Ben Franklin: Enlightened American Leader
One of the most fascinating figures in the history of the United States was an author, printer, politician, inventor, diplomat and one of the founding fathers of the country. Of course, the individual is named Benjamin Franklin, and he was one of the most influential people in colonial days, as well as the beginnings of the new country.
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. Franklin was the 8th of 17 children, and after attending school until he was 10 years old he started working as an apprentice printer at the age of 12. Franklin worked as an apprentice printer for his brother in Boston, and remained there until 17 when he moved to Philadelphia to begin a career on his own.
During his time in Philadelphia he created the first library, worked as a printer and became a writer. Franklin was the author of the popular “Poor Richard’s Almanack” which he also printed. This publication was the target of many of Franklin’s thoughts and ideas. Many of the most famous quotes of Franklin appeared in “Poor Richard’s Almanack.”
In Philadelphia he also started to tinker with ideas that he had. As an inventor, Ben Franklin was responsible for discovering creations such as the lightening rod, Franklin stove and bi-focal glasses. The inventions and ideas that Franklin had led the way to future advancements by others.
With the colonists being taxed by the British, the citizens began talking about seeking independence and Franklin was part of those talks. Ben Franklin was part of the continental congress which talked about independence and how to gain freedom from Britain. In addition, he was part of a delegation that spoke with the British government and attempted to negotiate the break.
However, when an amicable agreement could not be reached, Benjamin Franklin was involved in writing a document proclaiming the colonies freedom from Britain. Franklin and other founding fathers worked on the wording of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. On July 4, 1776, the document was presented and signed by the congress, and a new nation was born.
During the early years of the new country, Franklin was appointed as ambassador to France. He moved to Paris and became a respected figure among the French and was able to get the French to help fight the British in the Revolutionary War. He remained in France until 1784, when he moved back to the country.
Upon his retirement from public service, Franklin was a respected personality and remained so until he passed away on April 17, 1790. The passing of Franklin sparked a remembrance of all of the accomplishments that he was responsible for. Franklin is still remembered as a pioneer in printing, writing, inventions and as one of the founding fathers of our country.