In the American Revolution, Virginians were the most eloquent spokesmen for freedom and equality. George Washington, a Virginian, led Americans in the battle against British oppression. Thomas Jefferson, another Virginian, led them in declaring independence. Virginians drafted not only the Declaration but also the Constitution and its first ten amendments; they were elected to the presidency of the United States under that Constitution for thirty-two of the first thirty-six years of its existence. They were all slaveholders.