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56Quaker History done in the field of education, particularly in organizing Friends schools. At the end of the volume is a valuable map showing the location of the various American yearly meetings. Of his purpose, Edwin B. Bronner writes in his introduction: "This modest publication has been gathered together in order to help Friends to know and understand one another. While it indicates that all groups of Friends have much in common, no attempt has been made to gloss over differences which exist. We hope and pray that through greater knowledge and understanding it will be possible for all Friends to love and appreciate one another, even while cherishing those things which are distinctive of each group." Whether to a Friend from abroad curious about the diversity of American Quakerism, or an American Friend wishing to know better his Quaker neighbors, this little volume is indispensable. It fills a need that has long been felt. Cambridge, MassachusettsGeorge A. Selleck William Penn the Politician: His Relations with the English Government. By Joseph E. Illick. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1965. x, 267 pages. $5.75. Historians, more comfortable with idealists who are defeated in the arena of practical politics, have either ignored or have been confused by William Penn's achievements as a politician. Mr. Illick does much both to correct the account and to explain the mysterious workings of success. His thesis is that Penn was "a success in terms of his initial intentions. He managed to establish a relatively autonomous proprietary colony when the home government's strategy was to gain a firmer control over the plantations. He was able to protect a province whose religious and political principles were strikingly different from those of Restoration England. . . ." These solid results were largely due to Penn's "influence with prominent statesmen." The argument is particularly convincing during the earlier stages of Penn's career, when he was constantly on the offensive and when his political connections were strongest. Penn's involvement in the affairs of New Jersey, his acquisition of a generous charter to Pennsylvania, and settlement of the boundaries of the colony are all impressively handled. Not only is the argument fresh and convincing , but new evidence is used with good effect, particularly in regard to the charter and the gifts from James Stuart. After the Glorious Revolution, Penn was on the defensive, and a holding action is necessarily less dramatic. Moreover , crown activities, Parliamentary interest, and Pennsylvania politics made excessive demands on Penn's energies and required more extended and complicated use of influence. In some cases, the evidence for it is rather negative, for example with the Board of Trade. In others, however, Mr. Illick gives us a Penn dexterous in the use of a wide range of political connections, which between 1701 and 1706 protected not only Penn but other proprietors from Parliamentary attack. A minor theme is the corrosive effect of dependence on influence, especially visible in the reign of James II, who could both solve the boundary question and wield the powerful weapon of quo warranto. It was also during this period that Penn was closest to the wily Sunderland, a curious relationship probably dictated by past favors and present needs. This phase of Penn's career is extraordinarily Book Reviews57 difficult to explain; and to prove Perm's willingness to sacrifice principle in order to serve useful friends, Mr. Illick cites an unpublished essay which, he claims, demonstrates that Penn publicly urged compliance with James's wish to repeal the Test Acts, while privately supporting the aims of those Acts. In this reviewer 's opinion, Penn was not, unfortunately, the author of the essay. (See p. 90. The manuscript is at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Dreer Collection : Penn Papers, f. 67.) He did, apparently, at the end of the reign agree that Catholics should be excluded from the House, because that was the only expedient which would get repeal of the penal laws through the Parliament. The "you scratch my back ..." school of politics can, of course, be innocent, and undoubtedly Penn often had to give interest for influence in smaller ways. Mr. Illick is not much concerned with this aspect of Penn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 56-57
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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