Essay on Early America

Submitted By ariss2
Words: 686
Pages: 3

Benjamin Franklin was the first American. Franklin’s autobiography written for his son demonstrates the American dream. The American dream: The traditional social ideals of the United States, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity. The essence of the dream is that any man can earn prosperity, economic security, and community respect through hard work and honest dealings with others. Anyone who works hard and uses his opportunities wisely can assume that wealth will be the reward. Franklin’s life is a perfect example of how he worked his way from the bottom all the way to top. He did so by capitalizing on opportunities that arose. Franklin's Autobiography becomes an important document in shaping American character, because it shaped American expectations. American school children learned through Franklin that the lowest citizen was as humanly worthy as the wealthiest because of his potential for earning wealth. Franklin was born into a Puritan family and was automatically bound to his brother at twelve years old. Franklin works for his brother at a printing shop. Franklin secretly writes papers to contribute to his brother’s paper but it too afraid of failure and not getting his brothers approval. Franklin explains “I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper”(Chapter 2, Franklin). Franklin manages his brother James paper after he is arrested and ordered to stop publishing the New-England Courant (Chapter2 ,Franklin). The paper continued to appear, however under Benjamin Franklin’s name. But the brothers began to argue over control. Impatient to become his own man, Franklin runs away from home at age seventeen. Franklin leaves Boston in search of a new job. He heads to Philadelphia disheveled, dirty, homeless, and hungry with little money in his pocket. He states “I walked the streets with three puffy rolls” looking for some place to stay. With luck Franklin meets a Quaker with connections to a printing press business. Franklin takes advantage of the opportunities that are offered to him. He finds a job working at a rundown printing shop. “Two printers I found poorly qualified for their business” he explained that those in the shop had little knowledge of presswork (Chapter 3, Franklin). Franklins luck strikes again when the governor reads one of his letters. The Governor stated that franklin “was a young man of promising parts, and therefore should be encouraged”(Chapter 3, Franklin). Franklin is offered to work…