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Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin Impact on American History * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Diplomatic Success Against tremendous ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Benjamin Franklin


1
Benjamin Franklin
  • Impact on American History

2
California State Standards
  • 3.4 Students understand the role of rules and
    laws in our daily lives and the basic structure
    of the U.S. government.
  • 1. Describe the lives of American heroes who
    took risks to secure our freedoms (e.g., Anne
    Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson,
    Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet
    Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr.).
  • 5.4 Students understand the political, religious,
    social, and economic institutions that evolved in
    the colonial era.
  • 5.5 Students explain the causes of the American
    Revolution.
  • Describe the views, lives, and impact of key
    individuals during this period (e.g., King George
    III, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George
    Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams).

3
Founding Father
  • Writer
  • Printer
  • Politician
  • Scientist
  • Inventor
  • Statesman
  • Diplomat

4
The Paradox of Franklin
  • Owned slaves
  • Railed against Germans in PA
  • Not a feminist
  • Supported the military
  • Rejected Christianity
  • Socialistic views
  • Fathered an illegitimate child
  • Held Americans in low regard

5
The Man of Many Faces
  • The Oldest of the Founders
  • Washington, 26 years younger
  • John Adams, 29 years younger
  • Jefferson, 37 years younger
  • Madison and Hamilton, nearly 50 years younger

6
The Man of Many Faces
  • Prior to the Revolution, Franklin was already
    world famous
  • Member of the prestigious Royal Society
  • Honorary degrees from St. Andrews and Oxford
  • A world leader in science and philosophy

7
The Man of Many Voices
Pseudonyms Silence Dogood, Alice Addertongue,
Cecilia Shortface, Polly Baker, Busy Body,
Obadiah Plainman, Anthony Afterwit, Richard
Saunders, Poor Richard, An American, A
New-England Man, A Briton, A London
Manufacturer While in London, used 42 different
signatures
8
Apprenticeship and Printer
  • Hierarchical New England
  • Two years of formal education
  • Candle and soap maker
  • Apprenticed to his brother James, printer
  • 1721, New England Courant, James
  • newspaper
  • In 1722, at 16, Franklin secretly submitted
    satires, signed by Silence Dogood

9
Leaving Boston
  • James paper was shut down
  • Franklin found apprenticeship intolerable
  • Franklin had become
  • a little obnoxious to the governing Party
  • He was viewed as an Infidel or Atheist
  • In 1723, left Boston for Philadelphia

10
Young Franklin and Social Mobility
  • Patronage was the accepted way of achieving
    upward social mobility
  • Not uncommon for men of humble birth to rise to
    prominence
  • Franklins talents were soon recognized by the
    governors of PA and NY
  • Even Cotton Mather expressed an interest

11
The Great Social Divide
  • Gentlemen and Commoners
  • Gentlemen were born wealthy
  • Gentlemen did not work
  • Puritan hard work ethic were meant for commoners

12
A Gentleman
  • By 18th century standards, Gentlemen did not
    labor or toil with their hands
  • They inherited wealth
  • Income was generated through rents, or interest
    on money
  • They were free to pursue interests or leisure
  • This is what Franklin aspired to

13
Changing Times
  • By the middle of the 18th century a new economic
    class was emerging
  • This group was neither born into wealth nor
    commoners
  • They were the known as middling men
  • Included commercial farmers, artisans,
    merchants, traders, shopkeepers, etc
  • They were becoming wealthy and saw themselves as
    better then commoners

14
Middling Men
  • Franklin epitomized this new man
  • Wealthy and Industrious
  • Interested in learning
  • Interested in giving back to society
  • Franklin organized local artisans who met to
    discuss common issues

15
Freemasonry
  • Secret fraternity in England
  • Emphasized
  • Generosity, Goodwill,
  • and Sociability
  • Also, allowed artisans to mix easily
  • with Gentlemen
  • Perfect organization for Franklin

16
Franklins Dilemma
  • By the 1730s Franklin was
  • Successful
  • Wealthy
  • Civic Minded
  • But not a Gentleman
  • Feared being ridiculed as a
  • Molatto Gentleman

17
Franklin the Entrepreneur
  • Monopolized printing in Philadelphia
  • Franchised print shops from New England to
    Antigua
  • Was postmaster general
  • Rented houses
  • Owned paper mills
  • Creditor

18
Retirement at 42
  • By 1748 Franklin had acquired enough wealth to
    retire
  • Timing significant
  • Purchased several slaves
  • Moved to a quieter part of town
  • Franklin attributed his success to
  • Industry and Frugality

19
Franklin the Gentleman
  • Painted by Robert Feke

20
Franklins Experiments
  • Time to read, write, and experiment
  • with electricity
  • Proved that lightning was electricity
  • Published Experiments and Observations on
    Electricity in 1752
  • Made him an international figure

21
Fame and Recognition
  • Degrees from Yale, Harvard, and William and Mary
  • Praised internationally for the invention of the
    lightning rod

22
Franklin and the Kite
23
Public Service
  • More important to Franklin than his scientific
    achievements
  • Member of Philadelphia City Council
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly

24
A Citizen of the Empire
  • Albany Plan for Union
  • Return to England, 1757
  • London, lived the next 15 of 17 years
  • Met with Britains preeminent figures in science,
    literature, the arts, etc.
  • Became a great supporter of the Empire
  • A Royalist

25
Changing Fortunes
  • Franklin in London
  • Supported the Stamp Act
  • His enemies blamed Franklin for the Stamp Act
  • Franklins response to the Stamp Act
  • a firm loyalty to the Crown will always be
    the wisest Course for you and I to take

26
Return to Philadelphia
  • In 1763 Franklin returned to Philadelphia
  • was instantly looked at as a colonial leader
  • inspected the colonies postal service
  • -- helped quell the rioters from western PA
  • Returned to London in 1765, as an agent for
  • pro loyalists forces who wanted PA to
  • become a royal colony.
  • Planning a short visit, he stayed another 10 years

27
Parliament
  • House of Commons, Feb. 1766
  • Argued against the Stamp Tax
  • Parliament repealed the Stamp Act
  • Parliament enacted the Declaratory Act

28
The Crown vs. Parliament
  • Franklin viewed the king as a benign power for
    good
  • He saw Parliament as the problem for the
    empire/colonies
  • He believed only the King could rule the colonies
    and not Parliament

29
Finally taking up the Cause
  • After repeated attempts to reconcile, Franklin
    changed his mind.
  • Franklin had come to realize the pejorative view
    many in England had.
  • Franklin humiliated by the Kings Privy Council.
  • March, 1775 sailed for America.

30
Super Patriot
  • Upon returning, Franklin had to become a super
    patriot.
  • Member of Second Continental Congress.
  • Immediately embraced independence.
  • Some suspected Franklins motives.
  • Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee
  • Son William, an embarrassment

31
Franklin the democrat
  • Proposed radical Constitution for
  • Pennsylvania
  • Simple democracy and popular radicalism

32
Franklin the Diplomat
  • July 1776, Lord Howe wrote Franklin
  • Franklins response was swift and strong
  • After the defeat at Long Island, Howe, again sent
    out peace offerings.
  • Franklin and John Adams met with Howe and
    rebuffed his call to return to conditions that
    existed in 1763

33
France the Ally
  • Foreign aid and involvement was essential
  • Franklin lobbied to go to France
  • In February 1778 France and the United States
    signed two treaties commercial and military

34
Diplomatic Success
  • Against tremendous odds,
  • Franklin solely responsible for the
    Franco-American alliance
  • Franklin also participated in the peace
    negotiations with Great Britain

35
A Stranger in his Nation
  • By 1784 Franklin had spent 23 of the last 27
    years abroad
  • While he had countless admirers, he had made
    enemies as well
  • When he was recalled by Congress, in 1785,
    Franklin thought he might be a stranger in
    his own country

36
Returning Home
  • On September 14, 1785 Franklin returned to
    Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia had become the leading city in the
    new nation
  • Soon Franklin was elected to the ruling executive
    council in Pennsylvania

37
Franklin in 1785
  • Portrait by Charles Wilson Peale

38
The Constitutional Convention
  • Represented Pennsylvania
  • Did not know most of the delegates
  • Did not make any great speeches
  • Seemed detached for most of the proceedings and
    did not agree with much of the final draftbut
    signed it anyway

39
Franklin and Slavery
  • Franklins thoughts on African Americans evolved
    over time
  • By the early 1780s Franklin had become a leading
    abolitionist
  • In February 1790 Franklin petitioned the Congress
    to abolish slavery

40
Franklin vs. Congress
  • Franklins petition generated outrage in the
    Congress and nation
  • Franklin was accused of upsetting the social
    order
  • The petition was rejected as Congress decided it
    had no authority to interfere in the affairs of
    the states

41
Franklins Death
  • Religious views kept private
  • Child of the Enlightenment
  • Believed in one God, Creator of the Universe
  • Doubted Christs divinity
  • But recognized Christs
  • significance
  • Died April 17, 1790

42
Reaction to Franklins Passing
  • France reacted more then America
  • Eulogized many times over
  • In America things were different
  • While the House adopted a tribute, the Senate did
    not
  • John Adams, VP, and others were jealous of
    Franklin
  • Others linked Franklin to the French Revolution

43
Franklins Legacy
  • In the 1790s many of Franklins writings/
    autobiography were published
  • While reviled by the Federalists, many
    Republicans embraced Franklin
  • The new rising middling class of artisans saw
    Franklin as their hero
  • This group now saw themselves as worthy to aspire
    to higher stations

44
Franklins Way to Wealth
  • Published in 1758 Franklin published his
    influential work as an essay.
  • Franklin used adages and advice that he had
    dispensed in Poor Richards Almanac.
  • Franklin Way to Wealth was and continues to be
    very influential

45
Franklins Way to Wealth, quotes
  • "There are no gains, without pains"
  • "One today is worth two tomorrows"
  • "Time is money"
  • "A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two
    things"
  • "Get what you can, and what you get hold"
  • "Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor
    wears, while the used key is always bright"
  • "Have you somewhat to do tomorrow, do it today"
  • "The eye of a master will do more work than both
    his hands"
  • "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man
    healthy, wealthy and wise"

46
Celebration of Labor
  • Work and virtue became synonymous
  • Parson Weems praised Washington as a man of
    industry and later wrote about Franklin
  • Hard work was now viewed as admirable
  • Men of low birth were encouraged to work their
    way to success..just like Franklin

47
Franklin as an Inspiration
  • James Harper, publisher,
  • mayor of New York City
  • Thomas Mellon, founder of Mellon Bank

48
Pat Lyon at the Forge John Neagle, 1829
49
Changing times, changing attitudes
50
Lasting Legacy
  • Important concepts that have defined Americans
  • Self made man
  • Enterprise and opportunity
  • Innovation
  • Industry
  • Work for a living

51
And in the End
  • Franklin was the second most important figure in
    the Revolution
  • In the early years of the Republic, Franklin
    personified the American Dream

52
References
  • The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin,
  • Gordon S. Wood
  • Benjamin Franklin, Edmund S. Morgan
  • Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin,
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Way to Wealth, Benjamin Franklin
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