From Britain we can expect nothing but ruin. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honour, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of Heaven. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe. That statement shows that one man could not possibly know how to govern a large body of people by himself. Another parliament, nay, even the present, may hereafter repeal the obligation, on the pretence of its being violently obtained, or unwisely granted; and, in that case, Where is our redress? This would prevent the colonists from foreign trade. Whereas the Dutch, who make large profits by hiring out their ships of war to the Spaniards and Portugese, are obliged to import most of the materials they use.
Cornwall one of the Lords of the Treasury treated the petition of the New York Assembly with contempt, because that house, he said, consisted but of twenty-six members, which trifling number, he argued, could not with decency be put for the whole. On the other, he seems to be a master of propaganda. His sentiments were highly unpopular with the still-monarchal British government, so he fled to France, where he was later arrested for his political opinions. Should any body of men be hereafter delegated for this or some similar purpose, I offer them the following extracts from that wise observer on Governments, Dragonetti. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other Gods: so do they also unto thee. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith and honour. But, admitting that we were all of English descent, what does it amount to? Should the government of America return again into the hands of Britain, the tottering situation of things will be a temptation for some desperate adventurer to try his fortune; and in such a case, what relief can Britain give? It might be difficult, if not impossible, to form the Continent into one Government half a century hence.
As to usurpation, no man will be so hardy as to defend it; and that William the Conqueror was an usurper is a fact not to be contradicted. Paine proposes a Continental Charter or Charter of the United Colonies that would be an American. The Continent hath at this time the largest body of armed and disciplined men of any power under Heaven: and is just arrived at that pitch of strength, in which no single colony is able to support itself, and the whole, when united, is able to do anything. The whole number in Congress will be at least 390. And although Britain, by her fleet, hath a check over our trade to Europe, we have as large a one over her trade to the West Indies, which, by laying in the neighborhood of the Continent, lies entirely at its mercy.
Each congress to sit and to choose a President by the following method. Paine is letting know about his religious toleration and that he believes in God. The mercantile and reasonable part of England, will be still with us; because, peace, with trade, is preferable to war without it. Common Sense is credited as playing a crucial role in convincing colonists to take up arms against England. Wherefore, what is it that we want? In both these cases the public becomes a prey to every miscreant who can tamper successfully with the follies either of age or infancy. Application designed and developed by.
The time likewise at which the Continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument, and the manner in which it was peopled, encreases the force of it. On these grounds I rest the matter. The rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel. Holland, without a king hath enjoyed more peace for this last century than any of the monarchical governments in Europe. The Terrible privateer, captain Death, stood the hottest engagement of any ship last war, yet had not twenty sailors on board, though her complement of men was upwards of two hundred. And history sufficiently informs us, that the bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation. Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine and published anonymously on 10 January 1776.
A navy three or four thousand miles off can be of little use, and on sudden emergencies, none at all. We are sufficiently numerous, and were we more so we might be less united. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title, and is still in print today. The same national misfortune happens when a king worn out with age and infirmity enters the last stage of human weakness. As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by Kings. Youth is the seed-time of good habits as well in nations as in individuals.
In this conference, thus assembled, will be united the two grand principles of business, knowledge and power. After some time he took low-paying jobs in tax-collecting, and he winded up educating himself in his free time. The present state of America is truly alarming to every man who is capable of reflection. The reflection is awful, and in this point of view, how trifling, how ridiculous, do the little paltry cavilings of a few weak or interested men appear, when weighed against the business of a world. Do they put themselves in the place of the sufferer whose all is already gone, and of the soldier, who hath quitted all for the defence of his country? The thoughts and ideas visited in Common Sense are the kind of fodder that I was taught from a very young age. There was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease.
Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honours, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the Divine Law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. We ought to view the building a fleet as an article of commerce, it being the natural manufactory of this country. The unwarrantable stretch likewise, which that house made in their last sitting, to gain an undue authority over the Delegates of that Province, ought to warn the people at large, how they trust power out of their own hands. The main argument in support of continued membership to Britain claimed that it would be an advantage because Britain would serve as a sort of protection. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. The social compact would dissolve, and justice be extirpated from the earth, or have only a casual existence were we callous to the touches of affection. Back in England, he continued writing pamphlets in support of revolution.
Paine challenged Americans' longheld pride in Britain and urged them to see what was already the case—they were separate, self-governing, and capable of defeating Britain in war. In the months leading up to the , many more reviewers noted that these two main themes—direct and passionate style and calls for individual empowerment—were decisive in swaying the Colonists from reconciliation to rebellion. They were being taxed by a country without having any say or voting power. I proceed now to the second head, viz. His rebellious ideas and political ideas led him to write about various human inequities. Our prayers have been rejected with disdain; and hath tended to convince us that nothing flatters vanity or confirms obstinacy in Kings more than repeated petitioning—and nothing hath contributed more than that very measure to make the Kings of Europe absolute.
Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supercede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue. The bloody-mindedness of the one, shows the necessity of pursuing the doctrine of the other. In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology there were no kings; the consequence of which was, there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion. The present state of America is truly alarming to every man who is capable of reflection. The parliament always following the strongest side. The reader will pardon this digression, as it does not properly come under the head I first set out with, and to which I again return by the following position, viz.