Best of America

Which Country Was Basically Founded by Teenagers?

Don’t let the powdered wigs fool you. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, America's founding fathers were not nearly as old as you thought.

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Alexander Hamilton, 22

Sean McCabe for Reader’s Digest

Appointed chief of staff to General Washington, Hamilton became one of the most influential promoters of the Constitution and the founder of the first American 
political party.

Aaron Burr, 20

New Jersey Historical Society/ Brandon Specktor

An officer in the Continental Army, Burr eventually served as the 
memorable third vice president of the United States. He famously shot and killed longtime rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804.

James Monroe, 18

The Granger Colection/ Brandon Specktor

A lieutenant in Washington’s army, Monroe would grow up to become the fifth U.S. president and the last Founding Father to serve as chief executive.

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Marquis de Lafayette, 19

During the American Revolution, Lafayette served as a major general in the Continental Army under George Washington.

James Madison, 25

Charles Willson Peale/ Brandon Specktor

Madison would prove to be instrumental in the drafting of the Constitution and the writing of the Bill of Rights. He ultimately became the fourth U.S. president.


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