Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire

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R. William Weisberger


This incisive literary biography depicts Franklin’s mental world in light of salient economic and sociopolitical matters within the British Empire. In nine chronologically and topically arranged chapters, Mulford, who is a professor of English at Pennsylvania State University and edited The Cambridge Companion of Benjamin Franklin (2009), makes two major arguments: First, she maintains that Franklin accentuated the natural liberties of British colonists as being paramount for the successful functioning of the British Empire. Second, Mulford convincingly demonstrates that the reason Franklin, along with other vocal Americans, ardently embraced the revolutionary cause against the British Empire was because parliamentary leaders during the late 1760s abrogated the tax rights and other liberties of American colonists.

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