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Ben Franklin - Founding Father and Enlightener - Research Paper Example

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In this discussion “Ben Franklin - Founding Father and Enlightener” will be portrayed. The author suggests Franklin - a thinker, writer, and printer, inventor, statesman, and diplomat - to be a prototype of philosopher-kings first mandated by Plato in “The Republic”…
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Ben Franklin - Founding Father and Enlightener
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Download file to see previous pages Viewed with the clarity of hindsight, the scientific, political, and historical accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin become all the more striking when one takes note of the fact that he was born into a poor family.  In the opening pages of his autobiography, looking back across his life, he wrote to his son: "Imagining it may be equally agreeable to you to know the circumstances of my life, many of which you are not yet acquainted with, and expecting the enjoyment of a week’s uninterrupted leisure in my present country retirement, I sit down to write them for you.  To which I have besides other inducements.  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, and having gone so far through life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducting means I made use of, which with the blessing of God so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore fit to be imitated.
Franklin was born into a New England family of ten children (he was the eighth).  His father was a dyer with a “mechanical genius…qualities which Benjamin both recognized and inherited”.  Growing up in a poorer family probably endowed him with a certain sense of humility, a characteristic not always found in the other Founding Fathers.  At age twelve he became an apprentice in his uncle’s printing business in Boston.  His talents did not go unrecognized.  “Later, working in Philadelphia, he was noticed by the Governor, William Keith, who persuaded him in 1724 to go to London to complete his training as a printer and to collect the materials for setting up a press in Philadelphia”.  This had lasting consequences for the young Franklin: not only did it provide him with a means to support himself, but it also greatly aided in his intellectual development, exposed him to people in power and high society, and provided the worldly outlook which eventually made him the man of the Enlightenment that he became. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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