I've been doing deep research into the Revolutionary War, following some deep chains of circumstance that rarely make the history books. Or at least the mainstream ones. What I have been finding depresses me. Why? Because the material reflects badly on the founding fathers. I'm not talking the big names, but rather those smaller ones, those who actually ran the government, for the most part. I'm finding I'm starting to genuinely dislike some of these guys on the Continental Congress, and later Congress. They were petty, egotistical, short-sighted, and did not behave in a manner worthy of the ideals for which the Revolutionary War was fought. They even stiffed one of the major providers of the munitions that enabled them to win the war, saying "Oh, we thought you were donating this stuff to us," when he submitted a bill, in 1778. It took 57 years of legal action for the heirs to be compensated, at 25 cents on the dollar. This despite no less a personage than Alexander Hamilton taking up the cause of settling this war debt, which was mostly advanced by a single individual, who died bankrupt after the war. And the egos! There were people like Arthur Lee, who undermined the likes of Ben Franklin, simply because Franklin was not impressed with his lying and self-aggrandizement, in ways that verged on treason, in my mind.
It paints an interesting picture. And one that amazes me that we survived as a country at all. Ideals are well and good, but reality is often very different.