Benjamin Franklin left a great legacy when he died on April 17, 1790. He was one of America s greatest diplomats and the only man to sign all four of the key documents of the American Revolution: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and the Constitution of the United States. He laid the foundation that changed the study of electricity into a science. He was an inventor who invented many things such as the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, and the odometer. And he started the first public library in America from a group that collected all the books of all the members for the benefit of all. Thomas Jefferson hailed him as the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived.
The aspect of his life that best describes Ben Franklin is statesman and diplomat. In theses roles, he performed many services to the community and helped to establish the United States. Without his contributions, the United States of America would not exist. Franklin s politic career began in 1750 when he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly. He was appointed postmaster general for the colonies in 1753, and in 1754 he was the delegate from Pennsylvania to the intercolonial congress that met to consider methods of dealing with the French and Indian War. When the war broke out, Franklin obtained horses, wagons, and supplies for the British commander General Edward Braddock by pledging his own credit to the Pennsylvania farmers.
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The proprietors of Pennsylvania were against war, so they refused to pay taxes on their landholdings to help pay for the war. So Franklin was sent to England in 1757 to petition the king to levy taxes on proprietary land. After accomplishing this mission, he remained in England for five more years as the chief representative of the American colonies. Franklin also took part in the fight over the Stamp Act. At first, he was slow to realize that this act threatened the American colonies. But after he did, he led the struggle against it.
On February 13, 1766, Franklin appeared before the House of Commons to answer a series of questions dealing with the effects of the Stamp Act on the colonies. His knowledge of taxation problems impressed everyone, and his reputation grew throughout Europe. The Stamp Act was repealed a short time later, and Franklin received most of the credit. Political relations grew worse between Great Britain and the colonies. Franklin wanted to get the rights that the American colonists demanded without bloodshed. He also wanted the colonies to remain part of the British Empire.
Knowing that war was inevitable, Franklin returned to American. When he arrived in Philadelphia on May 5, 1775, the Revolutionary War had already started. The next day, he was chosen to serve in the Second Continental Congress. The Continental Congress chose Franklin as Postmaster General in 1775 because of his experience as a colonial postmaster. Also that year, Franklin traveled to Canada in a vain attempt to enlist the aid and cooperation of Canada in the Revolution. Upon his return, he was chosen as one of the five members of the committee made to draft the Declaration of Independence.
He was also one of its signers. Franklin was to write the Declaration, but his sense of humor led to the fear that he might put a joke in it. In September of that year, he was chosen to go and form an alliance with France. The French were not particularly interested in helping the Americans, but they were interested in hurting their longtime enemy, the British.
Franklin planned his diplomacy on three fronts. These fronts were the government, businessmen, and the people. He told the French Government that the British would become even stronger if the colonies lost the war. He talked to businessmen about how valuable trade with a free American would be for them. And through the press, he talked to the people about liberty and freedom. When news of the American victory at Saratoga reached France, Franklin rushed to the French foreign minister with a copy of a proposed treaty.
“If you mean by patriot, am I angry about taxation without representation, well, yes I am. Should the American colonies govern themselves independently? I believe that they can, and they should. But if you are asking me, am I willing to go to war with England? Well, then the answer is most definitely NO!” – The Patriot The Patriot was directed and produced by Roland Emmerich in 2000 and filmed in ...
King Louis XVI agreed to sign it only if Spain. So Franklin decided on a trick. Franklin had a long talk with a British secret in Paris but did not really say anything. Word of this talk reached the French king. Fearing that Franklin was talking peace with the British, King Louis signed the treaty without the Spanish who came in later. Franklin then had his hands full arranging the transportation of French officers, soldiers, and guns to America.
He also managed to keep loans and gifts of money flowing to the United States. Franklin next helped draft the Treaty of Paris along with John Jay and John Adams that ended the American Revolution. The treaty gave the new nation everything it could reasonably expect and satisfied Spain, Great Britain, and France, who all had interests in the American colonies. The final treaty was signed at Versailles on September 3, 1783. Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1785, where he served as governor for the next two years.
In 1787, at the age of eighty-one, Pennsylvania sent Franklin to the Constitutional Convention as one of its delegates. The Constitutional Convention met in Independence Hall to draft the Constitution of the United States. Franklin did not take an active role, but made a proposal that was the basis for the Great Compromise. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790 at the age of eighty-four. Franklin was a great man who came from humble beginnings. His genius was unsurpassed in the time that he lived.
Without Franklin, the United States would not exist. He had an impact on a new nation that will never be forgotten. Franklin left a legacy as a philosopher, statesman, journalist, inventor, diplomat, and all around American. This can be found in his autobiography. Although he never completed it, it is still the only enduring bestseller written in American before the nineteenth century, as well as the most popular autobiography ever written. Works Cited Franklin, Benjamin.
" Benjamin Franklin " Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790), American printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, and scientist, whose many contributions to the cause of the American Revolution (1775-1783), and the newly formed federal government that followed, rank him among the country s greatest statesmen. Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston. His father, Josiah Franklin, a tallow chandler by ...
Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1986 Franklin, Benjamin. The New Book of Knowledge. Vol.
6 F. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 1988. Hanna, William S. Benjamin Franklin and Pennsylvania Politics.
Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1964. Van Doren, Carl C. Benjamin Franklin: A Biography. Viking, 1956.