Benjamin Franklin Enlightenment Essays

Franklin: Puritan Or Enlightenment? Essay

Is Franklin a Puritan or Enlightenment Thinker

About Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin came from a very simple Calvinist background. Ha dad little formal education, but he made it through his own efforts and became a rare genius in human history. Everything seems to meet in this one man, mind and will, talent and art, strength and ease, wit and grace and he became almost everything: a printer, essayist, scientist, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador, etc.-¡°Jack of all trades¡±.

Enlightenment in America

Toward the latter part of the 17th century, a complete new view of the universe came into being. With the publication of Newton¡¯s ¡°Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica¡± in which his laws of motion and the idea of universal gravitation were embodied, the universal became something mechanical, like a clock instead of to the close supervision of God, to certain physical and mechanical laws. This gave rise to a predominant idea and philosophy-enlightenment. This set of idea and philosophy carried itself the characteristic of deism, belief in human reason and pursuit of happiness.

1. Deism

The deist thought God is indeed the creator of the universe, ¡°the maker of the clock¡± but he has left it t operate according to natural law. Thus the best way to worship God is to study his handiwork, namely, the natural world and the human world, and to do good things to mankind. Voltaire and Rousseau in France and Alexander Pope and Daniel Defoe in England were all great voice of the new concept of the universe which was radically different from the domineering Christian position of original sin and predestination.

2. Belief in Reason

In this period, reason is turned to by questioning, not accepting everything without reason. They thought that religious truth also should be tested by reason. This was a great challenge to the former thoughts. Man¡¯s reason and the idea of order became the watchword of the day. Everything fell into some order, like Newton¡¯s ¡°clock¡± and all had a place in the divine plan.

3. Pursuit of Happiness

People with enlightenment thinking turned to pursue the happiness of the present world rather than the salvation in the after world. They showed more interest in the practical subjects in the real world. They thought that the ultimate objective of man¡¯s life is the life, liberty and pursuit of life. This kind of thought stimulated an activist individualism which advocated that one should be responsible of his own choice and attempt unalienable Rights.

All these ideas were very much in the air in America and no one represented them better than Benjamin Franklin. With Benjamin Franklin as its spokesman, eighteen-century America experienced an age if enlightenment, of reason and order like England and Europe.

Puritan Heritage


Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Benjamin Franklin Essay

1943 words - 8 pages Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin was an American printer and publisher, author, inventor, scientist, and who was a diplomat born on January 17th 1706 and died in Philadelphia on April 17th 1790. Franklin was one of ten sons of seventeen children of a man by the name of Josiah who was a soap and candle maker and mother by the name of Abiah, a discrete and virtuous woman (Van Doren 7). Ben was raised in a Puritan heritage household which...

Personal Freedom and Independence: The Works of Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau

1796 words - 7 pages Personal Freedom and Independence in the Works of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Thoreau It is an undisputable fact that the contribution of such prominent philosophers, writers, political and social activists as Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau in developing American statehood is tremendous. The literary works of both men can serve as a manifesto of national and personal liberation, a call for building a better society, where each...

Prominent Works of Benjamin Franklin

1895 words - 8 pages Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a poor candle maker. He had 15 siblings, in which all were apprentices for different trades. All except Benjamin, his father had dedicated his son as the Tithe of his sons to the service to the Church (327). Unfortunately, the cost of this was too much and Benjamin’s father placed him in another school. Benjamin worked a while with his father as a candle maker. He did not like this...

Influence of The Enlightenment Period

1045 words - 4 pages Influence from Global History 1500-1900 As educators we need to remember that the things we have today come from our past. Every action, every thought, or even question that might have been raised wouldn’t of been answered if it wasn’t from brave people willing to question the what if and wanted to know how? Could you image a world that didn’t have computers? Illness was because of a curse or evil has gotten to you, or even knowing that our...

Compare and Contrast Edwards and Franklin Writings

846 words - 3 pages Edwards and Franklin both had different writing styles in their works and some similar ones. They both wanted what was best for them and their fellow man. The one difference was that Edward related all of his writings to the Bible and it seemed like you were reading it. He lived his life by the

A sample resume for reccomendations

1859 words - 7 pages Contents:Puritan EraGeneral InfoNarrative of The Captivity by: Mary RowlandsenCrucible by: Arthur MillerSinners...

The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening.

1567 words - 6 pages The Great Awakening and the Enlightenment were two historical events that shaped the thoughts of people and religion in America. The most...

Puritanism and Pragmatism

707 words - 3 pages Although they lived on the same continent, John Winthrop and Benjamin Franklin lived in very different worlds. These men are similar in some respects, but overwhelmingly they are different. For example, John Winthrop and Benjamin Franklin can be considered leaders in their time frame. Winthrop led the Puritans; Franklin led his country to war. Both men also possessed many of the same virtues such as patience and work ethic. Despite these...

Two Different Perspectives of Life Experiences with Indians

1198 words - 5 pages Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” and Benjamin Franklin’s “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America” are two different perspectives based on unique experiences the narrators had with “savages.” Benjamin Franklin’s “Remarks Concerning the Savages…” is a comparison between the ways of the Indians and the ways of the Englishmen along with Franklin’s reason why the Indians should not be...

Benjamin Franklin

1713 words - 7 pages Who was Benjamin Franklin? Probably not quite who we think he was. Yes, he was one of the "Founding Fathers," the only one who put his name to all three of the founding documents of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution under which we still live. He may have become famous for his many sayings in praise of being industrious and frugal in one’s calling, but he left his own...

The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin

608 words - 2 pages The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin has many things, but maybe more than anything else about Benjamin Franklin it explains about him being a politician, and there is no more reason to look out for an unbiased autobiography from Franklin than from any other politician. This Franklin is a persona, a conscious literary creation bestowed for our contention One of Franklin’s virtues is humbleness, and his humbleness comes out...

Benjamin Franklin: the Enlightenment Figure Essay

1975 WordsOct 17th, 20098 Pages

Cameron Geiss Geiss 1
HIST 2111, Wolf
Benjamin Franklin Writing
Benevolent Leader for a Virtuous Nation There were many people that helped contribute to the Enlightenment, but the most prominent American leader was a well-know political figure named Benjamin Franklin. The Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason, was period of time when people tried to justify life in terms of scientific theory and rationalism. “The Enlightenment was responsible for inspiring revived interests in education, science, and literature” (“”). It also emphasized progression away from traditional customs and foundations…show more content…

The visionary outlined his plans for the institution in a reading titled, Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania. As a means of resolving public health issues and providing care for the physically or mentally ill., Franklin constructed the idea for the first map for a public hospital in Pennsylvania. The final bit of philanthropic advice given from Franklin outlines a list of the 13 virtues necessary to live a virtuous life. Franklin mastered all of the virtues on his list and felt that others could benefit from his system “not [by] attempting the whole at once, but [by fixing] one of them at a time” (Franklin, 96). As a philanthropist, Franklin continuously sought after ways to improve his community. With the help of his Junto, Franklin succeeded in leading new undertakings of social advancement. “He expressed his hope to produce something for the common Benefit of Mankind” (Franklin, 6). Benjamin Franklin notably contributed to the period of religious revival known as the Great Awakening. Being a printer, he was well acquainted with the texts of different religious sects, because much of the material printed at the time were Bible texts. Franklin represents a quintessential ideal of how to achieve success through education. His pursuit of perfection was driven by the values instilled in him by his Puritan father as Geiss 4 a child. Synonymous

Show More

0 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin Enlightenment Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *