How Benjamin Franklin Used Religion to Fight Religious Political Influence

He used his support of the Great Awakening to greatly benefit financially, affording him time to champion the separation of church and state. In 21st century America, evangelical Christianity is a bulwark of the political right. Not only are evangelicals some of Donald Trump’s firmest supporters, but the born-again movement has translated its power into[…]

Benjamin Franklin Was One-Fifth Revolutionary, Four-Fifths London Intellectual

The enterprising Philadelphian was a long-time Royalist and late-blooming rebel who fused the American project with English ideals. Two hundred and fifty years ago, in February 1766, Benjamin Franklin, the most famous American in London, addressed the British House of Commons. His aim, which he achieved triumphantly, was to persuade Parliament to repeal the Stamp[…]

Eclipsing the Occult in Early America: Benjamin Franklin and His Almanacs

Franklin advanced a scientific – not supernatural – understanding of astronomical events such as eclipses. His satirical character ‘Poor Richard’ mocked those who bought into astrological predictions. By the time he was 20 years old, colonial American Benjamin Franklin had already spent two years working as a printer in London. He returned to Philadelphia in[…]