Lead: Among the great contributions Benjamin Franklin made to independence was to secure for the newly formed United States a powerful ally. He accomplished that without even seeming to try.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Hardly had the ink dried on the Declaration of Independence that the Founders realized that if they were to defend colonial freedom, they would have to find the infant Republic a friend. And quickly. Governments of the world were hostile to nearly all that was fundamental in the American experiment - rebellion, anti-colonialism, democracy, human rights. It was a lonely world for the tiny sovereign outpost on North America’s east coast.