Essay Topics by Ben FranklinThe essays written by Ben Franklin on English topics are timeless classics that teach us much about American history. Every student, from middle school to college, learns the basics of English from these essays.
One such essay is the essay on Religion and the New England colonists in this history of America. Franklin uses his observations and perspective to analyze the religious tensions between colonists and the native tribes. The essay shows Franklin's fondness for the philosophy of Jonathan Edwards, and the primary reason for the controversy with Puritans was their suspicion of the sect and its tenets.
The essay on the Indian Wars was written in 1760 after America had been free for three years. This is Franklin's view of the colonial troubles that plagued America for almost half a century, and the article shows how he sought to understand the Indians through their language and society. In this article Franklin discusses how European settlers have misunderstood and abused the Indians, what they have sacrificed for their people, and what they are looking for now. He describes how the colonies became a model for the English people, and why he never considered leaving America.
The essay on Liberty can be considered the third installment in the English series. Here Franklin explores the role of the English Empire in America. He mentions a study conducted at Cambridge University to determine the number of complaints against the King in England, but then states that the British colonists are actually the ones who suffered most from tyrannical rule. Franklin shows that the new government was founded not only to protect the people, but also to safeguard the liberty of all people.
Another essay, titled America the Beautiful, discusses the role of the English and British in America. This essay is a discussion on their differences, and how they find common ground with each other in this new country. It also explores the English methods of governance and their system of beliefs and religion. The American's claim that the English were the original people of this continent is met with great skepticism in this essay.
Finally, one last essay, Liberty Enlightening the World, discusses the relationship between the English and the French in this new country. Franklin shows how the French colonists were subjected to oppression and humiliation before the Revolution. Later, he wrote an essay entitled Triumph and Tragedy which discussed the Battle of Yorktown, which was fought over the colonies' right to self-government. He concluded that the American revolution was defeated and the British are now in control of their destiny.
These English essay topics are just a sampling of Franklin's writings on English topics. A complete list of them can be found in my essay topics section.