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  1. carlamcgill says:

    So much to love about Ben Franklin! I was fascinated with him while reading his autobiography. What would we ever have done without his ingenuity?

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    1. I loved his autobiography, but the man I really admire from back then was Washington. His humility was astounding. He’s made to seem so boring but he wasn’t!

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  2. I recently had the very interesting experience to read the Mexican constitution of 1857. The goodness of that document was matched only by its ineffectiveness. Makes me wonder how important constitutions are in the big picture.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Constitution_of_the_United_Mexican_States_of_1857

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    1. I think Constitutions are only as good as the people in the country and government. Corruption breeds chaos and despair (a part of human nature). The American founders wrote with an understanding that all people were flawed and a few said without a strong sense of morality the Constitution and the nation were doomed to failure. maybe that’s playing itself out now. We’ll see.

      Hope you are well, Ben.

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      1. I completely agree, with one caveat. I think that stability for a young republic comes from excluding the poor from the levers of power. 😉

        TTYL

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      2. I don’t think the poor are in any way morally superior to the rich. Give anyone power–only a very few will not be corrupted by it. 🙂

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      3. I was being provocative with that statement, but I meant it. Universal suffrage at the birth of a republic doesn’t seem to work.

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      4. Does it ever work? And by work what do you mean? Life is sloppy at best. Even today it’s pretty clear that a lot of people bused to events as agitators don’t really understand why they’re there. Or at best have a less than accurate sense of history.

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      5. By work I mean endure long enough to matter. The difference between the French and American Revolutions, basically.

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      6. My French Rev history knowledge is pretty limited, but it was a mess wasn’t it? I read recently that the French were fighting for an ideal while the Americans were fighting against what they saw as a concrete infringement on their rights as part of the British empire (taxation without representation etc).

        My ancestors came to America in the 1630’s. I have no idea if they were political–I do know much of their time was spent clearing trees to make roads into Massachusetts (where they participated at Lexington and Concord). Random info I like mentioning 🙂

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      7. Honestly, there are two big differences I see. France had great generals and novice politicians while the Americans had novice generals and at least two master politicians in Franklin and Washington.

        Second, the French had nearly universal suffrage while the Americans were very careful to exclude the poor and the slaves, ie, all the people who had reason to resent the new republic.

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