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Benjamin Franklin 富兰克林 学生小论文


Benjamin Franklin During the 18th century, the Enlightenment, a philosophical movement stating individual liberty and religious tolerance, culminated in the French and American revolutions, radically changed human society and the environment. A renowned polymath, Benjamin Franklin was one of the significant people in this era. Being confident and modest, he was a leading politician, civic activist, statesman, diplomat, economist, postmaster, printer, author, scientist, and inventor. As a politician, Franklin indefatigably campaign for the nation’s independence and colonial unity, first as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies, was also the first United States Ambassador to France. As an economist, Franklin was a successful businessman who personified hard work, self-discipline, honesty and humor convincing American colonists of the economic opportunities available to them. And he came up with ideas that developed free trade in America. As a scientist, Franklin played an important role in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories about electricity. As an inventor, Franklin is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He set up many social facilities, including Philadelphia’s fire department and the university. In a word, with the optimistic “can-do” attitude, Benjamin Franklin, educated himself well-roundly and epitomized the modern America through leading the United States to independence, prevailing free trade, and establishing community facilities. Benjamin Franklin took an active part in politics practically and ingeniously. He had the unique distinction of having signed all three of the major documents that were the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris, and the United States Constitution, all of which freed the co-

lonies from British rule and established the United States as an independent nation. In 1776, after Thomas Jefferson sent his finished draft of the Declaration of Independence to Franklin for review, Franklin made only a few slight changes to Jefferson’s prose while the Congress later edited it so significantly that led to much the dismay of Jefferson. In fact, the actual document was not signed until Franklin signed his name along with the 55 other representatives of the 13 colonies. Undoubtedly, Franklin was especially vital. Besides, he later told Jefferson, “I have made it a rule, whenever in my power, to avoid becoming the draughtsman of papers to be reviewed by a public body.”, which meant self-editing is a dangerous and difficult task, and also had shown that Franklin was an ingenious politician. In 1781, Franklin was in France as Minister to France. He successfully negotiated a treaty of alliance between French and the colonies and secured loans from the French government which helped finance the American revolution. He was so intelligent that he realized salons and parties were the better places to discuss with the French. Thus he won the trust and respect of the French court. Meanwhile, John Adams and John Jay, two delegates to the Continental Congress, negotiated a treaty with Britain, which offered more, giving the Americans almost more than they were demanding. Although the French felt being offended by this, Franklin again used his connections and diplomatic skills to convince the French that they were not hostile. Thus, Franklin’s diplomacy along with Adam’s and Jay’s work, the United States was recognized as a separate and equal nation by the world’s great superpowers, France and Britain. In 1787, while many delegates were disgruntled about signing the Constitution, Franklin gave an impassioned speech, using his persuasive powers to urge them to sign. Following the speech, the Constitution was signed. Again, thanks to Franklin’s practical and ingenious political skills, the nation made another progress. Undeniably, without Franklin, and his political skills, the nation could neither gain independence from Britain nor win respect

from the world, or have its fundamental principles; without Franklin and his ideas, the nation may not develop into such a strong country as it is today. Therefore, with his practical and ingenious political skills, Benjamin Franklin, epitomized modern America by winning its independence, respect, and precipitating its constitution to be signed. Benjamin Franklin also thought deeply about economic issues. First, Franklin used his own example of essential aspects in business such as hard work, self-discipline, honesty and humor to encourage Americans to be industrious to earn money, convincing them that there were economic opportunities available to them. For instance, as he said, “Remember, time is money”, people should make full use of time to work, which meant to be hard-working; “Beware of little expenses. A small leak can sink a great ship” told people to be careful when spending money, which meant to be self-discipline. Because what he indicated were not only so simple that a common man could understand, but also gave people an optimistic attitude and a practical example, people involved into work to make more benefits, which did good to the nation’s economy. Second, Franklin made free trade, which meant government should not intervene business as long as it did not harm public benefits, become popular. He was an advocate of paper money, and wrote a pamphlet in support of a currency emission then under consideration in the Pennsylvania assembly. He thought, in his early research “A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of Paper Money”, an adequate supply of money for the successful conduct of a community’s business was important. Indeed, with the birth of paper money, businessmen gained more freedom in trades. Just as he suggested, “No nation was ever ruined by trade”, free trade was good for everybody. With the prevalence of free trade, more jobs could be available, and the nation’s economy could also develop since more money could “flow” among the whole society. On the whole, without Franklin’s encouragement, people would work less industrious than they should

had been; without Franklin’s support on paper money and free trade, the nation’s economy would not be so developing and stable, nor will his image appear on the 100 dollar bill in the U.S. today. In other words, with his amazing economic thoughts, Benjamin Franklin, epitomized the modern America by urging citizens to work efficiently and prevailing free trade. Benjamin Franklin made a lot of social contributions through his studies and foundation of few institutions. One of his most influential works was his autobiography, in which he introduced 13 virtues-temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquillity, chastity, and humility, and three of which-resolution, justice, and industry were included in the American Dream, and frankly did he admit that he could not achieve the perfection he tried to. Actually, these 13 virtues not only encouraged citizens to improve themselves but also indicated that the 13 colonies should unite together. Always proud of his working class statues, Franklin, Became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia. With another 2 co-workers, he published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette, introducing living wisdoms. Hence, as a publisher, Franklin had enormous influence on the whole society such as urging Americans to thrive. For many years he was the British postmaster for the colonies, which enables him to set up the first national communications network. Also, Franklin created many community facilities such as the Union Fire Company, the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the first public lending library in America. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania, the first university in America that acceptor students of various religion, in 1740. Obviously, when building more convenient social facilities, more jobs were available, and when establishing the university, more people could be well educated

and be qualified for many jobs. Franklin was a prodigious inventor. Among his many creations were the lightning rod, glass harmonica, Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, and his inventions also included social innovations such as paying forward, all of which contributed to increasing efficiency and human improvement. At the same time, he worked with population studies, ocean currents, meteorology and so on. Without Franklin’s devotion to society, those essential facilities would not be set up as advanced as they were; without Franklin’s attachment to education, the great university, latter became a member of the Ivy League, would not appear; without Franklin’s intelligence and courage, there would not be such a great self-educated man who invented not only convenient things but also the brand new thoughts that led the human society into a new era. In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin epitomized the modern America by introducing new thoughts and establishing various social facilities. Known as the epitome of the American Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin, led America to independence, prevailed free trade, and established community facilities. Franklin’s practical and ingenious political skills helped America gained independence and respect. And these gave chances for him to popularize the free trade and his thoughts, and build community facilities. Franklin’s amazing economic ideas prevailed free trade. And it helped the nation have a developing economy to fight for independence and have money to build facilities. With his intelligence, Franklin invented both new thoughts that encouraged people and new things that made life convenient. And the thoughts urged people to realize the necessity of becoming independence, and the inventions also contributed to the economy through selling. Furthermore, Benjamin Franklin influenced not just the 18th century but the future of America even the whole world. Today, his inventions such as Fire Department and bifocals are still being used through out the world; his thoughts are still encouraging people from all walks of lives.


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