Common Sense, British Edition
Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs
COMMON SENSE 25swer, 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 refuse his consent to a
bill for putting England into as strong a state of defence as
possible, and in America he would never suffer such a bill to
America is only a secondary object in the system of British
politics, England consults the good of this country, no fur-
ther than it answers her own purpose. Wherefore her own
interest leads her to suppress the growth of ours in every
case which doth not promote her advantage, or in the least in-
terfere with it. A pretty state we should soon be in under such
a second-hand government, considering what has happened!
Men do not change from enemies to friends by the altera-
tion of a name : and in order to shew that reconciliation
now is a dangerous doctrine, I affirm, that it would be policy
at this time to repeal the acts for the sake of re-instating the government of the provinces; in order, THAT
HE MAY ACCOMPLISH, BY CRAFT AND SUBTILTY,
IN THE LONG RUN, WHAT HE CANNOT DO BY FORCE
AND VIOLENCE IN THE SHORT ONE. Reconciliation and ruin are nearly related.
Secondly, That as even the best terms which we can ex-
pect to obtain, can amount to no more than a temporary
expedient, or a kind of government by guardianship, which
can last no longer than ’till the colonies come of age, so the
general face and state of things in the interim, will be un-
settled and unpromising. Emigrants of property will not
choose to come to a country whose form of government
hangs but by a thread, and who is every day tottering on the
brink of commotion and disturbance ; and numbers of the
present inhabitants would lay hold of the interval, to dis-
pose of their effects, and quit the continent.
But the most powerful of all arguments, is, that nothing
but independance, i. e. a continental form of government,
can keep the peace of the continent and preserve it inviolate
from civil wars. 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.
“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed July 18, 2018, http://explorecommonsense.com/items/show/36.