Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin was a remarkably talented man. He started his life as a printers apprentice, but went much farther then there. He developed things that were far more advanced than the time. Benjamin Franklin's stove for example, for cold winter nights, and bifocal lenses for reading. Franklin tracked storms to help understand the horrible weather endured by the colonies. But gis study of electricity made him mist famous and he was known world wide as the founder of the lightning rod. Not only was Benjamin Franklin helpful in developing ideas for better living, he was also a strong force in developing the new nation of America. Benjamin Franklins political views showed him to be a man who loved freedom and independence. His views towards England gradually changed from like to dislike until he finally
became a revolutionist at the age of seventy. But more than just his political views helped the formation of the United States government and independance. His common sense, knowledge, and ability to negotiate all played a major part in the forming of a new country. Benjamin Franklin's ability to compromise often helped prevent large disputes which could have stalled the new government from forming.

Benjamin Franklin was a major participant in the colonies strive for independence. He had a house in London and was very influential in England. However, his love of liberty and his wish to help the well being of Pennsylvania pushed him toward independence for the colonies. Also, since he was well respected in England, a large and difficult question was why does Parliament have power over the American colonies? At first Benjamin Franklin wanted the colonies to be and independent free nation under the strong protection of England.. Benjamin Franklin had problems with separation from england because hee thought they had one of the best and freest governments in the world. Thedn Benjamin Franklin proposed self-government for the American colonies. Benjamin Franklin was always for an independent and self-governing country when he was in the colonies though. And had nearly forty years of service as a public official began when Franklin was elected for the Pennsylvania Assembly. At first, he wanted to get support for various local causes but soon polotics on a larger swcale held his undivided attention.

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As the legislature strategist and writer for the weak Quaker party, he defended the powers of the elected representatives of the people. Benjamin Franklin therefore is strongly for
self-government many years before the Declaration of Independence.

Benjamin Franklin's political views with regard to different british taxing of the colonists show that taxes have a major role to play with him turning away from england. Benjamin franklin strongly opposed the Townshend Acts, Stamp Act, and other taxes on colonial goods. He said after the Stamp Acts took effect, "The Sovereignty of the British Legislature out of Britain, I do not understand." Benjamin Franklin felt that the colonies were capable of writing their own legislation. That the colonies could have their own government and Benjamin Franklin was confidant that the body could properly legislate for all of the colonies. The crisis brought about by the Stamp Act propelled Benjamin Franklin into a new role as chief defender of American rights in Britain. At first, Franklin urged to colonists to be obedient to the act until it could be repealed. However, when Franklin beard of the violent protest against it in America, he became more opposed to it. "After the repeal of the Stamp Act, Franklin reaffirmed his love for the British Empire and his desire to see the union of mother country and colonies, but he also warned that the colonist wanted liberty and would stop at nothing to achieve it." (Ketcham, page 3).

Not only did Benjamin Franklin love liberty, he also had great skill as a diplomat. In this role, Franklin and his two grandsons sailed from France in 1776. "He achieved an amazing personal triumph and gained critical French aid for the Revolutionary War." (Ketcham, page 4). Literary and scientific writers in Paris praised Franklin as a modern thinker. As the war raged on and France made a positive impact favoring the colonist, it became more and more impossible for Britain to give the war its full attention. Britain needed a way out and Franklin played a key role. "Franklin was appointed in 1781 a commissioner to negoiate the peace with Britain. (Ketcham 1994, page 1). Franklin was a very good negotiator as "the North Ministry pushed through Parliament two conciliatory bills that gave the Americans everything that Franklin had demanded in his peace negoiations." (Fleming 1972, page 299). Franklin had common sense, whit, and skills that all helped bring favorable positions to the colonies against Britain.
Finally, Benjamin Franklin portrays a man torn between his love of Britain and a desire for liberty for the people of the new world. His greatest hope was for Britain to be the great, caring mother country that protected a young free nation across the sea. He was each country benefiting the other. Of course, this could not happen so he made sure that the best for America would be insured through his efforts to bring France to the aid of the Colonies and to finally bring about a livable peace between Britain and America
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