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American statesman (1706-1790). His name played an important role in the development of the United States.
The birth of the United States as a nation was accompanied by a group of notable statesmen. Among them is diplomat, writer and inventor Benjamin Franklin. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706, Franklin left home at seventeen and became a printer apprentice in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Governor William Keith promised to help him financially to get his own typography, but withdrew his support while Franklin was in England buying typefaces.
He remained in England, working on various printers until, in 1726, he managed to raise enough money to return to the United States and open his own printers. His business prospered and two years later he began publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette, one of the most important newspapers of the time. In 1731, he founded what was probably America's first public library. In 1732, he began writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanac, an annual collection of stories and thoughts on life, love, politics, and other human activities. In 1747, he began experimenting on the hypothesis that lightning was an electrical phenomenon, which led to the invention of lightning rods.
Between 1736 and 1757, Franklin worked as a clerk and member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He traveled to England, where he was welcomed by members of the English literary and scientific community who respected his work. After returning to Philadelphia in 1762, he was again elected to the Assembly.
Franklin firmly endorsed the idea that Britain should relax its control over the American colonies and allow settlers a greater role in running their own businesses. In 1774 he went to England to petition King George III (1738-1820) in favor of the settlers and the newly formed Continental Congress. The king and the House of Lords rejected the petition, and when Franklin returned to Philadelphia, the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) had already begun.
After his election to the Second Continental Congress, Franklin organized the postal service, becoming its chief, and helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776. That same year, Franklin was chosen as ambassador. American in France and, while in office, managed to convince the French government to support the American cause with weapons and supplies.
After the war, between 1782 and 1783, Franklin helped negotiate the peace treaty with Britain. He then left France and returned to the United States, becoming a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790.