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Tue Jul 3, 2018, 12:19 PM

Many American Revolutionaries were much younger than you might think

when they declared independence from Britain

How old were the American Revolutionaries when the colonies declared independence from Britain in 1776?

Some of America's Founding Father's were shockingly young when the colonies declared independence from Britain in 1776. Some were older, like Thomas Jefferson who was 33, John Hancock who was 39, or Benjamin Franklin who was 70. Others were shockingly young — even teenagers. James Monroe, for example, was 18 and Alexander Hamilton was 21.

All Things Liberty compiled a list of the ages of famous people at the start of the American Revolution.

[link:http://www.businessinsider.com/youngest-actors-in-american-revolution-fourth-of-july-independence-2018-6#nathan-hale-21-16|

Experience or youth? In normal times, I'd go with experience. These aren't normal times.

It's time to back our youth.

11 replies, 2040 views

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Reply Many American Revolutionaries were much younger than you might think (Original post)
KPN Jul 2018 OP
NCTraveler Jul 2018 #1
peggysue2 Jul 2018 #4
KPN Jul 2018 #7
NCTraveler Jul 2018 #9
KPN Jul 2018 #10
haele Jul 2018 #2
JI7 Jul 2018 #3
emulatorloo Jul 2018 #5
Scurrilous Jul 2018 #6
LanternWaste Jul 2018 #8
KPN Jul 2018 #11

Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 12:21 PM

1. It's time to back Democrats.

 

Back your favorite in the primary and back them all in the general.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:09 PM

4. x1000

Stop with all the faux divisions meant to suppress the vote, not enlarge it.

Vote for the Democratic candidates of every stripe, age, race, gender, etc. in November.

Because that's how we win.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:15 PM

7. That too for sure.

Just making the point that experience isn’t just about age and numbers of years in office. Nor is ability. If a candidate is strong enough to win the nomination, we should all support him/her regardless of age and “experience”.

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Response to KPN (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:20 PM

9. Very loaded sentence that is very dependent on the specificity of the topic.

 

"Just making the point that experience isn’t just about age and numbers of years in office."

'If a candidate is strong enough to win the nomination, we should all support him/her regardless of age and “experience”.'

Exact reasons we should ignore these metrics. Nothing but division. Then when asked to elaborate, it's never pretty and more often than not involves a massive moving of goal posts.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:30 PM

10. I read a lot of comments here at DU criticizing

our youth and younger leaders on the basis of “experience”. That is exactly why I posted this article; in response to arguments that are not sensible to me. If someone can win the primary, that should be sufficient evidence of ability ... especially in these times when there are no norms. If younger legislators can challenge and displace older leaders, that in itself is sufficient for me to give them my support.

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Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 12:57 PM

2. There was no such thing as "teen age" back then.

At 16 back then, one was expected to be at the same maturity and responsibility level as the modern 24 year old. A 16 year old could take over the family business. 10 and 12 year olds worked as apprentices to experienced craftsmen, and if they were children of wealth, were expected to be able to work or run the family estate by the time they were 16 or 17. Girls were expected to be able to run a household, including the household budget and negotiating with tradespeople for home repairs or household goods, if they couldn't do the work themselves.

In the late 1700's, it was not unheard of to see 18 year olds graduate from West Point and take command of units of older conscripts and experienced soldiers. Or go to 20 year old surgeons, engineers - or have a local alderman or representative who was only 24.

So, yes, the average revolutionary era citizen was expected to have the same experience and responsibilities as modern citizens currently are expected to have - at a 6 to 10 years younger age difference.

There's a reason why the age limit for elected politicians up to the presidency has always been relatively young. The expectation that a 37 year old could have the gravitas and experience to make an effective President of the United States if elected was not something to be considered unusual back then. That a younger man hadn't been elected back then didn't mean that a younger man wouldn't be considered. It just meant that even back then, political cliques, cronyism, and "I've waited long enough on the back bench, It's My Time, damn-it" (I'm looking at you, Henry Clay!) had taken over very early on during the development of this nation.

Nowadays, age 47 is still considered somewhat young for a senior politician or judge...but back then, it would have been considered a reasonable age for a respected and experienced senior politician on a national level.

Haele

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Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:03 PM

3. That was not young in those days

People got married and worked and had kids earlier then.

The concept of how we view young people these days was different.

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Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:11 PM

5. GOTV for Democrats candidates in 2018. n/t

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Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:14 PM

6. Average life expectancy in the colonies in 1776 was roughly 35 years.

Some of those listed were downright elderly. The horror!!

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Response to KPN (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:19 PM

8. You set yourself up with a flawed premise...

 

called the fallacy of the excluded middle.

There is no need to choose one trait over the other... we have a wide pool from which to choose both. Allow yourself to realize that.

Unless your narrative forces you into the either/or premise you set before us. In which case, by all means ignore relevance in favor of fallacy.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 01:34 PM

11. I'm not doing that. In fact, I see it as the opposite

based on the many comments I read here at DU disparaging millennials, OR candidates and younger elected legislators who question or challenge leadership. That smacks of excluding the middle and anyone else who doesn’t play along.

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