Re: Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Tips FAQ Help Tricks Hints Cheats Strat
To get the correct founding fathers you have got to build political points. I usually never build any other points. I start the game with producing political points in all cities until I get the 25% discount father.
The ones that I use most are +25% discount, +25% bells, +bells with taxrate (and offcourse the +25% tabacco if there is some). These are key fathers to win in my opinion.
Recently I also get the 25% defense father. If you have soldiers with minuteman, you do not have to lose cities any more when king attacks. To get soldiers with minuteman, attack weak/damaged units/indians, use a general, or convert a dragoon to soldier before levelling. The dragoon with xp will then become a soldier with minuteman *minuteman = +defense).
As someone asked earlier, yes, its wise to attack the other countries early. You never lose a father to them later in the game this way. Also always handy to get an extra nearby city and pioneers early this way. Indians will respond same way as stealing land though.