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First published by Benjamin Franklin in 1732, “Poor Richard’s Almanac” was a guide to both weather forecasts and wise sayings. Franklin used the pseudonym Richard Saunders in writing the text, which became an annual publication up until 1757. Response to the almanac was tremendous, and it sold as many as 10,000 issues a year. Second only to the bible, “Poor Richard’s Almanac” was one of the most popular and purchased publications in colonial America. The almanac stressed the two qualities Franklin found to be essential to success, industry and frugality. Benjamin Franklin wrote this in hope of having a positive effect on the colonies.

Franklin wrote “Poor Richard’s Almanac” as a service to the American people, hoping to educate them and entice their intellectual cravings. Since it was extremely common for the almanac to be the only publication a person ever purchased, Franklin felt indebted to write as much as he possibly could. This important publication opened the discussion of many important issues people did not previously think about in their daily exchange (Giblin 24). From guidance on friendship to a prediction on the season’s weather, “Poor Richard’s Almanac” was a must-have on every colonists list.

“Poor Richard’s Almanac” contained advice and readings having to do with many various subjects including women, marriage, economy, servants, wit, law, food, security, wealth, virtue, communication, friendship, and time. Some of the quotes included were “Since I cannot govern my own tongue, tho’ within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongues of others?” and “Great talkers should be cropt, for they’ve no need of ears.” These two quotations were made to make the reader think about how he or she was communicating with and treating others (Giblin 22). Overall, these sayings changed many of the colonist’s lives, and made them think about how they were conducting their lives.

Besides its many proverbs, the almanac contained forecasts for weather in the colonies. These forecasts were based on the different weather patterns that Franklin predicted, and because they were only predicted, they were not always accurate (Giblin 26). The forecasts proved to be very helpful to the farmers and plantation workers when determining the kind of seasons the crops would have. Weather played a very important role in the lives of the early colonists, and the almanac provided a means for people to arrange their lives according to these weather forecasts. Although not the most important part of the almanac, the colonists were always discussing the accuracy or imprecision of Franklin’s predictions.

In conclusion, by writing and publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanac,” Benjamin Franklin made an enormous contribution to the American public. It provided informatio0n on many topics that people had not addresses publicly ever before. It also predicted the weather forecast, which was very helpful for many of the farmers and planters that shaped the American life. Overall, Benjamin Franklin contributed immensely to the shaping of the present day United States of America. His inventions and ideals included in his almanac are still used in the lives of many Americans today. “Poor Richard’s Almanac” was only one of the many offerings Benjamin Franklin made to the country.


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