Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Life history and Famous Works

Benjamin Franklin
Categories : American Literature
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a prominent figure in American history, known for his contributions as a statesman, inventor, writer, and scientist. Here are some key points about his life and famous works:

  1. Family and Background: Franklin was born into a working-class family in Boston. His father was a candle maker, and Franklin initially worked as a printer’s apprentice.
  2. Influence of Enlightenment: Franklin’s life exemplifies the impact of the Enlightenment on individuals. He extensively read works by Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, Lord Shaftesbury, and Joseph Addison, which influenced his embrace of reason and his willingness to challenge traditional beliefs.
  3. Founding Father: Franklin is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He actively supported the cause of colonial unity and played a crucial role in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.
  4. Pennsylvania Chronicle: Franklin published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a revolutionary newspaper that played a significant role in promoting the American Revolution and advocating for colonial rights.
  5. University of Pennsylvania: Franklin played a key role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania, which initially started as an academy. Later in his life, Franklin served as the Governor of Pennsylvania.
  6. Protests against the Stamp Act: Franklin led protests against the Stamp Act of 1765, which imposed taxes on printed materials in the American colonies. His efforts in opposing this act helped galvanize public sentiment against British taxation policies.
  7. Poor Richard’s Almanack”: Franklin’s most well-known work is “Poor Richard’s Almanack” (1732). Published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, it contained a calendar, weather information, poems, and sayings. It included proverbs and aphorisms that became widely popular and are still quoted today.
  8. Inventions and Social Innovations: Franklin was an inventive individual, credited with inventions such as the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove. He also introduced social innovations, including the first public library, volunteer fire departments, and improved street lighting.
  9. Societal Norms in “Poor Richard’s Almanack”: “Poor Richard’s Almanack” reflected the societal norms and practical wisdom of the time. It contained practical advice, moral lessons, and maxims that aimed to guide individuals toward self-improvement, frugality, and diligence.

Benjamin Franklin’s life and works have had a lasting impact on American society, embodying the spirit of the Enlightenment and contributing to the development of the United States as a nation.

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