Franklin’s Militia Essay

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Benjamin Franklin and the Quakers had a very different ideological stance on the formation of a militia. This difference in opinion shows us the clash of their “mental worlds”. Ben Franklin’s push to raise a militia subverted the Quakers’ moral authority, thus leading to their withdrawal from the public arena. The Quaker’s inability to separate their religious dogma from secular necessities, along with some of their contradictions of principle forced them to leave public office over time. Also the Quakers could not keep consistency within their own community, some of them believing in defensive war, while others not. In Ben Franklin’s essay Queries on a Pennsylvania Militia he asks the question “Whether from the Purity of our Lives …show more content…
With control of the House they had the ability to stall the Laws and out vote them. We can only imagine the problems this caused. “That altho’ a Country be populous and capable of Defending itself, the Principles of a Part of the Legislature (the Quakers) against bearing Arms, may as well subject that Country to become the Prey of an Invader (meaning France or Spain),” (Lawrie). This kind of talk went back and forth between the governor and the Quakers. The Quakers would insist there being no need of a militia, stating that “why…should we only be so solicitous about the Event of a Thing which may never happen?” (Kinsey, a). Meaning the Quakers did not believe it at all probable that the French or the Spanish were going to attack Pennsylvania anytime soon and the Quakers also believed that the other colonies created a buffer zone, separating Pennsylvania from French Canada and Spanish Florida. Furthermore the Quakers beliefs on the formation of a militia are thus: “our Principles do not allow us to pass a Militia Bill, build Forts, provide Arms, &c,” (Kinsey, b). These statements show the clash between church and state. The further we examine the Quakers and their relation to war politics, the more contradiction we find. Franklin states in his autobiography the embarrassment the Quakers have suffered because of their mixed

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