Benjamin Franklin

Biography of the Benjamin Franklin Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Benjamin Franklin is among the founding fathers of the United States of America. Although not originating from a politically influential family, he solely worked hard to become the cream of the elite class. As the pioneer of electricity, he experimented and wrote on different subjects in the field, which the American society still recognizes.

Through hard work, profound innovations, and proposals, he won governmental positions, which drew him close to the political class and other leaders building a concrete American economy. Franklin’s skills and tactics in carrying out diplomatic relations represented a unique American personality. As a fearless, visionary leader, he symbolizes liberty, enlightenment, economy, and unity, which represents the American character.

Descriptively, Benjamin Franklin was a father figure, leader, politician, writer, scientist, inventor, and philanthropist among other qualities that a one person hardly posses. Besides heading a smooth family, he struggled to contribute to the attainment of independence of the US. Franklin stove and electricity harnessing are some of the innovations under his name. His character as a bold person and a diplomat qualified him for an achiever of the society.

Through his tremendous contribution to the American politics and economy, Benjamin developed a solid relationship with the United States of America. Franklin’s father migrated to America in 1635 where he married his second wife after the death of the first one. Therefore, becoming an American citizen by birth, Franklin established solid roots in America.

At the tender age of twelve, he learned printing skills, which motivated him to develop writing skills eventually becoming a publisher and a leader. Franklin’s skills in diplomacy not only led to independence of the US, but also to the unification of the different states of America. His government duty as a diplomatic official and an ambassador led to the establishment of the American constitution and American flag and currency, which was unique among all the nations.

Franklin is a symbol of American economy, currency, constitution, and politics. Due to his accomplishments in the education sector, America has produced the best scientists and inventors all over the world. As a diplomat, he called for peace among nations like Britain, the US, and France. Moreover, he united the thirteen states of America to create a solitary nation. Consequently, during Franklin’s time, the US was at peace, which led to the establishment of communication, transport facilities, and other industries.

Economically, he is the pioneer of the American currency, which explains the presence of his portrait on it. Furthermore, he was a player in the team that wrote the constitution of the US, which is the basis for the bearing political stability that the US enjoys even in the contemporary times. Thus, in the contemporary society, Franklin is a symbol of the strong American economy, which rarely dwindles.

The aforementioned contributions of Franklin not only to the US, but also to the entire world categorize him as a courageous, bright, and tactful person. Contemporarily, he is the American character and decades later, nobody has risen to match his personality. He solely combined different disciplines ranging from social, political, economical, and scientific, which culminated into a superpower.

In summary, Benjamin Franklin was a unique person that the world ever experienced. His ability to combine all disciplines enabled him to develop the nation of United States of America. He is a symbol of the concrete American economy, which is at the brim of the world’s economy. Truly, his intellectual abilities typify the American character.

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Benjamin Temple Franklin was born on January 6, 1706 in Milk Street, Boston. His father was Josiah Franklin, a tallow chandler who married twice while his mother was Abia Folger. Benjamin was the youngest son of his father’s seventeen children. He stopped going to school at the age of ten, and at the age of twelve, he was already an apprentice to his brother, James. The latter was a printer who published The New England Courant.

Benjamin became a contributor to this magazine, later becoming its nominal editor. However, Benjamin and his brother James later quarreled. This forced Benjamin to escape to New York, and thence to Philadelphia. He arrived in Philadelphia in October 1723, where he became a printer (Franklin 2).

Benjamin was coerced by Governor Keith to move to London after working as a printer for several months. However, he found Keith’s promises empty, and he again worked as a compositor until a merchant known as Denman brought him back to Philadelphia. Denman gave him work in his business.

Following the death of Denman, Franklin returned to his initial printing career. After a short time, he set up his own printing house in which he published The Pennsylvania Gazette. Benjamin contributed many essays to this publication, through which he aired views for local reforms.

In 1732, he began issuing his well-known ’Poor Richard’s Almanac’. This was for the enrichment of which he borrowed his terse speeches of experienced wisdom, which are the foundation of a larger portion of his popular reputation. In 1758, Benjamin stopped writing for the Almanac and printed in it “Father Abraham’s Sermon”. The sermon is considered the most renowned piece of literature produced in Colonial America (Franklin 5).

In the meantime, Benjamin was busy in the public sphere. He established a scheme for an Academy, which was adopted latter and finally developed into the University of Pennsylvania.

He also founded an American Philosophical Society. This was for enabling scientific men to communicate their discoveries to one another. Personally, he had already commenced his research on electrics coupled with other scientific endeavors, which abandoned in the intervals of business and politics until he died. He sold his business in 1748 in order to get time to study.

This was after he had acquired comparative wealth. In politics, he was at ease with being an administrator and as a controversialist (Franklin 7). However, his term in office was characterized by nepotism-related cases of advancing his relatives. His most significant service in home politics was his reforms of the postal system. Nevertheless, his fame as a diplomat rested mainly on his services linked to the dealings of the Colonies with Great Britain and later with France (Masur 3).

Franklin was sent to England in 1757 to explain to the people and the ministry of England the Colonial conditions (Franklin 10). After his return to America, he was vocal in the Paxton affair, an endeavor that saw him lose his seat in the Assembly. Nevertheless, he was re-dispatched to England in 1767 as agent for the colony.

Franklin crossed to France in 1767 where he was warmly received. However, before he returned home in 1775, he had lost his status as postmaster following his role in exposing to Massachusetts the famous letter of Hutchinson and Oliver.

When he arrived at Philadelphia, Franklin was elected a member of the Continental Congress. Two years later, he was sent to France as representative for the United States. In France, he remained the French favorite until 1785. He successfully conducted the affairs of his country such that when he returned home, his reputation can only be compared to that of Washington. He is among the champions of American independence. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790 (Franklin 13).

What made Franklin rise to economic success?

Going through the above overview of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography leaves the reader with the mouth agape. This is at the discovery of the multifaceted nature of the Franklin. Simply put, he was an all-rounded personality. He was at ease in politics as he was in science and writing, not to mention printing.

He was, in deed, a practical factotum. Franklin’s autobiography, thus, can be read as a sort of ‘How-to Succeed’ manual for other Americans of his day and after. Franklin worked from the presupposition that wealth and status are objectives that motivate human beings in suffering.

He added that these evolutionary vital aims could be attained solely in a cultural framework. Franklin expounded his astute utilization of existing environmental circumstances, showing the viability of cooperative tactics in creating both wealth and reputation. Constantly, he underscored the gains of mutual philanthropy and related pro-social behaviors. His self-belief in the efficiency of cooperation is a reflection of his compassionate conviction that self-interest and community interest inescapably overlap (Masur 11).

According to Franklin, he rose to economic success through various strategies. One of the key tactics that Franklin used to become affluent and reputable was through industry and frugality. In deed, Franklin devotes a large portion of his autobiography to show how his eagerness to work hand and reduce expenses in order to achieve financial security helped him climb the economic ladder. Franklin also became successful economically because he underscored the viability of long term planning.

His industrious and thrifty character aided him to become prosperous. This is because, at every stage in his life, Franklin had clearly defined objectives. For instance, he purported to educate himself in order to become a good writer, and own his business. With time, his goals grow in various ways. They contributed largely to his scientific research. His well-defined goals also helped him to practice effective community leadership, to the extent of achieving moral perfection (Masur 13).

In order to become affluent and reputable Franklin also used competence as a strategy. He demonstrated that industry and frugality are not enough. The two traits ought to be propped up by competence for maximum effectiveness. This is evident in Franklin’s high level of skill in various capacities as a press operator, compositor, and supervisor.

He asserted that his competence was instrumental in his quick rise to the acquiring of his own printing house. The exemplary exhibition of this high skill later brought in gainful jobs and boosts demand for his services. Franklin’s competence as a writer also added to his rise to affluence and reputation by ascertaining the recognition of his newspaper and almanac (Masur 16).

Traits that Franklin identifies as leading to success and prosperity

In order to be successful, Franklin, in his autobiography offered readers with a number of traits that they ought to possess. One of these is silence. He held that a talkative person might end up benefiting others or oneself. As such, although it is important to remain silent, at times, talking is not altogether bad because it is not possible to determine when it will be valuable to him or her.

Another trait that Franklin identifies as important in order to success is frugality. He believed that frugality enables expense for doing well to others or oneself. Therefore, for one to be successful, it is important to minimize expenses. However, this does not imply that one should not spend even when doing well to others or oneself (Masur 21).

In addition, Franklin identified sincerity as essential in being successful. Nevertheless, he added that this should not be confused with hurtful deceit, which is condemned by this virtue. Franklin also believed that one has to be just in order to succeed. This virtue entails avoiding injuries to others or omitting the gains that are one’s duty. Franklin advocates also advocates for industry as a trait necessary for one to be successful.

This virtue emphasizes the vitality of working hard at a useful endeavor. In addition, moderation is also highlighted as crucial as it stresses the value of cooperation even in hostile conditions. Franklin added that it is not worthy using moral righteousness as a scapegoat for aggression (Masur 25).

In conclusion, although Franklin may have devoted much of his life in amassing wealth, it is also clear that his multifaceted life did not revolve around acquiring wealth alone. It was also dedicated to gaining community reputation and status. This is clearly evidenced in the way he enjoyed contrasting the depiction of his initial runaway predisposition as a runaway boy with the famous man he later became (Masur 29). As such, Franklin tends to suggest that for one to achieve complete success; his or her good traits must be visible to others.

Works Cited

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Arc Manor LLC, 2008. Print.

Masur, Louis. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, with related documents, 2nd edition. Boston: Bedford, 2003. Print.

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Benjamin Franklin’s Argument Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

This paper compares the civilization of the western world and the developing countries represented by India. This is carried out about the remarks of Benjamin Franklin. This article is an examination of two different cultures.

Analysis

Franklin was quoted saying, “Savages we call them since their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs” (Warner & Jehlen 981). To Franklin, in the examination of different nations without prejudice, there are no people that are very rude to the extent that they lack adherence to the norms of politeness, neither is there any polite individual to the extent that they lack some sense of rudeness.

Franklin further continued: “The Indian Men, when young, are Hunters and Warriors; when Old, Counselors; for all their Government is by Counsel, or Advice, of the sages; there is no Force, there are no Prisons, no Officers to compel Obedience, or inflict punishment’’ (Warner & Jehlen 982).

According to Franklin, a council of the sages is characterized by lack of force of any prison force to carry out their duty of compelling obedience or inflict punishment to those who destabilize order. Influence in the Indian culture is based on the oratory skills and the more the oratory prowess, the greater the degree of influence and vice versa.

On job specialization, the Indian women are tasked with the responsibility of tilling the ground, food processing, and nursing and bringing up of children; they also perform the task of preserving and perpetuating all public transactions. Franklin also compared the laborious manner of the lives of the Indians.

The tenacity with which the Indians held to their traditions came out clearly in the treaty of Lancaster in Pennsylvania. In this treaty, the Indians were required to release their youth to be educated in the modern ways of life which included speaking English. The youth viewed this offer in a negative manner and declined to accept it.

According to Franklin, the inability by Indian to accept the offer due to the reasons that it would make their youth unable to kill an enemy, perfectly speak their language and that they would not stand the cold for long and generally that they could not make warriors showed that the Indian youth was basically meant to be warriors and subsequently counselors as envisaged by their civilization.

The public councils in India depict civility, decency, and politeness; they arrange themselves in a manner that old men sit in the front, followed by the warriors and women and children sit in the hindmost. Women were invited to the council to take note of what happens, imprint it in the memories since there existed no writing and to pass it to the next generations of children.

Women are the records of the council. Interruption at the course of talking was considered indecent. This is civilized as compared to the conduct of business in the House of Commons and other countries of Europe where one is interrupted before he clears talking. The politeness of the savages is highly regarded; they do not contradict or deny the truth which makes it difficult to understand their minds.

Another quote from Franklin which shows the civilization of the Indians was: “The manner of entering one’s villages likewise has its rules. It is reckoned uncivil in traveling strangers to enter a Village abruptly, without giving notice of their Approach” (Warner & Jehlen 784).

Conclusion

Benjamin Franklin succeeds in showing the tenacity with which Indians hold on to their culture. A juxtaposition of civilization in the eyes of the Indians to the western countries is carried out.

Reference

Warner, M & Jehlen, M. (1997). The English literatures of America, 1500-1800. New York, NY: Routledge.

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Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Key Elements of Representing the Self-Improvement Process Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

One of the most famous people not only in his lares and penates, but also all over the world, Benjamin Franklin not only gained much weight in politics, but also presented the world with his autobiography, setting a trend for the future presidents of practically every country.

One must give credit to where it belongs – there are a number of important messages in Franklin’s book, as well as words of wisdom and moral rules to follow.

However, there is one aspect that makes the entire idea of setting a perfect moral example a bit ambiguous, which is a little too hard emphasis on Franklin’s morals.

Whether Benjamin Franklin’s attempt at self-improvement works out fine or turns into another tedious moralizing and self-appraising song is the issue of the given paper.

It is quite peculiar that Franklin did not resort to telling about every single step he took and every single thing that happened to him; rather, he described the most important events – or, at least, the ones that he considered crucial for his life and career – and names the key people who influenced him or were somehow related to his life.

In addition, the idea of disclosing his correspondence with various people was quite an interesting move that made the readers plunge into the story.

Speaking of the facts that support the idea of Benjamin Franklin using his autobiography writer image to pose himself as a person worth genuine admiration, one must admit that there are a number of facts in favor of this theory.

To start with, the references to the childhood years made in the very first paragraphs of the book are rather graphic. Indeed, Franklin speaks of his childhood as the first stage of recognizing the basics of virtue and goodness.

Even when telling about the people surrounding him, Franklin ties them to his personality: “The notes one of my uncles (who had the same kind of curiosity in collecting family anecdotes) once put into my hands, furnished me with several particulars relating to our ancestors” (Franklin, 1909, 5).

However, it is also worth mentioning that Franklin does not abuse his right to speak about himself in autobiography – he also addresses the readers, sending them messages of what basic human virtues are, and what features a man of power must possess to become a wise and just governor of the country.

Moreover, Franklin addresses the people in a rather patronizing yet delicate manner, which makes the autobiography even a bit touching:

My old competitor’s newspaper declin’d proportionably, and I was satisfy’d without retaliating his refusal, while postmaster, to permit my papers being carried by the riders.

Thus he suffer’d greatly from his neglect in due accounting; and I mention it as a lesson to those young men who may be employ’d in managing affairs for others, that they should always render accounts, and make remittances (Franklin, 1909, 97)

Thus, it is clear that, even the certain elements of self-appraise do not seem out of place here – on the contrary, they are quite appropriate here, taking into account that it was the president writing the book, which means that there would be a lot of memorable and grandeur events in Franklin’s life.

Therefore, the autobiography is a blend of facts about Franklin’s life, as well as his achievements, and the memories of his interactions with a lot of people who had the greatest impact of the development of the world’s leading country.

Logically, Franklin would not disclose the facts that he would have been ashamed of– on the contrary, an autobiography is a perfect way to show all the merits of the person in question, which Franklin did – and, one has to admit it, he did it brilliantly.

In addition, it is quite important that Franklin speaks not only about his political achievements, but also about his human emotions, shares his ideas and even tells the public about the moments when he felt uncomfortable and even ashamed of what he did or saw someone doing.

Among the greatest revelations for the readers could be the fact that the speech of a preacher had the most tremendous effect on Franklin:

Another stroke of his oratory made me asham’d of that, and determin’d me to give the silver; and he finish’d so admirably, that I empty’d my pocket wholly into the collector’s dish, gold and all.

At this sermon there was also one of our club, who, being of my sentiments respecting the building in Georgia, and suspecting a collection might be intended, had, by precaution, emptied his pockets before he came from home. (101)

Reading Franklin’s autobiography, one does not see a titan in disguise – one can see a man, like millions of other people, the man who was choosing his own track of life and who was being influenced by a number of people, yet followed only those whom he considered the ones worth making an example of.

However, one might argue that the impression of a mere mortal finally reaching the top of his career and setting moral standards for people by telling about his own life could have been the initial intent, and that there is more than meets the eye in Franklin’s autobiography.

To Franklin’s credit, one must mention that he actually explains in details all of his functions as a Politian and further on a president, without diminishing any other person’s role in the grand events that he was taking part in:

“My activity in these operations was agreeable to the governor and council; they took me into confidence, and I was consulted by them in every measure wherein their concurrence was thought useful to the association (105).

Therefore, it can be hardly considered true that Benjamin Franklin’s work was aimed at self-promotion; on the contrary, sincere and honest, it sends important messages to the audience, making good points and offering good solutions for the questions it raises.

In addition, it quite important that the entire book is based on the experience of a man whom the nation considers one of those few worth appreciation and admiration. Despite the fact that the book does have a couple of too on the nose morals and at times becomes too preachy, it still works as a solid thing in itself.

Although one can say that the entire book is a one-man show, it is clear that an autobiography is actually aimed at depicting the life track of one man. Thus, Franklin’s autobiography is a strong and impressive work devoid of any element of self-appraise.

Reference List

Franklin, B. (1909). The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York City, NY: P F Collier and Son Company.

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Benjamin Franklin’s Relation to Religion Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Benjamin Franklin, born in January 1706, is one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. He made various contributions in the fields of science and politics. Franklin also held various beliefs in religion. He was raised as an Episcopalian during his childhood. His religious beliefs changed when he was an adult and he became a Deist.

Franklin’s parents wanted him to become a minister in the church. They began teaching him religious principles with this intention in mind. He also attended a convent to expose him to the clergy. He later dropped out as his parents could not afford to finance his education. Franklin began working for his father.

He was much later employed as an apprentice in his brother’s publishing house. This is where he gained experience in writing and publishing. Later on, Franklin got into an argument with his brother and he was forced to run away from home. He was considered to be a fugitive since he was still under the apprenticeship of his brother.

During his adulthood, Franklin liked to think about religious matters in the privacy of his home. Matters about eternity and God were fascinating subjects to him. He became a member of the Presbyterian Church in one instance. Franklin attended the church five times in a row during this period. Moreover, he was a contributor to the church and he became a pew holder. After five weeks, Franklin became less frequent in attending the church’s weekly services. In the end, he stopped attending the church.

Franklin did not have negative opinions on Christianity. Instead, he considered Christianity highly, although his beliefs were different from the norm. Franklin summarized his beliefs in writing six weeks before his death. This summary was known as his religious creed. They contained points on the opinions he held about religion and Christianity. Franklin considered Jesus as an individual who left humanity with important moral principles (Franklin 72).

Moreover, he never sought to question the Bible. Instead, Franklin chose to accept religion as it was and did what was expected in religion. Franklin stated that “the system of morals and religion as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw” (90). He was of the opinion that the moral obligations that the Bible advanced for man were important pillars of society. These were the beliefs he considered most valuable about religion. He also believed in a supreme being and that God had power over human beings.

From his creed, it can be seen that Franklin also considered religion to be worthless. His beliefs showed that religion was only important since it promoted moral behavior within society. He considered the teachings important since they provided guidance to society. Moreover, the belief in God made the religious teachings more effective, thus it was a worthy consequence. He also posed a question regarding how society would be like without religion since morality still exists amidst religion (48).

Franklin had doubts about the divinity of Jesus. Being a deist, Franklin did not consider Jesus as the son of God. Despite this, he reasoned that was a better choice to accept him, instead of taking more time to study and question his divinity. Moreover, he considers having such a figure influences people to believe in the Bible. Humans have an inherent belief in a supreme being. Thus, having a religion with a supreme and a supernatural being at the helm ensures that humans will follow the doctrines.

Franklin also wrote prayers for his own use. He believed that God answered prayers and that prayer was a powerful action. He also rewrote the Lord’s Prayer in a form that would be easier for people to understand during his time. Franklin also called for prayers to solve the political differences that existed among the members of the Constitutional Convention.

He believed that man could be happy through the power of prayer. Prayer would easily calm a person and give them hope in times of need. Prayer also had the ability to encourage morality since a person would be willing to do good to achieve what they prayed for.

Franklin cannot be considered a very religious person due to the doubts he had. Franklin, together with the founding fathers, was uncertain about combining religion and government. To him, the government could easily corrupt religion and make religion lose its significance in society. Franklin had lived in Europe for several years and was able to experience how religion and government were intertwined.

Various risks would arise. For instance, the clergy would easily forget about their congregation since they had assistance from the government. Thus, the influence that religion had on society would be compromised. People would also consider religion as part of the government.

It would be hard to convince people of the importance of religion since disagreements about the government’s activities were common within society (28). Even though he was not very religious, Franklin still held some religious beliefs that he considered important. These include his beliefs that the moral teachings provided by religion are paramount to peaceful human co-existence.

Franklin was not involved in sectarian disputes. Instead, he encouraged religious tolerance. Thus, his beliefs did not negatively affect other religious institutions even though his beliefs were different from the norm. Moreover, some of the individuals who supported Franklin were clergymen; for instance, Weems.

They agreed with Franklin’s beliefs that the best way to act as a servant of God is by showing acts of kindness and being good to fellow men. Franklin’s devotion to his belief could be seen in his activities. He was involved in philanthropic duties and sought to ensure fairness within society. He was also in the front line in fighting against slavery (108). Many people considered him a very religious statesman, although it was not so in reality.

Franklin also wrote about various religious denominations in his book. These included Desists, Quakers, Dunkers, and Moravians. Franklin did not believe in Christian denominations. For him, being religious did not require one to be part of a denomination. Thus, to him communication with God was a personal affair with the use of his own methods and means. Personalized religion was a better option as the person would avoid the corrupt changes that mainstream religion had undergone through.

Moreover, Franklin was against organized religion because it was characterized by rituals that would not be of benefit. Such rituals included religious holidays, activities within churches, and crusades. He considered such activities as having a negative impact on the basic doctrines of religion. People have also used such activities to their advantage, thus ignoring what religion is meant for (68).

Franklin’s autobiography has also detailed how those who practice organized religion have forgotten the basic requirements of religion. Such individuals are, instead, focused on the broad requirements advanced by religion. They follow the rules and practices that religion has established. Franklin argues against such principles by saying that religion should only be about working on the basic ideas of humility and virtue.

Franklin believed that humans could live peacefully and co-exist without religion. He stated that there were people who could live moral lives without the need for religion. Despite this belief, he also mentions that there are individuals in this world who are wicked by nature. Thus, religion is important in controlling such individuals. Religion would be able to provide a basis for their daily existence, becoming habitual in the long run.

Without religion, the world would be riddled with vice. Franklin also believed that the doctrines provided by religions were false and could not be followed. This includes the beliefs opposing reason or the laws of nature. Thus, it would be harder to be moral if such aspects of religion are followed (52).

The actions are not applicable to human nature as they have more destructive consequences, instead of being helpful. The nature of man should be respected. This will allow a person to develop positively without the restrictions created by Christianity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Franklin regarded religion as a personal affair. It did not matter if a person believed in God. The most important aspect was that a person’s religion led him to have a positive influence on society and contribute to its development. He considered Christianity to have made better sense when in its purest form. Franklin’s weakness in religion was not easily noticed as he encouraged harmony and religious tolerance.

Works Cited

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: With Related Documents / Edited With an Introduction By Louis P. Masur. 2nd ed, New York, NY: Macmillan, 2003. Print.

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