Study Help Essay Questions


1. What elements of Franklin's family tradition and upbringing help partially to explain the man's later versatility and achievements?

2. How did Benjamin try to improve himself while he was still an indentured apprentice?

3. What personal qualities besides charm seem most evident in Franklin during his journey to Philadelphia?

4. How different from the activities of today's young men are Franklin's concerns as an 18-year-old?

5. What evidence suggests that Franklin might have prospered equally had he remained in England?

6. How does Franklin's stay in Burlington illustrate the extremely fluid and democratic society of the Colonies?

7. Why would Franklin have seemed a good financial risk for those with enough money to loan him what he needed?

8. Why was Franklin so proud of helping to establish the first subscription library?

9. What commonly applauded virtues does Franklin omit from his list of qualities necessary for perfection?

10. What probable reaction would meet Franklin's proposal for a United Party for Virtue, if presented today?

11. Considering the projects in which Franklin first became involved, what kind of matters apparently captured his imagination?

12. In how many ways did Franklin help to create proper defenses for Philadelphia?

13. Why did his role in establishing Philadelphia's first public hospital give Franklin such pleasure?

14. Do you think that Franklin's plan for unifying the Colonies could actually have prevented the Revolution?

15. What do Franklin's activities in Braddock's behalf reveal about his kind of patriotism?

16. What intervening events might have induced Franklin to accept a colonel's commission in 1756, when he had previously refused one on the grounds that he lacked military training?

17. Why did Franklin not denounce the Proprietors for their treatment of him?

18. How effective does Franklin appear to have been at international diplomacy?

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