other revolutionary that toppled an american puupet state was condemned as a Terrorist
as to your original questions
"All history is BUNK"
H.Ford
 
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