Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 26

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 enjoyed is sa-
crificed to its service, and having nothing more to lose, they
disdain submission. Besides, the general temper of the co-
lonies, towards a British government, will be like that of a
youth who is nearly out of his time; they will care very
little about her. And a government which cannot preserve
the peace, is no government at all, and in that case we pay
our money for nothing; and pray what is it that Britain
can do, whose power will be wholly on paper, should a civil
tumult break out the very day after reconciliation? I
have heard some men say, many of whom I believe spoke
without thinking, that they dreaded an independence, fear-
ing it would produce civil wars. It is but seldom that our
first thoughts are truly correct, and that is the case here ;
for there are ten times more to dread from a patched up con-
nexion, than from independence. I make the sufferers case
my own, and I protest, that were I driven from house and
home, my property destroyed, and my circumstances ruined,
that as man, sensible of injuries, I could never relish the
doctrine of reconciliation, or consider myself bound

The colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order
and obedience to continental government, as is sufficient to
make every reasonable person easy and happy on that head. No
man can assign the least pretence for his fears, on any other
grounds than such as are truly childish and ridiculous,
viz. that one colony will be striving for superiority over

Where there are no distinctions, there can be no superiority, perfect equality affords no temptation. The re-
publics of Europe are all (and we may say always) in peace. Holland and Swisserland are without wars, foreign or do-
mestic: monarchical governments, it is true, are never long
at rest; the crown itself is a temptation to enterprising ruf-
at home; and that degree of pride and insolence ever
attendant on regal authority, swells into a rupture with fo-
reign powers, in instances where a republican government,
by being formed on more natural principles, would negociate
the mistake. 



“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed March 17, 2018,