Ben Franklin

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Franklin Paper Although Benjamin Franklin routinely practiced Quaker beliefs throughout his life, it is apparent that his overall character was most inspired by his Puritan upbringing in Boston. Franklin epitomizes the beliefs and values of Americans mainly through Puritan ideology. Through moderation, education, reason and an unbelievable work ethic, he is able to overcome hierarchical structures and become one of the most successful and influential American's in history.

In reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin , Franklin makes several references to the success or failure of an individual due to their moderation of alcohol. In Franklin's case he took Puritan beliefs one step further and abstained from alcohol all together. Although alcohol was as popular as ever at the time he was able to use this to his advantage. While others spent the majority of time drunk, he was able to get drastically ahead in the world because he was always thinking with a clear head.

In addition to his moderation of alcohol, he moderated other things as well. He stopped eating meat (or flesh, as he referred to it) just so he would have extra money for books. This task was not that hard for Franklin since he was raised that conversation at the dinner table was more important than the meal itself. In his autobiography, Franklin tells about not being able to remember what he had eaten for dinner an hour prior.

Additionally, another characteristic of Puritanism that Franklin possessed was that of education. Although the main goal of Puritans was to achieve a high enough literacy to read the Bible, Franklin believed that through reading he could achieve a higher level of intelligence that would ultimately contribute to society. Even though he never attended college, Franklin was in a constant pursuit of knowledge. Franklin achieved this mostly...



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