We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Howard Chandler Christy, Signing of the Constitution, Architect of the Capitol, House wing, east stairway
Unit 4 Biographies

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Hamilton was a senior aide-de-camp to General Washington and an artillery captain during the Revolutionary War. He was a delegate from New York to the Philadelphia Convention and one of three authors of The Federalist, written to urge ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He later served as the first secretary of the treasury, put the nation's finances on a firm footing and advocated a strong national government.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He was a scientist, philosopher, diplomat, and architect. He supported the revolutionary cause and served as governor of Virginia. Between June 11 and June 28, 1776, Jefferson wrote the initial draft of the Declaration of Independence, which was amended by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin and submitted to Congress. Jefferson supported the Constitution but was critical of its lack of a bill of rights. He was the first secretary of state in Washington's cabinet and the leader of the Republican Party. Jefferson was elected vice president in 1796 and was chosen president four years later. He was reelected to the presidency in 1804.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) Thirty-sixth president of the United States. Served in both the House and the Senate. Elected in 1955 as Senate Majority Leader. Elected vice president in 1960. Succeeded to presidency in 1963 upon the assassination of President Kennedy. Elected president in 1964.His "Great Society" program included massive grants to cities and metropolitan areas and programs to assist the poor and minorities. More grant programs came into existence during the five years of Johnson's administration than any other time in American history.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth president of the United States. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1946; six years later, was elected to the Senate. In 1960, Kennedy became the youngest man and first Catholic ever elected president. Assassinated in 1963.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States. In his Gettysburg Address he declared the aim of preserving a "nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

John Locke (1632-1704) John Locke, a physician and philosopher, worked with famous scientists, including Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. In contrast to Hobbes, Locke used state of nature and social contract theory to justify limited government and the preservation of individual rights, particularly life, liberty, and property. Locke is sometimes called "America's philosopher" because his Second Treatise of Government (1690) was widely read by the colonists and important ideas found in it (as well as in works of English republican writers) are found in the Declaration of Independence, especially his theories of natural rights and his defense of violent revolution after "a long train of abuses" of power by rulers. Two verbatim phrases of Locke's are found in the Declaration.

James Madison (1751-1836) The "Father of the Constitution" was born to a wealthy Virginia family. He was taught at home and in private schools, then graduated from the College of New Jersey. While deciding whether to become a lawyer or minister, Madison became involved in the revolutionary cause, thereby entering state and local politics. His poor health kept him from serving in the military. In 1780, Madison was chosen to serve in the Continental Congress, where he played a major role. He was one of the most influential voices calling for a constitutional convention. He came to the Philadelphia Convention with a plan for the new government, took extensive notes on the proceedings, spoke more than 150 times, and worked tirelessly on various committees. As one of the authors of The Federalist, Madison was also a key figure in the battle for ratification. Following the convention, Madison served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, helping to frame the Bill of Rights and organize the executive department. Under Jefferson, Madison served as secretary of state. He then succeeded Jefferson as president. In retirement, Madison continued to speak out on public issues.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) Thirty-second president of the United States, the only person to be elected to the office four times. He served during the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) The twenty-sixth president of the United States, Roosevelt was an immensely popular leader who wrote on American ideals, ranching, hunting, and zoology. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War by orchestrating meetings that led to the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905.

Harry Truman (1884-1972) Thirty-third president of the United States. Elected to the Senate from Missouri in 1934. Chosen as Franklin Roosevelt's running mate in 1944, he succeeded to the presidency upon Roosevelt's death in April 1945, and was reelected in 1948. He was responsible for integrating the Armed Forces.

George Washington (1732-1799) George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. He grew up there on several plantations along the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. He was not particularly well educated, but did learn surveying. In 1753, he began his service to the country, which was to continue throughout his life, despite his desire to live a more private existence. Washington's efforts as commander of the Continental Army are well known. After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, Washington returned to his home, Mount Vernon. Although he did not initially want to attend the Philadelphia Convention, his friends convinced him that his presence was necessary. He was elected president of the convention but spoke little. His presence and approval, however, were important. Nearly everyone assumed that Washington would be the first president of the United States, which, of course, he was, serving from 1789-1797.

Unit 4      Biographies
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