Franklin Jefferson

Franklin Jefferson - Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin...

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Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are frequently regarded to be two of the most influential figures in early American history. Both men contributed greatly to the founding of the nation and are considered to be two of the forefathers of the new country. While there are great similarities in both their public and political lives as well as within their personal lives, there are slight differences as well that are two be expected of two different men. However, while their histories intertwine a great deal and there are many historical breakthroughs that the figures share, it is what they do not that is of greatest interest. This is because each man brought a different set of understanding and skills to the nation. While both were great men and offered tremendous services to the country individually, it is clear that the United States would be severely hurt without the contributions of both. Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known for being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He specifically coined the first lines of the second paragraph which laid the foundation for the American Revolution and American democracy: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
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their Safety and Happiness. Benjamin Franklin, however, led a very different role with regards to the Declaration of Independence. In 1775, upon his arrival to Philadelphia, he was chosen as a member of the Continental Congress and assisted in editing the document that had already been forged. However, it is Franklin’s earlier life that contributed much to the birth of the United States. For most of Franklin’s early life, he worked as a businessman having started a printing house in 1730 and initiated the Union Fire Company, the first volunteer firefighting company in America, in 1736. In 1748, he retired from printing and created a partnership with his foreman, David Hill, who provided Franklin with half the shop’s profits for the next 18 years. This business was very lucrative and afforded Franklin the ability for leisure time and study and yielded many of his discoveries that made him famous through Europe and much of France. Of his investigations was his look into electricity, including his June 15, 1752 famous kite flight in lightning to test the reactions of electricity. However, Franklin understood the dangers of electricity – as evident by his later invention of the lightning rod – and properly insulated himself before
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course HIST 5 taught by Professor Richard during the Winter '06 term at UCSD.

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Franklin Jefferson - Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin...

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