Ben Franklin Essays

Ben Franklin Essays-11
Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature (New York: Seltzer, 1923). Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. is thought of so purely as an end in itself, that from the point of view of the happiness of, or utility to, the single individual, it appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational. It expresses a type of feeling which is closely connected with certain religious ideas. Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, (New York: Chas. Every sort of natural phenomenon enlisted [Franklin's] interest and called forth some ingenious idea.

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Much of his life is known from his most beloved and important work, his a classic of the genre and undoubtedly a text that occupies a central place in American letters.

Franklin was born in 1709 in Boston to Josiah and Abiah Franklin.

The Autobiography is also a uniquely American book. His Autobiography records these achievements and values and habits which made them possible, and tells how a remarkable human being used his heritage and created a life on a new, revolutionary model.

he passed on not a system but the empirical method which American leaders have generally adopted. Crane, "Benjamin Franklin and a Rising People," The Library of American Biography (Boston: Little, Brown, 1954). There was in America a society which valued the things Franklin could do well: work hard, write effectively, plan improvements, conciliate differences, and conduct public affairs with popular needs and interests in view. Are you sure you want to remove #book Confirmation# and any corresponding bookmarks?

The earning of money within the modern economic order is .

the result and the expression of virtue and proficiency in a calling; and this virtue and proficiency are .

" say I, "he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle." Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.

No man has shed such copious good influence on America; none added so much new truth to the popular knowledge; none has so skillfully organized its ideas into institutions; none has so powerfully and wisely directed the nation's conduct, and advanced its welfare in so many respects.

It has been said that Franklin was not entrusted with the task of writing the Declaration of Independence for fear he might conceal a joke in the middle of it. In all of Franklin's dealings with men and affairs, genuine, sincere, loyal as he surely was, one feels that he is nevertheless not wholly committed; some thought remains uncommunicated; some penetrating observation is held in reserve. Becker, "Benjamin Franklin," Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Chas. What has puzzled men most about Franklin is that he turned so often and so easily from one career to another, seemingly from no inner compulsion; and that he refused to be completely serious, even about the weightiest of human concerns.

After a life like Franklin's had become possible and could be described matter-of-factly, the Declaration of Independence seems understandable and much less revolutionary.


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