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Benjamin Franklin, through hard work and perseverance, transformed himself into a philosopher, diplomat, inventor, writer, and scientist. (SOURCE) Franklin's contributions and ideas significantly encouraged major progress in the development our country and improvements that continue to affect society. He showed that with a strong desire and honest and hard work anything is possible. Unlike most politicians, he was a common person. He is also a hero in that he symbolizes hope and possibilities for many Americans. However, Franklin was not a perfect human being, and for that reason, some believe that his face should not grace the $100 bill. His legacy is undeniably a major part in our history and as one of the key "founding fathers" to our society; the fact reminds Benjamin Franklin is distinct figure in our history.
I will present my argument in favor of keeping Franklin on the bill. Franklin moved from Boston to Philadelphia in search of a better place to stay and for his exploration. He is known for going "from rags to riches" from achieving many jobs and contributing to the colonies as a way to give back to the community. He became the first person to open a public library in Philadelphia in hopes of helping more people to educate themselves. Later, he established a fire company, developed a hospital and many useful things that are still with us today. Also, established the University of Pennsylvania and reformed the police department by taxing the community and having steady law enforcement. Franklin also assisted in the development of streetlights.
Before, streetlights were not as useful due to its flawed structure. Franklin changed the sculpture of the streetlights from a rounded glass to a square-like glass, which made the lights durable and eventually assisted in efficient lighting system for the city. This became vital part in lowering the crime rate and improving the lives of many people. In addition, Benjamin Franklin was a great writer and excellent thinker who improved the printing press. (Quote) Franklin also contributed to convincing France to join the revolution with the colonies against Britain. The colonies were in a losing war. Eventually France intervened and helped the colonies by supplying them with firearms and men to assist the defeat of the English. This defeat led to the independence of the United States. According to Barry Gewen, "the library, Fire Company, insurance company, hospital and university he founded in Philadelphia were some of the inventions that won him fame on both sides of the Atlantic." All of these things still exist because of him and without him; it can be considered that these ideas would not have been established, if Franklin wasn't around.
Even though he has some dark spots in his past, he still remains a man who changed the modern world forever. There are some who do not consider Franklin a great person, and he definitely was far from perfect. Not only did he treat women badly, but he also went after females who were considerably younger than he was. For example, according to Gewen, "He treated his wife miserably and he admonished young brides to attend to the word "obey" in their vows." He was domineering in his relationships and to a certain extent believed that women shouldn't be given the right to vote. "For Franklin was a slave holder. It's true he turned against slavery and ardently so, at the very end of his life, but he took a long time getting there." (Gewen). Benjamin Franklin was a slave owner, and it took him a long time to free his slaves before his death.
Many believed that he was somewhat hypocritical because he advocated the freeing of slaves while he owned some himself. A deserving figure from the colonial era that could rightfully replace Franklin on the 100-dollar bill is John Rolfe. He was the first person to find an economic reason to live in the colonies. Tobacco was the main priority and it improves the colonies from poor into rich-high estate colonies. John Rolfe didn't create tobacco but bought it into the colonies as a way to create a financial gain. Virginia was the original settlement that many people from England was coming from. As there was no money to be found and the climate was very humid, Rolfe decided to bring tobacco to Virginia. It created an economic control over the colonies and England because it was highly demanded.
It was a product that gave the first big step of leading the colonies gain back "its feet" Franklin, although he had many positives, he certainly had many negatives as well, and this has made some people suggest that his face should not be on our $100 bill. "It's a safe bet that a slaveholding lecher would not be gracing our $100 bills." (Gewen). In my opinion, Franklin was a man of his time. In his days, many whites owned slaves-even George Washington, our first president who is on our $1 bill. Another famous American, Thomas Jefferson, not only had many slaves but a black mistress with whom he had several children. So I believe it's hypocritical to suggest that Franklin should no longer be on the bill but his many positive contributions more than make up for his human shortcomings..
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