Paine wrote it with editorial feedback from , who came up with the title. Impending doom seemed to be the order of the day. For neither he nor you can have any claim or title to Political Representation. This is a hymn to representative government, to minimal government, and to government with the primary concern of protecting the natural rights of man more effectively. And history sufficiently informs us, that the bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation. Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Audiobook, Audio Philosophy.
His security, be he rich or poor, File Size: 60. Under our present denomination of British subjects, we can neither be received nor heard abroad: The custom of all courts is against us, and will be so, until, by an independance, we take rank with other nations. An inquiry into the constitutional errors in the English form of government is at this time highly necessary; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. George Washington was so impressed by the work he had it read to his men to increase the morale of the Continental Army. He played a crucial role in arguing for the Revolutio … n and sustaining support for the war.
We shall then see our object, and our ears will be legally shut against the schemes of an intriguing, as well, as a cruel enemy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. But how could he know? We need go abroad for nothing. The issue, then is how extensive must government be, and what sort of government provides the necessary benefits, without multiplying the evils. This helped check British incursions into the state and rallied many wavering supporters of independence. The first king of England, of the present line William the Conqueror was a Frenchman, and half the Peers of England are descendants from the same country; wherefore, by the same method of reasoning, England ought to be governed by France.
Instead of going forward we shall go backward, or be perpetually quarrelling or ridiculously petitioning. 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. A sizable collection of papers at his New Rochelle farm were destroyed in a fire, and his oeuvre remains contested, at least at the margins. 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 neighbourhood of the Continent, is entirely at its mercy. Wherefore I reprobate the phrase of parent or mother country applied to England only, as being false, selfish, narrow and ungenerous.
She wished to publish the correspondence between Paine and Jefferson. He then opines a little about how the panicking of the sudden revolutionary war has both hindered and helped the colonists. The answer was negative; Jefferson requested that the letters not be published during his lifetime. By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new æra for politics is struck; a new method of thinking hath arisen. And by a just parity of reasoning, all Europeans meeting in America, or any other quarter of the globe, are countrymen; for England, Holland, Germany, or Sweden, when compared with the whole, stand in the same places on the larger scale, which the divisions of street, town, and county do on the smaller ones; distinctions too limited for continental minds. What is it the Testament teaches us? To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case. 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.
He highlighted the abuses perpetrated by the crown, and he described the British as hypocrites who used or dismissed constitutional law when it suited them. But leaving the moral part to private reflection, I shall chiefly confine my farther remarks to the following heads. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember, that virtue is not hereditary.
Men of all ranks have embarked in the controversy, from different motives, and with various designs; but all have been ineffectual, and the period of debate is closed. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle. In this conference, thus assembled, will be united, the two grand principles of business, knowledge and power. The miseries of Hanover last war ought to warn us against connexions. In the final settlement between Paine and his wife he was awarded £400. I dread the event of a reconciliation with Britain now, as it is more than probable, that it will be followed by a revolt somewhere or other, the consequences of which may be far more fatal than all the malice of Britain. Europe is too thickly planted with kingdoms to be long at peace, and whenever a war breaks out between England and any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin, because of her connection with Britain.
This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. The controversy eventually cooled, and Monroe felt some good had come of it. As to government matters, it is not in the power of Britain to do this continent justice: The business of it will soon be too weighty, and intricate, to be managed with any tolerable degree of convenience, by a power, so distant from us, and so very ignorant of us; for if they cannot conquer us, they cannot govern us. Wherefore, hereditary succession in the early ages of monarchy could not take place as a matter of claim, but as something casual or complimental; but as few or no records were extant in those days, and traditionary history stuffed with fables, it was very easy, after the lapse of a few generations, to trump up some superstitious tale, conveniently timed, Mahomet like, to cram hereditary right down the throats of the vulgar. Every thing that is right or natural pleads for separation. And on this ground, as men laboring to establish an Independant Constitution of our own, do we exceed all others in our hope, end, and aim. Jealousies will be always arising; insurrections will be constantly happening; and who will go forth to quell them? It is by the sale of those lands that the debt may be sunk, without burthen to any, and the quit-rent reserved thereon, will always lessen, and in time, will wholly support the yearly expence of government.
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, can accomplish the matter, and either more, or, less than this, might be fatal in its effects. Reconciliation is now a falacious dream. The contest for monarchy and succession, between the houses of York and Lancaster, laid England in a scene of blood for many years. Absolute governments tho' the disgrace of human nature have this advantage with them, that they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs, know likewise the remedy, and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. Had the spirit of prophecy directed the birth of this production, it could not have brought it forth, at a more seasonable juncture, or a more necessary time. The Reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety. Given these sweeping claims, it is easy to see why so many commentators have held that Paine was both lacking in intellectual sophistication and basically held to a consistent set of principles throughout his work, since it is difficult to demonstrate that much he says is actively inconsistent with what he later wrote.