The 7 Most Influential Founding Fathers Of The U.S

Of all the nearly 56 founding fathers that helped shape the modern nation of the United States of America there are 7 that stand out as the most influential. Each of these influential founding fathers have had movies, books, video games, and even plays created to highlight their influence.

Even during their own life several of these founding fathers were recognized as highly influential by both their contemporaries in the U.S and across the Atlantic in Europe.

Here is a short list of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the United States.

  1. George Washington
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. John Adams
  5. James Madison
  6. Alexander Hamilton
  7. James Monroe

Each of the above founding fathers landed on this list due to their influence upon their direct time and also their influence on the subsequent development of the United States. While much debate has centered around what exactly creates a founding father I have highlighted those who fought on the site of the British Colonists during the American Revolution either directly or indirectly.

Under each of the following founding fathers is a further reading section if you would like more evidence of their importance to the history of the United States.

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Without further ado; here are the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

George Washington

BornFebruary 22nd, 1732
DiedDecember 14th, 1799
Famous Quote“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace”
Known ForHelping to fight in the French and Indian War, helping to win the American revolutionary war, serving as the first president of the United States
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th century
Further ReadingGeorge Washington: The 3 Ways He Changed History Forever

Easily one of the most influential founding fathers of the United States (U.S) would be none other than George Washington.

George Washington was the general of the Continental Army which over the period of eight years fought a guerilla war against the British Empire during the American Revolutionary War.

However the reason for George Washington being such an influential founding father was his experience as a general and leader before the start of the American revolutionary war.

General George Washington would take part in the French and Indian war where he learned how to fight in the unforgiving woods of North America. He would then take this experience and turn it against the British during the war for independence.

Washington was known to hold authority and speak in a dignified manner. From this he commanded respect from both the constitutional army as well as from the United States congress.

Without George Washington it is doubtful the American Revolutionary War would have resulted in a win for the American Colonists.

As a result he easily lands on this list of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S

Benjamin Franklin

BornJanuary 17th, 1706
DiedApril 17th, 1790
Famous Quote“There never was a good war or a bad peace”
Known ForIntellectual writer, inventor, statesman, scientist, diplomat, political philosopher.
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th century
Further ReadingThe 3 Ways Cicero Influenced The Development of The U.S and The Absolute 21 Most Influential And Greatest Writers In History

It should be to nobody’s surprise that Benjamin Franklin makes this list of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

Benjamin Franklin was considered a Polymath, or someone who spends their entire life learning and is incredibly intelligent. Because of this unending learning Benjamin Franklin would become one of the most influential people in the world during the 18th century.

This massive influence was pivotal to the success of the American Revolution. While George Washington was the commander of the military it was Benjamin Franklin who commanded the international prestige of the fledgling nation.

The reason the American Revolution was a success was because of the fame of Benjamin Franklin overseas, particularly in France. Over the course of the war Benjamin Franklin would use his influence and prestige to navigate the diplomatic circles of France and other European countries.

In these European countries Benjamin Franklin was considered a unique American who possessed an uncanny level of intelligence. Because of this Benjamin Franklin would be invited to special events and even mingle with the King of France himself Louis XVI.

It was because of this influence and prestige of Benjamin Franklin that Louis XVI was finally convinced to enter into the war for American Independence on the side of the British Colonists.

Simply put, without Benjamin Franklin it’s doubtful the American Revolutionary War would have been successful.

Thomas Jefferson

BornApril 13th, 1743
DiedJuly 4, 1826
Famous Quote“Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.”
Known ForWrote Declaration of Independence, third president of United States, doubled size of United States through Louisiana Purchase
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th and 19th centuries
Further ReadingThomas Jefferson: The 3 Reasons He Is Famous Today

Thomas Jefferson ends up on this list of the top 7 most influential founding fathers of the declaration of independence for one major reason, he provided the political philosophy that helped create the United States government.

Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were influential during their time. Thomas Jefferson’s influence only grows over time with the growth of the United States.

The reason for this was because of Jefferson’s experience with political philosophy. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and built into it several enlightenment ideals which stem from the Roman Republic.

By combining the philosophies of Locke, Hobbes, Cicero, and Voltaire Thomas Jefferson would create the foundational ethos of the United States. This is important because it served two purposes.

First, it demonstrated to the American people what their new nation would be built around. The concepts of liberty, prosperity, and safety.

Second, it demonstrated to the world that the United States was an authoritative nation and not a band of rebels.

Because of this Thomas Jefferson’s influence continues to grow as the United States grows. He laid the foundation for the government of the United States which today is one of the most powerful nations on the planet.

As such he remains one of the most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

John Adams

BornOctober 30th, 1735
DiedJuly 4th, 1826
Famous Quote“Let frugality and industry be our virtues”
Known ForSecond president of the United States, laying legal framework for U.S, helped to establish the international prestige of the United States
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th and 19th centuries.
Further ReadingJohn Adams: His 3 Major Accomplishments That Changed History

Another one of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S would be John Adams. Over the course of his life this man would lay the foundation for the modern legal system of the United States.

John Adams would study law over the entirety of his life. While he never wanted to become a lawyer on multiple occasions he would defend people in court. An example of this can be seen when Adams defended the British soldiers of the Boston Massacre.

Adams believed heavily in two aspects of English common law that he believed were no longer being enforced. That was the legal right to counsel as well as the presumption of innocence.

Shortly before and during the American Revolutionary war English common law would be suspended in favor of direct autocratic laws. To John Adams this was an atrocity.

John Adams would eventually become the second president of the United States and help usher in an age of prosperity. Further, he would help build out the legal framework of the United States that to this day influences the lives of millions of people across the world.

Because of this John Adams remains one of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

James Madison

BornMarch 16th, 1751
DiedJune 28th, 1836
Famous Quote“If men were angels, no government would be necessary”
Known For4th president of the United States, drafting the U.S Constitution
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th and 19th centuries
Further ReadingJames Madison: 3 Reasons He Was A Federalist

One of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S is none other than James Madison.

During the early years of the United States there was a fierce political debate on how the United States should progress in building its government. On one hand were the democratic/republicans who believed power should come from the states who would elect representatives to create a national government.

Madison believed that a strong central government should exist and instead dictate power down to the states of the U.S. This Madison argued would allow the United States to grow and be more efficient in responding to threats.

At first the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation. This loosely bound the states of the United States into a confederation where each state was sovereign outside of a few select privileges that would be given to a national government.

However this proved to be disastrous as the states were either too corrupt or incapable of dealing with internal problems efficiently. During this time there was no national government to help a state.

Madison would fix this by drafting the U.S constitution. A new form of government that sought to combine both the Federalist party along with the Democratic/Republican party. Out of this came the checks and balances that make up the modern U.S government.

Because Madison created the modern U.S government he easily lands on this list as one of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

Alexander Hamilton

BornJanuary 11th ,1755
DiedJuly 12, 1804
Famous Quote“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous”
Known ForFounding Father, American Statesman, founder of Federalist political party
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th century
Further ReadingAlexander Hamilton: His Actions During The Revolutionary War

One of the most unique, adventurous, and influential founding fathers of the United States is Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton did not sign the declaration of independence but he was pivotal to the creation of the United States of America. Not only did he serve on several military campaigns during the Revolutionary War but he also was responsible for nearly all military correspondence between Washington and other American generals.

However, the reason that Hamilton lands on this list of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S was because he created the modern economic policies of the United States.

Alexander Hamilton was a strong proponent of the United States paying off the debts incurred during the war as well as creating two large federal banks. Further, he pushed for an increase in trade between the United States and the British Empire.

On top of this Alexander Hamilton was a federalist who believed that the United States should have a strong federal government. At the head of this federal government should be a strong leader who would lead an executive branch of government.

Also Hamilton worked to support a standing military for the United States government. Because of his influence the modern United States has one of the largest military presences in the world.

Today Hamilton is regarded as one of the most influential founding fathers because of his effect upon developing the modern Financial system of the United States government.

James Monroe

BornApril 28th, 1758
DiedJuly 4th, 1831
Famous Quote“The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil”
Known For5th president of the United States, Issuing Monroe Doctrine, Thomas Jefferson’s right hand man
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th and 19th century
Further ReadingJames Monroe: His 3 Greatest Accomplishments

The last of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S is James Monroe.

While James Monroe never signed the declaration of independence he is considered a founding father for two reasons. First, he served in the continental army during the Revolution. Second, he laid the groundwork for the modern United States to experience a drastic increase in growth over the 19th and 20th centuries.

The era of James Monroe marks the end of the founding fathers. He was elected as the 5th president of the United States in 1816. This election marked the end of the Federalist party. Further, it marked the end of the era of founding fathers.

Today James Monroe is remembered as one of the most influential founding fathers because of his policies on U.S expansion. He studied under Thomas Jefferson and sought to continue an era of expansion westward to open up the United States to American colonists.

During his time as president James Monroe established the Monroe Doctrine. This doctrine stated that the United States would stand against any attempt at further colonization attempts by European powers in the Americas.

Further, James Monroe acquired Florida from Spain and managed to secure the U.S border all the way to the Pacific ocean.

Because of this Monroe established that the United States was an international power as well as opening up the western United States for settlement.

Simply put, James Monroe opened up the United States to expand dramatically over the 19th and 20th centuries to become the superpower that it is today.

As such we remember James Monroe as one of the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article dedicated to the 7 most influential founding fathers of the U.S.

The concept of the ‘Founding Father’ did not exist in its current state until the 20th century. Today the memory of what a founding father was or the criteria to become one is a hotly contested topic among historians. Prospective graduate students of history will find a wealth of potential study topics in this field.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

Further you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Sincerely,

Nick