Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elbridge Gerry - Founding Father

Gerry was a patriot who signed the Declaration of Independence and the articles of Confederation, but refused to sign the U.S. Constitution.  He worked vigorously for independence from the "prostituted government of Great Britain" yet feared the dangers of "too much democracy".  Although he championed the people and their rights, he believed that the common man could be too easily swayed by unprincipled politicians for democracy to work.

Elbridge was elected Vice-President when Madison was elected to a second term in 1812, and he was serving in his official capacity when he died suddenly.  Ironically, he was riding to the Capitol to perform the duties of the President of the Senate, a constitutional function of the Vice-President that he had objected to in 1787, and one of the reasons he had refused to sign the U.S. Constitution.

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