Benjamin Franklin's Canada Pamphlet or The Ravings of a Mad Prophet: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Imperialism

Author: Lena, Alberto

Source: European Journal of American Culture, Volume 20, Number 1, 1 April 2001 , pp. 36-49(14)

Publisher: Intellect

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Abstract:

Written in response to the political debate generated by the London press after the fall of Quebec in 1759, and establishing Benjamin Franklin's notion of American nationalism before the American Revolution, The Canada Pamphlet stands as one of the most complex and sophisticated pieces of pre-revolutionary American thought. In it Franklin entertained the idea of an homogeneous American population in manners, language and religion as a reaction against ethnic and political warfare within Europe. Drawing on the ideas of Hobbes, Hume and Spinoza, Franklin believed that political and ethnic relations were exclusively dominated by power, leaving no room for multi-culturalism in America, preferring instead the implementation of the British Crown model in the colonies to foster internal peace there.

Keywords: America; Benjamin Franklin; Politics; Pre-revolutionary; The Canada Pamphlet

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.20.1.36

Affiliations: Exeter University.

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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