American Revolution was made possible due to contribution of revolutionary leaders. These revolutionary leaders were mostly writers, planters, lawyers and merchants. They all believed they had their own rights and they therefore rebelled; for the sake of their rights and emancipation. They shared common thought that they were to protect and safeguard their natural rights which were life, liberty and happiness. Therefore they had a major role in the organization of their ideas. Some of the main leaders who took part in the American Revolution were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was one of the revolutionary leaders and one of the most prominent characters of the revolution. He was there and present in all the stages of revolution and chosen as a representative of Second Continental Congress and later appointed as a committee member to draft the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin was a man of many titles who accomplished a lot of achievements in his life. In his titles he was a scientist, a diplomat, an inventor and a writer. He is best known as one of the Founding fathers who were involved in drafting the Declaration of independence and the United States Constitution. He was one of the famous leading figures of early American history. He was born in January 17, 1706 in Boston, where his father Josiah Franklin was an England native working as a soap maker. Franklin did not have much of formal education as it ended when he was 10 years (Franklin, 3). Despite not having the formal education he taught himself to read and became a skilled writer. Out of his writing skills, he contributed essays to Silence Dogood and later left to become a printer. He found his way on top until he became part of the revolution era where he influenced literature and American politics. He was a man of many talents.
Franklin played a major in the culture of the community where he was. In building his culture and community, he helped to establish a number of community organizations in Philadelphia, whereas he was still involved in the civic affairs. This was after his printing business prospered and he decided to get more involved in the civic affairs. His building his community, he established a largest public library in the U.S. during this period; books were not widely available in most colonies. Through this acts of advocating for education, he was influencing literature and art in the community. His lending library became the American Philosophical Society where the group was fully devoted to the sciences and other scholarly interests. He was among the few who introduced America to Enlightenment, where he was dedicated to harnessing mans intellectual as well as creative powers for the common good.
Franklin also organized the Pennsylvania militia where he raised funds to build a city hospital. He had interest in making the world a better and more civilized place. He also spearheaded a program where his interest was paving and lighting the city streets. In his influence in literature, he played an instrumental role in the creation of the Academy of Philadelphia, which was opened in 1751 which later came to be known as the University of Pennsylvania in 1791. He influenced literature through his best known book Poor Richards Almanack which was first published in 1732. Such books greatly influenced children in the revolution era as they could read and understand. He also published a long stream of political satires where he made fun of British policies. He published his 1773 Edict by the King of Prussia, where he drew parallels between the England settlement in the 15th century by Germans and that of American Settlement. While making this comparison, his intention was to show how ridiculous it was for Great Britain to lay heavy taxes on the American subjects just because she had settled in America.
During the early years of Revolution, Franklin went to France as the ambassador of 13 colonies as well as the official diplomat. When in France, he became a man of brilliance, maturity and ability. He had had passion in reading and writing and that is why he educated himself by reading and writing and later in publishing articles. When he arrived in Paris, there were no other statesman who could match his ability and accomplishments. Therefore his presence was not well welcomed and it annoyed the British staff and minister. He took advantage of the situation and made his stay in Paris fruitful by helping to work out the future destiny of the U.S. It was in this process that he asked for help from the France in terms of money, men, equipment and ship.
Franklins stay in Paris was not only of war planning and persuading French to help America, but also the events were pleasant and joyful. They held meetings with the scholars, writers and scientists where Franklin was the center was of attraction. He had a simple and plain way of dressing and personality. He was a friend of the people and one who benefited the world as well as a living exponent of American democracy. He told his story to the people through his endurance and sacrifice. He spent almost ten years living and working in Paris where he was well respected for his political standing and intellect.
In his revolution era, Franklin became a member of the Philadelphias city council and a justice of peace in 1748 and 1749 respectively. He was elected as an elder as well as a representative to the Pennsylvania Assembly. He later accepted a position as a deputy postmaster general of North America. In this position, he had the power to influence people. In 1754, Franklin called on the colonies to band together for the interest of their defense. To make his point clear, he dramatized this in the Pennsylvania Gazette through the image of a cartoon of a snake which was cut into sections with the caption Join or Die. Pennsylvania adopted his proposal to create a unified government but the Albany Congress rejected his proposal. Although the Albany Proposal was rejected, it helped in laying the groundwork for the Articles of Confederation; the first constitution of the United States.
Franklin helped in settling a long tax dispute involving the proprietors of the Colony. In 1757, Franklin travelled to London as a representative of Pennsylvania Assembly. While in London he worked to settle a long tax dispute which involved the descendants of William Penn who were the owners of the colony of Pennsylvania. He was a man who wanted peace and tried his best to ensure that people lived in unity and love. During his years in London, he climbed up the social status and joined the intellectual salons of the cosmopolitan city.
Franklin made a passionate testimony that lead to the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766. After his return to the U.S, Franklin found that the British government had imposed a series of regulatory measures to take greater control of the American colonies. The Parliament had passed the Stamp Act which imposed a highly unpopular tax on all printed materials for both legal and commercial use in the colonies. Franklin had purchased stamps for his printing business, and therefore some of the colonists thought that he supported the new tax and in return threatened his house. Franklin was against the Act and he therefore testified in the British Parliament against the Stamp Act. This required all legal documents, books, newspapers and other printed materials to carry a tax stamp. In 1766, the Stamp Act was repealed.
Franklin became an agent for Massachusetts, Georgia and New Jersey. He penned a pamphlet, Causes of American Discontents before 1768. He sent the inflammatory private letters of Massachusetts Governor which were calling for the restriction of the rights of colonists, fanning the flames of revolution. The publications of these letters by the Boston newspapers caused a firestorm. Due to this scandal, Franklin was removed as deputy postmaster general where he returned to North America in 1775. Despite his removal from office, he returned to North America as a dedicated devotee of the patriot cause. He surely was dedicated to safeguard his nation and make it a better place.
Franklin became a member to the Second Continental Congress where he was elected to serve as a delegate. He was also the first postmaster general for the colonies. This was Americas governing body at the time. In 1776, he was appointed as a commissioner to the Canada and became one of the five men who were to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thirteen American colonies declared their freedom from the British rule. Therefore Franklin was very active in accomplishment of all tasks that involved the nation realized after the revolution. He took part in the political and ideological task consisting of prerevolutionary organization. After war, he participated in the diplomatic task as the patriotic leaders were aware that they needed international recognition and help in order to win independence. Having this idea in mind, he asked for international assistance from France where they signed a military alliance to provide soldiers, supplies and money to the Americans. Since the Declaration of Independence, France has been neutral (Van Doren, 17).
Therefore, Franklin played a key role in drafting one of the most crucial documents in Americas history. He was the founding fathers who signed the two documents that established the U.S; Treaty of Paris that brought an end to the Revolutionary War and the Constitution. He was also popular for his work and theories on electricity. He was the one chosen by the Continental Congress to go to France as there was no other statesman who could match his experience, accomplishments and eloquence. He was therefore one of the most self-educated and respected philosophers. In his capacity as the Minister of France, he took advantage of the long- existing enmity between England and France, to convince the French to come to their aid of the colonies.
Franklin also made a contribution to the war effort was the selection of Baron Von Steuben, who came to be an important military advisor to George Washington during the tough winter of 1777 to 1778 at Valley Forge. Von Steuben assisted in the restructuring of the Continental Army. It was Franklin who wrote a letter to George Washington Persuading him to utilize the skills of Von Steuben. He was recognized as an important image during the American Revolution and was applauded as the American and the hero of American history (Tyler, 17).
In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin was the perfect example of the American hero; the pride of his country. He was always remembered not only as the American revolutionary, but also was associated with all the values of American individualism and capitalism like diligence, prudence, industry, sobriety and frugality. His image has come down through history, but the scope of things he did and applied was so broad to imagine. From founding universities and libraries, drafting the Declaration of Independence to publishing newspapers were all from a man who never proceeded with education and who educated himself. He was truly an entrepreneur, and that is why he is called the First American. Franklin died at his dau...
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