Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood Term Paper

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¶ … Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

In his book the Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, Wood (2004) demythifies the life of this Founding Father and shows how Franklin became the American icon he would become and how he came to support many of the ideas that would be embodied in the American Revolution.

The book is not a biography in the strict sense and is more interested in the development of Franklin's thinking over time. Still, the book is divided into chronological sections that do follow the course of Franklin's life, beginning with his life through his career as a printer, then into Franklin's love for England and the British Empire up to the Stamp Act in 1765. Wood next develops the growing patriotism of Franklin lead-up to the Revolution, and his activities during the Revolution itself are identified as diplomatic missions. The last chapter leads to the title of the book as it is called "Becoming an American," addressing Franklin's reputation as it grew once the new nation was formed. In essence, all of the patriots of the time were Americanized in that they had been British subjects and were transformed along with the country when they won the war and created a new nation.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood Assignment

Franklin is seen in this book not as the American patriot-from-the-first that people might imagine but as a man who was much more loyal to England than that and who came to accept the American cause only after a good deal of examination and consideration of events then unfolding. He was Americanized because he was slowly convinced that the American cause was more just for the colonies than British rule. Much of the adulation of Franklin derives from the publication of his autobiography some years after it was written. When the manuscript ended up with a man named Abel James, the latter wrote to Franklin, then in France, that the work "would be useful & entertaining not only to a few, but to millions" (p. 202). This is precisely what happened, of course, and the book continues to be an inspiration to readers to this day. At the time, James could tell Franklin that he knew of no other character so able to promote certain virtues and reach the young people of the time.

Of course, as Wood shows, Franklin was not a man defined only by the sorts of virtues he promoted in his autobiography, meaning the virtues of hard work and thrift, among others. Franklin's more rakish side has log been known, though it tends to be ignored by many reading the Autobiography because Franklin does not write about that aspect of his life. That is not surprising given that he wrote the book in the first place to teach certain virtues to his son.

One of the reasons why Franklin shifted from a man not entirely convinced of the rightness of the anti-British sentiment he saw in the developing revolution to a committed revolutionist is noted by Wood… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood.  (2007, December 7).  Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood."  7 December 2007.  Web.  28 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood."  December 7, 2007.  Accessed February 28, 2020.