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Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire$
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Carla J. Mulford

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384198

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384198.001.0001

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Franklin’s Imperial Imaginings

Franklin’s Imperial Imaginings

“Coined Land” and Global Goals

(p.75) Three Franklin’s Imperial Imaginings
Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire

Carla J. Mulford

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Franklin’s young adult and middle years, when he was involved with Pennsylvania politics and learning strategies for political negotiation. During these years Franklin carefully developed a socioeconomic view supporting both free trade and a politics of imperialism. This chapter discusses Franklin’s A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper-Currency, among other of his writings, relating Franklin’s views to well-known writers on economic and civil matters. For someone of his relative youth and inexperience, Franklin developed a fairly sophisticated theory of economics that included an investigation of several viable economic processes, including the idea of foreign-paid incomes and the effects of economic elasticity based in an analysis of a specie-flow, supply-demand mechanism. His aim was to show the impact of trade on local agriculture, construction, and merchant activities.

Keywords:   colonial Pennsylvania politics, colonial Pennsylvania economy, economic elasticity, specie-flow economic activity, British trade and navigation

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