American is a superpower thus so many countries look up to it. Any event that happens in America today is watched through a lens by the world be it a third world country or otherwise. The United States is an important superpower and ever since time immemorial, she has been at the forefront of development throughout the world. Most of American historians do not go unnoticed. They created history to reckon with and what has made most policies and shaped most world decisions in today’s world.
Among the historical figures to reckon with are Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. The three all had something to do with America’s history and government creation. They are highly criticized for their weaknesses yet their achievements on the political front are beyond comparison to anything else. They were extra ordinary men with a passion to carry on borrowed concepts which no normal man would pursue.
All three political figures were important for the United States economic and social development since they had far reaching vision for the future which is still being felt today in the system that is the American Constitution
George Washington is not given the appreciation he deserves as a historian. He wanted to keep his life private and he was a man of his words. He really worried what people thought of him and his honor. In those days this was very important unlike today when politicians jump from one decision to the other per minute. This shows that Washington had a far reaching vision for the US and it is borne up in Wood’s essay
“George Washington is not Washington was an extraordinary heroic man who made rule by more ordinary mortals possible. He virtually created the presidency, and gave it a dignity that through the years it has never lost.” (Wood p. 139)
He was a very cautious man who wanted his name and dignity to remain intact. This is what makes him not be appreciated in today’s world though then in the 18th century his cautiousness made an outstanding character whenever something new is been created so as to make sober and clear decisions.
Benjamin Franklin organized the Society for political enquiries in which George Washington was a member and was known for his reluctance in taking a leading role. Franklin was among those convincing Washington of his importance in the constitutional convection.
Benjamin Franklin wrote so as to convince Washington to be a part of the constitutional convection. “Your presence will be of the greatest importance to the success of the measure,” (Brands p. 117) .
This fully convinced Washington to attend the conference. Franklin was aware of the amount of influence that Washington had on the passing of the proposed bills, thus he couldn’t let him not be part of it. Franklin played a huge role in Washington’s leadership and also managed to convince him to be president. Again we have the influence of Franklin on Washington and the concept of leadership and governance.
On September 17 the completed copy of the constitution was ready for the member’s signatures. Franklin then addressed the convention for the last time. He spoke through James Wilson he said he didn’t approve of everything inside the constitution he said that he had lived long enough to know when to change his opinion and when to stick to it. He played a very big role and finally George Washington was the first to sign and followed by the rest of the people.
He was a staunch Christian when the implementations were not working as well as they should he pleaded with people to pray. He said that only God would intervene. This plea was ignored and failed people believed as much as it is said that a leader comes from God the leadership should be given to the rich and well born since the world only consisted of two kinds; the rich and well born and the rest of the world. The first group is who mattered to the majority in those days.
In this article “Thomas Jefferson and the Meanings of Liberty,” We see Thomas Jefferson been judged harshly for his weakness for a woman Sally Hemming’s. In this article we observe how Wilson was no ordinary person yet he was unjustly judged and how futuristic he was. His life contradicted with his beliefs in regard to freedom and race. He borrowed his ideas and beliefs from a European man. Wilson strongly argues that using our values today alter the heroes of yesterday. ‘In Jefferson we meet the American anomaly – the antislavery slaveholder’ (Wilson p 100).
Jefferson was health conscious in those days this is best described by some of the activities he was involved in for instance he was a vegetarian, a runner in his young age. Jefferson was also an accomplished architect. The campus of the University of Virginia is a monument of his architectural achievements.
Jefferson’s greatest recognized achievement was the Declaration of Independence. In these three articles we look at three extra ordinary men, who took centre stage in the formation of America to what it is today. They are human but then the world treats them very harshly. We and the people of that time don’t seem to delve much into their achievements but into their weaknesses. Like one man said let’s not look at his weakness but at his achievements.
Washington brought about a lot of good things in America’s political front including two terms for presidency, fair compensation and democracy etc yet he is remembered for how much he wanted to preserve his dignity how for him it mattered how much or what the people knew,
Franklin on the other hand believed in democracy and freedom and he played a role in creating the constitution, yet he is also criticised for being a slave owner.
Thomas on the other hand is harshly judged for his weakness of a slave woman yet he too played a huge role in American history.
America is what it is today because certain people made good decisions the historians to reckon with are Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. They all played a role in passing and creation of the constitution and influenced a lot of things in today’s political front. That has been a set pacer for America and a lot of third world countries today. So it is apparent that all three books focus on the role that these founding fathers had in creating the Constitution besides their various personal weaknesses.
Wilson Douglas, Thomas Jefferson and the meaning of Liberty:
Brands H.W, Miracle at Philadelphia
Gordon S Wood, The Greatness of George Washington,