Today in my class on Colonial America, we had a great talk about finding success and social mobility. We discussed the two prime examples of each side of the argument. We read about Ben Franklin and how is hard work paid off in the end. We also looked at William Moraley, and how he struggled to get things rolling.
Prior to class, I struggled to sympathize with Moraley. I read about how Moraley just got himself into debt after debt, how he would drink to his heart’s desire, and could not find any new work, and compared him to Franklin. While they were both contemporaries, I think that reflecting on that class today, I realize that they both truly do represent both extremes.
Hard work is certainly a necessary attribute to finding success in the colonies. You cannot go over with the mindset to get rich quick on easy work — the early Virginia colonists tried living by that standard, and that almost got them killed. To one extent, these enlightened men needed to have at least some sense of Carpe Diem.
Now all that being said, there is certainly something to be said about external factors. If your skill sets were not in demand, and you struggled to learn new skills, there was little chance you would find success. Or even back in the time, there is something to be said for the belief in Providence. Both Franklin and Moraley believed that the Providence of God had at least something to do in the eventual success of the person. The struggle comes down to how you handled this diversity.
How do you find success in Colonial America? Work hard and pray for luck.
Well these are just some thoughts from my professor, some classmates, some colonists, and myself. Let’s go see if I can form a paper by fleshing this out more. Until we meet again folks!