Founding Fathers a detailed group

James Farmer

The Founding Fathers of this country are often alluded to and quoted when discussing the problems facing the United States, but too often are they portrayed as a group of men with the same vision and ideas for the fledgling state they helped to create. In reality, they were a group of men with diverse ideologies, some more gung-ho about independence than others and almost all of them had their own unique view of what the country should look like going forward.

One of the most popular statements of the Founders is that they wanted a weak federal government; however, this statement is partially true at best. The signers of the Articles of Confederation created an amazingly weak federal government, with powers so limited it was hamstrung from the start. All it took was one good rebellion for the Founders to toss the Articles in the trash and create the Constitution. There were two sides to the fight to create the Constitution, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, and these two sides took to a public fight under pseudonyms such as Publius and Cato that would make modern-day political pundits drool. But both sides realized a federal government can be too weak to be effective.

The Founders were also hamstrung by the times in which they lived. Of course the Founders have no comments about abortion, Internet censorship and carbon emission laws, because it was impossible to foresee these developments. On the other hand, things they were familiar with also changed over time. Automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines are recent inventions that a Founder would have no knowledge of; however, the proliferation of firearms might be the most surprising thing to the Founders. Gun ownership was extremely limited in colonial early America due to the price of firearms. In fact, the largest gun owner was each state itself, a testament to this is the battles of Lexington and Concord which were fought to prevent the British from seizing the state arms depots.

This is not to say that the wisdom of our Founding Fathers should be forgotten or dismissed. The experiences and ideas that these men had helped shape the American belief system. But we should all remember the fallible humanity that all of these men shared. After all, most (if not all) Founders would probably be offended by the amount of hero-worship they are receiving.