PREFACE. In the works of so versatile a writer as Franklin expressions of opinion can be found upon nearly every topic in the entire economic field. The purpose of this monograph has been not to weave together fragmentary expressions into an artificial whole, but rather to present such of Franklins views as seem fairly entitled to the rank of economic theories. Emphasis has been laid upon Franklins strictly economic doctrines to the neglect of his political or socio-philosophi- cal theories, such as the nature of civil ...
PREFACE. In the works of so versatile a writer as Franklin expressions of opinion can be found upon nearly every topic in the entire economic field. The purpose of this monograph has been not to weave together fragmentary expressions into an artificial whole, but rather to present such of Franklins views as seem fairly entitled to the rank of economic theories. Emphasis has been laid upon Franklins strictly economic doctrines to the neglect of his political or socio-philosophi- cal theories, such as the nature of civil society or the functions of the state. The writer also desires to thank Dr. J. H. Hollander, of. the Johts Hopkitls University, for the many valuable criticisms and suggestions made by him in the preperation of this monograph. Probably nothing from Franklins ready pen was written in a purely scientific spirit. Whatever discoveries he made, whatever improvements he suggested, whatever he contributed to the literature of the day, he did it all to extend the power of man over matter, avert or diminish the evils he is subject to, or augment the number of his enjoyments. Whether we are studying Franklin the Electrician, the Economist, or the Politician, it is impossible to turn to any really finished and extended treatise, for his busy life would not allow the leisure necessary to construct such a work. His contributions to economic science must be dram from various sources. There are first of all a number of essays containing a mixture of economics and politics. These were called out by the politics of the time in which they were written, and usually appeared in current periodicals either in this country or abroad. Some of them were afterwards reprinted and distributed by Franklin among men with whom they would do the most good. In order that we may comprhend the full import of these essays we must give them their proper historic setting. For our purpose we may divide the life of Franklin into three parts I Franklin the Editor, 1706-1757. It was during this time that Pom, Richads Almanac was published in connection with the PenmyIvaia Gazettt. With the exception of a brief residence in London in 1724, Franklin lived in Pennsylvania during this period. 2 Franklin the Advocate, 1757-1775. In 1757 Franklin was sent to England by the PennsyIvania Assenbly to present a petition to the King with reference to the disputes between the Proprietors and Letter to Sir SOS. Banks, President of the Royal Society, London, Sept. gth, 1782, Benjamin Franklin as an Economist. Later, as matters in the colonies grew more serious, he was appointed colonial agent for Massachusetts, New Jersey and Georgia, so that he was kept in London almost continuously until 1775. This period brought forth some of the most valuable of his economic pamphlets. 3 Franklin the Diplomatist, 1775-1785.............
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