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Benjamin Franklin Explains the Stamp Act Protests to Parliament, 1766

Peter Charles Hoffer

Publication Date - 02 January 2015

ISBN: 9780199389681

112 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Bringing primary sources front and center, each book in the Dialogues in History series uses the words of the protagonists to frame an actual debate


Benjamin Franklin Explains the Stamp Act Protests to Parliament, 1766 brings together a unique collection of primary source documents, organized and arranged as a dialogue, to examine the issues surrounding the Stamp Act. The selections--at the center of which is Benjamin Franklin's examination in Parliament on February 13, 1766--are meant to be read as a continuous dialogue among leading colonists in America and politicians in England. While the individual documents were separated in time and space, here they are reconstituted as part of a consistent whole--a trans-Atlantic conversation about the nature of the empire, the rights of the colonists, and the powers of Parliament at a critical moment in American and British history. Some liberty has been taken in their editing in order to emphasize this conversational quality. A chronology preceding the documents indicates the sequence of their production, and a bibliographical essay at the end of the documents directs students to useful secondary sources.

About the Author(s)

Peter Charles Hoffer is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia. He is the author of several books, including For Ourselves and Our Posterity: The Preamble to the Federal Constitution in American History (OUP, 2012) and Cry Liberty: The Great Stono River Slave Rebellion of 1739 (OUP, 2011).


"A very rich text that provides an excellent summary of the state of the British empire in 1765."--Peter Messer, Mississippi State University

"Hoffer draws us into the 18th century world of Imperial conflict and confrontation via the very specific story of the Stamp Act, its repeal, and the compelling showdown between colonial spokesman Benjamin Franklin and a host of British imperial allies and antagonists."--John Reda, Illinois State University

"An effective presentation of the paramount political issues that divided the American colonies from the British Empire."--John G. McCurdy, Eastern Michigan University

Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Colonists Protest the Stamp Act

    The Documents:
    A Stamp Act Proposed and Passed
    The Stamp Act Defended and Protested, 1765
    The Debate on Repeal Begins, 1766
    The Examination of Benjamin Franklin, 1766
    The Declaratory Act of 1766

    Conclusion: Franklin in the Cockpit, 1773
    Bibliographical Essay

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