What would the Founding Fathers say about the U.S. in 2010?The Founding Fathers hold a diversity that few seem to recognize or remember.  These guys were at eachother's throat not long after the...

What would the Founding Fathers say about the U.S. in 2010?

The Founding Fathers hold a diversity that few seem to recognize or remember.  These guys were at eachother's throat not long after the end of the war....why was that???? and can any of their insight into domestic and foreign affairs guide us today?????

Asked on by dbello

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enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

These men were the product of the Enlightenment, which, for the first time in modern history, promoted the concept of the sanctity of the Individual.  Enlightenment philosophers considered what the proper relation between individuals should be, and what the proper relation was between individual and the state. They understood the proper functioning of government, and that political power by its very nature tends towards collusion and corruption, which is why the Constitution specifically separated powers among government officials. They would be appalled at the size and intrusiveness of the federal government today.

It's true that they did not face the same problems that we do today, but many of our current problems wouldn't exist if we had remained true to the Enlightenment Principles embodied in the Constitution.  How far we have deviated.

hannahshychuk's profile pic

hannahshychuk | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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As previous posts have indicated, the "Founding Fathers" were not some heterogenous group of noble benefactors of a new country. They were powerful men with competing interests who sweated out a document that continues to serve as the backbone for all legislation in this country.

I am sure, regardless of anything else, that they would be happy that the democratic process continues today and that the document they forged is still of such great significance.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The insight of our founding fathers is evident in that the government they were instrumental in establishing is still functioning soundly. I don’t think they would have had any valuable insight into today’s issues as these issues are so far removed from what they conceived. However, we learn from history, so maybe today’s historians will have insights that serve us well into the future of our country.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I would say it is remarkable that our system of government has withstood for well over 200 years. I don't think that the founding fathers would be able to comprehend the problems our country currently faces.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

They were at each other's throats because they disagreed on fundamental issues about what the US should be like.  One side thought the US should be agrarian and more democratic -- this side approved of the French Revolution.  The other thought the US should be industrial and more republican -- they supported the British against the French.

I don't think they were any better than we are at managing their foreign or domestic affairs.  They had to send the army to put down the Whiskey Rebellion.  They had the country split over foreign policy  -- to the extent that the New England states talked about secession during the War of 1812.  So it's not like they were perfect.

What they did well was to set up a system of government that could weather the problems (except for slavery) and remain strong to the present.  So no, I don't think they have a lot to teach us because they were no better than we are at running the affairs of a country and a world that were much simpler than ours.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I don't know if they would even recognize the country as it now is and be able to comprehend what it has become. The founding fathers were not able in their time able to come to grips with slavery, women's rights, voting rights, and so many other social issues at the time.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

There is no doubt that the USA has changed in the last 230 years or so, that is much beyond, what the founding fathers of the nation had intended or imagined possible. But if these founding fathers continue to be what they were then - that is, men of vision and action - they would find still other horizons for the progress of the country. Founding father would have perhaps never thought of making USA as free and as prosperous it is today. But then, if they were to reappear on the scene today, they may give a lead to the nation to make progress in the directions, that is beyond the imagination of common people.

teacher77's profile pic

teacher77 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I think our Founding Fathers were extremely intelligent. They made our current system that includes the checks and balances that we have. Each of our three branches of government has a check on the other two.  In fact, our constitution has withstood the test of time very well.

As far as today is concerned, I think they would be glad that the U.S. public is still taking an active role in participating in the government.

glittergal1's profile pic

glittergal1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The insight of our founding fathers is evident in that the government they were instrumental in establishing is still functioning soundly. I don’t think they would have had any valuable insight into today’s issues as these issues are so far removed from what they conceived. However, we learn from history, so maybe today’s historians will have insights that serve us well into the future of our country.

u Noe there are allot of issues in the U S where i live and there still has to be lots of changes but i rlly don't Noe bout that cuz it depends where u live.

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