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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
This 5 page report discusses the writings of two great Americans from the 18th century -- the relatively unknown John Woolman and the very well-known Ben Franklin. Each offered important insight regarding morality, business, and morality in business. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
5 pages (~225 words per page)
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as an 18th-century Quaker clergyman, businessman, and social reformer, his thinking and the way he expresses it are completely rooted in his understanding of Christianity. Woolman saw himself and all
humans as utterly dependent on Gods grace, and in need of trusting God for absolutely all things. Unlike most of his white contemporaries, Woolman felt Christianity spiritually connected him to
Native Americans and African Americans. The student working on this project should understand that such an idea was radical enough to be thought of as virtually unheard of in the
1700s! Woolman also taught the only lasting peace for humans was available only through Jesus Christ. He was also instrumental in convincing American Quakers, as a collective group, to actively
oppose slaveholding. In comparison, as the student moves considers the work of Woolmans well-known and generally revered contemporary, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), he or she will see an example of
an early American writer who is responsible for establishing many of the sensibilities and ideals that have become engendered in the most fundamental concepts of Americanism. Franklins autobiography and many
of his other writings, as well as stories about him, have influenced and inspired countless others in their pursuit of their personal version of self-fulfillment and the American dream. Morality
and the Conduct of Business Keeping in mind Woolmans deep Christian faith is essential in discussing what he thought of morality and the proper means to conduct business. His commitment
to social unity was at the core of his thinking and business relationships. His "Journal" addresses the most fundamental aspects of his daily life but also addresses his deepest spiritual
convictions. Nielsen (1991) points out that Woolman developed a eminently practical five-step method of ethics dialog that is as legitimate in the 21st century as it was in the 18th.