Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday Top 5: Founding Fathers

In honor of the 4th of July and America celebrating its 236th birthday, here's a special American edition of the Tuesday Top 5 - the best of the Founding Fathers.

Since this list is about the Founding Fathers, it's obviously non-negotiable. If you disagree you probably hate America and freedom.

Top 5 Founding Fathers

5. John Hancock

Best known for being a total baller and signing his name in massive font on the Declaration of Independence, Hancock was actually one of the richest men in America. He inherited a wildly successful shipping business and was a key importer of goods into the Boston area. In May 1768, one of Hancock's ships (the Liberty) was seized by the British warship HMS Romney (huh? really? Is there something Mitt isn't telling us?) in connection with suspicions of smuggling wine. Basically, Hancock was like the American Revolution's version of Han Solo.

Factoid we overlook: He resigned as Governor of Massachusetts when discontent was brewing with the farmers in Central Massachusetts. This "discontent" eventually turned into Shays' Rebellion after he stepped down. After the Rebellion was quashed, Hancock was re-elected Governor and he pardoned all the rebels.

4. James Madison

Do you like the Bill of Rights? Cool, thank James Madison for that. He also was an influential writer that had very public debates about the Constitution in the form of the Federalist Papers. Madison was one of the key architects of the Constitution.

Factoid we overlook: Madison's rhetoric was in favor of allowing Native Americans to keep their land, but after the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, an influx of white settlers pushed the Native Americans entirely off their lands in Ohio and other frontier territories.

3. George Washington

Warning: NSFW

Factoid we overlook: Washington died after falling ill from riding around in his fields in snow and freezing rain then not changing his clothes. This same lesson was not impressed upon William Henry Harrison.

2. Thomas Jefferson

Possibly the most famous ginger in American history. Really no clue where we'd be without Jefferson. He penned the most famous document in the history of the world since the 95 Theses. How did he follow that up? Combing the Free Agent list and picking up the Louisiana Territory from France for literally a sack of nickles. Jefferson was the model that modern-day sports GMs are trying to emulate when they sign contracts or make free agent contracts. Seriously, he got 828,000 square miles for less than 3 cents an acre. In 2011 dollars, that would be 42 cents per acre because inflation sucks, but that's still an unreal price.

Factoid we overlook: Sally Hemmings

1. Thomas Paine

The original T-Paine has not one, but two national revolutions on his resume. After writing the wildly successful "Common Sense," Paine traveled across the pond to France and wrote in defense of the French Revolution. Despite not speaking French, he was somehow elected to their National Convention and wrote a bunch of books/pamphlets that influenced the Revolution.

Factoid we overlook: Paine was incredibly anti-Christian and often wrote/spoke against institutionalized religion

1 comment:

silicasandra said...

Did not know about T-Paine. Then again, the French Revolution was pretty anti-religion too IIRC.

I would say that Sally Hemmings was a neglected factoid, but now is basically the only thing popular culture remembers about Jefferson (maybe besides his allegedly really awkward voice).

At any rate, go America.