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Analytical Essay on Benjamin Franklin: Analysis of His Life, Personality and Contributions

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Benjamin Franklin was a very popular person in his day, and still to this day, we remember him for all the good he has done.

Benjamin Franklin was born into a religious, Puritan, household on January 17, 1706. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was the fifteenth child out of his seventeen siblings. Franklin’s parents were named Josiah and Abiah Franklin. His parents were very religious and hard-working. His father made soap and candles in his shop, “At the sign of the Blue Ball, on Milk Street, and later in a bigger house on Union Street” (Waldstreicher). At a young age, Ben’s father thought that praying from home was more beneficial to him than going to church. Ben’s father also liked to play religious tunes on his violin and sing after long days of work. His father was also known for his wisdom. People would come to him for advice on resolving a problem. Ben’s father was described as a very strong and healthy man, however, not much was known about Ben’s mother. Franklin told a friend that she taught him common sense and tolerance.

Benjamin Franklin taught himself many concepts in his youth. Since Benjamin Franklin had sixteen other siblings there was always a lot going on in the family. Ben’s parents couldn’t afford to send all of his children to school for a good amount of time. Josiah Franklin could not afford the cost of education for Benjamin anymore, so Ben couldn’t go to school anymore after his second year. He only attended school for two years. Josiah thought it was a good idea to keep Benjamin home at the age of ten to help him with his job, and the work inside of his job. That included, “helping cut wicks and melt tallow in the candle and soap shop” (Waldstreicher). Early in Benjamin’s life, he was a student and an apprentice.

Benjamin Franklin taught himself to be one of the most educated people of his time. Benjamin Franklin wasn’t educated for long but still became a very successful man. He only attended school for two years. There, he proved that he was outstanding at reading, but, he was fair in writing, and poor in arithmetic (Waldstreicher). When Franklin was twelve years old, his father persuaded him to become an apprentice for Ben’s older brother, James, a printer, because Ben’s dad couldn’t afford to send him to school anymore.

Even though Benjamin Franklin was not going to school anymore, he still believed that he could get smarter by himself. He said, “The doors of wisdom are never shut.” So, he decided to read every book he could find to benefit his knowledge. “He eagerly read such books as Pilgrim’s Progress (1678, 1684), Plutarch’s Lives (about A.D. 100), Cotton Mather’s Bonifacius (1710), and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719)” (Waldstreicher). Since Benjamin Franklin was poor at arithmetic during his two years of schooling, he decided to teach “himself the basic principles of algebra and geometry, navigation, grammar, logic, and the natural and physical sciences” (Waldstreicher). Benjamin Franklin also “partially mastered French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin” (Waldstreicher).

Benjamin Franklin met a nice woman and started a family when he moved to Philadelphia. Her name was Deborah Read, and Ben instantly gained interest after meeting her. When Benjamin moved, he was a very healthy man. He had, “Dark brown hair, hazel eyes, a large mouth, and a larch head in proportion to his body and was nearly six feet tall” (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116). Deborah Read was the “daughter of a prosperous carpenter” (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116). Ben and Deborah later had three children. Their children’s names were Sarah Franklin Bache, William Franklin, and Francis Folger Franklin. Deborah Read lived from 1730-1774.

Benjamin Franklin was a very successful man in a variety of different ways. After Benjamin was educated for two years his father made him work in his shop, working with soap and candles. Ben really didn’t enjoy making the soap and candles, so his dad gave him a new job, being James’s apprentice. James taught Benjamin to be a very skilled printer. “In 1721, James Franklin established his own newspaper,” and Benjamin contributed (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116). Benjamin Franklin started to write newspapers and signed his name as, “Silence Dogood” (Waldstreicher). James really liked some of Ben’s articles and printed them.

After Benjamin had practice by being an apprentice, he soon became his own master. At the age of seventeen, he decided to run away to Philadelphia by boat. It was a Sunday morning in October of 1723. He was on his way to the biggest city in the colonies. In 1724, Ben “went to England to buy type for a printing press so he could start his own business” (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116). It was a two-year-long journey to get to England for his print. Ben “got work right away at one of London’s most important publishers and made a name for himself by writing on religious matters” (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116).

Ben “grew tired of the frantic pace of London” (Schmittroth and Rosteck 116). He then started touring the continent of Europe, but he didn’t have much money to pay for the trip. So, he would pay for the trip by giving people swimming lessons. In 1728, Ben became part owner of a print shop when he was at the age of twenty-two. Benjamin Franklin was a printer from 1723 to 1730. Then in 1732, when Ben was twenty-six, he came up with one of his best ideas. That was to publish an almanac.

Years later, Ben saved up more money so he could visit his family in Boston. When Ben came back to James he did nothing but show off. This resulted in James being mad, and it took them two years to make up. Later, in December of 1776, when Ben came to Paris, he lived in hotels for a while. By the spring of 1776, Ben moved into a little village outside the city called Passy. Benjamin Franklin was also a statesman. Because Benjamin was a statesman, “Franklin stood in the front rank of the people who built the United States” (Waldstreicher).

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Benjamin Franklin wrote his own autobiography called The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Also, he was the only person to sign all four of these important documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris, The Treaty of Alliance, and The Constitution of the United States. In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin did many productive things during his lifetime to make him such a well-known person in American history.

Benjamin Franklin was involved in the American Revolution. said, “In 1776, he was part of the five-member committee that helped draft the Declaration of Independence in which the thirteen American colonies declared their freedom from British rule. That same year, Congress sent Franklin to France to enlist the nation’s help with the Revolutionary War.” Benjamin Franklin served as a diplomat in the American Revolution.

In 1785, Benjamin Franklin left France and returned to Philadelphia. In 1787, Benjamin was a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was the oldest delegate at the convention, reaching the age of eighty-one. says, “At the end of the convention, in September 1787, he urged his fellow delegates to support the heavily debated new document. The U.S. Constitution was ratified by the required nine states in June 1788. Also, George Washington (1732-99) was inaugurated as America’s first president in April 1789.”

Benjamin Franklin lived from 1706 to 1790. Benjamin Franklin returned to Philadelphia. When he returned, he was seventy-nine. He also wrote a farewell to his friend called, Adieu!. Thomas Jefferson was also one of Ben’s last friends to visit him before he died. Benjamin Franklin died three months after his eighty-fourth birthday.

Benjamin Franklin had many strengths, but he also was known for a couple of his weaknesses. Benjamin Franklin was a man who owned up to his mistakes and always tried to fix them. He was known for being easily distracted and unorganized. So, in his autobiography, he wrote a daily schedule to keep him on task and up to date with everything. Benjamin Franklin was also vain, as he didn’t think of it as a sin, but he tried really hard to improve himself.

Benjamin Franklin also had many strengths that make him most remembered in American history. Benjamin Franklin was very kind and polite and even made “a list of rules for good behavior. 1.) Don’t eat or drink too much, 2.) Don’t joke or talk too much, 3.) Keep your things neat, 4.) Do what you set out to do, 5.) Don’t spend too much money, 6.) Don’t waste time, 7.) Be sincere, 8.) Be fair, 9.) Don’t go to extremes, 10.) Keep clean, 11.) Keep calm, 12.) Don’t fool around with girls, 13.) Don’t show off” (Fritz 21). Benjamin Franklin was very talented at improving his mistakes once he made that mistake once. Also, Benjamin Franklin was very strong in his morals.

Benjamin Franklin contributed to history in many different ways. He helped establish Pennsylvania’s first university, and also helped establish America’s first city hospital. He helped organize Philadelphia’s fire department, and proved that lightning is just a huge electric spark. He invented a useful and quick heating stove, the Lightning Rod, street lamps, the Franklin Stove. He also invented, bifocals, the glass armonica, the odometer, the flexible urinary catheter, and a stepladder stool. Benjamin Franklin’s inventions weren’t always just meant for him. He created and put together the first circulating library in America, and he was a Founding Father. Also, he published The Pennsylvania Gazette. Concluding, this shows how much Benjamin Franklin contributed to the world’s history.

“Sometimes Benjamin Franklin’s ideas turned into inventions. At the head of his bed, he hung a cord which was connected to an iron bolt on his door. When he wanted to lock his door at night, he didn’t have to get out of his bed. He just pulled the cord, rolled over, and shut his eyes” (Fritz 28). Thomas Jefferson thought of Benjamin Franklin as, “The greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived” (Waldstreicher).

When Benjamin Franklin was a child, he taught himself how to swim. Once he became good at swimming, he tried something to make him swim faster, he made wooden paddles for his hands and feet. It worked, but the wood was too heavy for him to go far, as the wood absorbed the water. He tried lying on his back with a kite going as he was holding on to see if he could go fast across the pond. The kite idea was super good and worked, but the boys went swimming naked and he would have to have somebody take his clothes from one side of the pond to the other. The pond was one mile wide, so the idea failed. Boys would go swimming naked no matter what the scenario was, whether it was in winter or summer.

Ben was always on the journey to learn new things every day. Benjamin Franklin read a book on how to argue. Ben loved arithmetic but wasn’t very good at it in his two years of schooling. He stuck with it and made a hobby of it, which would be called Magic Squares. Benjamin Franklin was quite the ladies man during his life. Also, he invented a rocking chair with a fan over it. When Benjamin Franklin got a job in Pennsylvania, he saved up his earned money on a new suit of clothes and a watch with a long gold watch chain.

To this day, Benjamin Franklin is a very important reason why our country and world is to where it is today. From Benjamin Franklin being born with seventeen siblings, to only getting two years of schooling. He invented many things that we use to this day. He worked hard to become the person he is known as today. Benjamin Franklin has positively impacted our world so much that acknowledging him for what he did is necessary.

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Analytical Essay on Benjamin Franklin: Analysis of His Life, Personality and Contributions. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
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