Founding Fathers

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The term Founding Fathers refers to those figures instrumental in the founding of a political entity, and in adopting its constitution. The term is undoubtedly somewhat sexist, though that is largely because the reality it refers to was sexist -- the groups of people it has been used to refer to have been all male. The term is most commonly used to refer to the United States, in which case it refers to such individuals as George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. But the term can apply be applied to other countries as well.

The ideas of the Founding Fathers of the United States were heavily influenced by the European Enlightenment.

Robert Schumann, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide De Gasperi, Paul-Henri Spaak and Altiero Spinelli are refered to as the founding fathers of the European Union.