For among the useful notions that they bequeathed to America was a Protestant ethic that taught that religious freedom and economic freedom were linked, that enterprise was a virtue, and that financial success need not preclude spiritual salvation.7
And thus the Puritan migration established the foundation for some characteristics of Benjamin Franklin, and of America itself: a belief that spiritual salvation and secular success need not be at odds, that industriousness is next to godliness, and that free thought and free enterprise are integrally related.
The lesson his father drew was that visits from distant relatives “could not well be short enough for them to part good friends.” In Poor Richard’s almanac, Franklin would later put it more pithily: “Fish and guests stink after three days.”
History is a tale, Franklin came to believe, not of immutable forces but of human endeavors.