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“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin

What Benjamin Franklin meant by this does not only apply back during his day, but it applies throughout history. This quote can apply to the history of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. To fully explain this quote, I must divide the quote into three parts: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom,”"As nations become corrupt and vicious,” and “they have more need of masters.”

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom,” in the way I understand it means that only people who have good intentions with their freedom and have their mind set on only obtaining their freedom would want their freedom to last. By having good intentions for their freedom, they must also be virtuous. An example of this would have to be Nelson Mandela because he has fought for equal rights for the blacks, and this is very much like freedom. To stop segregation and give the blacks equal rights was Nelson’s dream and he did obtain it. Mandela is a virtuous man, and only wants the best.

To me, this section, “As nations become corrupt and vicious,” means that nations get corrupt, and they take their freedom for granted. They do not know how lucky they are to have their freedom, so they start turning corrupt and vicious because soon there are civil wars, rebellions. Their ideas get more radical, causing economic failure, and then more rebellions and violence. An example of this would be the French Revolution. The French Revolution very violent, bodies stored in basements, radical ideas started appearing, and the guillotine was invented for easier deaths. The king was executed, but there was still violence.

Lastly, “they have more need of masters,” meant that a nation after so much violence and corruptness needs to get back on track, so they get a leader, who does just that. When he does he tries his best to get the nation back and they usually do; however, this means the leaders taking large risks against the people by using radical ideas, but the people are on his side because they know they need him to get them back on track. As soon as this happens, the leader might eliminate competition, make himself stand alone in power. People still will follow him, thus making him their master, and them will have no more freedom. Once the people realize they have no freedom, then they will rebel for their freedom, and get a new leader; however, the cycle will start over and they will get more corrupt, over and over again.

I found this is very common in mostly every, if not all, countries around the world. It is a very common case, and all Benjamin Franklin did was recall history.


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