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Bagatelles and Satires

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Title: Bagatelles and Satires  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Benjamin Franklin, Humour, American literature, Associators, A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bagatelles and Satires

Benjamin Franklin was responsible for writing satirical comedies. His most notable humorous work is the collection called, The Bagatelles.

The Bagatelles

The Bagatelles, or jeux d'espirit in French, are a collection of comics produced in Franklin's Passy Press in France.[1][2]

Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One

Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One is a comedic work Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1773. Franklin wrote it to insult the colonies' secretary of state, but wrote as if giving Machiavellian advice on how to lose an empire. Franklin pretended to advocate the tyranny that many over-imposed rulers desire as necessary to lose support of the people. For instance: to keep colonies under control, "...quarter troops among them, who by their insolence may provoke rising of mobs." (Franklin, 1773) This work also advocated poor representation of the ruler.[3]

Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America

Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America was a comedic work, published 1784, referring to some colonists as savages and the Native Americans as sophisticated.[4]


  1. ^ Livingston, Luther (1914). Franklin and His Press at Passy: An Account of the Books, Pamphlets, and Leaflets Printed There, Including the Long Lost 'Bagatelles'. New York: The Grolier Club. p. 8. 
  2. ^ Franklin, Benjamin (1967). The Bagatelles from Passy: Text and facsimile. University of Michigan: Eakins Press (Passy Press). 
  3. ^ Franklin, Benjamin (1773). "Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One". Norton Anthology of American Literature A. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 523–528.  
  4. ^ Franklin, Benjamin (1784). "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America". Norton Anthology of American Literature A. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 534–537.  
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