What circumstances led Benjamin Franklin to abandon his love of England and support the "New America?"

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There were several reasons why Benjamin Franklin supported the colonists during the Revolutionary War.  Benjamin Franklin was concerned about the lack of freedom the colonists had under British rule.  He believed the British were ignoring the rights of the colonists.  For example, he believed it wrong for the colonists to be taxed without having representatives in Parliament who could speak about and vote on these tax proposals.  This was a right guaranteed to English citizens.  Benjamin Franklin was concerned about other British actions toward the colonists.  He was troubled by events of the Boston Massacre, and he was concerned by the harsh British response to the Boston Tea Party.  Once fighting began in April 1775, Benjamin Franklin knew a war was coming.  He believed in the colonial cause and was willing to support it.  He was one of the writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Franklin understood the significance of declaring independence.  He knew that a colonial defeat could mean the leaders of the revolution and the signors of Declaration of Independence could be jailed and/or killed.  If Franklin didn’t believe in the colonial cause, he wouldn’t have put his life on line as he did when he signed the Declaration of Independence.  It was a long journey from love of England to deciding the colonies should be free from British rule.

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