To be an American means a lot of things. Being American is about having freedom. You have the freedom to vote, the freedom to try to better yourself financially, the freedom to worship whatever religion you want, the freedom to voice your opinions, and the freedom to overthrow an oppressive government. America is a united nation run by a government that is “for the people, by the people, and of the people. ” America has a varied society and a huge number of rights, which gives America its identity. Being American is about giving every individual a chance to pursue and catch happiness.
Combined, all of these traits make up the “American Identity. ” One person who helped shape the “American Identity” by showing all of these characteristics was Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin, one of our five most esteemed founding fathers, was one of the biggest reasons that American values are as they are today. If it wasn’t for Benjamin Franklin, there is a very good possibility that the United States of America would still be run by England. Franklin was an ambassador during the American Revolution. He secured the French alliance which was one of the main reasons that America beat England.
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Franklin was recognized as being the roots of American values. Franklin portrayed the characteristics of education, hard work, patriotism, self-government, anti-slavery, and disagreement to dictatorship. America was built around these principles and beliefs. In the time period that Benjamin Franklin lived in, there were many events that occurred that would allow him to greatly influence the structural integrity of the United States of America. During the year 1776, Franklin was dispatched to France as the “Commissioner of the United States. He spent time in France trying to convince French that they needed to help the Americans in this war against England. Soon after Franklin arrived back in America, he served as a delegate of the Philadelphia Convention. Franklin was the only one of the Founding Fathers that was able to sign all four of the major documents of the founding of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Treaty of Alliance (with France), and the Treaty of Paris. Had Benjamin Franklin come a few years later, America might not have ever won its freedom from England.
Benjamin Franklin participated in many important events throughout the early history of the United States. One of the most important events that Franklin played a part in was the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This document justified the colonies separation from Great Britain. He was also involved in the signing of the Treaty of Paris. During this event, Franklin not only signed the document, but gained trust in the eyes of the French, which he was able to use able to establish a three-way treaty between the French, the English, and America.
Probably the most notable event was his participation in the writing and signing of the United States Constitution. Franklin attended the Constitutional Convention where he served as a delegate who openly shared his views on how things should be run and played his part as one of the “framers” of the constitution. This document became the foundation on which our country was built upon. The Constitution spelled out “The American Identity,” by stating what was right and wrong; what Americans can and can’t do.
These three major events, in which Benjamin Franklin contributed to, helped further mold what is now known as the “American Identity. ” Benjamin Franklin’s ideas and personality showed that he had very strong opinions of what America should be like. Franklin, even at 81 years old, was voicing his idea of how to form a better government and how to better the American way of life. He believed that the executive power was too much to be placed in the hands of one man, because the power would be easier to misuse. Franklin was also a strong Abolitionist.
This showed that, since he was against slavery, he believed that all humans should be treated equally. Equality of people is still a characteristic of society today. Benjamin Franklin played a huge role in molding the “American Identity” to what it has become today. Franklin showed strong support of ideals that ended up shaping the “American Identity,” such as the support of freedom, human rights, and hard work. America would still probably be under English rule if Benjamin Franklin hadn’t gained the France’s assistance during the Revolutionary War.
Franklin edited the Declaration of Independence, which later became what the United States of America was built around. In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin was involved in many of the aspects which formed not only the “American Identity”, but the United Stated of America. Works Cited page 1. http://www. ushistory. org/franklin/info/index. htm 2. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin 3. http://www. pbs. org/benfranklin/ 4. http://showcase. netins. net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg. htm