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Caleb Strong: A Founding Father

Updated on September 24, 2010

     Caleb Strong was born on January 9th, 1745 in Northampton, Massachusetts, and died there on November 7, 1819 at 74 years of age. As a young child, Strong was always interested in learning but found it hard to concentrate. As a result, he went through several tutors during his childhood and teenage years. He finally gained composure, and his determination allowed him to attend Harvard University where he graduated with high honors in 1764 at the age 19. Like many of our founding fathers, Strong studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1772. Before and during the Revolutionary War, Strong served on Northampton’s Committee on Safety.

     During the Revolutionary War, Caleb Strong was one of the delegates who favored a strong, centralized government. He thought that a powerful federal government would be more effective than if the states created their own governments. He voted for the equal representation in the Senate and proportional (according to state’s population) in the House. He took a leading role among the Federalists, but unfortunately was not present at the signing of the Constitution due to a family member’s illness. He was an important member on the drafting committee and he successfully persuaded the House that they should originate all money bills. After the Convention, he became one of Massachusetts’ first Senators in 1789. He participated in the framing of the Judiciary Act and backed the Jay’s Treaty with England when its success looked bleak. For 11 years, he governed Massachusetts and is most notable for refusing to participate in the War of 1812.


     Caleb Strong was correct in his decisions and political stance before, during, and after the Convention. A founding father is someone who helped America become independent and helped shape its government. Founding fathers never give up on their country and fight to make it better. Caleb Strong is a founding father. However, unfortunately, he did not play a large part in the overall outcomes of the Convention. He seemed to just “be there”, and didn’t do anything substantial. As a delegate from Massachusetts, a colony that basically provoked the Revolutionary War, Strong should’ve have played a more dominant role in early American politics like Ben Franklin or George Washington. Overall, his support, his governing capabilities, and persuasive tactics did help with the forward movement of the American government and he is still considered a founding father.


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