Colonial élites. Rome, Spain and the Americas by Ronald Syme

By Ronald Syme

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21 Or what ofthe great Benjamin Franklin? It happens to stand in the books that he ended his long and varied 62 I am thinking of Rome. You may suspect that I am coming very close to Canada. The theme could be carried much further, if one toys with the fancy of prominent men from the colonies returning to public life in England. Their activities might not in themselves provoke disturbance or a revolution. Yet there might have ensued some bigger and better civil war in the British Empire, with a battle of Gettysburg decided along the escarpment ofNiagara.

Here, ofcourse, New England is allowed to triumph. Oneestimate produces fifteenmembers ofthe Royal Society before that date, nine ofwhom arefrom liament. Above all, the talents and tastes of the New Englandmen found them a suitable employment in the Civil War and under the Commonwealth as Army themes ofthis course oflectures. What classes ofpeople went back to the mother country and why? Did they chaplains. For example, Hugh Peter, an active and eloquent person, who, like others since, found that journalism and the ministry are not incompatible.

Naturally Virginia cannot touch that! In the same year was established the famous Boston Latin School, where the young could not get anywhere until they had first studied the Latin language for seven years on end. This was a remarkable school whichproduced its heroes or martyrs of education. Theyappeal to statistics of the libraries owned by colonial worthies-New England has the famous Cotton Mather, but erudite though this man was, he was excelled by the Virginian William Byrd II, who could boast a library of 3,600 volumes.

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