“The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” follows the well-known character through his life as a printer, inventor, and founding father in the 18th century. The novel tells the story of Franklin’s journey to Philadelphia in the aspirations of becoming a writer and printer who can express himself freely. He also intends to reach moral perfection throughout this period, as well as encouraging others to do likewise. Franklin’s early life is described in such a way that his readers and children may understand his legacy and see him as a role model for those who strive for the honor. It was the 1980s, and President Ronald Reagan was at the pinnacle of his power. The Soviet Union and worldwide Communism were on the decline as the Cold War came to an end. The President’s ideas for a post-Cold War rejuvenated American economy was nicknamed “Reaganomics,” and were intended to inspire Americans to spend more. Malls were up all across the country, and commercialism exploded, ushering in a new era of pop culture and “shopping mentality.” While Reagan’s critics slammed this period of greed, most Americans are unaware that his vision can be traced back to America’s beginnings. One of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, may have reached the apex (or perversion) of his ideas with Reaganomics. The capitalist character of America has long been a contentious issue. Is it possible that Americans are excessively focused on their material gain? Is it a part of the culture? Franklin was, after all, the most powerful Founding Father and the one who invented the American Dream. While he was not as severe as history portrays him to be, Benjamin Franklin’s views on money and pleasure were crucial in the development of America’s capitalist society.
“Time is money,” they say. Franklin was a guy of great integrity and discipline. Before the Revolution, he was an extremely wealthy businessman. He was self-taught in several languages, a published author, and the founder of various printing and newspaper firms, as well as the first police and fire departments in Philadelphia, among many other achievements. His impact on early America cannot be overstated. In his personal life, philosophy, and business, he was devoted to the quest for betterment and aspired for advancement. His literary book The Way of Wealth was the most widely circulated economic text, having been translated into many languages. It even surpassed the Scottish Enlightenment in importance. The writing quickly became famous across the United States, spreading like wildfire (Forde np).
There have also been connections suggested between Old World capitalism, slavery, and low-wage employees. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism was written by sociologist Max Weber, who proposed that a capitalistic economic system is based on employees’ unnatural desire to enhance their production. Franklin agrees with this in The Way of Wealth, believing that industry is the best path to financial prosperity. Those who have read either book have often found this part repulsive. It would be simple for a middle-class or lower-class American to perceive Franklin as nothing more than a selfish opportunist based on this line of reasoning. The fact is that, rather than profiting, Franklin considered it as the finest assurance of honesty and independence.
Franklin’s autobiography shows how the American colonies employed art, print, dress, and ideas to create a distinct and slightly different identity from their British counterparts. The colonial area had acquired notoriety, but it had also brought with it significant obstacles, such as the requirement of absolute religious allegiance. However, religious liberty was subsequently gained, and the screams and laments for independence and freedom arose as a result (Clarke, 455). The theological diversity and diversification that was achieved and is still in existence now are of greater interest. Each colony has established its own culture and ways of doing things. This was owing to the lack of a reliable and stable transportation system, which was exacerbated by the disparity in political authority across the colonies ((Clarke, 456). It may be difficult to distinguish between European and American civilizations because they had greatly diverged from one another yet were more akin to European culture. The colonies, on the other hand, were more bonded and integrated as a result of the economic problems they were experiencing. The colonies’ shopping patterns were likewise similar, which meant that the poor economy and grievances were shared by everybody ((Clarke, 456). These obstacles shifted the colonies’ cultures and merged them into a more unified culture that embraced the behaviors of numerous colonies.
The American Dream was and continues to be Franklin’s greatest invention. He demonstrated that with dedication and hard work, any American can achieve their goals. Despite arriving in Philadelphia nearly destitute, he was able to create a fortune and retire at the age of 42 because of his hard work and a little luck. According to Franklin’s definition of the American ideal, everyone has the opportunity to live a life of liberty and pursue happiness. Even if they did not achieve their objectives, Franklin thought they had committed to their nation because they believed in hard work. Franklin gave the American civilization a shared aim that is built on hard labor. Millions of people throughout the world have been inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s moral and social beliefs. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to become a “self-made guy.” Improve yourself, and society will improve as a result. When striving to adhere to rigorous values, contradiction is unavoidable. Franklin’s goal was to make people aware of their inclinations and to assist them in overcoming man’s natural tendencies, thereby reducing our reliance on others. Benjamin Franklin is a source of inspiration for all of us.
Clarke, Graham NG. “Taking possession: the cartouche as cultural text in eighteenth-century American maps.” Word & Image 4.2 (1988): 455-474.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin: The Sage of America.” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/political-process/report/benjamin-franklin-the-sage-America.
Franklin, Benjamin. [The autobiography]; The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: a genetic test. University of Tennessee Press, 1981.