Benjamin Franklin

Home » Benjamin Franklin

History of Electricity – Science of shocks

By |2017-09-05T08:39:33+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A bolt of lightning in the sky Like other inventions, electricity took thousands of years to develop, as scientists all over the world investigated first one idea and then another. Scientists grouped together unseen forces - both magnetism and electricity - and tried to figure out whether these forces were inside the attractor, [...]

Thomas Paine – American Philosophy

By |2017-08-14T13:00:34+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Philosophy|

Thomas Paine (by Matthew Pratt, about 1790) In the late 1700s AD, around the same time that Voltaire, du Chatelet, and Rousseau were writing philosophy in France, and Hume was writing in England, Thomas Paine was writing philosophy in America. Paine was born in England, and his father was a Quaker, and owned a small business. Young Paine didn't go to [...]

American revolutionary war – American history

By |2017-11-24T00:16:11+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, North America|

English soldiers search a settler's house (1770s) In 1763 AD England won the French and Indian War against France (which had been fought mainly in North America), and so the English-speaking settlers on the East Coast could stop worrying that they were about to be taken over by France. To pay for that war, the English government began to [...]

European science – the Enlightenment

By |2017-08-07T21:37:41+00:00August 7th, 2017|Math, Modern Europe, Physics, Science|

Gottfried Leibniz, a German mathematician By 1650 AD, Europeans understood Islamic algebra and trigonometry better. Then they combined that with the exciting invention of the telescope and microscope. Together, these two new things led to a lot more new scientific discoveries. The Wars of Religion also got a lot of people thinking about what they really believed. How could you know for sure? [...]

Voltaire – European philosopher

By |2018-04-09T23:07:35+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Voltaire - a French philosopher Voltaire took ideas about religion, science, and human rights that were just getting started in the 1700s AD, and encouraged new ways of thinking about them. His ideas paved the way for the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, though he died just before the French Revolution. Voltaire was [...]

History of swimming in the Americas

By |2018-04-20T08:23:49+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, North America, South America|

Aztec swimmer from Teotihuacan (ca. 500 AD) The first people who came to the Americas probably already knew how to swim, as they got their food from fishing and gathering shellfish and seaweed. Aztec paintings from the 500s AD show swimmers using a flutter kick and possibly a crawl stroke. Arawak or [...]