Ben Franklin And William Bradford Essay Research

Ben Franklin And William Bradford Essay, Research Paper

Although William Bradford and Ben Franklin lived 100 years apart from

one another, they share at least one common theme: each man adhered to and

dedicated himself to a particular system of belief. One key difference between

Bradford’s faith and Franklin’s ideal of success is that Bradford believed that the

way to improvement was through God. Franklin believed that the only person or

thing that could make things happen was you. Bradford’s point is illustrated in is

work Of Plymouth Plantation. He states, “The difficulties were many, but not

invincible. For though there are many of them likely, yet they were not certain. It

might be sundry of the things feared might never befall; others by provident care

and the use of good means might in great measure be prevented; and all of them,

through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or

overcome.” (Bradford 144) In this quote he is talking about the pilgrims first

coming to America. He thinks that through God they survive and will prosper.

Bradford’s puritan belief influenced the way that he survived. His survival

depended on the his faith in God. Imagine someone coming to a new world just

for the sake of coming. If he didn’t have his faith he probably wouldn’t have

stayed and founded the Plymouth colony. But because of his faith in God, he


Franklin believes that God is to be thanked, but his own hard work with

God’s providence made him the way he is. (Franklin 370) Franklin believed the

only way to improve was to take what God had given to you and work hard using

your talents to become successful. He stated in Poor Richard Improved, “He that

plough would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive.” (Franklin 439) This

mentions nothing about God, only He or Himself. Whereas all of Bradford’s

passage about himself mention something about God. Franklin’s belief system is

through hard work and self-improvement. He achieved all he did through his own

hard work. Ben Franklin grew up in a upper-class environment and when his

father lost his money Franklin had to go to work as a printing person. He made it

where he is today because of his hark work and self-improvement.

In my view Franklin’s success system has the greatest strength. I tend to

think that Bradford’s view is a little unattainable. In my opinion God gave us free

will for a reason. This reason was for us to make our own conscience decisions

and to look to God for guidance only and not rely on him for every little detail of

our lives. We have to work hard and be thankful for God’s providence that we

have the opportunities we have. I also think that we have to have a little bit of

Bradford’s faith. His faith in God gave him strength to overcome insurmountable

odds. I think that we should learn from both Franklin and Bradford. God and hard

work will make us


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