Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alan Houston

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124477

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124477.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

. Commerce

. Commerce

(p.22) 1. Commerce
Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement

Alan Houston

Yale University Press

This chapter describes Benjamin Franklin's thought on commerce in America. Commerce concerned the circulation of raw materials and finished goods, rough ideas, and refined sentiments, and involved much more than simply buying and selling. According to Franklin, commerce, or the exchange of one commodity or manufacture for another, is highly convenient and beneficial to mankind because it eliminates the inefficiencies and instabilities of barter exchange. Money is simply a socially agreed-upon medium of exchange and the true standard for value is provided by labor. A plentiful money supply does, however, enable efficient market institutions to develop, spurring immigration and serving as a stimulus to growth. Scarce money, by contrast, frustrates commercial exchange and encourages recourse to barter.

Keywords:   Benjamin Franklin, commerce, America, selling, barter, labor

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.