What two individuals would serve as the best representatives of America? Why?
The United States of America has never disappointed when it comes to heroism. The nation has had a sense of patriotism that surpasses all other nations. The citizens have throughout history supported leaders based on their principles and what they have to offer on their behalf. As a result, many leaders who have been declared as leaders in the country have been people of unquestionable character. When a person is asked therefore to name amongst all the leaders’ two influential leaders, a person is faced with a huge task of sifting through leaders of exemplary character as all of them deserve the stature of “Best Leader.” However, Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin can be regarded as the most influential leaders in American History. Their contribution to American history is profound as will be exemplified in the rest of the essay
The literary prowess of Thomas Paine allowed him to attack the King of England using his writings. His writings promoted equality, and that is why he was analytical in asking why the king was above his subjects. Paine’s writings existed during the Romantic Movement when he wrote The Age of Reason, when both the American and the French revolutions pushed for rationalistic instruments to support individualism and freedom as expresses by romanticism (Reason and Revolution, 121). The writings sparked in many the thought of existing freely and participating in activities without being reprimanded by a higher authority. In fact Paine suggests that America could have prospered better had they not been under British rule or any other power thereof. Paine considered the administration of the America colony by the British colonial empire as a contradiction to nature as he believed in freedom and individuality. He suggests that British rule never made America bigger by any standards. His writings gave the people of America hope that they can exist on their own free from the British rule which was considered as oppressing and viewed as an obstacle to freedom. His writings contributed a lot in the drafting of the Bill of Rights as it embodies the teachings and beliefs he had in his works.
Benjamin Franklin can be viewed as an iconic figure in the history of the United States. He was never a representative in congress neither was he ever elected to Congress. But he sure did earn the title of the very first greatest American. What he was able to achieve as a civic leader can not be matched to date with the current caliber of leaders present. He worked tirelessly in all colonies and particularly Philadelphia before being instrumental in different capacities in the international arena. His works were fundamental in the shaping up of vital societal institutions which have acted as the base for most of what government has based its operations on. The power of persuasion that thrived in him enabled him be declared as one of the greatest leaders of America. Were it not go his efforts during the Albany Congress the Constitutional Convention and the Treaty of Paris, then it is very possible that the United States would not have resulted to be a great country it has grown to be currently. Amongst his greatest achievements is being regarded as the only person who signed all the three important documents of the United States (The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Paris). He did not indulge in politics alone. But he was also very instrumental in developing the community and the American culture. The first public library in Philadelphia was built courtesy of him and other leaders. He was an avid supporter of community safety and welfare and through his efforts community members were inoculated against smallpox. He was instrumental too in reforming the postal system and he even went ahead in 1775 to become the first postmaster. Under his visionary leadership, he realized that America required foreign assistance in its quest for change during the America’s Rebellion and the rapport created afterwards enabled France have a powerful ally In the US. His diplomatic skills were unprecedented especially when he served as an envoy representing the US in France (Morgan, 10 He was able to use his great diplomatic skills to ensure the continuity of the Franco-American Alliance especially during its fragile moments. His influence was immense especially as it led to the independence of thirteen colonies in the US. His influence made Britain give more to the American colony (were it not for him, America would have settled for much less). He was a very sober leader who acted as a conciliator. His patriotism to his country was astounding and should be envied by everyone who purports to be a true patriot of the US.
With the above reasons and characteristics in mind, I place the tow leaders as the greatest leaders of America. Their contribution whether literary or political formed the basis of the current American life. Their generosity in intellect and wealth has enabled many people achieve their dreams and have made the United States of America achieve the illusive status of the most powerful country in the whole world, a position envied by many countries of the world but only achieved by the United States .
Morgan, E.S. Benjamin Franklin. New Haven: Yale UP. (2002) Print
Reason and Revolution Part 1. Lecture/class notes. Unpublished. (n.d).
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