The Founding Fathers

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About the Book

A completely newly researched story of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and of the lives of the most prominent framers of the Constitution: Oliver Ellsworth, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Gotham, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Mason, Gouverneur Morris, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Edmund Randolph, John Rutledge, Roger Sherman, George Washington, and James Wilson. Among items discussed are the main compromises of the Convention, the battle over slavery and states’ rights, sectional and economic disputes and alliances, and the reason for the great strength of the Constitution as a bulwark of American democracy. Stressed are the greatest prose stylists, the leading parliamentarians, the political theorists and strategists, and those most zealous in preserving individual rights and liberties. The Indian influence upon American government is noted, as is the extent to which the Constitution has been used as model by other nations seeking constitutional government. At a time when the intent of the framers is of crucial importance, this book supplies that information.

About the Author(s)

A former president of Eastern New Mexico University, the late Charles W. Meister was the author of several McFarland books.

Bibliographic Details

Charles W. Meister
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 432
Bibliographic Info: references, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1987]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6759-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9226-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

To the Reader      v

1. The Miracle at Philadelphia      1
2. The Great Compromise      27
3. Oliver Ellsworth: The Education of a Connecticut Yankee      47
4. Benjamin Franklin: The World Recognizes an American      68
5. Nathaniel Gorharn: The Voice of Business      95
6. Alexander Hamilton: A Portrait in Paradox      112
7. James Madison: Political Theorist Turned Pragmatist      141
8. George Mason: Champion of Human Rights      173
9. Gouverneur Morris: Witty and Aristocratic Lothario      191
10. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: The Soldier and Patriot      212
11. Edmund Randolph: The Conscientious Moderate      240
12. John Rutledge: The Benevolent Dictator      269
13. Roger Sherman: The Awkward Clear-Headed Yankee      292
14. George Washington: The One Indispensable Man      312
15. James Wilson: The Capitalist and World Citizen      348
16. The Founding Fathers Today      374

References      395
Bibliography      407
Index      411

Book Reviews & Awards

“scholarly, detailed”—Reference & Research Book News; “Meister’s book is a lengthy, in-depth, and interesting study of the Constitutional Convention and 13 of its notable delegates. The meat of the book is in the biographies of the convention’s more outstanding personalities…a fascinating discussion of the responses these men might make to today’s problems…recommended”—The Book Review.