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As a scientist, he experimented vastly with electricity. He invented the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and bifocal glasses during his scientist career. As a writer, he wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanac for several years. As a statesman, he served as a U.S. postmaster, minister to England and France, and a representative to the Continental Congress, where he assisted in the development of the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was a multitalented individual whom I feel has contributed the greatest as a statesman.
As a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Franklin proved to be a man of discretion and patience, never hurrying a decision. This prudence meant aggravation to many of his colleague delegates who were more optimistic in their outward advance toward independence. Soon, rumors spread throughout the city of Philadelphia saying that Benjamin Franklin was siding with England and that he probably joined the Second Continental Congress as an emissary for the English! These rumors were eventually dismissed by July 1776, since it became apparent that he was working mightily for the independence of our country. He usually never participated in the heated debates of the Congress, but instead he was working “behind the scenes” for our independence. Franklin has earned his reputation as a founding father by making abundant contributions to the actual formation of the United States of America. He was one of the first persons to suggest a colonial union. In 1776, he served on the five-person committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and made a number of revisions in Thomas Jefferson's document.
Esmund Wright, author of Franklin of Philadelphia, suggests that perhaps his greatest contribution, was his effort to solicit assistance from France during the American Revolution, he said: "Franklin obtained at least 45 million francs of loans and gifts; some estimates go higher: Jonathan Dull puts the figure at 80 million dollars in today's terms. Without this, America might not have been able to maintain her independence after 1778. All the financial aid from 1776 to 1781 came by and through France; 90 percent of the power used by Americans in the first two and a half years of war came from France.
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