Benjamin Franklin: the Enlightenment Figure Essay

1975 Words8 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
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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
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