Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 17

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 were they at war
with Britain. The miseries of Hanover last war ought to
warn us against connexions.

It has lately been asserted in parliament, that the colonies
have no relation to each other but through the parent country,
i. e. that Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, and so on for the
rest, are sister colonies by the way of England; this is cer-
tainly a very round-about way of proving relationship, but
it is the nearest aud only true way of proving enemyship if I
may so call it. France and Spain never were, nor perhaps
ever will be our enemies as Americans, but as our being the
subjects of Great Britain.

But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the
more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour
their young, nor savages make war upon their families ;
wherefore the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach ; but
it happens not to be true, or only partly so, and the phrase
parent or mother country hath been jesuitically adopted by the
King and his parasites. with a low papistical design of gaining
an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our minds. Eu-
rope, and not England, is the parent country of America.
This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lo-
vers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe.
Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the
mother, but from the cruelty of the monster ; and it is so far
true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first
emigrants from home, pursues their defendants still.

In this extensive quarter of the globe, we forget the narrow
limits of three hundred and sixty miles (the extent of Eng-
land) and carry our friendship on a larger scale ; we claim
brotherhood with every European Christian, and triumph in
the generosity of the sentiment.

It is pleasant to observe by what regular gradations we
surmount the force of local prejudice, as we enlarge our ac-
quaintance with the world. A man born in any town in
England divided into parishes, will naturally associate most
with his fellow-parishioners (because their interests in many
cases will be common) and distinguish him by the name of
neighbour ; if he meet him but a few miles from home, he
drops the narrow idea of a street, and salutes him by the
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“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed July 18, 2024,

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