Benjamin Franklin, The Father Of Foreign Diplomacy

1849 words - 7 pages

Some people will argue that the true birth of United States of America started with George Washington leading the Continental Army against Great Britain's royal army in pursuit of freedom from foreign dictatorship; seizing the opportunity to create and control their own government in the manner in which they sought fit. One of the major forces in this battle for freedom was the diplomatic travels of Benjamin Franklin. His travels to England and France set the foundation for the dealings in foreign diplomacy that are still in effect today. Without Benjamin Franklin's wisdom, knowledge and courage to address Kings and Parliament on the behalf of the colonies, the American government, as we know it would not exist.

Benjamin was born January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts the 15th of 17 children. His father, Josiah Franklin was a soap and candle maker and his mother's name was Abiah. With only two years of a formal education he signed as an apprentice with a printing shop at the age of ten years old. At the age of 24 he owned his own printing shop and produced many of the writings that were printed in his paper. In 1730 he married Deborah Read and they had three children together. Due to his newspaper he quickly became very popular and was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he helped organize the first public library in the colonies. Once a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, his charm and popularity thrust him into mainstream politics and began his career as a foreign diplomat.

In 1757 the Pennsylvania legislature launched a campaign against the failure of taxation of proprietors, and elected Benjamin Franklin to speak on the behalf of the colonies to Parliament in London, thus beginning his unofficial career as a foreign ambassador. After three years of delegation, he successfully persuaded Parliament to pass a bill that will equally tax not only the colonists but the proprietors as well. Upon his return to the colonies he was elected as the unofficial ambassador to England, and this became a duty that he carried out for many years to come.

Over the next decade, hostilities grew between the colonies and England. Benjamin Franklin spent his time as a delegate between the two lands and argued many of the colonies grievances toward Britain's mistreatment. In 1765 at the age of 59, Franklin addressed Parliament regarding the Quartering Bill, which allowed forceful housing of British soldiers in the homes of the Americans. He argued on behalf of the colonies and Parliament amended the bill making the act illegal. During this same year, Parliament passed the Stamp Act as a way of acquiring more money from the colonies. This is where many of Benjamin Franklin's diplomatic duties began.

Franklin was called to testify in front of Parliment,

A questioner asked: "Considering the resolutions of Parliament as to the right, do you think, if the stamp-act is repealed, that the North Americans will be...

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