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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an extremely broad question.  There were many "Founding Fathers," and it is hard to know who exactly counts as one and who doesn't.

But if we look only at the famous ones -- Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin -- people like that, there are some things that they generally have in common.

First, they were all well-off and powerful even before the Revolution.  The ones from the South (Washington, Jefferson, Madison) were slaveowners holding large estates.  The ones from the North were urban people, lawyers or other "professional" types.

So the Founding Fathers were the elite of the pre-Revolutionary society.

mkcapen1 | Student

The men who helped develop and signed the United States Constitution are considered to be America's founding fathers.  They helped to establish the principals and government that continues to exist today.  America's founding fathers ranged in age from 26 years old up to 81 years old.  Ben Franklin was 81 at the time that he signed the Constitution.  39 delegates signed the Constitution but 55 participated in its development.

 The list is extensive and includes: George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickenson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom, William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman, Oliver Elisworth, William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Houston,  William Pierce, James Mc Henry, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Caroll, Luther Martin, John F. Mercer, Nathieniel Gorham, Rufus King, Elbridge Gerry, Caleb Strong, John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman, William Livingston, David Brearly, William Paterson (Patterson), Jonathan Dayton, William Blount, Richard. Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson, William R. Davie, Alexander Martin,C. Houston, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons), Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Governor Morris, John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler, John Blair, James Madison Jr., George Washington, George Mason, James McClurg, Edmund J. Randolph, George Wythe, and Benjamin Franklin.

The Delegates most often recognized in text books as the founding fathers include: James Madison Jr., George Washington, George Mason, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, Monroe, and Adams.

crensha | Student

I assume you are studying the Constitution of the United States of America. Perhaps your teacher will accept this as an answer to your question. The founding fathers were Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Thomas Paine, Roger Sherman, John Jay, James Wilson, and Governor Morris.

It would be a good idea to read background information on the people listed above as founders to get an indept understanding of the role each played in history of the constitution.

traveler | Student

This is a very subjective question as the list can be very long.  The bottom line is that all the men who wrote,  as well as voted for our country's most endearing documents (Declaration of Independence and Constitution) as well as those military men who participated in the Revolution can be considered a part of this group referred to as our Founding  Fathers. 

The 1770's and 1780's were a great time for America as we had greatness to spare.  The real big names in this list like Washington, Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and the like were all wealthy well educated men who could have relaxed and enjoyed life as they were already living in the lap of luxury.  However, they were willing to sacrifice all that they had to help build a new repulbic where everyone has a better chance to better themselves.