Monday, February 18, 2008
The Last Founding Father
For centuries, Americans have paid homage to our Founding Fathers for their bravery and steadfastness in creating the American Republic. Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and others are etched in stone, grace our currency, and even have states and cities named after them. These early Americans established the foundation that vitually every American would later build upon.
Though the early Founding Fathers are vitually unanimously accepted as the generation that paved the way for subsequent Americans, one has to wonder when their legacy ends. In other words, who should we consider to be the last Founding Father.
This question has been debated for decades by historians, politicians and the laycommunity alike, and I would like to pose this question to all of you. Who in your opinion is America's LAST Founding Father? Here are a few of the popular choices:
Andrew Jackson: Jackson is often seen as the concluding Founding Father for his ability to appeal to the common American. Jackson's presidency actually extends into the presidencies of others, hence the term JACKSONIAN America.
Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln, though separated by roughly 100 years from the original Founding Fathers, can be seen as the final Founding Father for his role in the Civil War. Lincoln's contributions to the eradication of slavery can be seen as the final chapter of the American Revolution. After all, it was Lincoln that accomplished what the Founders were unable or unwilling to do.
Martin Luther King: Obviously King is separated by two centuries of history from the Founding Fathers. King, however, is credited with binging about some revolutionary changes to the social and political nature of the United States. In fact, most of the Founding Fathers would find King to be even more revolutionary than they were.
Anyway, these are just three of the possibilities. I want to hear your take. Who was America's last Founding Father?