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Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One


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Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790) natural philosopher, writer, and revolutionary politician in America

Benjamin Franklin Bache (1769—1798)

 

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Satirical essay by Franklin, published in the Public Advertiser (London, Sept. 1773).

In this popular hoax, Franklin ironically assumes that the minister to whom his rules are addressed wishes to reduce the extensive dominions that he must govern. The rules that he offers as solutions of this problem contain actual grievances of the American colonies against the mother country, e.g. don't send wise or good governors, don't hesitate to impose heavy taxes, don't fail to perplex colonial commerce with infinite regulations, don't notice petitions, don't treat the colonists except as though they were about to revolt. He blandly affirms that close adherence to such rules will assuredly have the desiered result of losing the colonies.

Subjects: Literature.


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