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Benjamin Franklin: PBS movie Analysis

0 April 17 2018, 10:54 in History Essays

Based on the video, when Benjamin Franklin came to France, people saw him as a representation of America being native geniuses because his intellect impressed them. In addition, he embodied the simplicity and elegance of a natural man which is evident from the way he carried himself. They mentioned his clothing being simple and dignified, and he uses a direct language that is not common in Paris which fascinated them.

He gave the impression as a noble peasant walking the streets of Paris and surrounded by people who were curious about him. The image he projected is a classic American with a rustic style. The attention he received also surprised him and wrote a letter to his daughter about his fame in France. Everything that he experienced during this time was new and people saw him as an icon that they put his face on boxes, posters, and prints distributed everywhere. Although, his purpose is still unclear to the French as to why he was there. There are those in video who were honest about how they saw Franklin – a devious man who is on a mission from America and saw him as a dangerous enemy. The video represents how Franklin wrote to the French government and proposed a treaty of friendship with America which is a good way to form a bond between the 2 nations. If it were not for Franklin’s secrecy and intelligence, this would not have happened. However, his proposal was not approved at 1st because they needed to find out if America is worthy of their aid.

His frustration was portrayed in the documentary to show how much he needed to do. A man like Franklin during that time really had a lot of work to do because even America was not giving him any special help as a commissioner. Anyone who watches this part of the video will have a further appreciation for Franklin because of his hard work. Despite of those who were spreading rumors about him in the American Congress.

At one point in history, Franklin gave up and stopped responding to letters which was shown in the film to depict the kind of journey he had in France. They have shown the disadvantage of America during that time and how the British government was controlling their country. Franklin did not stop because he knew that without the help of France, America will keep on losing battles.

It is good that they are showing this side of the story, especially when Franklin was about to give up and he receives great news. Which is why the idea of French-American alliance was clearer and gave a threat to the British. They continued to make strong political influences until other European nations wanted to connect with them, one of which was England. During this time, Franklin in a confused state and ends up betraying France. This is when Franklin realized that America was independent enough to stand on their own and only rely on themselves.

When Thomas Jefferson was appointed as the new ambassador, Franklin was able to work on his theories and established the beginning of what America benefits from today such as hospitals, better ships, and others. However, in this latter years he becomes more radical and focuses on the issue of slavery because he saw it as a natural occurrence. This part of the video gives a deeper realization as to how he saw the Africa-Americans as people who needed more education to end slavery.

After watching the video, it makes a person contemplate on Franklin’s contributions to society.

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