In this part of his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin describes his early life and how he began to grow and become more successful in America. He dedicates the book to his son, so that his son can learn from mistakes that he made in the past. He says that he would not redo or change his life besides some minor things and moments. He shows throughout this part that he embodies the promise of America. He tells through his life story how dedication, hard work, and creativity can lead to being successful in America. He started off poor and was close with his family. His parents were good role models for him. As he got older, he apprenticed as a printer under his brother for a while and lived with him. During this time, he further developed his already prominent love for reading, writing, and poetry. He taught himself how to improve his writing and other skills by reading books. After growing unhappy with his apprenticeship and relationship with his older brother, he decided to leave Boston, where he grew up, and go to New York.
Once in New York, he met with a printer to try to find work. The printer could not offer Benjamin any work, but told Benjamin to go to Philadelphia and find work with his son. So he went to Philadelphia, but the trip was very difficult. Once he got there, he found housing, slept for a long time, and then found the son. The son could also not give Benjamin any work, but suggested that he worked for another local printer named Keimer. Here he worked for a long time. Keimer had Benjamin stay with the Read family, where he met his future wife. He also became familiar with the governor of Pennsylvania at the time. This governor wrote a letter to Benjaminr's dad telling him how great Benjamin is, and how he thinks that he should start his own printing business. He even offered to help out. Benjamin returned to Boston to visit his family and show his dad the letter, but his dad didn't approve due to Benjamin being so young. The governor of Pennsylvania still wanted Benjamin to pursue his own printing business, so he offered to pay for it himself in the future.
Throughout this time, he began a courtship with his future wife, Miss Read, but her mother suggested that they called it off due to him leaving for England soon. He did, and left for London shortly after. Here he learned that the governor was not a trustworthy man and never really kept his promises, so Benjamin lost faith in him. He also stayed for longer than he anticipated, because he realized that he could tremendously improve his printing skills if he worked in London for a while. So he stayed for a year and a half more, and in that time he did improve a lot.
Upon arriving back to Philadelphia, he trained other printers that worked for Keimer to improve their skills. He then quit working for Keimer because he did not feel he was fit to do the job and tried to find work elsewhere. When he couldn't, he returned to Keimer. Him and a worker, Meredith decided that they wished to own their own printing business that would be better than Keimerr's. After more training and getting some money, they do. They begin to make a profit and even made a newspaper that helped them earn more money. Eventually, Meredith decided that being a printer wasn't what he was made for, and left the business to Ben Franklin. This business is how he began to make more and more money. He was dedicated to his work and worked through long hours of the night to achieve his goals. He rose from being poor through hard work.
In the second part of Benjamin Franklinr's autobiography, he discusses many things. However, a big theme in this part is the theme of religion and virtues. He discusses these throughout most of the part, and even thinks that his virtues are more important than the organized religion that everyone else seems to follow. He was not a big fan of public worship, and he only attended one ceremony before he decided that it wasnt what he believed. He thought that their goal was to just make them Presbyterians instead of trying to teach them to be good citizens. Because of this, Benjamin Franklin created his own form of prayer for his own use at home. He also created a list of virtues that he thought were most important and desirable to him, and he worked hard to correct his behavior according to them.
This list of virtues consisted of thirteen different things that Benjamin Franklin thought were the most important. The thirteen virtues were: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. He was wise enough to know that he could not attempt to fix all of them at once and be successful, so he worked on fixing his life according to one virtue at a time. He would focus on eliminating one fault from his life for a week, then the next week he would focus on eliminating a different one and the same one as the week before. Benjamin Franklin even kept track of these things in a journal using lines and dots.
Of these virtues, Benjamin Franklin said that the hardest one to work on was humility. He always had pride in what her's accomplished, so it was already hard enough to fix it. He also said that even if you work hard and become humble, thatr's just another thing to be proud of. One of our essential questions is, how is it possible to live without committing any faults? I think that Benjamin Franklin sharing that he struggled to be humble is just proof that itr's impossible to live without having any faults. He worked really hard to overcome his pride, and although he did fix it a little bit, he could never fully overcome it and be completely humble. This makes me further believe that we as humans cannot live a fault-free life, no matter how hard we try. He dedicated a large part of his life to correcting his behaviors and trying to live a life without faults, but he never fully succeeded.
Through this part of the book, Benjamin Franklin tells us how he worked hard to amend his behavior and live by the thirteen virtues. Nearing the end of the part, he discusses how he never really got to the point that he wished to be at with his virtues. However, he does tell that his life had improved significantly ever since he started working on correcting his behavior. Benjamin Franklin says that after he started applying his virtues to his life, he felt better and a lot happier than he was before. He says that conversations with others ended up going more smoothly than before, because he was less arrogant and full of himself. He also said that he was overall nicer to others after he spent time working on his virtues. Benjamin Franklin ends the part by talking about how every human struggles with their pride, and how he believes you cant get rid of it. This further ties in the idea that it is impossible to live without faults in your life, and everybody has them.
Throughout the third part of his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin discusses many different topics. He talks about how important religion is, and he also talks about politics and the military. During this part, he talks in depth about how much he admired a minister, Samuel Hemphill, and a preacher, George Whitefield. Samuel Hemphillr's sermons focused a lot on virtue, so Benjamin Franklin liked him a lot. George Whitefield had amazing preaching skills, which allowed him to have a lot of power over the citizens of Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin also talks about reforms he worked hard to change the city of Philadelphia. He discusses all of the things he added to the city and colony that helped things run smoother, such as a military and fire department.
Samuel Hemphill is an Irish minister that has sermons that deeply focus on virtue. Because of this, Benjamin Franklin appreciates and respects his sermons much more. However, not everyone liked Hemphill that much. They didnt like him a lot due to the fact that he borrows a little bit of others works when he makes his sermons, and they think thatr's cheating. To get more people on his side, Franklin writes pamphlets supporting Hemphill, but they still dont like him very much. They kicked him out, so Benjamin stopped going to church. He then talks about how he later met a preacher named George Whitefield. He was very well liked and very powerful among the Philadelphia citizens. They even build him a church to preach in with others. Benjamin Franklin says that Whitefield is an honest, virtuous man. He also publishes George Whitefieldr's journals and sermons. Benjamin respects this man a lot, and says that her's a very good speaker with a loud voice.
Later in the part, Benjamin Franklin discusses politics and military for a long time. Franklin used money earned from the subscriptions to his pamphlet, Plain Truth. Benjamin and Thomas Lawrence go to New York to borrow cannons for their military. After some convincing, they go home with eighteen. As part of the Pennsylvania Governor council, he had certain ideas that Quakers didnt agree with. Benjamin Franklin thinks that they want to support the military and self-defense, but they dont want to oppose their beliefs. The French and Indian War starts, and Benjamin helps General Edward Braddock collect supplies and weapons using his writing. During this part, Benjamin Franklin also tells how he created a public hospital, a fire department, and a college in Philadelphia.
While Franklin was in charge of the army, he led them to build forts. It took them a week to build their fort at Gradenhut. He keeps the soldiers busy, because he believes that people are happier if theyre doing something. Their fort isnt the best, but they have enough weapons to defend themselves. Eventually, Franklin becomes a colonel, and he gets honorary escorts. This offends a person who owns the colony, so that person complains to Sir Everard Fawkener. However, Fawkener sides with Franklin and doesnt do anything about it. The governor wants Franklin to become a general to replace Braddock, and he wants him to recover Fort Duquense. Franklin turns down the offer, and Braddock is replaced by someone else. Benjamin then spends most of the rest of the part talking about science, philosophy, and various experiments he conducted later in his life.
In the final part of his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin tells us about a problem between the governor and the English assembly. He visits London with his son to see Dr. Fothergill to address the issue. Fothergill then tells them that they should take matters up with the people that own the colonies. He then visits someone, who takes him to meet a man named John Hanbury. They meet the president of the Kingr's privy council, Lord Granville. Franklin believes that American people should be able to make their own laws, and the king should just have to approve it. Lord Granville believes that the Kingr's instructions are laws, and that Americans have to follow them. Benjamin Franklin writes down what they had said to each other to use for future reference. He then realizes that a long time ago, they had also tried to make the Kingr's instructions a law, but it got thrown out.
There is then a meeting between the owners of the colonies and Benjamin Franklin. They all try to be nice at first and explain their sides calmly, but when they cant agree, things get more heated. The colony owners give a complaint Benjamin wrote on behalf of the colonies to their lawyer, Ferdinando John Paris, who pretty much hates Benjamin. Everyone tries to get Ferdinando and Benjamin to talk to each other and deal with the issue, but Benjamin wont budge. Paris tells the colony owners to send the complaint to someone else, but that person never got back fo Franklin. They just called him rude and refused to address the complaint.
This leads Franklin to believe that he wasnt proper enough when writing his complaint, which isnt normal for him. All the worry is for nothing, though, because Franklin gets his way in the end. The assembly passed an act that taxes the colony owners estates as well as the peopler's estates. This makes the colony owners very unhappy, so they try to get the King to make sure it doesnt happen. When they went to court, they try to say that the act will ruin their relationship with the people. However, Franklin and the Assembly say that it won't hurt anyone, and if the money gets repealed many people would become bankrupt. Then a man named Lord Mansfield takes Benjamin and Ferdinando to sign an agreement. This helps the law pass. The colony owners are still unhappy, though, and get the governor fired.
All in all, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin shows all of the different ways that Benjamin Franklin impacted America. He worked in politics and the military, cared deeply about politics and religion, and worked hard to become a successful person. He worked on respected people of all religions. He also contributed to science and various things in Philadelphia. He helped plan the first university, public library, public hospital, and more. He used hard work and dedication to fulfill the American promise and rise to success. His views on virtue helped him correct his behavior. He had a better life and become a better person because of it. This autobiography has many reoccurring themes, such as religion, principles, education, and dedication. He wanted women to be able to have access to education. Overall, this book has shown us how much work went into our history, especially by Benjamin Franklin. Without him, many things in our country would be different. He is a prime example of what the American promise that hardwork and dedication lead to success. He also shows that everyone makes mistakes and thatr's okay.
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