Ben Franklin's Political Background


Benjamin Franklin didn't really become active in politics until the 1750's.  From 1757 until 1775

he was living in England as a colonial representative for Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, and

Massachusetts.  During this time he tried to keep relations on an even keel between England

and the colonies.  However, he realized that a colonial revolution simply could not be avoided.

He returned home and began to work towards colonial independence in earnest, even working

against his own son, William, who was the Royal governor of New Jersey.  William remained

loyal to England.


Ben was elected to the second continental congress and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson is given much of the credit for writing this, but many of Franklin's ideas were

incorporated into it.  In 1776, Ben signed the declaration and then went to France as an ambassador.  

He was very popular in France, and this is in part why the French government signed a "Treaty of

Alliance" with America and why they gave us loans and assistance with fighting the war.  This

French assistance was the reason America was successful in defeating England during the

Revolutionary War.


Franklin was now in his seventies and returned home to serve as a delegate to the Constitutional

Convention where he was one of the signers of the Constitution.