Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 27

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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 ; at the same time modestly affirm-
ing, that I have no other opinion of them myself, than that
they may be the means of giving rife to something better.--
Could the straggling thoughts of individuals be collected,
they would frequently form materials for wise and able men
to improve into useful manner.

LET the assemblies be annual, with a President only.---
The representation more equal. Their business wholly do-
mestic, and subject to the authority of a Continental Con-
gress.

Let each colony be divided into six, eight, or ten conve-
nient districts, each district to send a proper number of dele-
gates to Congress, so that each colony send at least thirty.
The whole number in congress will be at least 390. Each
congress to sit                               and to choose a pres-
ident by the following method. When the delegates are
met, let a colony be taken from the whole thirteen colonies
by lot, after which, let the whole Congress choose
(by ballot) a president from out of the delegates of that pro-
vince. In the next congress, let a colony be taken by lot
from twelve only, omitting that colony from which the pre-
sident was taken in the former congress, and so proceeding
on ‘till the whole thirteen shall have had their proper rota-
tion. And in order that nothing may pass into a law but
what is satisfactorily just, not less than three fifths of the
congress to be called a majority.------He that will promote
discord under a government so equally formed as this,
would have joined Lucifer in his revolt.

But as there is a peculiar delicacy, from whom, or in what
manner this business must first arise, and as it seems most a-
greeable and consistent, that it should come from some inter-
mediate body between the governed and the governors, that is,
between the Congress and the people, let a CONTINENTAL
CONFERENCE be held, in the following manner, and for the
following purpose:

A committee of twenty-six members of Congress, viz. two
for each colony. Two members from each House of Assem-
bly, or provincial Convention; and five representatives of
the people at large, to be chosen in the capital city or town
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“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed August 22, 2017, http://explorecommonsense.com/items/show/38.