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Lesson One

Reading 5

Franklin Responds to British Attacks on Americans

As colonial protests over the Stamp Act grew more intense, some members of Parliament called for sending troops to put down the “rebels.” Franklin responded with a series of articles in the press in defense of the colonies. In one of his thirteen essays, Franklin wrote:

Give me leave, Master JOHN BULL, to remind you that . . . you have mixed with your many virtues, a pride, a haughtiness, and an insolent contempt for all but yourself, that, I am afraid, will, if not abated, procure you one day or other a handsome drubbing [thrashing]. Besides your rudeness to foreigners, you are far from being civil even to your own family.

Source: Hawke, Franklin, p. 236.

Magna Britannia: Her Colonies Reduced

When Parliament convened in 1766 to discuss the possible repeal of the Stamp Act, Franklin hired a man to pass out a cartoon as members entered the House of Commons. The cartoon showed a dismembered Britannia leaning against a globe. Franklin had written a description of the cartoon on the reverse side.

Etching,1766 Library of Congress

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