Ben Franklin, born in 1706, embodies a growing trend in his century – the concept of the self-made man and the ability to climb up in status throughout life. In Europe, people generally remained of the same status they were born into, but in America, they could climb the ladder and have more of an effect on their lives. Ben Franklin was born into the lower class, and was one of seventeen children. His schooling ended at age ten, which in Europe would mean he was doomed to a life of servitude. However, Franklin was one of the most intelligent men of his time, and through Poor Richard’s Almanack, his various inventions (lighting rod, Franklin stove, bifocal glasses), and his political expertise, he managed to become recognized as such. He became a man of enormous influence and showed how in 1700s America, it was much easier to change one’s social status than in Europe.
“Benjamin Franklin.” History.com. A+E Networks, 2009. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.
Wood, Gordon S. “Benjamin Franklin.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 Oct. 2015.