Frank Luther Mott
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It is the purpose of this essay to show that Franklin, the American Voltaire, —always reasonable if not intuitive, encyclopedic if not sublimely profound, humane if not saintly, —is best explained with reference to the Age of Enlightenment, of which he was the completest colonial representative. Due attention will, however, be paid to other factors. And therefore it is necessary to begin with a brief survey of the pattern of ideas of the age to which he was responsive.