Browse Pages (44 total)

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COMMON SENSE; ADDRESSED TO THE INHABITANTS OF A M E R I C A, On the following interesting SUBJECTS. I. Of the Origin and Design of Government In general, with concise Remarks on the English Constitution. II. Of Monarchy and Hereditary…

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INTRODUCTION. PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the follow-ing pages are not yet sufficiently fashionable to pro-cure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at…

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INTRODUCTION. against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man to whom nature hath given the power of feeling; of which class, regardless of party censure, is…

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COMMON SENSE. Of the origin and design of government in ge-neral. With concise remarks on the English constitution. SOME writers have so confounded society with govern-ment, as to leave little or no distinction between them ; whereas they are not…

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2 COMMON SENSE. In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestred part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the…

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COMMON SENSE. 3 to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their con-senting to leave the…

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4 COMMON SENSE. sions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated. Absolute governments, (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, that they are simple ; if the people suffer, they know the…

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COMMON SENSE. 5 powering him to to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity! There is something exceedingly…

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6 COMMON SENSE. whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions, is self-evident, wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy, we at the same time have…

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COMMON SENSE. 7 preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy. But there is another and greater distinction, for which no truly natural or religious reason can be…

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8 COMMON SENSE. requested a king. Till then their form of government (ex-cept in extraordinary cases, where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of republic administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and…

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COMMON SENSE. 9 Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. According to all the works which they…

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10 COMMON SENSE. be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. Samuel continued to reason with them, but to no purpose; he set before them their in-gratitude, but all would not…

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COMMON SENSE. 11 wise, unjust, unnatural compact might, (perhaps) in the next succession put them under the government of a rogue or a fool. Most wise men, in their private sentiments, have ever treated hereditary right with contempt;…

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12 COMMON SENSE. hath no divinity in it. However, it is needless to spend much time in exposing the folly of hereditary right; if there are any so weak as to believe it, let them promiscuously worship the ass and the lion, and welcome. I…

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COMMON SENSE. 13 act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government, are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any…

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14 COMMON SENSE. In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) but the world in blood and ashes. ’Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testi- mony against, and blood will attend it. If we…

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COMMON SENSE 15 Thoughts on the present state of American affairs. IN the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he…

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6 COMMON SENSE. superseded and useless now. Whatever was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point, viz. a union with Great-Britain ; the only difference between the parties…

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COMMON SENSE. 17 any other account and who will always be our enemies on the same account. Let Britain wave her pretensions to the conti- nent, or the continent, throw off the dependance, and we should be at peace with France and Spain…

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18 COMMON SENSE. name of townsman; if he travel out of the county, and meet him in any other, he forgets the minor divisions of street and town, and calls him countryman, i. e.countyman ;but if in their foreign excursions they should…

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COMMON SENSE. 19 challenge, not a single advantage is derived. Our corn will fetch its price in any market in Europe, and our imported goods must be paid for buy them where we will. But the injuries and disadvantages we sustain by…

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20 COMMON SENSE. rary. As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next…

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COMMON SENSE. 21 serve the power that hath carried fire and sword into your land? If you cannot do all these, then are you only de- ceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon posterity. Your future connexion…

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22 COMMON SENSE is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath deserted the con- nexion, and art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expresses, “ Never can true reconcile- ment grow, where wounds of deadly hate have pierc’d so deep.”…

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COMMON SENSE. 23 I am not induced by motives of pride, party, or resent- ment to espouse the doctrine of separation and independance ; I am clearly, positively, and conscientiously persuaded, that it is the true interest of this…

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24 COMMON SENSE. I rejected the hardened, sullen tempered Pharoah of England forever; and disdain the wretch, that with the pretended title of FATHER OF HIS PEOPLE can unfeelingly hear of their slaughter, and composedly sleep with their…

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COMMON SENSE 25 swer, that England being the king's residence, and Ame- rica not so, makes quite another case. The king's nega- tive here is ten times more dangerous and fatal than it can be in England, for there he will scarcely…

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26 COMMON SENSE. Thousands are already ruined by British barbarity; (thou-sands more will probably suffer the same fate). Those men have other feelings than us who have nothing suffered. All they now possess is liberty, what they before…

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COMMON SENSE. 27 If there is any true cause of fear respecting independence, it is because no plan is yet laid down. Men do not see their way out-- Wherefore, as an opening into that business, I offer the following hints…

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28 COMMON SENSE.of each province, for and in behalf of the whole province, by as many qualified voters as shall think proper to attend from all parts of the province for that purpose ; or, if more con-venient the representatives may be…

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COMMON SENSE 29 that so far we improve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King ; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use…

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30 COMMON SENSE relationship expires, the affection will increase, or that we shall agree, better, when we have ten times more and greater concerns to quarrel over than ever ? Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye re-…

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COMMON SENSE. 31 ceases at once, for, the time hath found us. The ge- neral concurrence, the glorious union of all things prove the fact. It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength, lies; yet our present numbers are…

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32 COMMON SENSE. out debt. A national debt is a national bond ; and when it bears no interest; is in no case a grievance. Britain is op- pressed with a debt of upwards of one hundred and fifty millions sterling for which she pays upwards…

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COMMON SENSE. 33 Ships Guns Cost of one. Cost of all. 6 -- 100 -- 35,553l. ----- 213,318l. 12 -- 90 -- 29,886 ----- 358,632 12 -- 80 -- 23,638 ------ 283,656 43 -- 70 -- …

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34 COMMON SENSE and shipwrights out of employ. Men of war of seventy and eighty guns were built forty years ago in New-England, and why not the same now? Ship-building is America’s greatest pride, and in which she will in time excel the…

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COMMON SENSE. 35 -tect ourselves, why not do it for ourselves? Why do it for another ? The English list of ships of war, is long and formidable, but not a tenth part of them are at any one time fit for service, numbers of them not in…

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36 COMMON SENSE. riches play into each other’s hand, we need fear no external enemy. In almost every article of defence we abound. Hemp flourishes even to rankness, so that we need not want cordage. Our iron is superior to that of other…

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COMMON SENSE. 37 to continued insults with the patience of a coward. The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture. The rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a…

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38 COMMON SENSE. do therewith. Let a man throw aside that narrowness of soul, that selfishness of principle, which the niggards of all professions are so unwilling to part with, and he will be at ouce delivered of his fears on that head.…

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COMMON SENSE. 39 into the House, and there passed in behalf of the whole colony; whereas, did the whole colony know, with what ill will that House hath entered on some necessary public measures, they would not hesitate a…

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40 COMMON SENSE peace: but while America calls herself the subject of Great- Britain, no power, however well disposed she may be, can offer her mediation. Wherefore, in our present state we may quarrel on for ever. Secondly. It is…
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