The Info List - American Enlightenment

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The AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENT was a period of intellectual ferment in the thirteen American colonies in the period 1714–1818, which led to the American Revolution , and the creation of the American Republic. The American Enlightenment was influenced by the 18th-century European Enlightenment and its own native American philosophy . It applied scientific reasoning to politics, science, and religion. It promoted religious tolerance. And, it restored literature, arts, and music as important disciplines worthy of study in colleges. "New-model" American style colleges were founded such as King's College New York (now Columbia University ), and the College of Philadelphia (now Penn ). Yale College and the College of William it has been proposed as a date for the triumph if not the end of the American Enlightenment. The new constitution guaranteed freedom of religion, and disestablished the Congregational church .


Between 1714 and 1818 a great intellectual change took place that changed the British Colonies of America from a distant backwater into a leader in the fields of moral philosophy, educational reform, religious revival, industrial technology, science, and, most notably, political philosophy. It saw a consensus on a "pursuit of happiness" based political philosophy.


After 1780, the Federal-style of American Architecture began to diverge from the Georgian style and became a uniquely American genre; in 1813, the American architect Ithiel Town designed and in 1814–1816 built the first Gothic Style church in North America, Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, predating the English Gothic revival by a decade. In the fields of literature, poetry, music and drama some nascent artistic attempts were made, particularly in pre-war Philadelphia, but American (non-popular) culture in these fields was largely imitative of British culture for most of the period, and is generally considered not very distinguished.


Politically, the age is distinguished by an emphasis upon economic liberty , republicanism and religious tolerance , as clearly expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence . Attempts to reconcile science and religion resulted in a rejection of prophecy, miracle, and revealed religion, resulting in an inclination toward deism among some major political leaders of the age. American republicanism emphasized consent of the government, riddance of aristocracy, and fear of corruption. It represented the convergence of classical republicanism and English republicanism (of 17th century Commonwealthmen and 18th century English Country Whigs ).

J.G.A. Pocock explained the intellectual sources in America:

“ The Whig canon and the neo-Harringtonians, John Milton , James Harrington and Sidney , Trenchard , Gordon and Bolingbroke , together with the Greek, Roman, and Renaissance masters of the tradition as far as Montesquieu , formed the authoritative literature of this culture; and its values and concepts were those with which we have grown familiar: a civic and patriot ideal in which the personality was founded in property, perfected in citizenship but perpetually threatened by corruption; government figuring paradoxically as the principal source of corruption and operating through such means as patronage, faction, standing armies (opposed to the ideal of the militia); established churches (opposed to the Puritan and deist modes of American religion); and the promotion of a monied interest—though the formulation of this last concept was somewhat hindered by the keen desire for readily available paper credit common in colonies of settlement. ”


Sources of the American Enlightenment are many and vary according to time and place. As a result of an extensive book trade with Great Britain, the colonies were well acquainted with European literature almost contemporaneously. Early influences were English writers, including James Harrington , Algernon Sidney , the Viscount Bolingbroke , John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon (especially the two's Cato\'s Letters ), and Joseph Addison (whose tragedy Cato was extremely popular). A particularly important English legal writer was Sir William Blackstone , whose _ Commentaries on the Laws of England _ served as a major influence on the American Founders and is a key source in the development Anglo-American common law . Although John Locke\'s _ Two Treatises of Government _ has long been cited as a major influence on American thinkers, historians David Lundberg and Henry F. May demonstrate that Locke's _ Essay Concerning Human Understanding _ was far more widely read than were his political _Treatises_.

The Scottish Enlightenment also influenced American thinkers. David Hume's _Essays_ and his _History of England _ were widely read in the colonies, and Hume's political thought had a particular influence on James Madison and the Constitution. Another important Scottish writer was Francis Hutcheson . Hutcheson's ideas of ethics, along with notions of civility and politeness developed by the Earl of Shaftesbury , and Addison and Richard Steele in their _Spectator _, were a major influence on upper-class American colonists who sought to emulate European manners and learning.

By far the most important French sources to the American Enlightenment, however, were Montesquieu\'s _ Spirit of the Laws _ and Emer de Vattel\'s _Law of Nations _. Both informed early American ideas of government and were major influences on the Constitution. Voltaire 's histories were widely read but seldom cited. Rousseau 's influence was marginal. Noah Webster used Rousseau's educational ideas of child development to structure his famous _Speller._ A German influence includes Samuel Pufendorf , whose writings were also commonly cited by American writers.


Since the 1960s, historians have debated the Enlightenment's role in the American Revolution. Before 1960 the consensus was that liberalism , especially that of John Locke , was paramount; republicanism was largely ignored. The new interpretations were pioneered by J.G.A. Pocock who argued in _ The Machiavellian Moment _ (1975) that, at least in the early eighteenth-century, republican ideas were just as important as liberal ones. Pocock's view is now widely accepted. Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood pioneered the argument that the Founding Fathers of the United States were more influenced by republicanism than they were by liberalism . Cornell University Professor Isaac Kramnick, on the other hand, argues that Americans have always been highly individualistic and therefore Lockean.

In the decades before the American Revolution (1776), the intellectual and political leaders of the colonies studied history intently, looking for guides or models for good (and bad) government. They especially followed the development of republican ideas in England. Pocock explained the intellectual sources in the United States:

The Whig canon and the neo-Harringtonians, John Milton , James Harrington and Sidney , Trenchard , Gordon and Bolingbroke , together with the Greek, Roman, and Renaissance masters of the tradition as far as Montesquieu , formed the authoritative literature of this culture; and its values and concepts were those with which we have grown familiar: a civic and patriot ideal in which the personality was founded in property, perfected in citizenship but perpetually threatened by corruption; government figuring paradoxically as the principal source of corruption and operating through such means as patronage, faction, standing armies (opposed to the ideal of the militia), established churches (opposed to the Puritan and deist modes of American religion) and the promotion of a monied interest—though the formulation of this last concept was somewhat hindered by the keen desire for readily available paper credit common in colonies of settlement. A neoclassical politics provided both the ethos of the elites and the rhetoric of the upwardly mobile, and accounts for the singular cultural and intellectual homogeneity of the Founding Fathers and their generation.

The commitment of most Americans to these republican values made inevitable the American Revolution , for Britain was increasingly seen as corrupt and hostile to republicanism, and a threat to the established liberties the Americans enjoyed.

Leopold von Ranke , a leading German historian, in 1848 claims that American republicanism played a crucial role in the development of European liberalism:

By abandoning English constitutionalism and creating a new republic based on the rights of the individual, the North Americans introduced a new force in the world. Ideas spread most rapidly when they have found adequate concrete expression. Thus republicanism entered our Romanic/Germanic world.... Up to this point, the conviction had prevailed in Europe that monarchy best served the interests of the nation. Now the idea spread that the nation should govern itself. But only after a state had actually been formed on the basis of the theory of representation did the full significance of this idea become clear. All later revolutionary movements have this same goal.... This was the complete reversal of a principle. Until then, a king who ruled by the grace of God had been the center around which everything turned. Now the idea emerged that power should come from below.... These two principles are like two opposite poles, and it is the conflict between them that determines the course of the modern world. In Europe the conflict between them had not yet taken on concrete form; with the French Revolution it did.


Many historians find that the origin of this famous phrase derives from Locke's position that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." Others suggest that Jefferson took the phrase from Sir William Blackstone's _Commentaries on the Laws of England._ Others note that William Wollaston 's 1722 book _The Religion of Nature Delineated_ describes the "truest definition" of "natural religion" as being "_The pursuit of happiness_ by the practice of reason and truth."

The Virginia Declaration of Rights , which was written by George Mason and adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776, a few days before Jefferson's draft, in part reads:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

The United States Declaration of Independence , which was primarily written by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident , that all Men are created equal , that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights , that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness .


Both the Moderate Enlightenment and a Radical or Revolutionary Enlightenment were reactions against the authoritarianism , irrationality, and obscurantism of the established churches. Philosophers such as Voltaire depicted organized Christianity as a tool of tyrants and oppressors and as being used to defend monarchism, it was seen as hostile to the development of reason and the progress of science and incapable of verification.

An alternative religion was deism , the philosophical belief in a deity based on reason, rather than religious revelation or dogma. It was a popular perception among the _philosophes_, who adopted deistic attitudes to varying degrees. Deism greatly influenced the thought of intellectuals and Founding Fathers , including John Adams , Benjamin Franklin , perhaps George Washington and, especially, Thomas Jefferson . The most articulate exponent was Thomas Paine , whose _The Age of Reason _ was written in France in the early 1790s, and soon reached the United States. Paine was highly controversial; when Jefferson was attacked for his deism in the 1800 election , Democratic-Republican politicians took pains to distance their candidate from Paine. Unitarianism and Deism were strongly connected, the former being brought to America by Joseph Priestley, the oxygen scientist. Doctor Samuel Johnson called Lord Edward Herbert the "father of English Deism".



* Book: Enlightenment

* Age of Enlightenment * American Revolution * Benjamin Franklin * Common Sense_ pamphlet – by Thomas Paine * Deism * _ Jefferson Bible _ * Liberal democracy * Liberalism * Republicanism * Secular state * Separation of Church and State * _ The Age of Reason _ – by Thomas Paine * Thomas Jefferson * George Mason * Thomas Paine * United States Declaration of Independence


* ^ Caroline Winterer, _American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason_, Yale University Press, 2016 * ^ Winterer, What Was the American Enlightenment? in _The Worlds of American Intellectual History_, eds. Joel Isaac, James Kloppenberg, and Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, Oxford University Press, 2016 * ^ Ferguson _Robert A., The American Enlightenment, 1750–1820_, Harvard University Press, 1994 * ^ Adrienne Koch, referenced by Woodward, C. Vann, _The Comparative Approach to American History_, Oxford University Press, 1997 * ^ Henry F. May, referenced by Byrne, James M., _Religion and the Enlightenment: From Descartes to Kant_, Westminster John Knox Press, 1996, p. 50 * ^ Olsen,Neil C., _Pursuing Happiness: The Organizational Culture of the Continental Congress_, Nonagram Publications, ISBN 978-1480065505 ISBN 1480065501 , 2013, p. 145 * ^ Johnson, Samuel, and Schneider, Herbert, _Samuel Johnson, President of King's College; His Career and Writings_, editors Herbert and Carol Schneider, New York: Columbia University Press, 1929, Volume 1, p. 7 * ^ Johnson and Schneider * ^ Joseph J. Ellis, _The New England Mind in Transition: Samuel Johnson of Connecticut, 1696–1772_, Yale University Press, 1973, Chapter II and p. 45 * ^ Bryan-Paul Frost and Jeffrey Sikkenga, _History of American political thought_ (2003) p. 152 * ^ Olsen, p. 16 * ^ Linda K. Kerber, "The Republican Ideology of the Revolutionary Generation," pp. 474–95 in JSTOR * ^ J.G.A. Pocock, _The Machiavellian Moment_ p. 507 * ^ See David Lundberg and Henry F. May, "The Enlightened Reader in America," _American Quarterly_, vol. 28, no. 2 (1976): 267. * ^ See Mark G. Spencer, _ David Hume and Eighteenth-Century America_ (2005). * ^ See Douglass Adair, "'That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science': David Hume, James Madison, and the Tenth Federalist," _Huntington Library Quarterly_, vol. 20, no. 4 (1957): 343–60; and Mark G. Spencer, "Hume and Madison on Faction," _The William and Mary Quarterly_, 3rd ser., vol. 59, no. 4 (2002): 869–96. * ^ See for example, Vernon L. Parrington, _Main Currents in American Thought_ (1927) online at * ^ Shalhope (1982) * ^ Isaac Kramnick, _Ideological Background," in Jack. P. Greene and J. R. Pole,_ The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution _(1994) ch. 9; Robert E. Shallhope, "Republicanism," ibid ch. 70._ * ^ Trevor Colbourn, _The Lamp of Experience: Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution_ (1965) online version * ^ Pocock, _The Machiavellian Moment_ p. 507 * ^ Bailyn, Bernard. _The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution_ (1967) * ^ Adams, Willi Paul (2001). _The First American Constitutions: Republican Ideology and the Making of the State Constitutions in the Revolutionary Era_. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 128–29. * ^ J. R. Pole, _The pursuit of equality in American history_ (1978) p. 9 * ^ Locke, John (1690). _ Two Treatises of Government (10th edition)_. Project Gutenberg . Retrieved January 21, 2009. * ^ Paul Sayre, ed., _Interpretations of modern legal philosophies_ (1981) p. 189 * ^ James W. Ely, _Main themes in the debate over property rights_ (1997) p. 28 * ^ Sanford, Charles B. _The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson_ (1987) University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0-8139-1131-1 * ^ Eric Foner, _Tom Paine and Revolutionary America_ (1977) p. 257



* Aldridge, A. Owen , (1959). _Man of Reason: The Life of Thomas Paine._ Lippincott. * Cunningham, Noble E. _In Pursuit of Reason_ (1988) well-reviewed short biography of Jefferson. * Weinberger, Jerry _ Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (University Press of Kansas, 2008) ISBN 0-7006-1584-9 _


* Allen, Brooke _Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers_ (2007) Ivan R Dee, Inc, ISBN 1-56663-751-1 * Bailyn, Bernard _The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution_ (1992) Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-44302-0 * Bedini, Silvio A _Jefferson and Science_ (2002) The University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 1-882886-19-4 * Cohen, I. Bernard _ Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison_ (1995) WW Norton & Co, ISBN 0-393-03501-8 * Dray, Philip _Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America_ (2005) Random House, ISBN 1-4000-6032-X * Ellis, Joseph. "Habits of Mind and an American Enlightenment," _American Quarterly_ Vol. 28, No. 2, Special Issue: An American Enlightenment (Summer, 1976), pp. 150–14 in JSTOR * Ferguson, Robert A. _The American Enlightenment, 1750–1820_ (1997) Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-02322-6 * Gay, Peter _The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism_ (1995) W. W. Norton _The Enlightenment: The Science of Freedom_ (1996) W. W. Norton * Koch, Adrienne. "Pragmatic Wisdom and the American Enlightenment," _William and Mary Quarterly_ Vol. 18, No. 3 (Jul., 1961), pp. 313–329 in JSTOR * May, Henry F. _The Enlightenment in America_ (1978) Oxford University Press, U.S., ISBN 0-19-502367-6 ; the standard survey * May, Henry F. _The Divided Heart: Essays on Protestantism and the Enlightenment in America_ (Oxford UP 1991) online * McDonald, Forrest _Novus Ordo Seclorum: Intellectual Origins of the Constitution_ (1986) University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0311-5 * Meyer D. H. "The Uniqueness of the American Enlightenment," _American Quarterly_ Vol. 28, No. 2, Special Issue: An American Enlightenment (Summer, 1976), pp. 165–86 in JSTOR * Nelson, Craig _Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations_ (2007) Penguin, ISBN 0-14-311238-4 * Ralston, Shane " American Enlightenment Thought" (2011), _Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy_. * Reid-Maroney, Nina _Philadelphia's Enlightenment, 1740–1800: Kingdom of Christ, Empire of Reason_ (2000) * Richard, C.J. _Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome and the American Enlightenment_ (1995) Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-31426-3 * Sanford, Charles B. _The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson_ (1987) University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0-8139-1131-1 * Sheridan, Eugene R. _Jefferson and Religion_, preface by Martin Marty , (2001) University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 1-882886-08-9 * Staloff, Darren _Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding_. (2005) Hill & Wang, ISBN 0-8090-7784-1 * Winterer, Caroline _American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason_ (2016) Yale University Press, ISBN 0-3001-9257-6 * Wood, Gordon S. _The Radicalism of the American Revolution_ (1993) Vintage, ISBN 0-679-73688-3


* Caron, Nathalie, and Naomi Wulf. "American Enlightenments: Continuity and Renewal." _Journal of American History_ (2013) 99#4 pp: 1072–91. online * Dixon, John M. " Henry F. May and the Revival of the American Enlightenment: Problems and Possibilities for Intellectual and Social History." _William & Mary Quarterly_ (2014) 71#2 pp: 255–80. in JSTOR


* Torre, Jose, ed. _Enlightenment in America, 1720–1825_ (4 vol. Pickering table of contents online at Pickering ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

The Age of Enlightenment


* Atheism * Capitalism * Civil liberties * Counter-Enlightenment * Critical thinking * Deism * Democracy * Empiricism * Encyclopédistes * Enlightened absolutism * Free markets * Haskalah * Humanism * Human rights * Liberalism * _ Liberté, égalité, fraternité _ * Methodological skepticism * Nationalism * Natural philosophy * Objectivity * Rationality * Rationalism * Reason * Reductionism * Sapere aude * Science * Scientific method * Socialism * Universality * Weimar Classicism



* Jean le Rond d\'Alembert * Étienne Bonnot de Condillac * Marquis de Condorcet * Denis Diderot * Claude Adrien Helvétius * Baron d\'Holbach * Georges-Louis Leclerc * Montesquieu * François Quesnay * Jean-Jacques Rousseau * Marquis de Sade * Voltaire


* Johann Wolfgang von Goethe * Johann Georg Hamann * Johann Gottfried von Herder * Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi * Immanuel Kant * Gotthold Ephraim Lessing * Moses Mendelssohn * Friedrich Schiller * Thomas Wizenmann


* Neophytos Doukas * Theoklitos Farmakidis * Rigas Feraios * Theophilos Kairis * Adamantios Korais


* Robert Boyle * Edmund Burke


* Cesare Beccaria * Gaetano Filangieri * Antonio Genovesi * Pietro Verri


* Tadeusz Czacki * Hugo Kołłątaj * Stanisław Konarski * Ignacy Krasicki * Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz * Stanisław August Poniatowski * Jędrzej Śniadecki * Stanisław Staszic * Józef Wybicki * Andrzej Stanisław Załuski * Józef Andrzej Załuski


* Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo


* Catherine II


* Charles III * Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro

United Kingdom (Scotland )

* Francis Bacon * Joseph Black * James Boswell * Adam Ferguson * Edward Gibbon * Robert Hooke * David Hume * Francis Hutcheson * Samuel Johnson * John Locke * Isaac Newton * Thomas Reid * Adam Smith * Mary Wollstonecraft


* Benjamin Franklin * Thomas Jefferson * James Madison * George Mason * Thomas Paine

* v * t * e

Thomas Jefferson

* 3rd President of the United States (1801–1809) * 2nd U.S. Vice President (1797–1801) * 1st U.S. Secretary of State (1790–1793) * U.S. Minister to France (1785–1789) * 2nd Governor of Virginia (1779–1781) * Delegate, Second Continental Congress (1775–1776)

Founding documents of the United States

* _A Summary View of the Rights of British America_ (1774) * Initial draft, _Olive Branch Petition_ (1775) * Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (1775)

* 1776 Declaration of Independence

* Committee of Five * authored * physical history * "All men are created equal" * "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" * "Consent of the governed"

* 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

* freedom of religion



* Co-author, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)


* Inaugural Address (1801 * 1805) * Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves * Louisiana Purchase

* Lewis and Clark Expedition

* Corps of Discovery * timeline * Empire of Liberty

* Red River Expedition * Pike Expedition * Cumberland Road

* Embargo Act of 1807

* Chesapeake–Leopard_ Affair * Non-Intercourse Act of 1809

* First Barbary War * Native American policy * _Marbury v. Madison_ * West Point Military Academy * State of the Union Addresses (texts * 1801 * 1802 * 1805) * Cabinet * Federal judicial appointments

Other noted accomplishments

* Early life and career

* Founder, University of Virginia

* history

* Land Ordinance of 1784

* Northwest Ordinance 1787

* Anti-Administration party * Democratic-Republican Party

* Jeffersonian democracy

* First Party System * republicanism

* _Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measure of the United States (1790)_ * Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions * _A Manual of Parliamentary Practice_ (1801)

Jeffersonian architecture

* Barboursville * Farmington

* Monticello

* gardens

* Poplar Forest

* University of Virginia

* The Rotunda * The Lawn

* Virginia State Capitol * White House Colonnades


* _Notes on the State of Virginia_ (1785) * 1787 European journey memorandums * Indian removal letters * _Jefferson Bible_ (1895) * Jefferson manuscript collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society


* Age of Enlightenment * American Enlightenment * American Philosophical Society

* American Revolution

* patriots

* Member, Virginia Committee of Correspondence * Committee of the States * Founding Fathers of the United States * Franco-American alliance * Jefferson and education * Religious views * Jefferson and slavery * Jefferson and the Library of Congress * Jefferson disk * Jefferson Pier * Pet mockingbird * _ National Gazette _

* Residence Act

* Compromise of 1790

* Sally Hemings

* Jefferson–Hemings controversy * Betty Hemings

* Separation of church and state * Swivel chair * _The American Museum_ magazine * Virginia dynasty


* United States Presidential election 1796 * 1800 * 1804


* Bibliography * Jefferson Memorial * Mount Rushmore * Birthday * Thomas Jefferson Building * Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression * Jefferson Lecture * Jefferson National Expansion Memorial * Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service * Jefferson Lab * Monticello Association * Jefferson City, Missouri * Jefferson College * Thomas Jefferson School of Law * Thomas Jefferson University * Washington and Jefferson National Forests * Other placenames

* Currency depictions

* Jefferson nickel * Two-dollar bill

* U.S. postage stamps


* _Ben and Me_ (1953 short) * _1776 _ (1969 musical * 1972 film ) * _Jefferson in Paris_ (1995 film) * _Thomas Jefferson_ (1997 film) * _Liberty!_ (1997 documentary series) * _Liberty\'s Kids_ (2002 animated series) * _John Adams_ (2008 miniseries) * _Jefferson\'s Garden_ (2015 play) * _Hamilton_ (2015 musical) * Jefferson–Eppes Trophy * Wine bottles controversy


* Peter Jefferson (father) * Jane Randolph Jefferson (mother) * Lucy Jefferson Lewis (sister) * Randolph Jefferson (brother) * Isham Randolph (grandfather) * William Randolph (great-grandfather) * Martha Jefferson (wife) * Martha Jefferson Randolph (daughter) * Mary Jefferson Eppes (daughter) * Harriet Hemings (daughter) * Madison Hemings (son) * Eston Hemings (son) * Thomas J. Randolph (grandson) * Francis Eppes (grandson) * George W. Randolph (grandson) * John Wayles Jefferson (grandson) * Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. (son-in-law) * John Wayles Eppes (son-in-law) * John Wayles (father-in-law) * Dabney Carr (brother-in-law) * Dabney Carr (nephew)



* v * t * e

Benjamin Franklin

January 6, 1706 – April 17, 1790

President of Pennsylvania (1785–1788) , Ambassador to France (1779–1785) Second Continental Congress (1775–1776)

Founding of the United States

* _Join, or Die_ (1754 political cartoon)

* Albany Plan of Union

* Albany Congress

* Hutchinson Letters Affair * Committee of Secret Correspondence * Committee of Five * Declaration of Independence

* Model Treaty

* Franco-American alliance * Treaty of Amity and Commerce * Treaty of Alliance

* Staten Island Peace Conference * Treaty of Paris, 1783 * Delegate, 1787 Constitutional Convention * Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly * Postmaster General * Founding Fathers

Inventions, other events

* Franklin\'s electrostatic machine * Bifocals * Franklin stove * Glass armonica * Gulf Stream exploration, naming, and chart * Lightning rod * Kite experiment * Pay it forward

* Associators

* 111th Infantry Regiment

* Junto club * American Philosophical Society * Library Company of Philadelphia * Pennsylvania Hospital

* The Academy and College of Philadelphia

* University of Pennsylvania

* Philadelphia Contributionship * Union Fire Company * Early American currency * United States Postal Service * President, Pennsylvania Abolition Society * Master, Les Neuf Sœurs * Other social contributions and studies * Gravesite


* Silence Dogood letters (1722) * _A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain (1725)_ * The Busy-Body letters (1729) * _ Pennsylvania Gazette (1729–1790)_ * _Poor Richard\'s Almanack (1732–1758)_ * The Drinker\'s Dictionary (1737) * "Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress" (1745) * "The Speech of Polly Baker" (1747) * _Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc. (1751)_ * _ Experiments and Observations on Electricity (1751)_ * Birch letters (1755) * _ The Way to Wealth (1758)_ * _Pennsylvania Chronicle_ (1767) * _Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One_ (1773) * Proposed alliance with the Iroquois (1775) * _A Letter To A Royal Academy (1781)_ * _Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America_ (1784) * _ The Morals of Chess (1786)_ * _An Address to the Public (1789)_ * _A Plan for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks (1789)_ * _The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1771–90, pub. 1791)_ * _ Bagatelles and Satires (pub. 1845)_ * Franklin as a journalist


* Franklin Court * Benjamin Franklin House * Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology * Benjamin Franklin National Memorial * Franklin Institute * Benjamin Franklin Medal * Depicted in _The Apotheosis of Washington_ * _Benjamin Franklin_ statue, Washington D.C.

* In popular culture

* _Ben and Me_ (1953 short) * _Ben Franklin in Paris_ (1964 musical play) * _1776_ (1969 musical * 1972 film ) * _Benjamin Franklin_ (1974 miniseries) * _Liberty!_ (1997 documentary series) * _Liberty\'s Kids_ (2002 animated series) * _Benjamin Franklin_ (2002 documentary series) * _John Adams_ (2008 miniseries) * _Sons of Liberty_ (2015 miniseries) * Sons of Ben (supporters group for the Philadelphia Union soccer club

* Refunding Certificate * Franklin half dollar * One-hundred dollar bill

* Washington-Franklin stamps

* other stamps

* Cities, counties, schools named for Franklin * Franklin Field * State of Franklin * Ships named USS _Franklin_ * Ben Franklin effect


* Age of Enlightenment * American Enlightenment * _ The New-England Courant _ * _The American Museum_ magazine

* American Revolution

* patriots

* Syng inkstand


* Deborah Read (wife) * Sarah Franklin Bache (daughter) * Francis Franklin (son) * William Franklin (son) * Richard Bache Jr. (grandson) * Benjamin F. Bache (grandson) * Louis F. Bache (grandson) * William Franklin (grandson) * Andrew Harwood (great-grandson) * Alexander Bache (great-grandson) * Josiah Franklin (father) * Jane Mecom (sister) * James Franklin (brother) * Mary Morrell Folger (grandmother) * Peter Folger (grandfather) * Richard Bache (son-in-law) * Ann Smith Franklin (sister-in-law)

* v * t * e

James Madison

* 4th President of the United States (1809–1817) * 5th U.S. Secretary of State (1801–1809) * United States House of Representatives (1789–1797) * Congress of the Confederation (1781–1783) * Virginia House of Delegates (1776–1779, 1784–1786)

"Father of the Constitution"

* Co-wrote, 1776 Virginia Constitution * 1786 Annapolis Convention

* 1787 Constitutional Convention

* Virginia Plan * Constitution of the United States * _ Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 _

* _The Federalist_ Papers

* written by Madison * No. 10 * No. 51

* Virginia Ratifying Convention

* United States Bill of Rights

* 27th amendment

* Constitution drafting and ratification timeline * Founding Fathers


* First inauguration * Second inauguration

* Tecumseh\'s War

* Battle of Tippecanoe

* War of 1812

* origins * Burning of Washington * The Octagon House * Treaty of Ghent * Seven Buildings residence * results

* Second Barbary War * Era of Good Feelings * Second Bank of the United States * State of the Union Address (1810 * 1814 * 1815 * 1816) * Cabinet * Federal judiciary appointments

Other noted accomplisments

* Co-founder, American Whig Society * Supervised the Louisiana Purchase * Anti-Administration party

* Residence Act

* Compromise of 1790

* Democratic-Republican Party

* First Party System * republicanism

* Library of Congress * Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions * Report of 1800


* The Papers of James Madison


* Early life and career * Belle Grove Plantation, birthplace * Montpelier


* U.S. House of Representatives election, 1789 * 1790 * 1792 * 1794 * U.S. presidential election, 1808 * 1812

Legacy and popular culture

* James Madison Memorial Building * James Madison University * James Madison College * Madison, Wisconsin * Madison Square * Madison River * Madison Street * U.S. postage stamps * James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation * James Madison Freedom of Information Award * James Madison Award * James Madison Institute * _A More Perfect Union_ (1989 film) * _Liberty\'s Kids_ (2002 miniseries) * _Hamilton_ (2015 musical)


* Age of Enlightenment * American Enlightenment * _ Marbury v. Madison _ * _ National Gazette _ * Paul Jennings * Madisonian Model * American Philosophical Society * _The American Museum_ magazine * Virginia dynasty


* Dolley Madison (wife) * John Payne Todd (stepson) * James Madison, Sr. (father) * Nelly Conway Madison (mother) * William Madison (brother) * Ambrose Madison (paternal grandfather) * James Madison (cousin) * George Madison (paternal second-cousin) * Thomas Madison (paternal second-cousin) * John Madison (great-grandfather) * Lucy Washington (sister-in-law)



* v * t * e

John Adams

* 2nd President of the United States, 1797–1801 * 1st Vice President of the United States, 1789–1797 * U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1785–1788 * U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, 1782–1788 * Delegate, Second Continental Congress, 1775–1778 * Delegate, First Continental Congress, 1774

Founding of the United States

* _Braintree Instructions_ (1765) * Boston Massacre defense * Continental Association * _Novanglus; A History of the Dispute with America, From Its Origin in 1754 to the Present Time_ (1775) * _Thoughts on Government_ (1776)

* Declaration of Independence

* May 15 preamble * Committee of Five

* Model Treaty

* Treaty of Amity and Commerce * Treaty of Alliance

* Board of War

* Chairman of the Marine Committee, 1775-1779

* Continental Navy

* Staten Island Peace Conference

* Conference House

* _Constitution of Massachusetts_ (1780) * Treaty of Paris, 1783


* Inauguration

* Quasi War with France

* XYZ Affair * Commerce Protection Act * United States Marine Corps * Convention of 1800

* Alien and Sedition Acts

* Naturalization Act of 1798

* Navy Department Library * Treaty of Tellico * Treaty of Tripoli

* Midnight Judges Act

* _ Marbury v. Madison _

* State of the Union Address (1797 * 1798 * 1799 * 1800) * Cabinet * Federal judiciary appointments


* Massachusetts Historical Society holdings

Life and homes

* Early life and education

* Adams National Historical Park

* John Adams Birthplace * Family home and John Quincy Adams birthplace * Peacefield * Presidential Library

* Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University * Presidents House, Philadelphia * Co-founder and second president, American Academy of Arts and Sciences * United First Parish Church and gravesite


* United States presidential election 1788–1789 * 1792 * 1796 * 1800


* Adams House at Harvard University * John Adams Building * U.S. Postage stamps * Adams Memorial


* _Profiles in Courage_ (1964 series) * _American Primitive_ (1969 play) * _1776_ (1969 musical * 1972 film) * _The Adams Chronicles_ (1976 miniseries) * _Liberty!_ (1997 documentary series) * _Liberty\'s Kids (2002 animated series)_ * _John Adams_ (2001 book * 2008 miniseries) * _Sons of Liberty_ (2015 miniseries)


* "Adams and Liberty" campaign song * Adams\' personal library * American Enlightenment * Congress Hall

* Federalist Party

* Federalist Era * First Party System * republicanism

* American Philosophical Society * _ Gazette of the United States _ * _The American Museum _

* American Revolution

* patriots


* Abigail Adams

* wife * Quincy family

* Abigail Adams Smith (daughter)

* John Quincy Adams

* son * presidency

* Charles Adams (son) * Thomas Boylston Adams (son) * George W. Adams (grandson) * Charles Adams Sr. (grandson) * John Adams II (grandson) * John Q. Adams (great-grandson) * Henry Adams (great-grandson) * Brooks Adams (great-grandson) * John Adams Sr. (father) * Susanna Boylston (mother) * Elihu Adams (brother) * Samuel Adams (second cousin)

* Louisa Adams

* daughter-in-law * First Lady



* v * t * e

Alexander Hamilton

* Senior Officer of the United States Army, 1799–1800 * 1st Secretary of the Treasury, 1789–1795 * Delegate, Congress of the Confederation, 1782–1783, 1788–1789

United States founding events

* _A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress_ (1774) * _The Farmer Refuted_ (1775) * Delegate, 1786 Annapolis Convention * Delegate, 1787 Constitutional Convention

* Initiated, main author, _The Federalist_ Papers

* written by Hamilton

* Founding Father

Secretary of the Treasury

* First Bank of the United States * Revenue Marine (United States Coast Guard) * United States Customs Service * Hamiltonian economic program

* Residence Act

* Compromise of 1790

* "First Report on the Public Credit", 1790 * Funding Act of 1790 * "Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports", 1790 * "Second Report on Public Credit", a.k.a. "Report on a National Bank", 1790 * "Report On Manufactures", 1791 * Tariff of 1790 * Tariff of 1792

* Coinage Act of 1792

* United States Mint

* Whiskey Rebellion * Jay Treaty


* New York Provincial Company of Artillery * In the Revolutionary War * Battles: Harlem Heights * White Plains * Trenton * General Washington\'s Aide-de-Camp * Princeton * Brandywine * Germantown * Monmouth * Siege of Yorktown


* Burr–Hamilton duel

* Founder, Federalist Party

* Federalist Era

* Founder, Bank of New York * Bank of North America * Advisor, George Washington\'s Farewell Address * President-General of the Society of the Cincinnati * Founder, _New-York Evening Post_ * Hamilton–Reynolds sex scandal * _Rutgers v. Waddington_ * Relationship with slavery

Depictions and memorials

* _Alexander Hamilton_ (Fraser statue) * _Alexander Hamilton_ (Ceracchi bust) * _Alexander Hamilton_ (Conrads statue) * _Alexander Hamilton_ (Trumbull portrait) * Alexander Hamilton Bridge * Alexander Hamilton High School (Los Angeles) * Fort Hamilton * Hamilton Grange National Memorial * Hamilton Hall (Columbia University) * Hamilton Hall (Salem, Massachusetts) * Hamilton Heights, Manhattan * Hamilton, Ohio * Hamilton-Oneida Academy * Postage stamps * Trinity Church Cemetery * United States ten-dollar bill

Media and popular culture

* _Hamilton_ (2015 musical) * _Hamilton_ (1917 play) * _Alexander Hamilton_ (1931 film) * _Liberty!_ (1997 documentary series) * _Liberty\'s Kids_ (2002 animated series) * _John Adams_ (2008 miniseries)


* Age of Enlightenment * American Enlightenment * American Philosophical Society * Liberty Hall (New Jersey)

* New York Manumission Society

* African Free School

* "American System" economic plan

* American School

* American Revolution

* patriots


* Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton

* wife * Schuyler family

* Philip Hamilton (oldest son) * Angelica Hamilton (daughter) * Alexander Hamilton Jr. (son) * James Alexander Hamilton (son) * John Church Hamilton (son) * William S. Hamilton (son) * Eliza Hamilton Holly (daughter) * Philip Hamilton (youngest son) * Schuyler Hamilton (grandson) * Alexander Hamilton, Jr. (grandson) * Allan McLane Hamilton (grandson) * Robert Ray Hamilton (great-grandson)

* v * t * e

George Mason

United States Founding events

* Drafted, 1769 Virginia Association resolutions * Primary author, 1774 Fairfax Resolves

* Primary author, 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights

* " All men are created equal " * Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness * Freedom of the press * F