Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers, penned “Information for Those Who Want to Move to America” in response to numerous inquiries from Europeans seeking advice on immigrating to the newly formed United States. This article, published in Europe, guides individuals aspiring to start anew in America by emphasizing the nation’s economic foundation built on hard work. Franklin asserts that America welcomes those who are prepared to toil diligently, regardless of their backgrounds, and offers the promise of a better life through dedication, respect, and the pursuit of opportunity. This article delves into Franklin’s strategic approach to encouraging immigration to America and his espoused underlying principles.
Franklin’s central argument in “Information for Those Who Want to Move to America” is that hard work is the key to achieving the American ideal. He asserts that in America, one’s worth is determined by abilities and industriousness rather than by color, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, or age. By stating, “…America, where people do not inquire concerning a stranger, What is he? But, What can he do?”, Franklin highlights the meritocratic nature of American society, where individuals are evaluated based on their contributions and capabilities. His message is clear: America offers boundless opportunities for those willing to work hard and contribute to the growth and development of the country. European immigrants were motivated to leave their native countries for various reasons, including religious freedom, the desire for better lives for their children, and discontent with Europe’s social structure. However, the prospect of improved economic conditions played a significant role. Franklin underscores the role of law in securing citizens’ rights and protecting them in America. He highlights the possibility of upward mobility, emphasizing that individuals, regardless of their initial socioeconomic status, can begin as servants or journeymen but can quickly ascend to become masters, establish businesses, start families, and become respected citizens. Franklin intends to convey that America offers a fresh start to all, regardless of their origins or social class, as long as they possess sobriety, industry, frugality, and a strong work ethic.
Franklin paints a picture of America as a place where individuals can reset their lives, pursue their ambitions, and thrive through hard work. He encourages immigrants to take advantage of the opportunity to migrate to America, where life is uncomplicated, and success is attainable through perseverance and dedication. By emphasizing the need for hard work to survive and prosper, Franklin imbues the notion of the American Dream with simplicity, self-reliance, and the pursuit of individual aspirations.
Benjamin Franklin’s “Information for Those Who Want to Move to America” provides an insightful perspective on the promise of the newly formed United States. Franklin’s advocacy for hard work and dedication resonates with the core values of the American Dream, emphasizing that in America, success is determined by an individual’s abilities, work ethic, and willingness to contribute to society. Franklin champions the economic opportunities and social mobility
available in America by extending an invitation to those seeking better lives. His words continue to inspire generations of immigrants, reminding them that through hard work and determination, they can forge a new path and embrace the promise of the American Dream.
Written by Beyza Tekin