Virtues of Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy Essay

Virtues of Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy Essay

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Sincerity, justice, and tranquility are admired virtues often associated with the legacies of great men. As mentioned in Benjamin Franklin’s illustrious thirteen moral virtues, these words are among those that embody his beliefs on what virtues are required in a man to maintain admirable character. Emphasis on virtues seems to be a driving force among prominent figures in our nation’s history. Every great man or moment in American history is related to a virtue, almost as a validation of their legitimacy. The United States of America is a nation that was founded on idealism and hope. These ideas have lingered with the nation throughout time.
The virtues presented in the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin are similar to those discussed in President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. Therefore, we can see the timeless importance that we as Americans place on virtuous leaders, which we would not have been as aware of before reading this essay. From the age of Benjamin Franklin to the turbulent era of John F. Kennedy, regardless of the amount of time passed Americans long for leaders that embody the virtues mentioned in Franklin’s famed thirteen moral virtues. Perhaps what makes these two men a part of an elite group of great Americans is their dominating presence in history. Their legacies are remembered as patriots with an unquestionable love of America and what is right; the type of men who would put aside personal consequences if the outcome led to the greater good for the people. In Profiles of Courage, President Kennedy defines it best; "A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality" (Kennedy 266). Virtu...


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... noble Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy.



Works Cited

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Dover Publications, 1
996. Print.
"John F. Kennedy Quotations." - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. John F.
Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.

Kennedy, John F. John F. Kennedy: Proclamation 3560 - Thanksgiving Day, 1963. John F.
Kennedy: Proclamation 3560 - Thanksgiving Day, 1963. Gerhard Peters and John T.
Woolley The American Presidency Project, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Print.
Snyder, K. Alan. "Pondering Principles." Pondering Principles. WordPress Entries (RSS), n.d.
Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
Weintraub, Karl J. "The Puritan Ethic and Benjamin Franklin." The Journal of Religion 56.3
(1976): 223-37. JSTOR. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.

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