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Benjamin Franklin$
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Edwin S. Gaustad

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305357.001.0001

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The Road to Separation

The Road to Separation

(p.70) Five The Road to Separation
Benjamin Franklin

Edwin S. Gaustad

Oxford University Press

In the decade from 1765 to 1775, Benjamin Franklin had to contend with both Parliament and the king. By 1765, Franklin explained as carefully and coolly as possible why Americans should not be directly taxed by the English Parliament. The British argued that the colonies were the chief beneficiaries of the French and Indian War. Many British officials also asserted that the colonies paid no taxes. The passing of a Quartering Act, which required the colonists to house British soldiers in their homes, inflamed the Americans more. Meanwhile, Britain tightened custom regulations and appointed its own governors to enforce them. By 1772, Franklin was ready to rethink the legitimacy of the pervasive institution of slavery and to set free his own two slaves. In 1774, he was summoned to appear before the Privy Council to answer specific charges that hinted treason against His Majesty.

Keywords:   English Parliament, Quartering Act, Britain, slavery, treason

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