Goodness Party Franklin quote 12 Good education of youth surest to happiness

Provide a good and well-funded education to all citizens

Franklin’s wisdom for US: Providing a good education is critical to a happy public and long-lasting nation.

While Benjamin Franklin had less than two years of formal schooling, he understood the importance of a quality education for individuals and the country. He helped establish an academy in Philadelphia and was an advocate of educating blacks and women.

Franklin wrote a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania. This proposal was the genesis for establishing the academy that became the University of Pennsylvania.

The pamphlet ends with these words on the goals of education.

The idea of what is true merit, should also be often presented to youth, explained and impressed on their minds, as consisting in an inclination joined with an ability to serve mankind, one’s country, friends and family; which ability is (with the blessing of God) to be acquired or greatly increased by true learning; and should indeed be the great aim and end of all learning.

Franklin shared with Samuel Johnson the connection of education and goodness.

I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are, in my opinion, the strength of a state: much more so than riches or arms, which, under the management of ignorance and wickedness, often draw on destruction, instead of providing for the safety of a people…I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from the exhortation of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind, being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented than cured.

Franklin’s call to action for US: Ensure public education is properly funded, of high quality, and available to all citizens.

Quote on image:

“The good education of youth has been esteemed by wise men in all ages, as the surest foundation of the happiness both of private families and of commonwealth. Almost all governments have therefore made it a principal object of their attention, to establish and endow with proper revenues, such seminaries of learning, as might supply the succeeding age with men qualified to serve the public with honor to themselves and to their country.”