Part 3: Reading
Read the passages below and choose the correct answer among A, B, C or D.
Few people can embody the spirit of early America as much as Benjamin Franklin. He
lived through almost the whole of the eighteenth century, being born six years after it began,
and dying ten years before it ended. In this time he saw the American colonies grow from tiny
settlements into a nation, and he also contributed much to the development of the new state.
At the age of 17 Franklin ran away to Philadelphia. he had already received some
training as a printer's apprentice, and this helped him seven years later, with his first
publication, the Pennsylvania Gazette. He also received a contract to do government printing
work, which helped him to rise from his poor background to become a successful
entrepreneur. Some of his experience in business was hired in his famous Poor Richard's
Almanac, which established his reputation throughout the American colonies. In another of
his works, the Autobiography, which was written toward the end of his life, he shows the
same quiet common sense.
He was deeply interested in science and natural history, and his experiments with
electricity and lightning led directly to the invention of the lightning rod. He was also
interested in improving the conditions of his fellow men. He was involved in a number of
projects in his native Philadelphia, including the setting up of a library, a university, a
philosophical society, and - because he was a pragmatic man - a fire prevention service. In
753, he became Postmaster - General of the colonies. Through this experience he began to
develop the idea that the colonies of North American should be a single nation. Later, he went
to London to try to persuade the British government to change the conditions, especially the
taxes, that latter led the American colonists into rebellion.
Whatever Benjamin Franklin's personal feeling about the rebellion of the American
states, he worked hard to make it succeed. As ambassador to France, he encouraged the
French to help George Washington. After the war he attended the American constitutional
congress. This was his last contribution, for he died later that year. He is still fondly
remembered by Americans as one of the creators of the United States.
6. What is a good description for this test?
A. An autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
B. The life of Benjamin Franklin
C. The works of Benjamin Franklin
D. Franklin and American Independence.
7. When was Benjamin Franklin born?
8. Which of these did he not help to create?
A. The lightning rod
B. The Postmaster General of the colonies