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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
The first specific interesting concept I encountered was in Michalko (2001, p. 11). The concept was "Connecting the Unconnected." The ability to see connections where there ordinarily are no such connections, according to the author, is one of the traits of "creative geniuses, where they have "a facility to connect the unconnected by forcing relationships that enable them to see things to which others are blind." This is one of the faculties of creative thinking, where individuals engage in what Michalko terms "productive" rather than "reproductive" thinking. When faced with a challenge or problem, such individuals see things in a myriad of possible ways, which then enables the individual to find unusual solutions. This happened to Benjamin Franklin when he invented the lightning rod. Against all conventional wisdom, Franklin used a kite when there was a thunderstorm and, with this dangerous experiment, was able to…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography is not only a story of his own relentless attempts at self-improvement, but also designed to be an early advice manual for others who intend to follow in his footsteps. He certainly was one of the most successful men on the 18th Century, rising from poverty and obscurity in Boston to owning a successful printing business, founding the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society, and later going on to become leader of the colonial assembly. When the revolution began in 1776, he was the leader of the rebels in overthrowing the Penn family proprietors and writing the first democratic constitution in American history, with Thomas Paine. Later of course, he was one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the first ambassador to France, as well as the founder of the first anti-slavery society in North America. All of that was…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the most important men in American history. Among his many contributions to the world were inventions such as the Franklin stove, the bifocal, and the harnessing of electricity. He is also renowned for his writings, including contributions to the United States' Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. One of his most enduring works has been his multi-volume autobiography wherein he highlights some of the points of his life and how he perceives them upon reflection. The text functions both as an interesting account of the life of one of history's most unique characters and also as an example of the individual style that would come to feature in works of literature written by American authors.
The 1st and 2nd parts of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography cover his life in the times before the 1740s, from childhood up until his early successes in business. At this…… [Read More]
Franklin, instead, was able to see the advantages in unfortunate situations, and to use them to his own benefit. He was able to admit that he was a marginal poet and go on to do other things rather than feel injured or insecure.
Again, I feel that having been educated and a talented reader/writer was responsible for much of Franklin's genius, but the ability to be grateful for hardship, to decide what it takes to be a moral person, to contemplate how to help society, to undertake major ideas and turn them into reality, and to possess an insatiable hunger for learning and industry were not an outcome of a challenging childhood.
Franklin was simply blessed with innate insight, humor and gratitude that would have caused him to accomplish great deeds, regardless of his childhood circumstances.
Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is an inspiration. I was able to ignore the outdated hints…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin - the Ideal American
Benjamin Franklin is considered by many to be one of the greatest Americans to ever live, and is also held as an important pillar of America's national heritage. Some may also argue that he exemplifies the American dream and all that is truly American. As the son of a candlemaker and only receiving a minimal amount of formal education, Benjamin Franklin was unlimited by his modest background and used his dedication and determination to master many disciplines in his quest for success. Throughout his life Benjamin Franklin took on the roles of statesman, philanthropist, inventor, revolutionary, publisher, and philosopher. In regards to his and personal and political ideologies and achievements, Benjamin Franklin epitomized the Ideal American.
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. He was the fifteenth of seventeen children born to an English candlemaker and soap boiler who had…… [Read More]
"This gentleman, a stranger to me, stopped one day at my door, and asked me if I was the young man who had lately opened a new printing-house. Being answered in the affirmative, he said he was sorry for me, because it was an expensive undertaking, and the expense would be lost; for Philadelphia was a sinking place.... And at last I had the pleasure of seeing him give five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first began his croaking."
This clash of opinion also demonstrates the differences between the thinking and mindsets of two generation of Americans. While the older generation was skeptical and cautious, younger generation was full of optimism, courage and believed in possibilities. This indicates that business environment was changing in the United States and with industrialization gaining hold; new businesses had a better chance of succeeding than…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin was able to accomplish many things that ordinary men often are not given the opportunity to do. Franklin's father, Josiah, had initially planned for him to serve the Church, however, Franklin's ambition and intelligence proved to Josiah that his son was destined for greater things. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was written between 1771 and 1790 and was intended to serve as a guide an inspiration to Franklin's son, William, who at the time was the oyal Governor of New Jersey. The autobiography is divided into four parts and not only chronicles Franklin's life, but also outlines the steps he took to become the successful man that he is now remembered as being. By detailing the different opportunities and ventures that he took throughout his life, Franklin provides a guide of self-improvement.
One of the key reasons that Franklin wrote his autobiography was to…… [Read More]
enjamin Franklin is one of the most widely known and respected American historical figures. He is most recognized for his presence at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and his role as an inventor, printer, and publisher. However, fewer people realize his significant contributions in creating and shaping American institutions such as libraries, hospitals, insurance companies and fire departments, just to name a few of Franklin's civic achievements.
In the 1730s, only the very wealthy and the clergy had access to a large number of books. Franklin along with a group of members from a philosophical association interested in economic, social and political issues named the Junto drew up Articles of Agreement to form out nation's first library in 1731. A group of fifty subscribers each invested forty shilling to start the Library Company and contributed an additional ten shillings every year to buy additional books. Franklin played a…… [Read More]
He also pointed out, when speaking France, Spain and the Netherlands, that if the Colonies won their freedom, those country's colonies in the New World would be much safer from English intrusions (Isaacson, PAGE). However, he always acted like a statesman and never lost sight of the ideals of the rebel colonists, also encouraging other countries to aid the revolution because of its high ideals of liberty and democracy.
Franklin's ability to compromise and to show the various sides on an issue where the advantage lay for them in coming to a resolution served the Colonies well after the end of the Revolutionary War as the 13 budding states worked to find a way to form one federal republic (Isaacson, PAGE). It could be argued that Franklin sometimes went too far with his compromises. In a decision that history shows to be stunningly wrong, Franklin approved a Pennsylvania policy that…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin is most often regarded for his role as a founding father. Franklin drafted and then later signed the Declaration of Independence. hile this may have been Franklin's most important act, there are many others he should be remembered for. Franklin was an influential man and responsible for many changes in society, changes that formed the basis for the society we have today, such as starting the first public school. In all of his actions, it was Franklin as a writer that made his achievements possible. He used his writing skills to argue for social change, to express his opinions and to take education to the common people.
riting for Social Change
Franklin used his writing skills to great effect to create social change. He was an ideas man, with many opinions on society and its direction. The difference between Franklin and other ideas men, is that he knew…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin's religious faith in "Autobiography"
Benjamin Franklin's narrative accounts in his "Autobiography" provide details surrounding his life as a young man, printer, philosopher, scientist, and eventual framer of the U.S. Constitution. In his memoir, Franklin provides his readers insightful thoughts about the principles in life he subsisted to, which made him successful and a contented individual throughout his life. Moreover, he had also included in his reflections thirteen (13) virtues, which he believes are essential for his own model of a successful life.
The message of "Autobiography" is simple: the author wants to convey the fact that humankind, specifically human beings, has the potential to become 'perfect.' That is, individuals can better their lives and live satisfactorily by subsisting to the virtues and success model that Franklin enumerates, discusses, and recommends in "Autobiography."
It is evident that the "Autobiography" is laden with Franklin's commentaries about life in general, as…… [Read More]
Emerson's religion is almost animistic and is certainly monistic: he postulates an "identical nature" at the heart of all living creatures and views all life as one. In "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain," however, Franklin's views do coincide more with Emerson's regarding the oneness of all things when the author states: "every Creature must be equally esteem'd by the Creator."
Still, Franklin's life and writing reveals a more secular outlook on life than Emerson's, too. Emerson, who seemed inured to scientific developments, barely mentions the role of technology in advancing human progress. Franklin, especially given his inventiveness and affinity for scientific progress, valued the role of technology in the process of enlightenment. In Poor Richard's Almanac, Franklin claims that industry is virtuous; Emerson does not seem as enthralled with the role of labor in human affairs. For Emerson, meditation serves a more central purpose than technological…… [Read More]
He also related how his small group of friends played tricks with their unwitting neighbors. His friends would set fire on alcohol, rekindled candles blown out, imitate lightning flashes or by touching or kissing and make an artificial spider move (ellis).
Using the Leyden jar, enjamin made an electrical batter, roasted a fowl on a spit fired with electricity, ignited alcohol by electricity through water, fired gunpowder and shocked wine drinkers' glasses (ellis 2006, Nussbaum 2006). More than these, he theorized on the identity of lightning and electricity. He believed that buildings could be protected by iron rods. Using an iron road, he conducted electricity into his house. Then he studies the effect upon bells. From these, he concluded that clouds were generally negatively charged or electrified. In June 1752, he performed his famous kite experiment with the help of his son. He drew electricity from the clouds and charged…… [Read More]
But one does not dress for private company as for a publick ball. 'Tis perhaps only negligence" (Chapter One). Here, his humor allows the reader to look at his work in a more lighthearted fashion, in addition to poking fun at his old age.
Franklin's choice to use humor in what seems to be a serious piece of rhetoric may seem perplexing, but it's use is effective and called for. Franklin's audience is the early American population, mostly those who are educated, but also those who are not. These people are used to reading dry sermons and treatises. Franklin must have known that through the use of humor, he could capture their attention. Furthermore, his stylistic use of humor, and ability to poke fun at his own work, allows for its applicability to all. In other words, Franklin knows humor to be a sort of universal through which he can…… [Read More]
The Revolution was made by those people who could first help themselves in order to help the rest of the world, like the founding fathers.
Another American hero, Henry D. Thoreau, can also be easily pinpointed as a self-made man, in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin. His personality was disputed among those who saw in him more of a passive militant for a cause, than an active player, like the Franklin. There is no doubt that he stepped away from the forms of passivity in the form described by Irving in his character, Rip Van Winkle. Like his predecessor, Thoreau read extensively and understood the value of knowledge as the only and best way to developing one's identity and contributing to the whole development of society.
One of the most famous characters in the American literature, Huckleberry Finn, the child hero in Mark Twain's book, follows in the steps of…… [Read More]
He once wrote to a friend, "In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things" (Franklin & ogers 1996).
Since Franklin had come to understood these ideas related to happiness at a very young age, he was able to live a life that was not just satisfying for him, but rather, it was satisfying to him because of how beneficial he was to others. Knowing that giving to others could not just help others but also bring great satisfaction was something that he strongly believed that all people must do. He also believed that God had intended humans to act like this in order to achieve happiness because it was how God himself achieved happiness. "I believe, he [God] is pleased and delights in the Happiness of those he has…… [Read More]
While Benjamin Franklin is best known for his famous kite-flying experiment, he was creative in many other ways. By the time he was in his early forties, Ben had become successful enough as a printer (and as the owner of printing franchises) that he retired from the profession and began spending time working on his inventions. In addition to the Franklin tove that heated homes more efficiently, he also invented bifocals, swim fins, and musical instruments. He also spearheaded community-improvement projects throughout Philadelphia and he founded a library to increase public access to books because printed books were so expensive that only the wealthy could actually afford to own them. He founded a hospital and he organized the first fire department in Philadelphia. To spread the cost of fires, he also introduced the concept of risk-sharing by organizing the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire.
Ben Franklin spent…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin: an American life
alter Isaacson's book "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" was published by Simon and Schuster in 2003 and has 608 pages.
The book is meant to discuss with regard to Benjamin Franklin's life from a whole different perspective when compared to traditional biographies concerning the Founding Father. The main topic addressed is Benjamin Franklin, as the book covers a series of aspects about his life, his effect on society, and how other people perceived him. Isaacson largely wanted to change people's understanding of Franklin by starting to associate him with a flesh-and-bone figure rather than with a statue representing a former influential individual in the history of the U.S.
hile the book mainly focuses on Benjamin Franklin's personality, it can also be valuable as a history book. It entails information regarding a series of topics and Isaacson's focus on presenting Franklin's image through time contributes to…… [Read More]
Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine both came from similar backgrounds and shared much commonality during their early years, however, each embarked on life paths from different perspectives. It seems Paine was more a revolutionary and anti-establishment, while Franklin was more a statesman and progressive.
Benjamin Franklin came from a modest family and at the age of thirteen began as an apprentice for his bother (Franklin pp). Franklin was well-read and established himself in the printing business as an author of political dissent against colonialism early in life, one article of which sent his brother to jail for a month (Franklin pp). He then left Boston for Philadelphia where, due to his gregarious nature, he acquired many friends, one of whom was the governor of Pennsylvania, Sir illiam Keith, who persuaded Franklin to go to London to finish his training and return to start his own…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin's inventions impact society.
Benjamin Franklin: The impact of his inventions
As well as one of the Founding Fathers of America, Benjamin Franklin was a great inventor and scientist. His inventions have had a lasting impact upon the world. Franklin was not formally educated, but he was a great reader and observer. His inventions were largely practical, but the principles upon which they were based were well-grounded in scientific theory. "Franklin was one of the most practical inventors in history. He built many devices that were designed to help improve or solve everyday problems" ("Benjamin Franklin: Inquiring mind," PBS, 2011). Franklin often began with problems that he was personally affected with, like poor eyesight, the inability to reach books on a high bookcase, or the dangers of wood-burning stoves and strikes by lightening. Then, he used the scientific method to analyze the problem, and find solutions. Franklin's model of…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin & John Adams
Both Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were 18th Century men, but both also stood out in their time and culture. They had different and unique views on many of the subjects of their day, from conflict to intimacy. Since both men focused on what was important to them, they were not as changed by the times as some of the others who worked with and around them would be. They were their own men, and they knew what they wanted and what they valued. That is not to say that there were not others like this, but only to indicate that Franklin and Adams were two of the main pioneers of their day. Their focus was on the valuable things in life, and that did not always mesh with what society believed to be important. When people do not follow everything that society says they…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706. According to Panesar (2004), Franklin was the most famous people across the world during his lifetime. Franklin was a literary author who happened to be involved in politics, having a special place in the hearts and minds of many Americans. Studies have shown that Franklin was a leading figure in the American evolution, where, he served in the Second Continental Congress as well as, a diplomat to France (Lemay, 2006). He helped in securing French support for the American Cause, an indispensable contribution during the evolutionary War (Wood 2004), Today, Franklin remain one of the relatively figures in the world history who could be called, a diplomat, a politician, an inventor, a scientist and many others. During his life, Franklin influenced many areas of American life, for instance, his influence in France during his lifetime as the ambassador did not only change…… [Read More]
Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Simon & Schuster, 2000.
It is George Washington who is usually referred to as the father of our American Nation. Benjamin Franklin, in contrast, more often than not takes on the status of the friendly and eccentric uncle, given his greater age, his propensity towards scientific experimentation and innovation as well as political action, and even his renowned fondness for making the turkey the American national bird, rather than the bald eagle. Although ranking the relative importance of the Founding Fathers of the nation may seem quixotic one at best, with perhaps Jefferson and Madison's role in framing our national view of constitutional rights and the federal responsibilities of the states ranking even higher than Washington, Isaacson makes a strong case for Benjamin Franklin's status as the spiritual and moral founding father of the American nation, and perhaps just as important, the American…… [Read More]
The shift Franklin made from a man dedicated to the alliance of England and America to a man who embraced the American cause has been a puzzle for historians for a long time, and Wood tries to provide some answers to the questions raised. He had entrusted his Autobiography and other papers to his friend Joseph Galloway when he had to go to France, but Galloway kept to the British side and fled to England, leaving the papers behind, which is how Abel acquired them. Other friends of like mind did much the same. Only Franklin from this group changed his view and adopted the American cause, in effect being Americanized.
Wood makes it clear that the choice was a difficult one for Franklin. He was loyal to England, and he would become fiercely loyal to America. The break with the one before the dedication to the other took…… [Read More]
Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin were both prominent leaders in colonial America who were dedicated to hard work and a belief in the basic goodness of all men. Sharing in these basic concepts they went about making a major contribution to society but did so in different ways.
The personalities of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin could not have been any different. Edwards was a strict Calvinist who was serious and reserved while Franklin was a Deist whose warmth and gregarious personality was legendary. Taking different views in many ways to life they still adhered to their basic beliefs that there was no substitute for hard work.
As a Deist, Franklin believed that every life situation could be resolved through the use of reason. Franklin's writings on life and his extensive work in the areas of philosophy and science are evidence of his basic attitude toward life. Edwards, meanwhile, believed…… [Read More]
Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin played a major role in the American evolution and its history and his contributions changed the history of America as we know it.
One of the most interesting and influential characters in American history is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a brilliant man that contributed deeply to both the scientific and political community. Much of what there is to know about his life can be found in Gordon S. Wood's book titled "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin." The purpose of this paper is to examine the life of Benjamin Franklin through the provided text in order to answer these significant questions:
How come Benjamin Franklin was an unlikely revolutionary?
What caused Franklin to join the revolution?
How can we compare and contrast Franklin's mythology with his reality?
Franklin Preferred London to Philadelphia and royal governments to democracy, why?
How come American colonists were suspicious of…… [Read More]
Benjamin Franklin once said that, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Nowhere is this statement truer than in the field of nursing where I feel that the lessons learned from this course will help sustain and enrich me in whatever field I am employed going forward. From learning about health promotion to trans-cultural nursing to nursing-focused medical ethics, these issues will influence how I practice clinically whatever type of nurse I become from a Certified Nurse Anesthetist to a Home Health Nurse to everything in-between.
As a nurse, family and friends as well as patients will inevitably look to me with their questions about health promotion. This concept focuses on maximizing wellness for one's entire life through specific strategies to promote health through nutrition, physical fitness, weight control and avoiding substance abuse. Furthermore, health promotion must also take into account cultural and environmental factors related to…… [Read More]
The length of the second epitaph and its lack of informative inclusions reveal a man who is aware of his life's work and believes that his name does not require additional explanations. Finally, the burial place next to his wife is a gesture of respect for his family, which reveals that behind the strong man stood a strong woman who inspired and supported his aspirations, goals and efforts. At the end of the day, he returns home to her. At the end of his life, he will rest next to her.
Another version of an epitaph could be a simple mentioning that Benjamin Franklin was a "Founding Father and much more," suggesting that he is mostly recognized for the role played in the formation of the independent American state, but he has also made contributions in other fields.
Created with Tombstone Generator
2009, Tombstone Generator, http://www.jjchandler.com/tombstone / last accessed…… [Read More]
'" (oolman, Chapter 3).
Franklin's Autobiography, in contrast, is a tale not of submission, but self-realization -- Franklin even absconded from the tyrannical rule of his brother to begin his own enterprise because the young Franklin was determined not to bend to what he saw as a tyrant's rule. Some of his advice in "The ay to ealth" echoes oolman's in spirit, like the advice to avoid fancy dress: "you are about to put yourself under such tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty," Franklin advises (Franklin, "The ay to ealth," 1758). But the purpose of such avoidance is not spiritual salvation through material denial, but to pursue "The ay to ealth" by avoiding going into debt.
Rather than trusting in God's Providence, Franklin trusts in his own efforts. Perhaps Poor Richard's most radical theological…… [Read More]
American life stories:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Although Benjamin Franklin and Fredrick Douglass began their lives on the opposite sides of the black-white divide in America, their personal narratives contain many parallel features. Both suffered a kind of slavery -- indentured servitude to his brother in the case of Franklin and actual slavery in the south in the case of Douglass -- and both later rose to prominent heights as authors and self-made men.
Both men held work in high esteem. Franklin saw his thrift and industry as the reason for his success. Douglass criticized slavery because it eroded the ability to work hard and to make a profit off of one's own labor. Both men are shown chafing at the restrictions placed upon them while they were young. Douglass longed to learn how to read and while literacy was not…… [Read More]
The reflections of death in Death on the Pale Horse also remind this observer to take time to consider the certainty that human life on earth is limited. In an ironic way, this painting also seems to shout that it is imperative to make a point to make the most of each moment.
As art observers are expected to experience smooth or stormy energetic passions in pathetic paintings as the actors' appearances appropriately reflect the appearance of strong emotions. In the traditional practice of art, passions are reflected by facial expressions and gestures. Eighteenth-century associative and sympathetic assimilation of emotions by the spectator theories, however, birthed the practice of an artist imagining and projecting him/herself into the characters' feelings as he/she painted their experiences.
Not only do the Death of General Wolfe and Death on a Pale Horse meet many observers' expectations, these two paintings also challenge viewers…… [Read More]
Owen said that industrialization could better the lot of individuals, like the young women working in his mills, and uplift the human character through social engineering, by "removing discontent" and giving "permanent, productive employment to the poor and working classes" and thus "let prosperity loose on the country" (O'Brien 2010). Unlike the politician Disraeli, who lived squarely in the middle of the horrors and squalor spawned by industrialization, Owen lived in a relatively isolated, rural area in Scotland. hile overseeing his mills, Owen was solely focused upon his own project of social engineering, taking place in his own factories. A parallel between these two men in American history might be that of Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Ford: one man believed in creating laws to empower workers, while another believed in using the tools of industrialization to better the lives of his employees, as he saw fit.
Everett, Glenn.…… [Read More]
All of the founding fathers of the United States were great because they acted on their values and beliefs, helping to sow the seeds of a new nation. The work of the founding fathers became instrumental for independence from the British Crown. Being willing to stand up to Britain was no small feat, making the deeds of the founding fathers even more admirable. The founding fathers will be celebrated throughout history for their contribution not just to America but to the world. Although many men and women can be considered instrumental to founding the nation, there are seven key players that most historians identify as being the founding fathers. Those seven include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, and Ben Franklin. All seven of the founding fathers and their contributions are important. Therefore, it can be helpful to compare and contrast three of them—such…… [Read More]
Self-Made Man and the Recipient of Divine Grace:
Benjamin Franklin vs. Jonathan Edwards
Despite the fact that both Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards are honored as two of the greatest authors of colonial America, they could not be more different in their ideological orientations. Edwards (1703-1758) is perhaps most famous for penning the image of the human soul as a spider in the hand of a merciful God, suspended above the flames of hell in his sermon "Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God." All human beings, Edwards implied in his image, were essentially fallen beings. A true Puritan, Edwards believed there was no way for hard work to win divine favor; one could only hope to be the recipient of divine grace. In contrast, Franklin (1706-1790), despite living during roughly the same time period as Edwards, was the consummate self-made man. As well as being credited as one…… [Read More]
Shaping of the Colonies in 1763
There have been few eras in human history possessed with more of the expectant optimism, and the grim pragmatism, than the century following first contact with the new world of North America. With an expansive landmass, the size of which more than doubled that known to citizens of any European country at the time, brimming with natural resources and lying open for exploration and settlement, many thinkers of the age shared Benjamin Franklin's fateful estimation, made in his tract America as a Land of Opportunity, which claimed "so vast is the Territory of North-America, that it will require many Ages to settle it fully." Penned and published in 1751, Franklin's treatise on the seemingly infinite riches to be reaped by the American colonies failed to fully anticipate man's overwhelming compulsion to compete for the control of land. While America's preeminent philosopher was prescient in…… [Read More]
Franklin's autobiography demonstrates a truly American kind of businessman, because he so neatly embodies all of the assumptions and logical fallacies that American capitalism depends on in order to justify its dominance in an ostensibly equitable and representative society.
Where Franklin's autobiography demonstrates the peculiar appeal to divine right that is used to justify the inequity of American capitalism, Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener demonstrates the almost willful obtuseness necessary for any apologists of capitalism who must interact with the exploited lower classes on a regular basis. The narrator of Bartleby the Scrivener is entirely unaware of anything outside the extremely limited range of his own preconceived ideas, which is both why Bartleby's passive resistance stuns him so much and he is ultimately unable to come to terms with Bartleby's death. He practically admits as much when he says "the easiest way of life is the best," because the easiest…… [Read More]
Listen to Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God preached. Discuss in the discussion group.
Jonathan Edwards gives us a perfect example of the Calvinist beliefs of the Puritan settlers in early New England. Edwards studied theology at Yale University -- where today there is still a dormitory named after him -- but then became a noteworthy preacher in the Great Awakening, which exhorted an entire generation to renew their Christian faith. Edwards' skill in preaching lies in using literary imagery to get across abstract theological concepts. Calvinist theology believes in "total depravity" -- in other words, because of Adam and Eve eating the apple, human beings are fallen, and stained with "original sin." The most memorable image in Edwards' sermon -- the image of the spider being held over a fiery pit -- is meant to be a metaphor to enable the listener to imagine how…… [Read More]
orolenko tells his tale of a mob massacre of Jews in 1903 with a view of relaying the horror and injustice of the events in question. He writes from the perspective of a journalist recounting the events after having arrived in town some two months following the massacre. However, he relays the events as they occurred in a first-hand manner, telling the details as though he had been there amongst the crowd. He had gathered his information from interviews with survivors conducted soon after the events and this first-hand approach feels real and credible. He gives a convincing portrait of the madness of crowds and the bloodlust of anti-Semitism. His overarching purpose is to convince the reader of the injustice of the events, and he gathers credibility for his story by telling the story of a man who led the riots, only to repent later and commit suicide. In doing…… [Read More]
Franklin's constantly being out of sync with his colleagues is seen once again in Franklin's inability to understand that the next logical progress of his republicanism was liberal democracy. Thus, as the oldest member of the Constitutional Convention, Franklin was unable to anticipate and comprehend the factionalism that was beginning to dominate the American political climate. On the contrary, Franklin even made the wrong political call by viewing liberalism as dangerous and unruly, a political system that would never work in the newly-formed republic.
Other biographers minimized the said failing by emphasizing how Franklin made decisions based on principles. oods, however, presents evidence that Franklin could also be motivated by emotional motives, such as revenge. For example, according to oods, Franklin's opposition to the two-house legislature in Massachusetts was motivated in part to his personal distaste for John Adams, who was a key supporter of the measure. Also, while Franklin…… [Read More]
Employment -- the Morality of the Contract between Employee and Employer
Before entering into a contract for employment, an employees' first concern is usually to gain a living wage, then to gain experience in a particular profession, and perhaps finally to gain advancement within a particular corporate structure, industry, or trade. An employer's main concern in hiring an employee is usually if the employee can perform the job the employee is being hired to perform, if he or she will be deserving of the wage he or she is will be paid, and if he or she will stay for the necessary hours and period of time. However, once the employee has made a commitment to work and the employer has made a commitment to pay the employee for a period of time, the relationship and ratio of obligations invariably grows murkier. hat obligation does the employer have…… [Read More]
Benjamin ranklin termed himself a pragmatic deist. He believes "there is one Supreme must perfect being," however that this being is distant, and that it is not necessary to build a personal relationship with such a supreme God. He concluded that it was useful and correct to believe that a faith in God should inform our daily actions. However, he did not believe in sectarian dogma, burning spirituality or deep soul searching as a part of religion (Lopez, 87). ranklin's religious views are important in the shaping of his Enlightenment philosophy. His approach to religion drew from reason and careful reflection, he did not believe in the "frivolity" of emotional thought and connectivity, but instead focused on the pragmatic understanding of the divine. His conclusion after careful reason formulates a "Supreme Being that can be manifest in various ways, depending on the needs of different worshipers" (Lopez, 88). In contrast…… [Read More]
Outside of marriage, there is the "hazard of Children" (Franklin). Also included in his reasons are that "debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy" (Franklin). In "Girl," the narrator warns the reader, "don't walk barehead in the hot sun" (Kincaid). In addition, she is told, "this is how you smile to someone you don't like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don't like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely" (Kincaid). hile each piece approaches different subjects, they are equally successful in their delivery.
Both pieces represent a different time period as well as station in life. Franklin is speaking with another man about something of a sexual nature and he is being as discreet as he possibly can. He is a man of prestige offering advice to someone that wishes to step out of…… [Read More]
The worth of earlier works of American literature is sometimes proven by their application to later works. Such is the case with Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and his discussion of the Thirteen Virtues. The absence of such virtues can often be the source of complications and conflicts that drive a narrative. This is evident in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," in which both major characters reveal an absence of one or more of the Thirteen Virtues, thereby creating the problems that drive the story. In fact, three absent virtues drive the tale include silence, tranquility, and justice.
The virtue of silence refers to speaking only when necessary, and only "what may benefit others or yourself." Because the narrator lacks the virtue of silence, he divulges his crime to the police. Had he not broken his silence, the narrator would likely have gotten away with the crime. "Villains!" I shrieked,…… [Read More]
Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards, and "The Autobiography - Part 1" by Benjamin Franklin. Specifically, it will discuss the major changes in religious belief between the angry God of Jonathan Edwards and the benevolent Deism of Benjamin Franklin. It is quite clear these two men have very different ideas about God, his ideals, and their own religious goals. Both men have a strong and unfailing faith in God, but they show it differently, and they see God very differently.
Ben Franklin sees God as a benevolent and caring overseer of our problems and concerns. He writes, "I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence..." (Franklin). Franklin sees God as someone who watches over him and takes care of all his children. He is kindly, and leads people down the right path…… [Read More]
Thomas Paine was an earlier conqueror of the special association that was formed between America and France. His part in this association was initiated with his responsibility of the post of American Congress Secretary of Foreign Affairs where he continually used dialogue to make relations between the two better. He retained this post throughout the American evolution. Paine, however, is better noted for his works written throughout the American and French evolutions Eras. In his writings, Paine offered spirited protection of accepted autonomy, human rights, and the republican government. Both Common Sense (1776) ights of Man (1791-1792) stick out as the most broadly read political areas from the era. Paine's distinctive global thought also can serve as the building blocks for liberal cosmopolitanism in worldwide relations. His unrelenting faith in aspects of democratization, free trade, and respect for human rights being the factors that cut back worldwide conflict stands among…… [Read More]
Civil Liberties and Temporary Security: Billy Budd and Guardians
"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither." Benjamin Franklin's statement is often invoked in times of warfare, when civil liberties tend to be most at risk of curtailment, yet it crucially fails to describe the one sector of the American population that is most involved in warfare: the military. Historically military service has not exactly been the voluntary affair it currently is. During the U.S. Civil War cities like New York and Philadelphia would have riots over Lincoln's imposition of a military draft; the First and Second World wars would see the invention of "conscientious objector" status, and Vietnam made "dodging the draft" a generational meme among baby boomers. But leaving aside the question of whether or not military conscription is a gross violation of civil liberties -- to some extent, this depends upon the culture, as…… [Read More]
It's oeing. Starting from their first aircraft models oeing &W and Douglas DT/C-1 and up to the modern airfreight oeing 747-400, company oeing and oeing-related enterprises had been always on the frontier of air cargo industry, and nowadays oeing airfreights stand for 90% of commercial air cargo companies.
Everything started with mail delivery. Today lots of us associate aircrafts with people transportation, but primary oeing was responsible only for cargo.
The company was started in 1916, when ill oeing and his partner George Westervelt made a first model of future civil aviation's world leader- jet &W. &W had later become the first plane that was delivering cargo and mail to New Zealand. Three years later ill oeing and Eddie Hubbard delivered 60 letters from Vancouver, Canada to Seattle, which became the first event in the history of international air shipping.
Nearly at the same time, company Douglas Aircraft had signed…… [Read More]
Inner Truth and Outer Truth
The forefathers of our country were not known for their emotional clarity. Neither were they known for expressing publicly their private sense of self. Those who became known at all were known for their hard work and dedication to the public causes meant to benefit the common good. We can perceive them only through our own eyes, much changed by the passage of time.
It is not for us to judge them, but to seek to understand as we hope that those who come after us will seek to understand us. The writings that historical figures have left us reveal their lives in guarded ways, in styles they had been taught were good and proper. If we search closely we may know something of what went on in their inmost hearts. John Woolman sat beside Newbegun Creek and listened quietly for Truth to "open the…… [Read More]
Nick, you are a sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent man who has the potential to learn a lot from the current challenges you have presented. The questions you ask are astute and show a willingness to change and a vast array to tools with which to deal with change. Your self-awareness and insight are admirable, and are your core strengths. This self-improvement plan will help you capitalize on your strengths, and also become more realistic about your boundaries and limitations. Do not feel these boundaries and limitations are faults, because they are not. They are part of what makes you a unique and interesting individual. First I would like to answer your core questions in turn.
What advice can you give me about how to organize my life to achieve my goals of financial independence and spiritual fulfillment?
The financial independence you need will come, if you can outline…… [Read More]
Bright Knots of Apparitions: Transcending Reality in Fascicle Sixteen
In the early eighteen sixties, many Americans were concerned with the national fracture that manifested itself in the Civil ar. Northerners, galvanized by the Compromise of 1850, which held them punishable by law for aiding escaped slaves, had come to realize that this conflict involved all Americans. The nation seethed with factionalism and looked outward for direct and active solutions to a moral crisis.
Emily Dickinson, as far as her biographers can determine, seemed unaware of or unconcerned with the national conflict. Instead, in the same time period, she would experience a tremendous period of artistic production, writing three hundred sixty-six poems in 1862 alone, a six-fold increase over her output in 1858. Eleven of her 1861-1862 poems she would bind in the little hand-sewn bundles she kept in a box under her bed; this collection of terse, conflicted lines is…… [Read More]
American History 1600-1877
In the period from 1600 to 1877, it could be argued that the United States was only basically establishing itself as an independent nation in its own right -- the period in question builds up to the climax of the Civil War, in which the contradictions inherent in the national identity would finally reach armed conflict. Who, then, could be nominated as the best of the American enterprise in that time period? For different reasons, I would nominate Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, and Frederick Douglass.
Franklin is an easy choice: he established America's credibility in the eyes of Europe. Regardless of the military issues involved in the American Revolution, it was Franklin alone who showed Europe that there was a viable independent nation across the Atlantic. This is in recognition of his various accomplishments, which were scientific, technical, literary, and philanthropical (in his endowment of universities and…… [Read More]
Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and Benjamin Franklin's "Advice to a Young Tradesman."
The writings of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin represent two opposite extremes of Colonial thought. Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is an example of the "Hellfire" religious revivalism that exercised such strong appeal during the period. Thousands turned out to be converted and save at great mass meetings. These people place their absolute trust in God, believing that He alone could save them from the eternal torments of Hell. Only through trust in Him, could any of their endeavors be truly blessed. According to such beliefs, men and women were not masters of their own fate -- all lay in the Hands of God. In contrast, to the extent that Franklin's piece, "Advice to a Young Tradesman" does touch on religion at all, it is a very different…… [Read More]
noble savage..." etc.
The Noble, Savage Age of Revolution
When Europeans first came to America, they discovered that their providentially discovered "New World" was already inhabited by millions of native peoples they casually labeled the "savages." In time, Europeans would decimate this population, killing between 95-99% of the 12 million plus inhabitants of the Northern Continent, and as many in the south. efore this genocide was complete, however, the culture of the natives would significantly influence the philosophy and politics of the nations that conquered them. The native societies, with their egalitarian social structures, natural absence of disease, communal sharing of resources, and their lifestyles in which work was easily balanced with art and play, seemed like something Europeans had lost when Adam and Eve left Eden. "Native societies, especially in America, reminded Europeans of imagined golden worlds known to them only in folk history. . . Created of European…… [Read More]
This alone is a powerful image of civil rights, yet the scene evolves into one of the chief antagonist of the film trying to intercept the secret codes from the child. These codes are critical to unlocking the anagram on the back of the Declaration and while the antagonists succeed in learning from the boy what he is doing, Ben Gates' team misses being captured. This tension in the film continues with the conflict centering on knowledge of the treasure, and all along the real treasure is freedom.
The many explosive scenes that Director Jerry Bruckheimer is famous for also underscore the liberalism within this film. Starting with the first explosive scene where the Charlotte, an ancient whaling ship that contains a critical piece of evidence that will be used for solving another clue leading to the location of the map of the Templar's fortune. The center of conflict in…… [Read More]
Colonial Culture efore the American Revolution
The Great Awakening and Religious Change
The Impact of Education
When discussing causes of the American Revolution, most historians cite growing taxation, lack of representation in the national government, attempts by the King and Parliament to curb the power of colonial legislatures, and restrictions on trade as some of the primary causes. Often ignored as a cause are the changes in American colonial society that occurred in the decades before the revolution. Americans began to develop a cultural identity separate from that of Great ritain. Attitudes toward religion underwent sweeping modifications as a result of the Great Awakening. Landed aristocracy was unable to dominate society in the same way that it did in England. Education became more prevalent. New ideas concerning the nature and rights of people were debated and gradually accepted. All of these factors played a part in propelling Americans toward independence.…… [Read More]
Articles of Confederation: The Articles of Confederation were approved in November, 1777 and were the basic format for what would become the Constitution and Bill of ights for the United States. There were, of course, deficiencies in the document, this was a new experiment and getting the delegates to agree in kind to pass any sort of document was challenging at best. The Articles did allow a semblance of unity, the further impetus to remain at war with the British, and the conclusion that there would be some sort of Federal government. The Articles, however, failed to require individual States to help fund the Federal (National) government, a template for an Executive and National Judicial Branch, or the issuance of paper money and a central banking system. In essence, the largest failure was the Articles' inability to allow a Federal government to regulate commerce, tax, or impose laws upon the…… [Read More]
And bee it also Enacted by the Authority and with the advise and assent aforesaid that whatsoever person or persons shall from henceforth use or utter any reproachfull words or Speeches concerning blessed Virgin Marv the Mother of Our Saviour or the holy Apostles or Evangelists or any of them shall in such case for the first offence forfeit to the said Lord Proprietary and his heirs Lords and Proprietaries of this Province the sume of five pound Sterling or the value thereof to be Levyed on the goods and chattells of every such person soe offending, but in case such Offender or Offenders, shall not then have goods and chattells sufficient for the satisfying of such forfeiture, or that the same bee not otherwise speedily satisfyed that then such Offender or Offenders Shall be publiquely whipt and bee imprisoned during the pleasure, of the Lord Proprietary or the Lieut.…… [Read More]
Patriot Act and Constitutional Freedom
Thomas Jefferson said: 'The price of freedom is constant vigilance.' Unfortunately in a large nation dedicated to the individual freedom and liberty of all its citizens, the only time when the nation learns that is has not been vigilant enough is when a person, or group of persons take advantage of that freedom, and abuse the liberty of others in order to further their own destructive purposes. The tragedy of 9-11 is the most recent case in point of how a nation can take its freedom and liberty for granted, which ultimately makes a doorway for others to tear down that which has taken over 200 years to build, protect, and defend.
When our country endured similar acts of threat or war, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the expansion of communism into the Western Hemisphere in Cuba, the government has oven reacted…… [Read More]
Many different views abound on the origins of modern capitalism, causalities that range from economic to political, from religious to cultural, or for some, an amalgamation of societies need to expand and the resources necessary to fuel that expansion. Max Weber's the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of the spirit of modern capitalism. An ascetic Protestant is one who practices self-denial and self-discipline. Weber argues that the religious ideas of groups such as the Calvinists played a role in creating the capitalistic spirit. Calvinism focused on predestination and God's infinite power, a hierarchical system that transcended religion and moved into economic and social activities.
This is true not only in cases where the difference in religion coincides with one of nationality, and thus of cultural development . . . . The same thing…… [Read More]
Anomie and Alienation
Lost, With No Possibility of Being Found
Running through the literature of classical late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century sociology are themes of isolation, of the poverty of life lived in isolated cells, of the fragility of a life in which we can almost never make authentic connections with other people, in which we are lost even to ourselves. We have -- and this "we" includes the entire population of the industrialized world, or at least most of it -- have raised the act of rationalism to an art form, but along the way we have lost so much of our humanity that we can no longer form or maintain a community. Four of the major social critics of the twentieth century took up these themes for essentially the same reason: To argue that while ailing human society could be transformed in ways that would give it meaning…… [Read More]