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Benjamin Franklin Essay

1373 words - 5 pages

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin has three parts to it. The first part was written in 1776 and was for his son. The third part was written in 1788 and was written to the American citizens. Both of these parts show aspects of life during the 1720’s and 1730’s. From the 1720’s to 1730’s in the colonies there were many social and economic aspects of society occurring such as religion, paper money, and the rise of clubs and libraries which is seen through Franklin’s autobiography.
Franklin in part one of his autobiography said, “I was rather inclined to leave Boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother’s case, it was likely I might, if I stayed so bring myself to scrapes; farther, that my indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel or atheist.” Therefore, because one of the reasons he was leaving Boston was because he found the protestant religion limiting this shows that there were more than one religion in the colonies. The protestant religion was the established religion in Boston at the time and they were very conservative with their ideas so he felt he would not last there even though he grew up there. When he moved from Boston, he ended up in Philadelphia where Quakers were established. The Quakers are more radical and he felt he could express his opinions there. When he arrived he talked about the friendly nature of the Quakers. Franklin asked a Quaker where he could find some place to say and his response was, “Here is one place that entertains strangers, but it is not a reputable house, if thee wilt walk with me, I’ll show thee a better.” This shows how open and accepting the Quakers were and how religion was a social aspect of society. In the third part of Franklin’s autobiography he talked about Reverend Mr. Whitefield, an itinerant preacher that came to the colonies in 1739. Franklin said, “He[Mr. Whitefield]was at first permitted to preach in some if our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields.” He then continues on to say, “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious.” This would have been a part of the Great Awakening that started too occurred in Philadelphia around 1733. Therefore, many different religions were accepted in the colonies. There were cities that had established religions such as protestant in Boston, but throughout the colonies there was a mix of religions. Itinerant preachers like Mr. Whitefield and the Great Awakening shows that some people were open to new concepts of religion and the revival of religion. This was starting to occur and caused more people to go to church.
Paper money was a prominent...

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