The puritans are separated from the founding fathers by the enlightenment.  The enlightenment was based on science.


The great big dude of science was Newton.  The great big dude of the enlightenment was Voltaire.



Newton was in England.  Again almost all science comes from the northern protestant countries (Namely Britain and England)  And Newton is born in 1642 - 1727)


The significance of Newton is that he figures out how the whole universe works.  He leaves little mystery.  He shows it to work like a machine with according to simple laws that he figures out.


Newton inspired the idea that we could figure out the world.  This made people disatisfied with problems.  No its not okay that some are rich and some are near starvation.  Why couldn’t we end all problems of the world?


Newton did.  He figured out all the problems of the world. 


He figured out a whole world as a machine. 


This means you do not need to mention god to figure everything out.

This also means we can figure out everything for our selves. 

We use our eyes to figure everything out. 

For example the king is just a man.

For example all men are equal.





And the war was fought to free _________ (the colony) from ______ (the imperialist mother country).


If you remember the concept of imperialism, we were imperialized by England.  They were imperialistic to us. 


They made manufactured goods and we were to supply the raw materials.


We were not at the time the big mighty us, but some colonies up and down the east coast.


The why

Revolution means to overthrow the government.

We are the first government in the world to have rights and democracy.


Before there were BEAS and you had no rights!  All countries before of us were run by King Gods.


When we say the pledge of allegience you should be damned grateful and proud.

Fear of uncertainty concerning what Britain would do next probably brought on our revolution.


It happens after the french indian war which the British win and puts them at the peak of their power.  And the problem wasn’t the money, but that they controlled us.


They taxed us to pay for their occupation of us.  They said we couldn’t go past the appalacian mountains.  The stamp act was concerning a stamp that was to be put on paper products showing the tax had been paid.  This pissed of three noisy groups.  Journalists, lawyers and clergy.  They controlled our tea trade.  It made legal tea cheaper than other tea.  It wasn’t the price, but that if tea now, what later?


Even after the war started our army was more to protect than to Attack.  Officers still toasted to the king.  Then the british blockaded us navally and tom Paine wrote common sense and slowly we became states, not colonies.


The most remembered battle cry for independence is no taxation without representation.


American Exceptionalism

Show the dollar bill.


We may not feel so powerful  now, but it shows a time when ordinary men were giants and an aspect of American Exceptionalism.


We developed from a revolution in christian and republic time. 


The founding fathers

The founding fathers we’re going to look at are Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

Thomas Jefferson’s Schedule

Write this most beautiful of schedules



Tell of the house that reflects the mind of TJ.  His writing pad, his clock, his bed between two rooms.

5 parts of the Declaration of Independence

The next day they are to have memorized the first line of the third paragraph.


George Washington

The father of our country is _______  _________ .

He is on the one dollar bill  and the quarter and the father of our country.

Between the puritans and the time we are now writing about there was a war.   I won’t say much about battle in this class.  The war was horrible.  All wars are horrible.  And, it was very doubtful that we’d win.  We were a small colony against the greatest power on earth.   The war lasted 8 years.


War is hell

We won’t focus on war, because it isn’t interesting to me.  Historians have lots of jobs: teacher writer, researcher, film consultant, documentary maker.  What is history?  It is what is of interest to the historian.  If you want to study the history of sports you can.  Or the history of waffle irons.  Or the history of tennis shoes.


There is not much to say except that war is hell.  War was worse back then.  When they show you the shiny picture of Iraq being blown up, remember what is on the ground.  Babies blown to bits.  Some times war is necessary, but it should never be glamourized.


The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots.


George Washington Led us in that war effort.


He was also the head of the constitutional convention.


He was also the first president of the united states.


As president Washington did two great things:

a - he refused to be king.  He would not be called your excellency, your glory, your majesty.  Just Mr. President.  He wasn’t only the first president of the US.  He was the first president in the history of the world.


b- He quit after two terms.  This set up the tradition that presidents don’t go beyond two terms. 


Ben Franklin’s autobiography


Franklins life was an experiment.  He experimented with how much one person can do with one life.

His early life

Born in 1706. The second child of 7.  After his mother died, his father remarried and had another 10 children.   His father wanted him to be a minister, but they had no money to send him to school.  His father apprenticed him as a candle maker at 12 and then to his brother  as a printer.   This is where he first got going with writing. 


He wrote anonymously  under the name Silence Dogood (a chatty moralizing woman)  (because he was young) and rerwrote the lords prayer and the book of common prayer and invented a parable about persecution and was happy about the praise they got (all 14).  (we only know because he revealed it in his autobiography 55 years later).


At 17 he was suffering because of working too much for his brother and ran away to Philadelphia.  He got on a ship by telling the captain he’d gotten a girl in trouble and needed to get away.  He arrived penniless.


Wet and dirty he showed up with just enough money for two pieces of bread.   

Deborah Reed who he was later to marry  (7 years) saw him and laughed at him. 


He got a job in as a printers office.  Really fortunately, the govenor of philadelphia read a letter he wrote to send to his family.  The governor was so impressed that he met him and proposed to set him up as an independent printer.  The governor sent him to England to get new printing presses.  Unfortunately when he got there he found out that the governors letters of credit hadn’t been sent.


Franklin creates the national mind

He came back and got his job as a printers assistant back.   He was 20.  He also stunned everybody with how much and how diligently he worked.  Others drank and played around.  He had more serious visions.

On the ship back he wrote the 13 virtues we read.




He plied his time in the name of industry with carefulness only a puritans decendant could muster.  After two years back, he had a printing business that put out a newspaper and an almanac that was full of the sayings of a character he invented called “Poor Richard”  Almanacs had weather charts, lunar charts, weather forcasts and holiday dates and recipes and lots of useful stuff.   The difference was that he wrote proverbs by someone he invented called poor richard.  It was a hit in all 13 colonies. 


It had sayings like, “early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”


“He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.” “necessity never made a good bargain”


“A penny saved is a penny earned” “the lord helps them that helps themselves”

Haste makes waste.  Time is money.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  To find a girl’s faults praise her to her girlfriends.

“Lost time is never found again” “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.  “Afriend in need is a friend indeed.”  “Fish and visitors smell in three days” “there are no gains, without pains”  Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy.”  “He that lives on hope will die fasting”.  “At a working man’s house hunger looks in , but dares not enter”


It was popular and Poor Richards saying were popular all over.  He became the best known man in the American colonies.   Perhaps being the first thing we had in common.  Creating an ethos.  “hard work, honesty and healthy skepticism”


Telling us who we were.  For many it was the only thing they’d read (other than the bible) all year.


He married his wife and they lived above the print shop. With his illigitimate child,  (one child died at the age of 6).

He forms our infrastructure

He formed a club called the “Junto” club.  This was a club of men making personal and social improvement.  Here started to deal with science and phiosophical issues.  Through this he helped found a permanent police force.  And the first hospital in Philadelphia and the first fire department in america.

He founded the Univ. of Pennsylvania.

He helped to found an orphanage.


His business grew as his reputation did.  He put print shops in many cities, and started selling them paper and ink.      


In the year 1753 our King appointed him to be the first Postmaster General of the American colonies.  He quickly did a six month inspection of the post offices and came back with a plan to build post roads.  These were the first things that drew the scattered colonies together.  Newspapers could also go from one colony to another.  And years of communication did create some understanding.


This linked our colonies.  So he made the intellectual and actual links of the colony.

He made the first odometer.


Franklin as inventor

He inventeed the rocking chair and bifocals as well as the long arm (to get books down from the top shelf)  lightening rod  and the franklin stove and didn’t patend it because he thought that inventions should be used to improve mankind.  He thought that an iron rod from the ground to the top of a steeple would attract and carry away the lightning that otherwise might strike and destroy the building.  He wrote how to make and use his lightening rods in his Poor Richards Almanac. 


He was the one that suggested daylight savings time.


And he discovered that lighteneing and electricity were one and the same.  He made a list of what electricity and lightening did.  He did it at the age of 46.  His world wide reputation soared.  Some religious people condemned him saying that lightening was gods way of punishing people and he shouldn’t interfere.  Previously, man had thought that lightening happened when the gods were angry.  It was taken personally.  From this time on it is understood to only be an electrical discharge.  Nothing personal.

This was the first practical thing ever done with electricity.

He invented the word “charge”

He also nearly died trying to electrocute a x-mas turkey.


 He was amongst the first to map the gulf stream.

He created a flexible urinary cathetor.

He did almost all he did for the public good.  This is very puritan as the puritans said not to waste your calling on yourself but use it.


His biggest contributions were scientific.  He discovered positive and negative electricity.  The forces that could be built up in leyden jar capacitors were parlor tricks, people didn’t take it seriously.  He established the laws by which it oprates how to store it how to use it and the words (positive, negative and battery for instance)


Franklin the revolutionary

At 55 the pennsylvania assembly sent him off to settle a dispute because the heirs of william penn refused to pay taxes.  It was a 7 year visit.  He was popular and had a room to do experiments.  He was in no hurry to return to America and his wife.


He came back and lost an election as thefaction of the Penn family beat him by 25 votes.  People were hoping the king would adopt pennsylvania as a colony and thus override the Penns.


Within a month he went back to England to deliver the petition to the king.


Soon a bigger issue happened.  A tax required a stamp on all paper goods.  Called the stamp act.  No taxation without  reputation became a battle cry.  Riots in the streeets and words near treason were spoken.  People started to think he was part of the reason it got passed.


He went to try get it repealed.  In 1766 for 4 hours he was heavily grilled, Edmund Burke said it was like school kids quizzing a  school master”  They wondered if America would take up arms against England.  He said not if not provoked, but what was the stamp act if not provokative.  He thought himself English but things were getting tenser. He reminded them that americans were englishmen.


The stamp act was repealed and franklin became a hero. But there were other taxes just to show they could tax us.  And they put army people in boston homes to enforce them.  The Boston tea party happened.  And now independence was talked of.  Franklin hoped it wouldn’t happen. 


He was to be the representative of massatuchets to England the govenor (hutchinson) denied this as hutchinson wanted troops (franklin circulated letters on this) .  So then there was a cry to get rid of hutchinson.  Then hutchinson wanted a trial.  Franklin admited he circulated them.  at 68 he was grilled badly in England for and hour and a half and said nothing.


He went in to the chamber an englishman and left a revolutionary.  While there his wife died.  When he got back his city was ready for war and it was already on.  He served as the second continental congress and was appointed to the 5 man committee that made the declaration of independence.  He didn’t like sacred and undeniable and made “self evident “ This was treason.  John Hancock said “upon signing” we must all hang together.  Franlin said or we’ll all hang separately.


Franklin the ambassador

He made the first american cartoon.  THe colonies as a snake divided.


He became enemies with his british friends.  He called them enemies (this is at 70)


American sent him to get arms in France on the day the declaration of independence was adopted.  The hopes of America went with him. He was there for six years.


He got arms shipments secretely.  He had to deal with royalty who didn’t like disroyalty, but didn’t like england either.  He had no position but his reputation.  All knew him.  He liked humor, women, friends and flirting so he was well recieved in France.  He was considered  a leader of the Enlightenment. He had two girlfriends there.  One a musician and composer.  And another to whom he proposed marriage.  She had a salon and was near his own age. But she refused him.  They stayed the best of friends.


He was in France when he found out we won.  He had to make a peace treaty with England.  The treaty of paris.  He wore the same plain suit he wore at his trial in England. At 69 they finally honored his request to come back home.  He went to France a lobbyist and came home a representative of a sovereign nation.


Franklin settles our form of government

A t the age of 81  he went to the constitutional convention and was the one to solve the biggest dilemna of the constitution.  He called on the delegates to sign it because he didn’t like all but had lived long enough to see many things he once thought were 100% right are wrong now.  They should all question their perfection.


In 1790 at the age of 84 he died.  He wrote his autobiography  for  18 years and finished it in the last year of his life.  It is probably the first great book of American literature.


Franklins book heralds the dawn of a new era that will be free from all the craziness that starts wars.


we are a new nation, beyond the ignorant and unenlightened and un scientific way s of life.  We don’t have to fall into the ugly problems of class divisions and religious wars of old tradition bound Europe.


Show the Jefferson video


Like the puritans

Founding fathers were the people who created our government and led us to independence from the British.  We’ll look at one: Benjamin Franklin.  He was a signer and major figure of the constitution convention.


Read Ben Franklin Says: How is he like a puritan?  How is he not like a puritan.


Franklin admits loving the puritans writng (particularly Cotton Mather’s “Essays to do good”).  He knew many of the aging puritan leaders.  And shows his sentiments in his proverb “Leisure is time for doing something useful”  We see the Puritan influence in his insistence on frugality, simplicity, and utility as standards of value; and we see it just as clearly in his acceptance of public duty, his constant effort to improve the community, his willingness at last to serve the local and international community without pay.


1)They try to be excellent

They are not fearful of god, but the judgement of history.

Franklin is puritan in that he hates the sin of relaxing.

His writing style is influenced by the self criticising, plain style puritan diaries.


He is constantly concerned that he is observed as a person of worth.  Not of salvation, but of credit and example (that’s why he writes his autobiography).


But his belief in his own apparent goodness and potential are not puritan.


2) Jefferson is American exceptionalist.

Jefferson is Puritan in that he believes in American Exceptionalism.

Thomas Jefferson is like a puritan in that he thinks america is the example of salvation like the “city of god” for Europe.  He wrote that The United states must show by example the sufficiency of human reason for the care of human affairs and the at the will of the amjority, the Natural Law of every society, is the only sure guardian of the rights of man.”


read pg 299 of Jefferson Himself


But he believes in religious freedom and freedom not to believe.  So he is different from puritans too.