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.

By Alison Caporimo
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine March 2014
Sean McCabe for Reader’s Digest

Alexander Hamilton, 22

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.

New Jersey Historical Society/ Brandon Specktor

Aaron Burr, 20

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.

The Granger Colection/ Brandon Specktor

James Monroe, 18

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.

Wikimedia Commons/ Brandon Specktor

Marquis de Lafayette, 19

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

Charles Willson Peale/ Brandon Specktor

James Madison, 25

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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