1784 - This article details the atmosphere surrounding the scientific community in France in 1784, the year of the Franklin Commission's report on Mesmer. The end of the 18th century heralded a victory of observation over systems and theories. Animal magnetism found itself in the midst of a conflict between the Old and the New World. The Franklin Commission, like so many other commissions at the time, was looking for measurable and quantifiable phenomena, the sole basis of progress in the health sciences. Mesmer and his system failed the test and were publicly denigrated. The Commission can be seen as the stepping stone to a more empirically based approach to the phenomenon of hypnosis, which would follow in the 19th century.