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Benjamin Franklin is unmistakably the most resplendent figure in American history Starting out as an apprentice Franklin was to become a renowned printer a great statesman and an innovator always trying to find ways to improve his community But how could this peasant apprentice become such an influential man in a large-scale society such as Philadelphia This was the question that baffled and worried many aristocrats of the early eighteenth century For Franklin was to become a household name and soon an inspiration to all that sought freedom from the wont class system Franklin symbolized the classic clich of rags to riches vividly throughout his lifetime His resilience and genius truly gave America a rebirth in the right direction However unlike many other success stories he always managed to keep his attitude in perspective and on his goals Franklin personally attributed his success to frugality and common sense Looby 25 Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17 1706 He was the youngest boy of a very traditional family of seventeen Franklin 4 Franklins family was so set on customs that his father made him sign his life away as an indentured servant at the age of only ten Locke 2316 Luckily for young Franklin his master was his older brother James who owned a printing press Franklin loved the fact that he had access to books and news As a boy with only two years of schooling Franklin soon began to educate himself by reading and imitating different books and essays Doren 17 While studying his English prose Franklin came across a remarkable piece of work by John Locke entitled Essay Concerning Human Understanding And according to biographer Carl Van Doren It shaped his own ideas and strengthened the values he would live by 17 The bookish atmosphere of the printing house and the constant talk and criticism that went on among his brothers peers was an excellent school for his eager
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