How Did Ben Franklin Influence Puritan Influence

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I would not consider Benjamin Franklin a spiritual descendant of the Puritans. It is easy to make a quick assumptions that could allude to Benjamin Franklin to be a descendant, or at least greatly influenced by the Puritan community. But with a better understanding of Puritans and several instances in Franklin’s autobiography; it’s easily seen he led a life, though influenced by Puritan life and literature, he led a life of thinking that greatly contrasted the Puritan belief. Puritan influence is undeniable in Benjamin Franklin’s life. Most of the literature, acquaintances, including his own family were of Puritan roots. Franklin wrote, “I was put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, my father intending to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church.” (10) Franklin’s family, Protestants, were proclaimed Puritans and escaped danger from the reign of Queen Mary by finding freedom in Boston. His mother’s father was one of the first settlers of New…show more content…
A great example of the differences between the Puritan Community and himself is with his thirteenth Virtue, “Humility”, where he places Jesus and Socrates on the same level, a view the Puritans would defiantly disagree with. Puritans believed everything to be Gods will, from disaster to dinner whereas Franklin used reasoning. This can be seen though his justification of eating fish after being a vegetarian for a time. He remembered seeing similar fish in the bellies of the fish they caught and concluded, "If you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't eat you." (36) The Puritans would see the fish as gifts from God put there for them. Franklin originally saw catching the fish as a “kind of unprovoked murder” before his revelation. After his logic behind eating fish he wrote, “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”
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