Not “discussion” questions per se, but questions nonetheless.

1) Had the founding fathers not been of the genteel upper class elite variety, would the Revolution even had a chance of being successful?

It would have been difficult if not impossible for the colonies to organize themselves, send demands to high ranking parliamentary officials, and fund a military without the money and power available to the elite upper class. It would have also been impossible for the elite upper class to do anything about the demands Britain was imposing upon them without being able to depend on the “ordinary” citizen to join the military.

2) If the founding fathers had not been religious, would they have cared as deeply for the betterment of yeoman and the poor roll?

I would say no. Religious convictions were very strong in the late 18th century, but the power of avarice and greed was also strong – especially amongst a backdrop of such extreme widespread poverty. Without the fear of God or Hell, powerful white men would have felt even freer to commit whatever immoral and unethical acts they wished. Not to say these men were without some form of regard for the common good and humanity, but this was limited in that they needed the middle class to build the nation they would ultimately benefit from.

Take for example the fact that the Bible does not outlaw slavery nor speak of any sort of equal rights for women. There is evidence the founding fathers felt bits of guilt now and then, but weren’t forced into doing anything about it by the clergy or Church and so nothing was done.

Of course the other possibility is these men could have claimed to be religious, but were acting on their own accord and not in the name of being saved. Religion might have been non-existent in their minds when choosing to be compassionate towards the needs of the many, versus the needs of the few.