Book Report on Ben Franklin

This essay has a total of 1709 words and 8 pages.

Ben Franklin




Ben Franklin was the definition of the self-made man. He began his career as a simple
apprentice for a printer (his brother) following leaving school at the age of 10, but he
and his writings went far beyond the shop where he first started. He spent the early
years of his life as a printer, moralist, essayist, scientist, inventor, and a
philosopher. He later went on to become a civic leader, statesman, and diplomat. Upon
man of those careers he was a strong force in developing the new nation of America. His
political views showed him to be a man who loved freedom and self-government. His common
sense, his whit, and his ability to negotiate behind the scenes lent a hand in the
formation of the new country.

Ben was put in charge of the paper at a young age when his brother was arrested when
Benjamin was sixteen for his liberal statements. A year later, he left for England to
become a master printer. There he lived among some of the more inspiring writers of
London. He was well respected in England, but his love of liberty and his desire to
promote the well being of Pennsylvania pushed him toward independence for the colonies.
Since he was still well respected in England, he was "the Establishment man-even if he
felt now a deep unease on the question: What was the authority of Parliament over the
American colonies?"(Cite) Franklin first wanted to America to be free under the watchful
eye of the British Empire. "He had a dream…of a great British Empire, gridding the globe,
based upon the commonwealth of free nations, each with it's own laws, it's own government,
and freedoms, but bound together by compact with the crown for mutual benefit, mutual
defense, and the propagation of English freedoms". The reason for this type of mother
daughter relationship was that Franklin still had the belief that Britain still had "the
best and freest government in the world".

In regard to the taxation, the Stamp Act and the Townshend Act, that Britain had chose to
impose on the new colonies were not agreed upon by Franklin and he made it known to them
in his writings. "The sovereignty of the British legislature out of Britain, I do not
understand." He felt as though the colonies were in the position to create their own
legislation. The colonies already had their own parliaments in place and felt as though
these assemblies could properly legislate for these colonies. He once wrote in a letter
that he would rather have "either Parliament could make all the laws for the colonies, or
they can make them all for themselves". He preferred the second scenario.

Later in life, Ben Franklin became known as a revolutionist signing the Declaration of
Independence at the age of 70 in which he help develop a draft. Most men, even by today's
standards would take it easy this far into their lives, but up until he was 80, he was
still active in many of Americas business. After signing the Declaration, he continued on
as a diplomat, purchasing agent, recruiter, and revolutionist. At the age of 80, he
oversaw the dispatch of French armies and Navies to North America to supply America with
French munitions. He also supplied loans to the almost bankrupt French Treasury. Through
his 80th year, he accepted the presidency of Pennsylvania for three years and later
remained active in the promotion for abolishment of slavery. Franklin died three years
following the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where he attempted to assist bitter
disputes with his wit and good humor.



The 13 virtues

Franklin had come up with many familiar writings, but after years of reading others'
works, he came up with 13 virtues that he noticed were, in that time, desirable to live a
better life.


1. Temperance- This virtue I may not be right on within, but this may have have to do with
indulging on the appetites or passions that come along with drinking. Basically, if you
are to drink, know your limits so as to not loose track of your actions.

2. Silence- This has to do with speaking about nothing. Gossiping. It means that if you
are to say something, say something worth listening to.

3. Order- Keep your life in order. Make sure that everything and everyone have a place.
This could mean in your head, your heart, or something as simple as keeping the things in
your home in the right places at all times so that they are there when you need them.

4. Resolution- This is more confusing than any of the others. I would have to say that
Franklin wants one to resolve situations in life without conflict. If you are to resolve
things with an enemy, do it so that it does not cause any more trouble.

5. Frugality- Basically, live life thrifty. Be economic with the things that are
purchased and do not purchase any unnecessary items.

6. Industry- be employed at a job that makes a difference. Do not work for the sake of
working. By doing this, one may be inclined to go through the motions and not commit to
that job.

7. Sincerity- No deception. Be honest and truthful if you speak. Do not spread lies about yourself or others.
8. Justice- Do not wrong anyone and admit it when you do. This could either be a reward
for something that is good or punishment for something that is bad.

9. Moderation- Avoid going to extreme. This may not apply today due to the fact that in
this time, going to some extremes may pay off in the end whether it be to get a job or
something else that one may need such as a car when dealing with the car dealer.
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