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Ben Franklin's Quest for Moral Perfection

The Autobiography of Ben Franklin

Relying primarily on material from the Autobiography of Ben Franklin (use the link below) thoroughly answer the following questions in 4 double space pages:

Section 1 (25%): Describe how Benjamin Franklin established the public library in Philadelphia. What was the effect of this library on Franklin and on his community?

Section 2 (50%): Explain Franklin's quest for moral perfection. What process did he use? How successful was he? Which virtues did he find the most challenging to maintain? What was meant by his saying, "a speckled ax is best?"

Section 3 (25%): Was Franklin a religious man? Why, or why not? Provide specific evidence to support your conclusions.

*****Include at least three direct, block quotes from the Autobiography to support your position. Be sure to put the citation for these quotations in parentheses and in all caps. For example, your citation might look like this:

"She assisted me cheerfully in my business, . . . ." (FRANKLIN, P. 119) or, if there is no page number, (FRANKLIN, Chapter 6).



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Ben Franklin and Mr. Grace's, set apart for a proposition that was made by him that, since our books were often mentioned in their disquisitions upon the queries, it might be convenient for them to have them altogether where they met. Therefore, consultation could be utilized upon occasion, and by pooling their books to a common library, they would keep them together and thus have the advantage of using the books of all the other members, which would be almost as beneficial as if each owned the whole (Franklin, 2006). "It was lik'd and agreed to, and we fill'd one end of the room with such books as we could best spare" (Franklin, Chapter 8, 2006).

He subsequently drew up the proposals, and put them into form then procured fifty subscribers of forty shillings each to begin with, and ten shillings a year for fifty years, the term our company was to continue. He next obtained a charter. The effect that the libraries had was the improvement of the general conversation of the Americans. The library also made the common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and he believed that they may have contributed to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in ...

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Autobiography of Ben Franklin