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Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, statesman, author and a printer who led citizens of America through a tumultuous era of revolutionary war, provincial politics and it’s momentous as a founding nation. In his autobiography, he explained the virtues of thrift, making money and industry. For him, the pursuit of material wealth through self-interest can only be virtuous when they go hand in hand with promoting of public good using either philanthropy or voluntarism. This is what he termed as the enlightened self-interest. Franklin believed that free trade, reason, and a spirited cosmopolitan served as a faithful guide for a country to have peaceful relations. He thought that in a country good citizens were the independent entrepreneurs since they had attainable goals to pursue and also they had the capabilities to live a useful and dignified life. He believed that by cultivating thirteen virtues and having a healthy dose of cheerful prudence can lead to a perfection moral society. The use of voluntary associations was more important to him than the use government institutions to reach out to the citizens. He was able to bring up ideas that channeled citizen’s individualism into productive social outlets to the society. He was an adamant advocate of federalism and religious liberty, a critic of parochialism and world politics visionary leader.
At the age of eighty-one years, he participated as a delegate in matters of the Constitution even though he was in a poor health condition. He believed that one person could not handle the executive power, and a committee was well placed in that matter. His ideas at first were not favored by many in the delegations since none of what he stood for made it in the constitution. He helped pave the way for the great compromise. After the completion of the constitution, he wrote an impassioned speech by use of his persuasive powers to ask all delegates to sign the Constitution.
Franklin had become a father figure to many in his way of handling matters and his ideals. In France, he had negotiated an alliance agreement between the French and the colonies of the United States, which helped the Americans, get finance to fight against the British. He knew that the real diplomacy didn’t work in a well-placed negotiating table, so he opted for an informal ways to earn trust and the respect for the French people. His methods of informal meetings made his partners feel being overworked while he just enjoyed, but it has Franklin who had the last laugh.
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