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Benjamin Franklin, Ambassador to France

Benjamin Franklin, Ambassador to France
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.6

     challenging words:    civic, finance, democracy, diplomat, ally, original, provided, colonial, altogether, military, celebrity, agreement, personality, purpose, public, death
     content words:    Ben Franklin, United States, Benjamin Franklin, Atlantic Ocean, Revolutionary War, King Louis XVI, Great Britain

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Benjamin Franklin, Ambassador to France
By Sharon Fabian

1     Some people say that if it hadn't been for Ben Franklin, the United States would still be a part of England. Whether or not that is true, there is no doubt that Benjamin Franklin had a lot to do with the United States becoming an independent country.
2     What did Franklin do that helped the United States become what is it today? The story that answers that question takes place, not in colonial America, but in Paris, France. It began in the year 1776, the same year that the Declaration of Independence was signed. That year, Benjamin Franklin made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to France. The voyage took about a month, and it was a rough and dangerous voyage. The United States was involved in the Revolutionary War, and a US ship could not depend on a safe passage across the ocean.
3     Benjamin Franklin did make it across the ocean safely, and he received a warm welcome in France. Franklin was a popular visitor there. He had taken the time to learn the French language and French manners. He was also something of a celebrity there because of his famous lightning experiment.
4     While in France, Franklin lived in the town of Passy, just outside of Paris. He got to know many French people who were interested in the same things that he was interested in, and they were especially interested in the idea of democracy.
5     The official purpose of Franklin's visit was to win support from France in the Revolutionary War. King Louis XVI was the king of France at that time, and, at first, he did not want to become involved in the war, but Franklin was patient. He lived in France, meeting and talking to people there, and after about a year, France began to take an interest.

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