(TruthandLiberty.com) – Who do you think was the most famous American statesman never to be president? Benjamin Franklin’s is probably one of the names that spring to mind. So, who exactly was he, and what was his contribution to the formation of America?
Franklin was born in Boston in 1706, the son of a candle and soap maker originally from England. Despite having little proper education, he became a skilled writer in his teens, contributing articles to his brother’s newspaper under a pseudonym.
He left Boston for Philadelphia at 17, eventually setting up a printing business. It was this venture that brought him success and fame, as well as introduced him to the world of politics.
Contribution to Politics
Franklin’s involvement in public life began in 1730 when he was named the official printer of Pennsylvania. He helped found a number of community organizations in Philadelphia throughout the 1730s, including a police patrol, a philosophical society, and a library.
He became a senior figure in the colonial postal system over the following years, with the British eventually appointing him joint postmaster general. He lost this job in 1774 because of his political leanings but was named postmaster general of the United States in 1775 by the First Continental Congress.
His association with revolutionary politics began in the 1750s. He spent much of his time in London between 1757 and 1775, representing the Pennsylvania Assembly as a loyal Englishman. He returned to Philadelphia permanently after the War of Independence began and was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in 1776. He then went on to help draft the Declaration of Independence, as well as helping to secure the military allegiance of France, which would prove crucial in the war against Britain.
At 81 years of age, he was the oldest delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. At that summit, he supported the idea of proportional representation in the House and equal representation in the Senate, which remains today.
As well as a political leader, Benjamin Franklin was a renowned scientist and inventor. Many of his innovations became popular across the world, such as bifocal glasses and the glass armonica, a musical instrument.
In terms of science, he’s perhaps most famous for his work with electricity. His kite experiment demonstrated that lightning is made of electricity; this discovery led to the development of lightning rods.
Benjamin Franklin may never have been our president, but he contributed as much to our nation (and to the human race in general) as anyone else.
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