What Did Ben Franklin Do in the Revolutionary War?

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Benjamin Franklin’s most prominent contributions during the American Revolution were helping to draft the Declaration of Independence and successfully negotiating an alliance with France. In 1776, Franklin was on the five-member committee that helped craft the Declaration of Independence. Later that year, Congress sent Franklin to France and he gained their support against the English. The French agreed to provide soldiers, supplies and money for the colonial war effort.

Franklin was chosen by the Continental Congress to go to France because there was no other statesman or philosopher among them who could match Franklin’s experience, eloquence and accomplishments. As Minister to France, Franklin took advantage of the long-existing hostilities between England and France to persuade the French government to come to the aid of the colonies. His presence was very troubling to the British Minister posted to France at the time.

An often overlooked contribution Franklin made to the war effort was the selection of Baron Von Steuben, who became an important military advisor to George Washington during the difficult winter of 1777 to 1778 at Valley Forge, when Von Steuben helped with the reorganization of the Continental Army. Franklin wrote Washington a long letter, convincing him to utilize Von Steuben’s skills.