The Importance Of Ben Franklin's Contribution To American Identity

1070 Words5 Pages
An American, what does it mean to call oneself an American? To many outside the United States, it means patriotism, it means freedom. To others it means laziness, gluttony, or greed. To almost every American, it means the freedom to choose one’s fate. America has been known to be called “The Land of Endless Opportunity.” Ben Franklin was the pioneer of this idea and thus made a large contribution to the American identity through his ideas and hard work. At the time that Benjamin Franklin lived, the idea of complete freedom was revolutionary. Most countries still had a strict class structure and dramatic changes between classes were very few and far between. Ben Franklin felt that anyone should have the chance to change their socioeconomic…show more content…
He pioneered the idea of self-help through his own work. Although he had less than three years of schooling, he taught himself everything he knew, from French to Italian and Spanish to even learning how to play the guitar, harp, and violin. At the age of twelve, he became restless with school so his father arranged for him to apprentice with his older brother at a boston printing press. He began to start writing when his brother started publishing a paper. In this paper, he anonymously wrote and published 14 articles, that later became known as the Silence Dogood papers, that slandered government officials and praising the virtue of some fellow citizens. As a result, his brother James was thrown into jail and forced to stop writing and publishing his paper. Following this, Benjamin Franklin ran away from home and went to Philadelphia, where he had heard that a printer needed some help. “I was dirty from my Journey, my Pockets were stuff’d out with Shirts & Stockings; I knew no Soul, or where to look for Lodging. I was fatigued with Travelling, Rowing & Want of Rest. I was very hungry, and my whole Stock of Cash consisted of a Dutch Dollar and about a Shilling in Copper.”(BFA) When he showed up to the printer, Franklin was described as presentable, a young man in his early twenties, and radiating an energy like no
Open Document