Default
Who Invented The Term "Founding Fathers?"
Thumb sailer
July 05, 2012, 05:36 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

Sam Haselby wrote in the Boston Globe:

The phrase would not be coined until the 20th century, by Warren G. Harding. Accepting the 1920 nomination for the presidency, the Ohio Republican said, “It was the intent of the founding fathers to give to this Republic a dependable and enduring popular government.’’ 

The Red Scare was still weighing on American hearts and minds. Fathers founding sounded better than revolutionaries, who might be overthrowing. Harding, who liked alliteration, had unleashed one of the great acts of phrasemaking in US history.

I`d never heard that before, but then you almost never hear anything good about Warren G. Harding. You only hear he invented "normalcy" and "that`s not even a word!" Indeed, much of received history consists of which bits of contemporary snark get passed on into the history books. 

Paul Johnson inserted an impassioned defense of Harding in his Modern Times. I`m not sure I`d go as far, but I would point out that America appeared to be undergoing a nervous breakdown during the second Wilson administration, but by the time of Harding`s death, was enjoying a period of solid accomplishment.