Benjamin Franklin: An American Life - Chapter Fifteen Summary & Analysis

Walter Isaacson
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Chapter Fifteen Summary and Analysis

Chapter Fifteen takes place in Paris from 1778-1785. Franklin becomes the sole minister plenipotentiary, though Adams is still antagonistic and Arthur Lee campaigns against him in America by attacking Temple. Franklin, usually shrewd, turns a blind eye to his grandson's faults. Temple and the French General Lafayette are anxious to stage a land invasion of England, though their plot is never realized. John Paul Jones, ex-privateer, wins a commission in America's navy and commands the Bonhomme Richard. In battle with the ship Serapis when asked to surrender, Jones says "I have not yet begun to fight!" (p. 390). John Adams and Franklin disagree over whether America should show fealty to France: Franklin thinks America should remain a virgin state, but wants to show gratitude for the aid they receive. Adams thinks France acts for her own interests and America owes...

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This section contains 653 words
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Buy the Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Study Guide
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