The political path of Benjamin Franklin was very confused and complicated. He is considered the most American and the least American of the revolution leaders. There were a lot of interesting things that led to his political career. Franklin was born into a large poor family of ten children, he was not expected to be the leading man he was. Through the printing press Franklin was able to support himself for the rest of his life. His father was a soap maker, and his family thought Franklin would be a part of the clergy. Franklin’s expectations make his successes so much more impactful because of his ability to be a leader from a young age and represent America as a powerful nation. He became a wealthy man, who was the owner of many printing firms on Pennsylvania. Only at the age of forty two, Franklin decided to retire from his active business because he believed he no longer would have to work for a living. Franklin’s retirement was a major event for him. He became a gentlemen and did what other gentlemen did. He started to do more reading, studying, making experiments which made him become famous world-wide. The he brought into government and became a member of the Philadelphia City Council in 1748. Franklin didn’t stop there. He wanted more than that and he was on his way to England to persuade to make Pennsylvania a royal province. Suddenly, with his involvement in the Stamp Act that got him into a misunderstanding from people in America. That Stamp Act was a caution for Franklin to be more careful about being royalist. Everything turned out to be very bad. In addition, his involvement in Thomas Hutchinson’s letters was also a factor that frustrated and disappointed Franklin. He got blamed for everything that created the political crisis of both the United States and England. All of his expectations that he had in the imperial were over. That turn Franklin into a patriot that no one could ever have imagined. In 1766, Franklin testified in the British Parliament against the Stamp Act of 1765, which required that all legal documents, newspapers, books, playing cards and other printed materials in the American colonies carry a tax stamp. Although the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, additional regulatory measures followed, leading to ever-increasing anti-British sentiment and eventual armed uprising by the American colonists.
His only goal since then was just to clear himself up and prove to America that he was a real patriot. In March 1775, he sailed for America and became a passionate patriot, more patriot than most. He became the representative American when he was sent to Paris. France saw Franklin as an international hero and of course a symbolic American. His mission to persuade France to e American’s ally seemed impossible from the start. France was unwilling to try to get in to the war with Britain. However, with his ability, he finally brought France into the war and moreover, during the war, he was successful to get many loan from the poor French government. No other American could have done what he did which was getting aid during the American Revolution and he was considered the greatest diplomat American has ever had. He knew how to get the adoration from all of the people in France. Since Franklin came to France, his face appeared everywhere, on medallions, on snuffboxes, on candy boxes, in ring, in statues, in prints, women even did their hair like Franklin’s. Because of that adoration, Franklin never expected that the King of France, Louis XVI became so jealous of him and dragged into court for no reason. His appearance during he was in France also get all the adoration from people in France, even French leaders. In the court day, he dressed in a simple brown and white linen suit and wore a fur cap, no wig, and no sword. It turned out the court and the French nobility loved it. the French were also impressed by his republican which was very amusing because of Franklin’s speaking was no bad, he just remained quiet almost the time in court. Even though Franklin was on a very important mission for America, he seemed to enjoy the eight years in France which might be happiest years of his life. Franklin was also a big part of the process of negotiating the Treaty of Paris that ended the war of America and England.
After the Peach Treaty was signed, Franklin turned back to America in 1785. Franklin died five years later, at age 84, on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia. “He had not led the revolution movement like John Adams. He had not written a great revolution document life Jefferson. He had not led armies like Washington.” (Wood, 88) However, He still was known as an international hero, along with Washington the most celebrated American in the world. He was seen as a patriot and scientist by Americans.
Franklin with his contributions to the American Revolution makes him second of importance only behind Geogre Washington. Even though, he made himself become very suspicious and unreliable at the beginning of his political career, he was ultimately the most patriotic American with his great dedications. His life has been influencing to America and the world. His achievements in every aspect that he got into are remarkable and he should always be the symbol of the United States.
HIS 101 601
Dr. Robert Ubriaco, Jr.
The Founding Fathers