Benjamin Franklin: His Contribution to the American Tradition

By I. Bernard Cohen | Go to book overview

III · Self-Improvement and Mutual Aíd

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S religious creed held that the best service to God is to be good to man. He leaned to the views of the "Dissenters" of his day, notably Joseph Priestley and Richard Price, who preached a doctrine somewhat like present Unitarianism. A moralist, he taught that man's soul is immortal and that man's conduct in this world will determine his condition in the next; so he made a creed of virtue, based on integrity and good deeds-man must help himself and others.

In the American tradition Franklin stands as a man who preached thrift, frugality, industry and enterprise as the "way to wealth." He grew to maturity in an American tradition that was older than he was, according to which such virtues as thrift and industry were not enough to bring a man success; he had also to practice charity and help his neighbor. Wealth was a token of esteem of the Divine Providence that governs men's affairs, and thus the accumulation of riches was not sought for its own sake alone. Furthermore, wealth and position, being marks of the divine favor, conferred an obligation; a successful man was a "steward," holding the world's goods in trust for the less fortunate. This "Protestant ethic" was a common denominator of Calvinistic Boston where Franklin spent his boyhood and of Quaker Philadelphia where he grew to young manhood.

-112-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Benjamin Franklin: His Contribution to the American Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Introduction For The Makers of the American Tradition Series vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Contents xxi
  • Chronology xxiii
  • I Introduction 27
  • II ◆ The Lessons of Experience 68
  • III · Self-Improvement and Mutual Aíd 112
  • IV ◆ In the Service of the Community 164
  • V Inventions and Applications of Science 189
  • VI ◆ The Style of Being American 225
  • Bibliography 307
  • Index 309
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.