Greatest founding father: George Washington or Thomas Jefferson? | The Tylt

Greatest founding father: George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?

George Washington is known as the father of the United States, while Thomas Jefferson has been called "the author of America." Washington was a brilliant general who led the revolutionary army to victory over the British and served as America's first president. Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State, and wrote the Declaration of Independenceas well as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Both men changed the course of history... but who is your favorite Founder? 🇺🇸

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To help celebrate America's birthday we're asking our readers: Who's your favorite president? We've got Democrats, Republicans, Founding Fathers, wartime leaders, and celebrities-turned-politicians for you to choose from. 

Vote now! 🎇 🇺🇸 🎇

Greatest wartime president: Abraham Lincoln or Franklin D. Roosevelt?

Best celebrity-turned-president: Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump?

Hottest Democratic president: Barack Obama or JFK?

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George Washington wasn't just the first President of the United States, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Army against the British Empireand the man who established the American republic. But Washington fans say his most valiant act was stepping down from power.

Think about other great military commanders and revolutionary leaders before and after Washington: Caesar, Cromwell, Napoleon, Lenin. They all seized the power they had won and held it until death or military defeat.
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Many argued Washington could've been crowned king had he wanted to be—after all, there wasn't much of a blueprint outside of monarchies for how to run a country. But he was uninterested in autocracy, and famously said "I didn't fight George III to become George I." King George, in fact, asked the American painter Benjamin West what Washington would do after winning independence:

West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”
“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”
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But Thomas Jefferson is legendary in his own right. As the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was in many ways the philosophical father of the nation. Known as "The Apostle of Democracy," he helped create the Bill of Rights, wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and was one of the first advocates for free public education. He founded the University of Virginia, started the Library of Congress, built Monticello, and advanced sustainable agriculture in his spare time.

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We invoke the “wall of separation between Church and State” because of Thomas Jefferson. That's pretty great.

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He was a theologian, oenophile, architect, rapacious reader, and science nerd. Our third President was truly one of the most fascinating men of his era.

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But it's a great historic irony that Jefferson, who wrote the earth-shattering, course-of-history-changing words "All men are created equal," owned slaves. George Washington at least freed his slaves after his death, but Jefferson did not—although from his writings, he clearly knew slavery was barbaric and wrong:

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Greatest founding father: George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?
A festive crown for the winner
#GeorgeWashingtonFTW
#ThomasJeffersonFTW