In the biography of The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands discusses Benjamin Franklinr’s life during the 18th Century and the profound impact he had on America.
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Brands provides insight and a comprehensive accounting of Franklinr’s life and achievements from birth to beyond his final days. He begins with the establishment of the Franklin family and the birth of Benjamin Franklin in Boston, MA 1706. This was not a progressive time in any aspect. Boston was underdeveloped and heavily influenced by the Puritan leader, Cotton Mather. Under British rule, colonists lacked many liberties and an identity. This was a sad and wearisome period for the American colonies.
Franklin being one of sixteen siblings, had a poverty-stricken childhood. Although underprivileged, he learned to read and write early on. His father encouraged his education but due to the economy, Franklin began cultivating his work ethics at a very early age. He ran away from Boston and the apprenticeship with his brother to begin profitable ventures in Philadelphia, as a publisher and author. His publication of the Poor Richards Almanac (Brands 124) and sharing his free-thinking ideology, was the starting point in his infamous journey. While in Philadelphia, he joined the Philosophical Society and began his endeavors in science.
Franklin entered the political realm in his retirement. He advocated for collaboration, equality, and most of all peace. He became a voice of reason. Disputes over land heightened as the French and Indians attacked the colonists. The proprietors aiding in their future demise; refused to pay any taxes. Franklin elected into the Assembly, returned to England and began his attack on the proprietors using an alias; John Locke and the court of public opinion (Brands 284). He knew that the primary objective needed to be; replacement of proprietary government by royal government (Brands 357).
Through the years he diligently continued efforts to achieve collaboration and peace between the crown and colonists. During the Sugar and Stamp Act in 1763 protected Britain by keeping riots at bay while successfully repealing it for the colonists. In support of the cause he procured financing and allies. In 1783 Franklin was instrumental in negotiating the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain that finally ended the American Revolutionary War. His most profound role in his life was serving as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention 1787. Franklinr’s input was vital in establishing a new government. He assisted in the drafting of the two of the most important documents in American history; The US Constitution and The Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin was the first American and most influential of our time.
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