The Radicalism of the American Revolution Characters & Character Analysis

Gordon S. Wood
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Benjamin Franklin

As the oldest member of the revolutionary generation, he receives direct attention, but only as an exemplar of what upward mobility means in the 18th-century America. As a product of the patronage system, Franklin gains fame as a printer in Philadelphia, but understands he is not a true gentleman and bides his time. He refuses the rank of colonel in the local militia until he decides he has built up sufficient fortune to retire from mandatory labor and become a gentleman. Named deputy postmaster general of North America in 1753, Franklin exploits the patronage system to place all of his friends and relatives to positions throughout the colonies. Believing England to be more open to upward mobility the America, he concentrates his efforts there. Only in the 1760s, when he has risen as high as the British establishment will allow him, does Franklin begin to consider himself...

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This section contains 1,902 words
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Buy The Radicalism of the American Revolution Study Guide
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