Menu Close

Articles on Benjamin Franklin

Displaying all articles

There are lots of official photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin shirtless, including this one from August 2017. Alexey Nikolsky/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

The American founders could teach Putin a lesson: Provoking an unnecessary war is not how to prove your masculinity

A leader’s machismo can lead to war, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has long displayed his version of hyper-masculinity. A historian says that for America’s founders, wars never fed their egos.
As a printer’s apprentice in 1721, Franklin had a front-row seat to the controversy around a new prevention technique. ClassicStock/Archive Photos via Getty Images

Benjamin Franklin’s fight against a deadly virus: Colonial America was divided over smallpox inoculation, but he championed science to skeptics

When Bostonians in 1721 faced a deadly smallpox outbreak, a new procedure called inoculation was found to help fend off the disease. Not everyone was won over, and newspapers fed the controversy.
Voters mark their ballots at a church in Stamford, Conn. AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Is democracy sacred?

A theologian argues, based on the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, that a political institution has its limits when it comes to being called ‘sacred.’
The icon of Houseparty, a “user-friendly” application that rose in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Debate: Smile, you’re under surveillance!

In the current health crisis, authorities use our need for security and private firms our desire for entertainment to encourage us to give up our civil rights.
United States Postal Service mail carrier Frank Colon, 59, departs on his delivery route at the Remcon Circle Post Office amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

How the Postal Service helped stamp identity on America – and continues to deliver a common bond today

The United States Postal Service plays a vital role in US civic life, one that helped shape American society more than 250 years ago and continues to characterize it today.
Benjamin Franklin was a leading voice in the debates framing the Constitution. Howard Chandler Christy/Architect of the Capitol

Founders: Removal from office is not the only purpose of impeachment

The Founders saw impeachment as a regular part of ensuring presidential accountability. A constitutional scholar offers a possible process for a rapid and smooth impeachment inquiry.
President Donald Trump arriving at the Rose Garden, May 22, 2019, in Washington. AP/Evan Vucci

The Constitution dictates that impeachment must not be partisan

Politics have pervaded the debate about whether Congress should impeach President Trump. One legal scholar says that whether to impeach – or not – should not be viewed as a political question.
Science and innovation can improve the world –but scientists have to help ensure strong democracies too. Reuters/Kumerra Gemechu

Why African scientists must be champions for democracy

African mathematicians and scientists have an important role to play in establishing and protecting a democratic continent.
Arriving in Lesbos, Greece from Syria. Dimitris Michalakis/Reuters

Is it time America finally took a chance on Syria’s refugees?

Afghan, Syrian and Eritrean refugees keep arriving on Europe’s shores, reputedly at an increasing rate. They attempt to traverse the Mediterranean by land and sea, presumably hastened by Putin’s bombing…

Top contributors

More