George Washington was a member of the First Continental Congress. He was then chosen to lead the Continental Army, he was the President of the Constitutional Convention, and of course became the first President of the United States. In all these leadership positions, he showed a steadfastness of purpose and helped create the precedents and foundations that would form America.
John Adams was an important figure in both the First and Second Continental Congresses. He was on the Committee to draft the Declaration of Independence, he was considered the dominant influence to its adoption, and he was chosen to help negotiate the Treaty of Paris that officially ended the American Revolution. He later became the first Vice President and then the second President of the United States of America.
Thomas Jefferson, as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, was chosen to be part of a Committee of Five that would draft the Declaration of Independence inwhich he was unanimously picked to write the Declaration of Independence. He was then sent to France as a Diplomat after the Revolution and then returned to become first the Vice President under John Adams and then the third President of the United States of America.
James Madison was known as the Father of the Constitution, for he was responsible for writing much of it. Also, along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, he was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers that helped persuade the States to accept the new Constitution. He was responsible for drafting the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution in 1791, he helped organize the “New Government”, and he later became the fourth President of the United States of America.
Benjamin Franklin was considered the elder Statesman by the time of the Revolutionary War and the (later) Constitutional Convention. He was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress, he was part of the Committee of Five that was to draft the Declaration of Independence, and he contributed corrections that Thomas Jefferson included in his final draft. Franklin was insturmental in getting French aid during the American Revolution and helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War.
Samuel Adams was a true Revolutionary figure. He was one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty, his leadership helped organize the Boston Tea Party, he was a Delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses, and he fought for the Declaration of Independence. He also helped draft the Articles of Confederation as well as Massachusetts’ Constitution inwhich he served as Governor.
Thomas Paine was the author of a very important pamphlet called Common Sense that was published in 1776 which was a compelling argument for independence from Great Britain. His pamphlet insturmental in giving Colonists of the wisdom of open rebellion against the British. Further, he published another pamphlet called The Crisis during the Revolutionary War that helped rally American Soldiers.
Patrick Henry was a radical Revolutionary who was unafraid to speak up against Great Britain at an early date. He is most famous for his speech that includes the line, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He served as the Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War and he helped fight for the addition of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constituion. (A document with which he disagreed because of its strong Federal powers.)
Alexander Hamilton fought in the Revolutionary War however, his true importance came about after the war when he was a major proponent for the United States Constitution. Hamilton, along with John Jay and James Madison, wrote the Federalist Papers in an effort to secure support for the Constitution. Once George Washington was elected as the first President of the United States of America, Hamilton was appointed as the first Secretary of the Treasury. While Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton established the First Bank of the United States which was chartered for a term of 20 years. Most believe that Hamilton’s plan for getting the “New Country” on its feet economically was instrumental in forming a sound financial basis for the new Republic. Which is true to a certain point. Alexander Hamilton believed that a central bank was necessary to stabilize and improve the nation’s credit, and to improve the handling of financial business of the United States Government under our newly enacted Constitution. Hamilton’s central bank received widespread resistance from opponents that were against an increased federal power of any and every kind. Secretary of State (at the time) Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led the opposition against Hamilton and his central bank claiming that a central banking system is unconstitutional, and that a central banking system would benefit merchants and investors at the expense of the majority of the population. This opposition would later succeed in closing the central bank on March 3, 1811. Later in life in 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (a bitter political rival of Hamilton who was the Vice President of the United States & President of the Senate under President George Washington at the time) agreed to duel over their differences. Burr fatally shot Hamilton. Burr was charged with murder in both New York and New Jersey, where the duel was held, but the case was never prosecuted.
Gouverneur Morris was an accomplished Statesman that was insturmental in ushering in the idea of a person being a citizen of the union, and not the individual states. Morris was part of the Second Continental Congress inwhich he provided legislative leadership that backed George Washington in his fight against the British. Morrris signed the Articles of Confederation and he is credited with writing parts of the Constitution of the United States of America including its preamble.