Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father emigrated from England to America in 1682 and he had two wives; from the first wife he had four children and from the second wife other ten. Benjamin was his last son from his second wife. In his childhood Benjamin worked for his bigger brother James in a print shop. On his brother’s newspaper “The New England Concern” B. Franklin published articles in which he talked about his ideas but he never signed the with his true name, but with the name of an elderly widow. He loved to spread his ideas in society. At the age of twenty one he traveled to London where he first heard about the Enlightenment. This was a historical movement in which people asked themselves about the origin if things trough reason. When Benjamin Franklin went back to America he began to spread his ideas and convinced the population of the new ideal. He always had different ideas, which were very well thought, because he was very intelligent man, much more than others, but he became a revolutionary only after he retired from the print shop he had opened in Philadelphia in 1742.
In those years he was already a famous man in America and a great politician. He was sent to England again to solve political problems by the government because everybody believed in his capacities and everybody knew how much Franklin loved America and wanted the best for his homeland. But Franklin was also in very good relationship with England and didn’t want the American population to hate it until 1765 when England asked higher taxes on stamps and tea. The Americans were furious, but Benjamin Franklin was able to calm them down and solve the situation, even if he had to use a dirty trick. But now even Franklin had to deal with the fact that England was using America only to maintain their own State financially, so he went to France in 1776 to ask King Louis XVI for help. France was the first country which recognized America’s autonomy and independence. France helped the Americans for over four years by sending them money and what the needed, because the American State was bankrupt and France hated Great Britain. On July 4th 1776 America proclaimed the Independence. The only one who waited until the last battle was Benjamin Franklin, because until the end nothing was sure. England had a lot of power and could have invaded America again.
Not only the Americans but also the French population honored Franklin as the Founding Father. Everything started from his idea of independence and democracy which he was able to spread and which convinced the Americans. He was born by simple parents, but his intelligence was the key to realize his ideals. Franklin was a religious man who was convinced of God’s existence. For everything he reached and gained in his life he thanked God for having assisted him. He was a very courageous man who had many new ideas, but instead of complaining of America’s situation he started by putting into action a change thus helping not only himself but the whole country. He was a great and selfless man and he was always happy in his life and proud of himself, even if he was often alone in France and England, because his wife didn’t travel with him.
Franklin was not the only one who was able to convince people to change. He has not always been a revolutionary and he had loved England very much. While he was in London he dedicated himself to sciences. He studied the atmosphere especially the lightenings which he connected to electricity. Besides being a scientist and printer he was a writer, publisher and philosopher. His knowledge was enormous, that’s why all American believed in him and followed his ideals.
Franklin never gave up his revolutionary ideas even if his son William was against him. He and his son had a very strong relationship. Franklin helped his son to succeed in political life and William became the governor of New Jersey.
Thanks to Benjamin Franklin America was able to gain the Independence. He was the man whose ideas changed the whole mentality of society. At the beginning of the XVIII th century people were still very primitive and superficial. When Benjamin died, in 1790, America had turned into a completely different country, as if in between there had passed a thousand years. With Benjamin Franklin started the modern era, not only for America, but also for France, whose population took example from Franklin and his idea of democracy. Before America was only an English colony, thanks to Franklin it became not only independent, but even a democracy, from where all other States took example. Until now, modern countries have followed Franklin’s government method.
© Jenny Kostner, 2nd A 2015/2016