The Radicalism of the American Revolution - Study Guide Part 1, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Gordon S. Wood
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When Benjamin Franklin responds to his being named Deputy Postmaster General of North America by appointing all his friends and relatives to various positions, he is confirming that patronage is the lifeblood of the English monarch. It forms the "great Chain of political Self-Interest." It consists of offices and honors that flow downward from the "Head & Fountain," which stand for the king. Subjects are expected both to look upward for benefits and to please superiors. Many underestimate royal influence in the colonies. They cite a paucity of political, ecclesiastical, and military benefices available for assignment; usurpation of some royal prerogatives by provincial and local authorities in the first half of the 18th century, and various divisions and competitions at work. However, royal patronage is still powerful enough to cause exasperation and anxiety in the colonies. The chain is still intact, and the personal...

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This section contains 1,219 words
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