Declaration Era – Franklin

I am enjoying a satirical essay by Benjamin Franklin in my Founding America anthology. What a hoot! It is called “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One” (1773). Franklin gives mock advice to members of the British parliament on how to further alienate and agitate the American colonists. For example, he recommends:

However peaceably your colonies have submitted to your government, shown their affection to your interest, and patiently borne their grievances, you are to suppose them always inclined to revolt, and treat them accordingly. Quarter troops among them, who by their insolence may provoke the rising of mobs, and by their bullets and bayonets suppress them. By this means, like the husband who uses his wife ill from suspicion, you may in time convert your suspicions into realities.

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