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Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The rise of Benjamin Franklin was connected with his political career and personal development as a national leader. The political career began in 1736 when Franklin created the Union Fire Company. The Autobiography consists of 12 chapters devoid to different periods of life and career of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin received poor education and but was familiar with banking, investment, finance, insurance, and real estate matters. During these years, he worked with a group of reformers and became very popular among political leaders. Franklin studied public affairs and performance of companies. He represented a rural district as state senator and investigated the problems and difficulties faced agriculture and forestry industries.

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The Autobiography vividly portrays the life and destiny of Benjamin Franklin which can be seen as an embodiment of the American dream. Franklin describes that he was born in a family of a maker of candles and soap belonging to low class. Thus, his great desire to achieve personal growth and development helped him to become one of the prominent political figures in the history of America. This early fusion of deed and thought, common enough in childhood, is especially important in Franklin’s case because, more than with most of the world’s great thinkers, his was a life of action. Virtually all of his writing arose from particular circumstances, served an immediate purpose, and had a deliberate intent. Hard work and persistence, clear career goals and good oratory skills are the main values followed by Franklin. “I drew a sketch of the plan and rules that would be necessary, and got a skillful conveyancer” (Franklin 75).To some extent, Franklin was limited by Hochschild’s tenets, but he overcame these barriers and created his unique life path and career. The contents of the books Franklin remembered as important to him as a boy have been recounted in some detail to emphasize the furnishings of mind which underwent the alleged conversion. He had a thorough indoctrination in the conventional wisdom of his day based on readings and personal philosophy. This wisdom, by its very commonness and by its almost inevitable overthrow by new ideas already at work on more sophisticated. A person with Franklin’s moral and ethical system would not be free in modern society limited by secular dogmas and norms. “I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of a Deity — that he made the world and governed it by his providence” (Franklin 77). The Autobiography portrays that American culture played a crucial role in American Revolution and its causes. This culture took its roots in traditions and values of colonizers, their unique beliefs and religious principles shaped by hardship and deficiencies faced in America. Many Americans opposed intrusion of the government in human rights issues and freedoms. Such notion as “American provincialism” means that American nation felt self-identification and distinctive features in contrast to European culture. The Stamp Act (1865) was a starting point in self-identification of the nation. American provincialism was closely connected with equality seen as the counterpart of liberty, but here the radicals found themselves on more difficult ground, especially when they tried to relate theoretical concepts to the practical problems of reform politics. Radical interpretations of the Revolution were refracted through a unique understanding of American society and its location in the imperial community. If their general principles logically directed Commonwealth men to an interest in the colonial dispute, the warmth of their understanding gave it a distinctive coloring.

The Autobiography proposes readers a unique vision of American life and destiny of its great leaden. The importance is that all events are portrayed from the narrator’s point of view and reflect historical epoch and mood. Franklin perceived American Revolution as a product of unique cultural values and traditions created by colonists. These values involved ideas of liberty and freedom, equal rights and independent from Britain. As evidenced by this brief survey, the bonds of blood, common culture, and economic interest as well as political institutions linked the Atlantic communities of the first British Empire. America was independent of the mother country. The imperial government soon became aware of Franklin’s doctrine when the Massachusetts legislature adopted his theory in a constitutional dispute with the royal governor in 1772-1773. Governor Thomas Hutchinson fully appreciated the implication in the claim of the assembly when it contended, as Franklin had, that the colonial charters had created American states separate from Great Britain, and that the provincial assemblies, not the British Parliament, had exclusive jurisdiction in the New World. As far as Franklin and the Massachusetts Whigs were concerned the Declaration of Independence three and a half years later merely proclaimed the separate “kingdom” of Massachusetts a republic.

I would recommend this book to everyone interested in history of the American nations, its great past and national identity. In this work, Franklin creates a vivid picture of the epoch and tells readers about significance of their historical past. The book is an excellent example of autobiographical narration written by a national political leader.

Works Cited

Franklin, B. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (with Introduction and Notes). Macmillan, 1914.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin'. 4 November.

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