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Benjamin Franklin - Research Paper Example

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The paper "Benjamin Franklin " focuses on Benjamin Franklin, who was truly a founding father, helping shape the nature of the revolution before it even started, during its opening stages, and being the principal negotiator of the treaty that ended it…
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Benjamin Franklin
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"Benjamin Franklin"

Download file to see previous pages Firstly, it is important to understand how much Franklin embodies American ideals, especially modern American ideals – he probably helped shape them. Unlike most of the founding fathers, Franklin did not emerge from wealthy landed classes but rather had the working class background. His father was a simple candle maker, a working class but relatively successful profession, and his mother was only one generation removed from a history of indentured servitude He did not inherit a great deal of wealth, but rather had to work his own way to prominence, eventually becoming a successful newspaper editor in Philadelphia, and the president of Pennsylvania. America has long been proud of its lack of a monarchy or aristocracy, and many Americans value their independence and individuality and respect those who build their own legacies more than those who inherit them (Isaacson 2003). Benjamin Franklin is thus one of the founders of the American ideal of humanity, as he embodies this individualist, self-made ideas exactly, unlike many of the other founding fathers who were born, quite literally to a silver spoon, plantations, and fields of slaves. I would argue that not only did he embody the American spirit, but the enormous respect for his intellect and nature helped shape the American identity, so it is not coincidental that he embodies it, as he helped to found it.
Beyond embodying the American spirit, even the modern American spirit, very well, Franklin was also the true definition of a renaissance man. He is possibly most famous for his experimentation with the study of electricity, mythologized in the famous tale of the kite and the key (), and his eventual invention of the lightning rod. Beyond his scientific pursuits in that vein, he also invented many things that are still used to this day – he invented the odometer, to measure the distance a carriage had traveled, bifocal glasses, new types of stoves, and a glass armonica (Smith 2012). These inventions are impressive – people still wear bifocal glasses to this day, and the basic principles of his odometer are the same as those used in vehicles today. However, what is possibly most impressive about Franklin is that these inventions did not define his life, as they would of lesser men, but only served as a background to his most influential accomplishments: his role in the creation and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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