The Public and Private Lives of America's Founding Fathers

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

In 1776, 56 men from 12 of the 13 American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, and created a new nation. Only a few of these are well-known, even in the United States, but they had very varied backgrounds and personalities. Many were slave owners, some were property developers, some financial speculators, several went bankrupt, and one died in jail. This short course will look at the public and private lives of some of the more prominent or colourful of these men – and of their often long-suffering wives.
Course outline
1 The years of decision – from Revolution to Independence to Constitution
2 The lives and achievements of the 'significant seven'
3 The lives of some lesser-known men of influence
4 Some founders' wives, mistresses and children
5 Political and religious convictions in dispute
6 The founders' failures – variant policies on native Americans and slavery
1 Recognise the roles of some of the founding fathers, and their wives, in America’s road to independence.
2 Evaluate the importance of slavery in determining the shape of the Constitution.
3 Analyse the significance of opposing political and religious views in shaping the documents of the new Republic.
4 Identify the major successes and failures in the lives of some of the Founding Fathers.