Pre-Revolutionary Ben Franklin
Poor Richard was able to retire at the age of 42, and spent the rest of his life as a rich man, dying at the age of 82 with an eye-popping estate.
Many books by and about Franklin rightly celebrate his scientific, military, civic, political and diplomatic achievements. America might not even be a nation if he hadn't been such a virtuoso performer of everything he attempted. But he did stage-manage this public reputation, and largely concealed his private life. Lots of ladies adored him, maybe actively. He rose from poverty to vigorous retirement at age 42, only to outrun his pension at age 60, but still dying as one of the two or three richest men in Pennsylvania. He was perfectly charming, but made lifelong enemies in high places, and didn't back off an inch. George Washington gave us a nation, with his slogan of Honesty is the Best Policy. But Franklin, in his autobiography written for his Tory son, shared with us his witty advice about how to be successful in spite of being American. Between the two, they created the idealized American leader.
- Benjamin Franklin A collection of Benjamin Franklin tidbits that relate Philadelphia's revolutionary prelate to his moving around the city, the colonies, and the world.
- Philadelphia's River Region A concentration of articles around the rivers and wetland in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Philadelphia Medicine The first hospital, the first medical school, the first medical society, and abundant Civil War casualties, all combined to establish the most important medical center in the country. It's still the second largest industry in the city.
- Quakers: William Penn Although Ben Franklin gets more ink lately, William Penn deserves at least equal rank among the most remarkable men who ever lived.
- City of Rivers and Rivulets Philadelphia has always been defined by the waters that surround it.
- Fanny Kemble Fanny Kemble was more than the toast of the town, she was the most glamorous woman in the English speaking world. But far beyond that, she was a famous author, Shakespearean scholar, and had a major influence on the Civil War.
- Causes of the American Revolution Britain and its colonies had outgrown Eighteenth Century techniques of governance. Unfortunately, both England and America lacked the sophistication to make drastic changes smoothly.
- Pre-Revolutionary Philadelphia .
- Federalism Slowly Conquers the States Thirteen sovereign colonies voluntarily combined their power for the common good. But for two hundred years, the new federal government kept taking more power for itself.
- ...Ratification, Bill of Rights and Other Amendments The 1787 Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights. Few except Madison himself were opposed to adding one, but many other delegates would have failed election without promising it. Negotiations at the Convention had proved so excitingly innovative that time ran out before the Convention had to adjourn with only a promise of a Bill of Rights, first thing. Almost immediately, political America was thrown into a year of state ratification conventions. Massachusetts initiated the concept of ratifying the Constitution, attached with eight or nine amendment proposals for the Bill of Rights. When the First Congress finally convened, it faced almost two hundred proposed amendments, and Madison made sure he was chairman of a committee to deal with them. Practically alone he pared them down to a succinct twelve which survived as the first order of business of the new Congress. Almost unnoticed, he made a deal with Oliver Ellsworth the leader of the Senate, to pass the Bill of Rights in exchange for passing the Senate's Judiciary Act in the House of Representatives. Out of this combined beginning, the power and scope of the Judiciary Branch was born. But while that is a subject for later chapters, Madison never achieved a more skillful moment in his political life, than this pivotal one.
- ...Authorship of the Constitution There were seventy invited delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Fifty-five attended the sessions, and thirty-nine signed it. We believe the main contributions were made by seven or eight men. But you can never tell, for certain.
- Confederation Congress, 1781-1789 New topic 2012-08-06 12:22:08 description
- City of Rivers and Rivulets (2) New topic 2013-03-05 20:52:24 description
- Albany Conference 1745 New topic 2014-02-03 02:18:03 description
- Philadelphia People New topic 2017-02-06 20:33:59 description
- The French Revolution New topic 2017-03-25 17:05:26 description