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Selected FoundersIn the establishment of the United States of America and its system of government, we have several great men to recognize in this accomplishment. Our government was established bydifferent beliefs and values in each of our founding fathers with the help of different philosophers.Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin originally proposed a plan in 1754 to the colonial representatives in Albany, New York. The plan was rejected but it laid the groundwork for the Articles of
9Confederation, the first constitution of the United States. In 1775, Franklin returned from England to Philadelphia and was selected to serve as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In 1776, he was one of the five selected to help draft the Declaration of Independence where the 13 colonies declared their freedom from England. Franklin was the oldest delegates atthe Constitutional Convention in 1787 that developed the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin is the only founding father to have signed all four of the key documents establishing the U.S.: The Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty ofParis establishing peace with Great Britain (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton was one of the most influential Founding Fathers in our government system. Even though New York left the convention for the Declaration of Independence, Hamilton requested to sign the document as an individual. Hamilton was a lawyer in New York, and he argued throughout the 1780s for strengthening the national government in The Continentalist essays, the two Letters from Phocion, and The Federalist, written with James Madison and John Jay. He served in Congress and the New York state legislature and was a delegate to the Federal Convention of 1787. Hamilton’s role in the Constitution was minor but hededicated his time to the ratification of the Constitution. Hamilton created the First Bank of the United States and served as the Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington.George WashingtonGeorge Washington was commissioned to be the commander of the Continental Army in 1775. After the Revolutionary War, Washington resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon and intended to never serve in public life again. During his time away from the public, Washington watch the weakening of the union under the Article of Confederation. He wrote
10James Madison that they needed a Constitution due to his frustration of the diplomatic, financial,and military ineffectiveness of the Confederation Congress. In 1787, Washington ended his retirement and attended the convention to endorse changes to the Articles of Confederation only to be voted to preside over the Constitutional Convention. Once the Constitution was ratified, Washington had planned to retire once again from public life, but the first presidential election was held, and Washington received a vote from every elector. Washington became our countries first President of the United States.