Benjamin Franklin, the American Revolution, and Aftermath

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Benjamin-Franklin
19.10.2022
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Benjamin Franklin made critical contributions to the American war effort when the colonies decided to fight Great Britain for the purpose of gaining their independence. They caused a chain reaction of events. First, the contributions secured victory for the colonies and helped them form an independent nation called the United States of America. Second, they made the colonies’ struggle and the creation of the USA an example of how people can work together to overthrow the yoke of dictatorship or tyrannical rule. Thus, Benjamin Franklin made significant contributions to the American Revolution and its aftermath, and they helped in shaping the United States into a democratic nation and a model country for the world when it comes to freedom and democracy.

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Franklin’s Contributions

The politician’s primary contribution to the war effort was in the form of diplomatic action. Franklin served as the colonies’ official diplomat to France. In other words, he was an ambassador and a liaison between the Continental Congress and the French government (“Franklin’s Contributions”). Besides, Franklin, together with Silas Deane and Arthur Lee formed a group of diplomats who were negotiating for the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with their French counterparts (“World of Influence”). Needless to say, the Continental Congress, the government representing the thirteen colonies, was no match against the powerful British government and its armies. Thus, Franklin and his team’s diplomatic work was a huge help for the rebels’ assurance in their victory.

The second major contribution to the American Revolution was in preserving the fruits of victory. Franklin was the State of Pennsylvania’s delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and his work helped in creation of the US Constitution. However, the politician’s efforts in France are his most critical assistance to the Revolutionary War, because he provided a means to acquire the necessary help for the colonies, and ensured that they had a fighting chance against the mighty British army (Vlack 83). In 1778, Franklin and his team found an ally, as the French government signed the treaty that would allow the transfer of soldiers, supplies, and funds to the ragged armed forces commanded by George Washington (“World of Influence”). Needless to say, without the military alliance with France, it would have been impossible to defeat the English army.

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Franklin’s failures

Franklin was not able to be in different places at the same time, thus, there were things that he could not do even if he wanted. For example, he was not able to fight in the battlefields of the Revolutionary War or share command with iconic generals like Washington and Jackson, because he had to secure the alliance with France. The politician spent several years in France, so he could not participate in the warfare to acquire American independence. If he had got a chance to participate, the world would have known another facet of Franklin’s genius as a military tactician. Unfortunately, he was not given the opportunity to do so.

Before he went to France on behalf of the leaders of the Revolutionary War, Franklin was also instrumental in the creation of the Declaration of Independence that was critical in starting the American Revolution. However, he did not directly write the historic document due to some unforeseen reasons that compelled the politician to press on Thomas Jefferson to make the draft instead (“Writing of Declaration”). Nonetheless, he was still a contributor to its final creation. Franklin helped by being a member of the five-man committee and he made corrections to Jefferson’s draft before the document became known as the historic piece of writing that signaled the break from Britain (“Writing of Declaration”). Franklin was unable to do all the critical things, but he contributed to a few like the creation of the said document.

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Franklin’s Legacy

Franklin helped shape America as it is known today and the world in general by becoming a champion and representative to the American brand of freedom and democracy, especially when it comes to the impact of the said principles to the government and the people. Moreover, he was one of the key personalities who brought down Great Britain’s tyrannical rule in North America, notably the colonies under English control (Lyons 170). Without Franklin’s contributions, England and her colonies would probably still be under the control of royalty and nobility. However, due to the politician’s work and influence, England became like the United States when it comes to treating all people equally.

With regards to how he helped shape the world’s view of democratic and libertarian ideals, one can argue that his presence in Paris created a significant impact on all the people who saw him serving as the ambassador of America. The argument that the ordinary French people admired Franklin and were honored to have shared the life of the great American patriot was evidenced by how the Parisians mourned his death as if they lost a French hero (“World of Influence”). It is not hard to think that Franklin, viewed from the point of view of ordinary French citizens truly exemplified all the fine attributes of a member of the nobility and yet not dressed or acted in a way that made ordinary people detest members of the privileged class. Thus, he indirectly sent a message saying that liberty and democracy can make better citizens as evidenced by his example (“World of Influence”). In other words, Franklin became not only an ambassador to France, but also an ambassador of the importance of freedom and democracy (“Ambassador to France”). The politician somehow shaped the world when he helped a group of men and women obtain democracy, and that success reverberated throughout the globe. Therefore, by his example, he demonstrated the possibilities and opportunities of ordinary people who are citizens of a nation founded on the ideals of freedom and democracy.

Conclusion

Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in the Continental Congress’ victory over the British army, preserving the fruits of the war effort, and promoting the meaning and significance of the Revolutionary War to countries outside North America. His contributions gave the American rebels a chance to defeat the powerful British army. The politician’s assistance was one of the major factors in gaining independence from the British crown. However, he did not only help the colonies overcome the foes, he also participated in nation building, sustaining the positive impact of their shared victory. In addition, Franklin’s contributions made England and France realize the true meaning of freedom and democracy. Although he was an ambassador to France, his contributions help others see the impact of the principles of democracy and liberty on the people of the world. Thus, Franklin was not only an icon of freedom and democracy within the United States, he also showed what it means to have true freedom and democracy for those living outside America. His life was an example that it is possible for ordinary people, who are not of noble birth to acquire certain capabilities if they are allowed to experience their full potential under a government founded on the ideals of freedom and democracy.

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