Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the the most famous Americans at the time. He was a symbol of the ordinary American who was a reluctant revolutionary, as he began loyal to Britain and then joined in the process of American independence. He was an advocate for colonial unity as seen through the Albany Congress of 1754. Much like Washington he was a land speculator and was angered by the drawing of the Proclamation line which disallowed colonial expansion. Throughout 1764-1774 he was the Colonial Ambassador to the British Parliament. Some biographers suggested that he wanted seat in British parliament and perhaps the cabinet, but due to his bloodlines, he was deemed a commoner. This was much like Washington whose resentment against the British parliament was as a result of a feeling of inferiority. In 1771 after visiting England and Ireland, Franklin came to resent the British due to their indifferent attitude towards the poor and suffering. His relationship with the British parliament ended when he was persecuted by Parliament for sending Thomas Hutchinson’s letters. He was a delegate to Second Continental Congress and was part of the drafting of the ‘Declaration of Independence’. Throughout the revolutionary war he was diplomat to France from 1776 to 1785. He gained the support of King of France who contributed 5000 French soldiers and navy. He gave his support to the Constitution and was part of the Federalist movement during the ratification process. In the final years of his life, Franklin gave considerable time to the abolition of slavery.