The term “founding fathers” is thrown around a great deal, whether it be in regards to talking about history or if someone is trying to use history to push their political agenda. However, even with how commonly the phrase is used, the fact is that most people in the United States are not exactly sure who this is in reference to.
There are actually many founding fathers and if you were to ask various historians this question you would get a number of different answers. Some believe they are those and only those that participated in the Declaration of Independence and its signing. This is probably the most common answer, but many historians will say that there are far more people that should be given that honor due to their participation in the process, whether it be during the war, initiating the support for rebellion or a list of other actions that can be said to be significant.
Depending on which school you agree with, the list can be relatively short or extremely long. Some people that are generally agreed on by historians as deserving of this title, however, include Thomas Jefferson who later became president, Benjamin Franklin who acted as a mentor and ambassador through the entire process, John Addams, Alexander Hamilton who played a large role in the banking system, John Jay, James Madison and most notably, the first president of the United States, George Washington.
These are the most agreed upon founding fathers by those that take the study of the history of the United States very seriously. There are many other men that played critical roles in the defeat of the British Army and the construction of the country that we know today that likely should be given that title as well, but that is for each individual to decide for themselves.