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Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

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This literature research paper is on Benjamin Franklin and his Autobiography. It is a portrait of the ideal citizen of late-colonial Pennsylvania. This is a book report based on the reading of Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, compose a portrait of Franklin’s “ideal citizen.”  Draw on the information Franklin provided about late-colonial society as well as the characteristics he thought necessary to a useful and complete life.  Should touch on politics, personal conduct, religion, education, social status, occupations, and civic and family life. Franklin found himself chosen by the “Public,” for he was now considered a “Man of Leisure.”  Indeed, it should not surprise us that Franklin fit this public image.

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

From the days in his brother’s printing shop, he strove to master “gentle” argumentation expressed in “Terms of modest Diffidence.”  His success undoubtedly had a foundation of hard work, but it was due in part also to his conscious modeling of the virtues that “gentlemen” embodied by birth, especially politeness and sociability.  Did Franklin believe that the ideal citizen should be a “gentleman” or “common” man?  Or some combination of the two?  Did Franklin promote self-improvement because it produced useful men—or because it produced refined men?  Which sort would best promote the public good in politics?

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