Franklin Essay

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A Prominent Individual

Benjamin Franklin was a very prominent figure in shaping our nation. Many people look at him as a role model or just as an amazing individual. He had his faults just like every human being had, and he shouldn’t be discredited because of a few minor glitches to his character. As being the only person that had signed The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Treaty of Paris, this immediately separates him from all others. One of the things that he wrote about in Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings, was trying to be the ideal person, and even made a list of virtues to live by. His virtues were very important to his lifestyle, and he followed them to a great extent.
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(See page 95 for a detailed description his virtue table).
     In fact it is shown that he wasn’t a perfect man. The table alone had shown that he slipped up sixteen times in five weeks. All humans have the right to make mistakes, and he has done just that. I would not say that he is a hypocrite; I would just say that he is human and has imperfections like the rest of us do.
     Another important virtue is temperance. In his definition of temperance he states, “ Eat not to dullness, Drink not to elevation”(Franklin 91). “I arrang’d them with the view that they stand above. Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness & clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant Vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained, against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations” (Franklin 93). It is clearly shown that he is against temperance, and he does do what he believes in. He did not do this once in his test of his virtues. Although he did say that distributing liquor to Americans would attract them to go to church, he should not be considered a hypocrite. He states in his virtue that you should not “drink to elevation.” In a literal sense he is right. Dispensing liquor to people before church would relieve some of their stress and get them more in touch with their spiritual

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