Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers Glossary

Articles of Confederation

the first post-independence government formed in the colonies; the Articles gave most authority to the colonies themselves, with limited control to the central government

code duello

the code of deniability surrounding the illegal practice of dueling in the U.S. during the 1800s


the supreme law of the United States, adopted on September 17, 1787 but only later ratified by the states; the Constitution established the branches of the government (executive, legislative, and judicial), and continues to guide American law and politics to this day

Continental Army

the primary colonial military force in the Revolutionary War; it was founded in 1775, and commanded by General George Washington.

Declaration of Independence

the document which announced the independence of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain, and stands as a model of rational liberty to this day; it was written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted on July 4, 1776


an arranged meeting of combat between gentlemen, usually to resolve a private matter; dueling was illegal in many states at the turn of the 19th century

Federalist Papers

several essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, and published between 1787 and 1788 to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution by the states

Federalist Party

the first American political party; the Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton, and favored a strong centralized government, in opposition to Jefferson's Republican party; the Federalists held power until 1801


a slave who has been set free


the visual images, symbols, or modes of representation collectively associated with a person, cult, or movement

Jay’s Treaty

a trade agreement established in 1794 between the United States and England; though it mostly set guidelines for trade and the settlement of pre-war debts, it was encouraged by President Washington to ensure American neutrality in the then-raging war between England and France

Manifest Destiny

a popular belief of the 19th century that encouraged the expansion of U.S. territories in the West


the estate of Thomas Jefferson, located in central Virginia

Mount Vernon

the home of George Washington, located in Virginia on the Potomac River


a vision or forewarning


a Christian-based omnipresent God who oversees the affairs of mankind; the term can also be used to describe fate


the hometown of John Adams, located ten miles from Boston, Massachusetts; it was originally called “Braintree,” but renamed for Adams


a form of government which belongs to and represents the people; in a republic, officials are elected to office, and do not inherit titles or privileges

Republican Party

the second American political party, formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to counter the Federalist party and favoring state power over centralized control; historians have dubbed the party the Democratic-Republicans; the party held the Presidency from 1800 to 1825, and eventually became the Whig Party, a precursor to the contemporary Republican Party


the act of breaking from a union or organization; in terms of American politics, it refers to a state's attempt to lave the Union

Whiskey Rebellion

a 1791-1794 revolt in which western Pennsylvania farmers protested a federal tax on whiskey; President Washington suppressed it with the federal army, setting a precedent of the government's duty to maintain the Union