Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers
The Declaration of Independence expressed the American founders' belief that "all men" were born free and equal and could be governed only with their own consent. Did that mean that women were not born free and equal, and could be governed without their own consent? Did "all men" refer to all biological males or mainly to those males who measured up to contemporary standards of manhood? The founders' answers to these questions cemented gender bias into the foundation of American politics.
The American founders consisted of several generations of in- tellectuals, opinio makers, political activists, and public leaders. They were writers, orators, agitators, layers, ministers, magistrates, and statesmen who promoted protests against the British Parliament in the 1760s, led the struggle for independence in the 1770s, debated the merits of the U.S. Constitution in the 1780s, and then lauched a new national government in the 1790s. They were mainly men--such as James Otis, Jr., Benjamin Franklin, Thomas jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, and other lesser known figures. Some founders were women. Annis Boudinot Stockton, Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis