Benjamin Franklin Essay

Benjamin Franklin Essay

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Who was Benjamin Franklin? Probably not quite who we think he was. Yes, he was one of the "Founding Fathers," the only one who put his name to all three of the founding documents of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution under which we still live. He may have become famous for his many sayings in praise of being industrious and frugal in one’s calling, but he left his own calling as a printer and retired from business at the age of forty-two to become what he spoke crudely of for years, a gentleman. Once retired, he devoted the rest of his life to public service, but the most important services he performed at the public’s demand were not quite what he thought the public should be doing.
Benjamin Franklin was born January 17, 1706 in Boston. Franklin was the youngest son of seventeen children. Being the baby of the family didn’t come with the benefits it does now. In this time period, the youngest son did not inherited little if anything. Unfortunate for Franklin he never inherited anything throughout his lifetime. At the age of eight years old Franklin’s father, noticing Benjamin’s unusual intellectual aptitude, sent him to grammar school. After two years of grammar school, Franklin was sent back to standard school due to financial expenses. These two years of grammar school were the only proper Franklin acquired; which for this time period was not unusual. Some of the other founding fathers were not presented with much more schooling opportunities than Franklin achieved. Like many other young men, apprenticeship was the route that Franklin’s father chose for him. Franklin started training as a candle and soap maker but due to his “Bookish Inclination” ...


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...t maybe only those who were free of the need for money should be involved in public affairs; therefore, he decided to become a gentleman. Even after his retirement into gentility he still took on certain jobs behind the scene to “not move upward too rapidly or too conspicuously”, but if Benjamin Franklin wasn’t prepared for gentility I don’t think any of the gentlemen were. By 1756, he had become a full-fledged gentleman and was more than ready to become an officer and by this time he had become a major player in the politics of the British Empire. Benjamin Franklin wasn’t as self-reliant as he sometimes sought out to be or claimed to be. Patronage was the basic means of social mobility in the eighteenth century and due to Franklin’s drive and positive outlooks he seemed to master the trade. This was the rocky road of a young boy who seized to become something great.

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