Benjamin Franklin, Irish Parliament, Imperialism, Irish Patriot Party


In 1771, on his way to London to lobby for the American cause, Benjamin Franklin visited the city of Dublin. While there, he visited with several members of che Irish Parliament, especially chose who had their own gripes with British imperialism. "I found [the Irish Patriot Party] disposed to be friends of America," he wrote of che experience to a friend, "in which disposition I endeavored to confirm chem, with the expectation chat our growing weight might in time be thrown into their scale, and, by joining our interest with theirs, might be obtained for chem as well as for us, a more equitable treatment from chis Nacion [Great Bricain]." Much has been written on the connections between the Irish Patriot Party and the American rebels during the era of the Revolutionary War. From their use of nonimporcacion agreements to the specific nature of their grievances (in both cases, frustration at the restrictive Navigation Acts regulating trade and complaints about the extent of the British Parliament's sovereignty), the two movements had much in common, as the interest of contemporaries like Franklin illustrates.