Quotes By Benjamin Franklin


Michael Benton, Contributor

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quotes by benjamin franklin There are dozens if not hundreds of quotes by Benjamin Franklin that have remained relevant to the present day. Famous quotes by Benjamin Franklin have made their way onto tee-shirts and into the speeches of many politicians since his time. Unfortunately, there are also a number of quotes misattributed to Franklin. The Benjamin Franklin beer quotes about God wanting us to drink and be happy are actually a twist on his statements about wine from a letter he wrote in France, saying "Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy." As one of the most jolly and lively of the Founding Fathers, it is understandable for someone to imagine that among the many Benjamin Franklin quotes, beer would be a subject. Franklin lived an active life, he wrote, "Fatigue is the best pillow" and "Games lubricate the body and the mind." In looking back on his life, Benjamin Franklin autobiography quotes include this introduction: "I should have no objection to the repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantage authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first." Franklin's wit and reason helped him leave an indelible mark on the culture of Americana from its earliest days.

Some of the most famous Benjamin Franklin quotes cover the subject of liberty and war. The most frequently (and often incorrectly) repeated Benjamin Franklin liberty quote reads, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." The construction of this quote is similar to much of his political and philosophical writing; Franklin sought reason in all things and found little in most. A famous, misattributed Benjamin Franklin freedom quote that goes, "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature," was, confusingly, published in Franklin's newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, but written by someone else. On war, Franklin was strongly critical; he wrote, "All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones." More succinctly and more famously, he said, "There never was a good war or a bad peace." Many presidents heeded these words, including John Adams who avoided war with France in 1798 and Dwight Eisenhower who used his last address to the nation to warn of a growing military-industrial complex.

Benjamin Franklin quotes on education focused on learning as a tool for growing one's potential. He often referred to investing in one's head and said, "Genius without education is like silver in a mine." For the preparation of true learning he said, "The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance." Education was a necessity in his view, one that all people could engage in by a commitment to reading and an understanding that there is always more to know.