All About The Benjamin | THE POLITICUS

All About The Benjamin

Anyone raised in these United States, based on a rudimentary level of education, has taken history courses pertaining to these United States. It would be impossible to take such courses without covering the Founding Fathers. Not stereotypical for a statesman of his socioeconomic standing, the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin quintessentially personified qualities such as tolerance, faith, and persistence. However, emphasis on the firm stands that he had on his belief, has led him labelled as a racist. Articles, essays, and anthologies, especially those printed by Ronald Takaki including Iron Cages (1979); From Different Shores (1987, 1994); and A Different Mirror (1993), have been the key contributors to the destruction of Franklin`s reputation. Although history research and analysis clearly reveal that Franklin never expressed too much admiration for the Germans of Pennsylvania, Takkis writings do not pay any attention or consideration to his comments.

As a scientist, he was supportive of the main body responsible for pioneering the exploration of the demographic principles and their implications for British imperial policy, known as the “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c”.[1] The late founder formed the body in 1751 and gained recognition when it proved that an increase or decrease of any population in a country would affect its economic opportunity structure. Benjamin and his team of scientists went further to prove that the English population alone was enough to fill the present colonies. With this proven scientific research, he complained about the immigration of the Germans to Pennsylvania using a pejorative language. His choice of words and language sparked up a debate to this day on whether he was a racist or not. His sensitive nature of looking at colourand race made him observe that the non-white outnumbered the purely white people; whereby, he wished for the balance. He categorized the Germans as not purely white people excluding the Saxons; thus, making the English and Saxons as the only purely white people on earth. As a demographic principle analysis, these opinions seemed shocking, and his justifications of labellinghimself as a partial complexion of his country did him more damage than good.

The result was a devastating result in Pennsylvania in the elections of 1764. The consequence of that failure is he being named a racist. Regardless of all this, Franklin had a lot of significance in the America’s history. People viewed him as an intensely partisan figure. He was the prime mover who pushed in the making of the Pennsylvania as a royal colony and furnished a large target for pro-proprietary pamphleteers. This led to his mocking as a scientific pretension, a schemer who cared about nothing other than his personal ambition.

The Conestoga Massacre, which is widely known as the Indian-hating, separates Franklin as a racist. The massacre took place in Pennsylvania in 1763 at a time when the city was filled with racial, religious, and ethnic issues. He acted as one of the most influential critics of the Paxton Boys who carried out the wicked acts by mocking them as Christian white savages. His narrative regarding the late massacres in Lancaster County to discourage the acts of the Paxton Boys brought out the anti-racism qualities in him as opposed to the labels branded on his name. He argued that the wars based on colour and racism alone was immoral. As a scientist and a civic contributor, he argued that morals and ethnicity guide should be the guiding pillars of any colony.  This changed the face of America due to the changes experienced especially in the religious sector. Although he lost the elections, his party “Quaker Party” managed to have the majority seat in the assembly. Most Germans were in support of the Quakers party as they both shared the same religious principles. With the changes in beliefs and the government, most Lutherans and Germans defected and joined to support the anti-Quaker party, Ticket party. They feared the religious privileges under the Pennsylvania’s original charter that they had enjoyed before the elections would be lost with a new government in power.

Despite his language and comments, Franklin’s German friends and supporters argued that there was no mistreatment or undermining of any sort at the time of his ruling. They insisted that Benjamin was speaking as a scientist. Additionally, German immigrants to the country were in the sense not desirable anymore. The only problem they had with the government was the lack of representation in the assembly during his reign. Although many massacres and complaints from the Non-Americans were evident during the ruling of Benjamin Franklin, it should not be fair to say that he was a racist. Understanding what happened in the American’s history should not be viewed by focusing on racism, religion, or xenophobic natives. Franklin’s scientific formulation approach has been one of the reasons for the co-existence of the white and non-white in America today.


Philip, Glewon. “Trouble in the Colonial Melting Pot.” Journal of American History 1 (2000): 3-17.

[1] Philip, Glewon. “Trouble in the Colonial Melting Pot.” Journal of American History 1 (2000): pp. 3-17