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

Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement

Alan Houston


This book explores Benjamin Franklin's social and political thought. Although Franklin is often considered “the first American,” his intellectual world was cosmopolitan. An active participant in eighteenth-century Atlantic debates over the modern commercial republic, he combined abstract analyses with practical proposals. The author treats Franklin as shrewd, creative, and engaged—a lively thinker who joined both learned controversies and political conflicts at home and abroad. Drawing on archival research, he examines such themes as trade and commerce, voluntary associations and civic militia ... More

Keywords: Benjamin Franklin, commercial republic, American identity, voluntary associations, civic militias, population growth, immigration policy, self-improvement, electoral institutions, slavery

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780300124477
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300124477.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alan Houston, author

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.