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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin

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  1. Benjamin Franklin Ansur Ahmed

  2. Benjamin Franklin

  3. Life • Born January 17, 1706 in Boston • Tenth son out of 15 children • Josiah Franklin- candle and soap maker • Abiah Franklin- stayed home to raise kids • Sent to Grammar School at 8 to become minister • Dropped out after two years because his father couldn’t afford it • Learned to read and write quickly

  4. Continued school later on in life, but did not finish • Worked with his father making candles and soap • Loved to read, so his father let him join the printing business • Joined his brother, James, as an apprentice at age 12 • Loved to write, so he submitted articles under alias of “Silence Dogood” • His brother found out and kicked him out

  5. Ran away to Philadelphia and worked in many print shops • Met his future wife, Deborah Read, in Philadelphia • Went to London and worked as a compositor • Returned and created a group called “Junto” in Philadelphia, a group people discussed and tried to resolve issues • Started a library with monetary help from Junto • Started the “Pennsylvania Gazette”, a newspaper • Pennsylvania Gazette became extremely popular • Joined the Free-Masons and also edited one of their books

  6. Convinced Philadelphia government to create fire department and more complicated money and have night guards • Wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac, which became wildly successful • Wrote The Autobiography, in which he listed the thirteen virtues • Let others take over his printing job • Founded University of Pennsylvania and first American Hospital • President of the American Philosophical Society • Died at 84 on April 17, 1790 • 20,000 people attended his funeral • Mourned on both sides of the Atlantic • Buried beside his wife, who died 16 year prior

  7. Scientist • Would gain a reputation that rivaled Isaac Newton • Became interested in electricity • First to suggest lightning was electricity • Couldn’t build a lightning rod, so he used a kite, hemp string, jar, and a device that registered electrical charge

  8. Inventions and Discoveries • Bifocals • Longer lasting lumber (treated with salt) • New methods of testing electrical conduction • Published essays about Aurora borealis (Northern Lights) • Franklin stove • Odometer • Wooden pole with grabbing arms

  9. Statesman • First drawn into politics when pirates were on the Delaware River and the French and Indians were attacking • Established a militia, in which he served • October 5, 1748- elected to Philadelphia council • Appointed as “Justice of Peace” the next year (responsible for enforcing laws) • May 1751- elected to Pennsylvania Assembly • August 10, 1753- elected deputy postmaster general of North America

  10. Statesman • The Indians near Pennsylvania received guns from the French • Believed that the colonies needed to unite, so he created this comic: Most likely America’s first political cartoon

  11. Statesman • Organized a militia when Britain was at war with France • Went to England to convince the crown that the colonist should be able to tax the colony’s proprietor • Successfully received this power • Convinced gang to leave Pennsylvania • Voted out of office because his enemies thought he was trying to take over • Later, colonies appointed him to be their representative for Britain…he was “the voice of America” • Annoyed that Britain knew nothing of American life, so he wrote many essays and articles • Also joined Second Continental Congress and helped write the Declaration of Independence

  12. Statesman • Went to Paris for a while and everyone loved him • Met with philosophers like himself such as Voltaire • Made peace with Britain and almost convinced them to give Americans Canada • Attended the Grand Convention as an advice-giver

  13. His Works • Many, many titles but the main ones are: • Poor Richard’s Almanac • Pennsylvania Gazette • The Autobiography

  14. Pennsylvania Gazette • One of America’s most prominent newspapers from 1728-1815 • Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meridith had to get the rights of the paper through a legal dispute • Franklin would contribute to it through aliases and his name • Had a section for ads, employment offers, rewards for lost things, etc; • Ran the first political cartoon

  15. The Autobiography • Starts with a greeting to his son, William • Talks about his ancestry • Talks about his life and personal experiences and opinions • Mentions the Thirteen Virtues, things he uses for self-betterment

  16. Thirteen Virtues • "Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation." • "Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." • "Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time." • "Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve." • "Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing." • "Industry. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions." • "Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly." • "Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty." • "Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve." • "Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation." • "Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable." • "Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation." • "Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates."

  17. Thirteen Virtues • Franklin tries to follow each virtue for a week each until he goes through all of them • Keeps a book documenting his failures and successes • Continuously goes through the cycles and gets better and better, with less failures • Claims that “Order” is the hardest for him, because he has good memory, which makes order not necessary • Did not care about his inability to perfect all these virtues…"a speckled axe is best....A benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance.“ • Although he didn’t perfect them, he did become happier • Franklin claims that these virtues appeal to all religions

  18. Poor Richard’s Almanac(k) • The Almanac contained calendar, weather, poems, sayings, astronomical info, and astrological info • Borrowed the name from Richard Saunders and used it as an alias • Sold more than 10,000 copies a year • Translated in many languages • Received much criticism (even from Nathaniel Hawthorne) • Napoleon Bonaparte even read it • Serial- different versions for different years

  19. Poor Richard’s Almanac(k)Aphorisms • Aphorism- a wise saying to live by or follow • “Time is money.” • “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” • “Early to bed, early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” • “Success has ruined many a man.” • “Necessity never made a good bargain.” • “God helps them that help themselves.” • “Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” • “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” • “God heals and the doctor takes the fees.” • “He that lives upon hope will die fasting.” • “There was never a good war, or a bad peace.” • “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.”

  20. Study Guide Question “Define the term ‘self-made man’ and apply it to Franklin. Franklin was self-made because he had little education and relied very much on hard work. His hard working background is something he was very proud of. He also was not forced to take an interest in science and politics; he did it himself and excelled. “What were his accomplishments as a statesman, writer, and inventor?” Already covered. “What similarities and differences does he share with Thomas Jefferson? Unlike Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin was interested in science and was also in the writing business. However, like Jefferson, Franklin was heavily involved in politics. Both were involved in the signing of the Declaration of Independence and were ambassadors to France. “What makes Franklin’s The Autobiography a model of the genre? It was the first real autobiography, that did not have to do with religious reasons. In it, he talks about his ideas as well. “What virtues does Franklin hope to develop in himself?” Temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility were all virtues Franklin hoped to instill in himself.