Benjamin Franklin: America’s Renaissance Man

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

The eldest and arguably wisest of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s greatest and most successful citizens.  His ventures into newspaper publishing, science, and diplomacy overseas, among others, prove that there was very little that Franklin was not capable of doing or achieving.  While his work on bifocals and electricity have become more legendary than his political contributions, the assistance that Franklin provided during the early formative years of the American government is undeniable.  Franklin was not one to waste words, a standard he lived by and made known in his Thirteen Virtues, and his relative silence during most of the Constitutional Convention made his statements, as peculiar as they sometimes were, greatly resonate with his fellow delegates.  The portrayal of Franklin as an elder philosopher and wise sage, especially in the reputation that preceded him upon his arrival at the Convention, created a great deal of respect and awe from the delegates, many of whom had never met him in person and were extremely courteous to him throughout the course of meeting at the State House.  His portrayal as a family man is one of indifference, however, as his many ventures into his various fields of interest created a great deal of separation away from those that were closest to him.  Nevertheless, the many experiences of Franklin overseas in Europe gave him a great deal of knowledge concerning the amount of power that should be given to the government and the ill effects that monarchies with too much control in the hands of rulers had on countries.  While Franklin was not a major contributor at the Constutional Convention in the way that James Madison was, his keen sense and his years of seasoning in the realm of public policy and government allowed for him to still make a considerable impact, a feat that Franklin had no problem achieving throughout the course of his incredible life.

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