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Trade SecretsIntellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial Power$
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Doron S. Ben-Atar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100068

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100068.001.0001

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Benjamin Franklin and America's Technology Deficit

Benjamin Franklin and America's Technology Deficit

(p.44) Chapter 3 Benjamin Franklin and America's Technology Deficit
Trade Secrets

Doron S. Ben-Atar

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the role of Benjamin Franklin in discouraging European manufacturers from immigrating to America. It reveals that in 1784, shortly after concluding the peace treaty with England, Franklin published, in France, a short pamphlet titled, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” advising those planning to immigrate that opportunities in the New World were limited. He directed his discouraging remarks at one particular group: European manufacturers. Franklin explained that the United States did not follow the practice of European princes who offered high salaries and privileges to manufacturers to induce them to migrate and introduce unknown advanced industrial technology. The chapter finds that he recognized the infant state of American manufacturers and their technological deficiencies, and neither ruled out technology piracy nor urged his countrymen to respect European prohibitions on the diffusion of technology.

Keywords:   technology deficit, manufacturers, industrial technology, industrial underdevelopment, industrialization

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