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Why Benjamin Franklin Was A Good Politician

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Mr. Franklin, who lived form 1706 to 1790, was one of the best known as well as the oldest Founding Father of the United States. Other than being a politician, he was also a leading author, printer, scientist, philosopher, publisher, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat.

During the mid-eighteenth century, tensions between England and France were increasing. When the French and Indian War broke out in 1754, Franklin was one of the delegates who called the Albany Plan of Union to unite the colonies together for defense. Hence, in June of 1754, delegates from most of the northern colonies and representatives from the Six Iroquois Nations met in Albany, New York. There, they adopted a "plan of union" drafted by Franklin. Under this Albany Plan of Union, each colonial legislature would elect delegates to an American continental assembly presided over by a royal governor. This plan would have also created an inter-colonial union with authority to levy taxes and finance an army for colonial defense. Although individual colonies shunned the plan, Franklin's attempt for unity was an accomplishment in many aspects. For instance, he anticipated many of the problems that would beset the government created after independence, such as finance, dealing with the Indian tribes, control of commerce, and defense. Franklin's plan also contained the seeds of true union, and many of these ideas would be revived and adopted in Philadelphia less than thirty years later with the pending Revolutionary War.

Being an intelligent politician, Franklin printed a political cartoon in Philadelphia's newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette to unite the colonists against the French and Indian war, on May 9, 1754. The cartoon, named "Join, or Die" illustrated a snake cut into eight segments with each segment of its body labeled as one of the colonies. Since the beginning of the French and Indian war, many of the colonies were divided at the prospect of war. However, Franklin's cartoon urged them to unite against the Indian and French pressure and fight against them. Franklin's "Join, or Die"



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