Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 110

E. Merriam states that "The storm centre
of the democratic movement during the colonial period was the conflict
between the governors and the colonial legislatures or assemblies" (_A
History of American Political Theories_, 34). Also see E. B. Greene,
_The Provincial Governor in the English Colonies of North America_.

[i-258] _Writings_, III, 71.

[i-259] Cited in G. L. Beer, _British Colonial Policy_, 1754-1765, 17.

[i-260] _Writings_, III, 197.

[i-261] For a suggestive source study see Mrs. L. K. Mathews's
"Benjamin Franklin's Plans for a Colonial Union, 1750-1775," _American
Political Science Review_, VIII, 393-412 (Aug., 1914).

[i-262] Cited in Beer, _op. cit._, 49.

[i-263] _Writings_, III, 242.

[i-264] _Ibid._, III, 226. As Beer has pointed out (_op. cit._, 23
note), since the plan was not ratified, it never went before the
Crown; hence Franklin's retrospective glance is misleading: "The Crown
disapproved it, as having placed too much Weight in the Democratic
Part of the Constitution; and every Assembly as having allowed too
much to Prerogative. So it was totally rejected" (_Writings_, III,

[i-265] _Ibid._, III, 233.

[i-266] To Peter Collinson, Nov. 22, 1756 (_Writings_, III, 351).

[i-267] As A. H. Smyth says, this was probably _inspired_ by Franklin
although not written by him; at any rate "it undoubtedly reflects" his
opinions (III, vi). Isaac Sharpless observes that Franklin "had
sympathy with their [Quakers'] demands for political freedom, but none
for their non-military spirit" (_Political Leaders of Provincial
Pennsylvania_, New York, 1919, 178).

[i-268] _Writings_, III, 372.

[i-269] A. Bradford, _Memoir of the Life and Writings of Rev. J.
Mayhew_ (Boston, 1838), 119.

[i-270] See for capable studies: B. F. Wright, _American
Interpretations of Natural Law_; C. F. Mullett, _Fundamental Law and
the American Revolution_; D. G. Ritchie, _Natural Rights_ (London,
1895), and his "Contributions to the History of the Social Contract
Theory," _Political Science Quarterly_, VI, 656-76 (1891); C. Becker,
_The Declaration of Independence_, chap. II; C. E. Merriam, _op.
cit._, chap. II; H. J. Laski, _Political Thought in England from Locke
to Bentham_ (New York, 1920).

[i-271] Becker, _op. cit._, 24.

[i-272] _Ibid._, 27.

[i-273] Burke said that nearly as many copies of this work were sold
in the colonies as in Great Britain. It will be remembered that
Hamilton leaned heavily on Blackstone in _The Farmer Refuted_ (1773).

[i-274] Cited in Wright, _op. cit._, 11.

[i-275] _The Farmer Refuted._ For discussion of changes in Hamilton's
political theory see F. C. Prescott's Introduction to _Hamilton and
Jefferson_ (American Writers Series, New York, 1934).

[i-276] Franklin acknowledges his close reading of Locke's _Essay
Concerning Human Understanding_ (_Writings_, I, 243). In 1749 he urges
that Locke be read in the Philadelphia Academy (II, 387) and refers
again to the great logician in

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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' * * * * * Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue.