Benjamin Franklin: Biography
Printer, editor, inventor, scientist, diplomatist, he was the embodiment of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. He is one of the founding father of United States of America, he was present while the Constitution and Declaration of Independence was written
-in Medieval England franklin= middle class land owner; highly practical and pragmatic thinker, publicly known, most remembered for his written work, but he was also a scientist; versatile, practical, clear thinking, self-thought. He believed in reality of world revealed by the senses
-for his diplomatic activities and scientific observation was also known in Europe, diplomat in France to acquire sympathy for revolution
-believed in deism, god is in the centre, but he no longer interfere, placed emphasize on reasons, morals, common sense
-18th century- believe that things are happening in divine nature, divine explanation of reality, everything must exist in harmony with everyday needs- Pragmatism- all things should serve the reality of everyday life
-representative of pragmatism- he initiated projects for the good of the citizens- circulation library, paving and lightening in the streets, city police
-establisher of Academy of Education of Youth, later renamed University of Pennsylvania; he founded 1st circulated library to spread knowledge, 1st colonial hospital,
-scientific interest- honorable degrees on Harvard and Yale
-publishing business, printing, newspaper Pennsylvania Gazette
-negative aspect- think highly of one self
AUTOBIOGRAPHY- his most famous work, it is an account of a poor boy’s rise to fame. It is written in a simple, clear and direct style. The author followed the plain style of Addison. It was originally written for his son William who became the Governor of New Jersey. The work gives a delightful picture of life in Philadelphia, as well as clever observations on the philosophy, literature and religion of that time. It is considered the first popular self-help book ever published. It was the first and only work written in America before19th century that had got bestseller popularity since its release.
POOR RICHARD´S ALMANACH- collection of advices for poor how to become rich, with aphorisms, popular sayings
EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATION ON ELECTRICITY
His practical bent was expressed in a number of ways. He founded the Philadelphia Academy, proved the identity of electricity and lightening. His practical bent can be seen in his emphasizing industry, thrift, sobriety. He opposed slavery, supporting the physiocrats who considered agriculture as the only source of wealth.
Franklin’s excessive materialism resulted in lack of imaginative richness of expression in his writing. On the other hand, however, the astonishing range of his activities was crowned with a great contribution to America’s cultural prestige.