Benjamin Franklin essay
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Even though Benjamin Franklin died almost two centuries ago, his efforts in the world of politics are still evident in the modern world systems. He was talented in many aspects and this gave him an upper hand in politics. His technical know-how and economics knowledge propelled his ambitions to great heights as many sought to make him a leader in various fields. His talents lifted him above every other person in the society. Such was his excellence in science and economics that he was recognized as a noble person and leader (Chaplin, 2007). He was considered to be the best scientist ever before the times of Thomas Edison. Additionally, he was also the greatest diplomat of all times in the history of America. Thus, this research paper seeks to highlight the impact that Benjamin Franklin brought to the world and his political influences mainly.
Benjamin dreams in politics and his path to becoming a seasoned politician started from very humble beginnings. Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706. He later died at the age of 86 years. He was born in Boston in a family of 17 children being the fifteenth born. He was born to the lineage of blacksmiths. It is no doubt that Franklin got his inspiration in economics from the environment he grew from. The father to his mother was a poet. This is thought to have influenced his writing skills. Writing formed a major foundation for his excellence for the time he served both as a civil servant and as a politician. It is true that the greatest revolutions in the world owe their rise to the great writers and speakers. Benjamin Franklin was such great writer and his skills propelled his political career and influence (Olson, 2004).
From his childhood, he emerged out with very smart abilities in leadership. His early habits of reading prepared him for his future. He began reading the bible at the age of five. He was able to interpret the Bible according to the understanding he got after reading. At this time, he was only seventeen years of age. The way he grew up, many thought that he would end up being part of the clergy. Benjamin Franklin was later sent to the BostonLatinSchool to get classical education. He thus became good at reading. Later on, he was fair in writing although he was not good at mathematics. Benjamin Franklin was then sent to George Brownell's school where he learnt practical life matters. It was however too expensive for the family and thus Benjamin Franklin schooled for a period of only two years (Houston, 2008).
Benjamin Franklin’s early stages of life significantly contributed to the kind of person that he eventually became in the world of politics. Benjamin’s’ success in business and printing opened doors for him in the society. He stood in the highest ranks of the men who took part in the building of the United States of America. Many politicians in the contemporary world would do a lot of things to win the hearts of the citizens. However, Benjamin demonstrated a different kind of approach. His achievements created an easy path for him the world of politics. Therefore, he went through all the levels of leadership until he got to compete with highly ranked people in the American society during his time. Benjamin Franklin thus emerged as the only individual who signed four significant documents in the history of America. These documents included the Treaty of Peace (with Great Britain), the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Constitution of the United States of America and The Declaration of Independence (Olson, 2004).
With his commitments, he also had a wonderful family with three children. This was what Benjamin Franklin was made of. Apparently, he demonstrated excellence in all areas of life. Benjamin Franklin was entitled “The First American”. His actions and efforts were a representation of a true American spirit of power and excellence. Politics and economics are the main parts of the backbone of any nation. These were attributes that Benjamin used to win the hearts of the people and that again made him an influential politician. His influence from the very basic things of life soared greatly into the political arena. His desire for excellence and development made him a good politician (Isaacson, 2003).
Benjamin Franklin took part in very early and unflagging campaigns for colonial unity. This was at a time when he was an author and also a spokesman in London for different colonies. Later on, he was the first ambassador of the United States to France. Benjamin Franklin exemplified the promising nation of America. He was very foundational in redefining the ethos of America as the fusion of democratic and practical values of hard work, community spirit, thrift, self governing institutions, education and standing in opposition to both religious and political authoritarianism. Again, he advocated for the need of having tolerant and scientific values of enlightenment. Ideally, Franklin was an advocate for Puritanism virtues without any defects. He was an illumination of American enlightenment. He emerged as the most accomplished and valuable American during his time. He generally had a lot of influence in inventing the kind of society that America would be (Olson, 2004).
Benjamin Franklin hence became a national hero in the United States. This is more in particular when he advocated for repeal by the parliament on the uncommon Stamp Act. As an established diplomat, he was universally admired by many including the French as the minister of America to Paris. He was a main figure in the enhancement of positive Franco-American relations. For a long period of time, he served as the British postmaster for all the colonies. This helped him to set up the first national network of communications. His political career impacted many people and nations because of his participation in the affairs of the community. What people needed was a solution to the problems that they faced. Benjamin Franklin seemed to solve many of these issues ranging from poverty, health and economic empowerment. This became the lot of many politicians and nations across the political arena (Houston, 2008).
His efforts did not only end in community affairs but was also involved in state and colonial politics. Again, he took part in international and national affairs which added an attractive picture to world politics and development in governance and colonial administration efforts. For about four years beginning 1785, he worked as the governor of Pennsylvania. Towards the end of his career and life, his prominence grew as he freed his slaves and emerged as one of the prominent abolitionists. His influence went far and wide. The political influences of Benjamin Franklin began when he started to indulge himself in the affairs of the public. In 1743, he started a scheme at Philadelphia called The Academy and College of Philadelphia. He became the president of the established academy through appointment in 1749. The college initially provided for bachelors and masters degree courses in arts (Isaacson, 2003).
The Academy and College of Philadelphia later merged with the University of the State of Pennsylvania thus becoming the University of Pennsylvania. These were the activities and efforts that impacted the politics of the time. Benjamin demonstrated the attributes of being a leader by not coercing people to be subjects of a particular revolution. As he shunned authoritarianism, he demonstrated through his own example of how people could manage healthy politics which benefited the people of the land. Later on, Benjamin Franklin participated in the politics of Philadelphia. He rapidly advanced because his good works and development conscious gave him a good image. He was therefore elected as a councilman in 1748 and after about a period of one year, he became a Justice of the Peace for Philadelphia. It was not too long before he was elected to the assembly in Pennsylvania in 1751. His engagement in politics had a rapid move. He was appointed the joint deputy postmaster-general of the northern part of America in 1753. His service in domestic politics led to reforms in the postal system where a mail was sent out once in a week. This was a very notable engagement and a noble task that he initiated (Houston, 2008).
Benjamin’s involvement in public affairs did not end there. Together with Dr. Thomas Bond, they got a charter given by the Pennsylvania legislature to develop and establish a hospital facility. This Pennsylvania hospital was the maiden hospital in what was to end up being the United States of America. Due to his efforts, he was given honorary degrees. This further advanced his political career. Benjamin Franklin proved to both America and the British world that political leaders needed to deliver and exhibit success. Benjamin headed the delegation of Pennsylvania to the Albany Congress. This meeting of different colonies was requested by the England Board of Trade to develop links with the Indians and defense against the people of France. Franklin played a very significant role by proposing a wide plan of union for all the colonies. The plan was however not adopted. All the same, this influenced politics in future as the elements in the plan were included in the Article of Confederation (Olson, 2004).
When Franklin went back to America, he was appointed the corresponding member of the society and closely remained in contact with the society. His impact was greatly felt and people followed his footsteps. Apparently, he appeared to be present at each and every important meeting that involved either America or the British. In 1757, he was taken to England by the assembly in Pennsylvania. On this mission, he was sent as a colonial agent to dispute the political influence and advice of the Penn family who were the proprietors of the colony. He went on this mission for five years making efforts to end the prerogative of the proprietor and to topple legislation from the elected assembly. This also included matters like exempting them from paying taxes on their own motherland. However, the mission on this occasioned failed because his influential allies were not there (Houston, 2008).
The contribution that Benjamin Franklin made to politics and governance is immeasurable. His early ambitions and profession contributed a lot in coming up with important documents that assisted in politics and governance. Certainly, there were great ideas which needed guidance on implementation otherwise they could have been destructive in the political world. Benjamin Franklin provided a wise counsel in the drafting of guidelines and rules that governed the world of politics across a large geographical region. This involved both America and other close associates. While in London, Benjamin Franklin was involved in very radical politics. He became a member of the Honest Whigs Club. He was in this club alongside thinks like Richard Price who was the NewingtonGreenUnitarianChurch minister. Richard Price was the one who initiated Revolution Controversy (Dray, 2005).
Later on, Benjamin Franklin was awarded with honorary degrees and eventually joined the Lunar Society in a very influential Birmingham. A lot of members in the Pennsylvania Assembly feuded with the heirs of the Penn family who actually controlled and managed the colony as proprietors. Franklin was the leader of “anti-propriety party” in the protest against the Penn family. He was later elected the Speaker in the Pennsylvania House. This was in 1764. His commitment to move from propriety to royal governance was an uncommon political miscalculation. The only worry by the Pennsylvanians was that the move by Benjamin Franklin would jeopardize their religious and political freedoms. All the same, the proposals made by Benjamin Franklin enlightened them in various political aspects. These fears made Franklin lose his seat in 1764. The anti-proprietary party sent off Franklin to England where he continued with the struggle against the William Penn family on the proprietorship issue. However, events suddenly changed the kind of mission he was going to embark on. Generally, Benjamin Franklin moved everywhere and most of his advocacies were adopted in politics (Isaacson, 2003).
Benjamin Franklin was a very influential as well as an unconventional person who enlightened America during his time. His success was realized through his ability of invention and writing skills. He was generally an author, inventor, politician, statesman and all round polymath. He had a variety of activities. His knowledge was enormous to an extent that a few titles of occupation would not really define him. Therefore, Benjamin Franklin became largely important to the enlightenment period in very many different ways. These ways promoted him and raised him above the society and was seen as a role model in matters of politics and good governance. Philosophies during this time usually played imperative roles in the development of good innovative concepts in science, economics, arts and politics (Isaacson, 2003).
Benjamin Franklin impacted the young American nation and the people at large. He also influenced the people of China and Europe. As a politician and a diplomat, he assisted in the introduction of the long-gone concepts of democracy to a country that was greatly inspired through change and originality of thoughts. Benjamin Franklin adamantly advocated for a newfound notion that every person had the right to speak what was in their mind. This was basically the initial revolutionary changes that Benjamin Franklin brought in the world of politics (Olson, 2004).
The institution of the Pennsylvania Gazette was a major contribution to the revolution in politics and governance that was experienced in what was to be the United States of America and some parts of Europe. Thus, Benjamin Franklin had major contributions and influence to politics during his time. Most of the things that he advocated for found their way into the modern United States. He was opposed to the British imperialism and protested against both religious and political authoritarianisms. Benjamin’s contribution reached far and wide, impacting economics, science and mainly politics internationally during his time.