Chapter

Contexts

R. B. Bernstein

in The Founding Fathers

Published in print December 2015 | ISBN: 9780190273514
Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190273545 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780190273514.003.0002

Series: Very Short Introductions

Contexts

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  • Legal and Constitutional History
  • US Colonial and Revolutionary History

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The founding fathers were born into a remarkable variety of families, occupations, religious loyalties, and geographic settings: from landed gentry destined to join the ruling elite, to middling or common sorts who chose the law or medicine as a professional path to distinction, or immigrants from other parts of the British Empire. They lived within and were shaped by three interlocking contexts—the intellectual world of the transatlantic Enlightenment; the political context within which Americans sought to preserve and improve the best of the Anglo-American constitutional heritage; and the social, economic, and cultural context formed as a result of their living on the Atlantic world’s periphery.

Keywords: Abigail Adams; Benjamin Franklin; William Herschel; John Jay; Thomas Jefferson; Samuel Johnson; John Locke; Thomas Paine; Benjamin Rush; Stamp Act; Mercy Otis Warren

Chapter.  4917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Legal and Constitutional History ; US Colonial and Revolutionary History

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