Franklin Essay

Franklin Essay - Regalado 1 Sam Regalado Mr Menard HIST...

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Regalado 1 Sam Regalado Mr. Menard HIST 3809 13 October 2008 Benjamin Franklin on Revolutionary America Arguably the most accomplished man in American history, Benjamin Franklin played a crucial role in the struggle for American independence. While multiple books have been written on him and his accomplishments, Franklin also wrote one, his Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin . What is interesting about this book though is that Franklin does not mention anything pertaining to the American Revolution, the role he played in it, or any of his better known achievements. His autobiography is unfinished; however, he does mention events after the Revolution either. Therefore, many thoughts and ideas exist to explain what Franklin thought about the Revolution. From his autobiography, one can conclude what Franklin thought were the causes of the Revolution and its most important consequences. Franklin mentions many instances where not only he, but also the American public explained their reasoning for more liberty and eventually independence from England. It is also clear what Franklin thought the greatest accomplishments of the Revolution were. To understand how Franklin arrived at the causes for the American Revolution, Franklin’s own thoughts must be presented. Here, one can interpret Franklin’s reasons for revolution based on his family history and his accomplishments in life before the Revolution. One of the main causes of the American Revolution was that the American colonies felt they could be self-sustaining, or that they could support themselves. Edward Countryman mentions how, “In larger terms, some of them [colonists] already saw a vision of their own potential
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Regalado 2 strength” (Countryman, 44). Benjamin Franklin believed that he was able to achieve anything. He mentions how, “Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world,” (Franklin, 1) he was able to become a wealthy and influential statesman. Franklin’s wealth and success stemmed mostly from his own determination and personal motivation to succeed. Franklin’s success and the future success of America were brought about by American workers. Franklin remembered observing that it had always “been a pleasure to me to see good workmen handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learnt so much” (9). From this memory and others, Franklin learned the importance of hard work. However, the majority of what Franklin learned came from reading. He notes that, “From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books” (9). Books and literacy are widely regarded as symbols of knowledge and sense. Through his readings, Franklin became widely knowledgeable on a wide array of subjects. This also allowed him to meet others who would share their experiences and thoughts. These thoughts eventually became focused on revolution and independence. Franklin’s favorite childhood author was John Bunyan who wrote
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Franklin Essay - Regalado 1 Sam Regalado Mr Menard HIST...

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