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The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin Essay, Research Paper

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

“Book Review”

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was not an easy book to read. Writing styles have changed tremendously since the 1700’s. Despite the cultural differences I learned a lot about the man and the time. Benjamin Franklin was a remarkable man. He was a printer, author, politician and an inventor. He was one of fifteen children in his family. Because he was from such a large family he was sent out to work at a very early age. He only had a few years of grammar school education when he started working in his fathers business. During his days off he educated himself through books. He was not happy working in his fathers business for very long. Unsure of what he wanted to do, his father took him around town to introduce him to other trades available to him. Not entirely pleased by the choices available, he settled on the printing trade. He worked as an apprentice in his brother’s print shop for several years until tension ended their relationship. By this time he was in his late teens. He moved to Philadelphia to continue in the printing business. He did well in Philadelphia but was always unhappy working in someone else’s print shop. The governor of Philadelphia offered him a letter of credit and introduction in England to help secure materials needed to start his own printing business. He accepted the offer only to find the offer less than reliable. This trip did not turn out as planned and he remained in England for two years trying to raise enough money to return to America.

Upon Benjamin Franklin’s return to Philadelphia, he continued to master his printing trade. Within a few years he had established his own business. Several years later he started publishing a newspaper and was granted the honor of printing up the states currency. During this time he formed a book club, where a group of men would meet to discuss books. This eventually lead to organization of the first public library. Through the years, Benjamin Franklin created many things, including a new stove, to reduce the excessive smoke production caused by current models. His interest in science was increasing daily.

With in twenty years of starting his own printing business he sold it to focus all his time on scientific experiments. He had already begun experimenting with electricity, including flying a kite during a lightening storm. With all of the accomplishments he had already achieved, as well as the great respect that people held for him, it was not unforeseen that he would enter into politics.

Benjamin Franklin became a member of the Pennsylvania delegate in Congress. He advised action in advance of the French and Indian was, but he was thought to be over reacting and his plans were rejected. The war started in 1755, only two years after his plan to unite the colonies in defense was rejected, the war would not end until 1763. During the war Benjamin Franklin was sent to England as an ambassador of the American Colonies. He remained in England for five years. After returning to the states the war came to an end and England began imposing taxes on everything trying to recover costs from the war. Because of this, he returned to England to try to negotiate a charter. During his trip he was able to get a repeal of the Stamp Act, but other taxes were still being collected. With the tension between the states and England steadily increasing, Benjamin Franklin returned to the states with out any further resolutions.

Upon His return, he became a member of the Second Continental Congress and was instrumental in helping drafting the Declaration of Independence. With another war brewing, Benjamin Franklin went to France to help secure an alliance. He spent almost a decade in France working on this relationship as well as trade treaties.

He returned to the stated five years before his death. As a member of the Constitutional Convention he was trying to persuade Congress to abolish slavery. He died in 1790 without this final conquest being reached.

Throughout his life, Benjamin Franklin was a leader. Colonial times were very difficult. Family heritage was the only chance someone had for success during the 1700’s. Benjamin Franklin started out poor and uneducated. Through his determination to succeed and insatiable appetite for knowledge and a better life, he was able to turn his life around and become a highly respected educated man with a fair amount of money. He made many contributions to our country that helped to shape the nation into how we know it today. We are lucky he had friends that urged him to write his autobiography. The picture he paints of the era and the events of his life would have been lost had someone else written this book.


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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