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Common Sense

However, it matters very little now, what the king of England either says or does; he hath
wickedly broken through every moral and human obligation, trampled nature and
conscience beneath his feet; and by a steady and constitutional spirit of insolence and
cruelty, procured for himself an universal hatred. It is NOW the interest of America to
provide for herself. She hath already a large and young family, whom it is more her duty
to take care of, than to be granting away her property, to support a power who is become
a reproach to the names of men and christians--YE, whose office it is to watch over the
morals of a nation, of whatsoever sect or denomination ye are of, as well as ye, who, are
more immediately the guardians of the public liberty, if ye wish to preserve your native
country uncontaminated by European corruption, ye must in secret wish a separation--But
leaving the moral part to private reflection, I shall chiefly confine my farther remarks to
the following heads.
First. That it is the interest of America to be separated from Britain.
Secondly. Which is the easiest and most practicable plan, RECONCILIATION OR
INDEPENDANCE? With some occasional remarks.
In support of the first, I could, if I judged it proper, produce the opinion of some of the
ablest and most experienced men on this continent; and whose sentiments, on that head,
are not yet publicly known. It is in reality a self-evident position: For no nation in a state
of foreign dependance, limited in its commerce, and cramped and fettered in its
legislative powers, can ever arrive at any material eminence. America doth not yet know
what opulence is; and although the progress which she hath made stands unparalleled in
the history of other nations, it is but childhood, compared with what she would be
capable of arriving at, had she, as she ought to have, the legislative powers in her own
hands. England is, at this time, proudly coveting what would do her no good, were she to
accomplish it; and the Continent hesitating on a matter, which will be her final ruin if
neglected. It is the commerce and not the conquest of America, by which England is to be
benefited, and that would in a great measure continue, were the countries as independant
of each other as France and Spain; because in many articles, neither can go to a better
market. But it is the independance of this country of Britain or any other, which is now
the main and only object worthy of contention, and which, like all other truths discovered
by necessity, will appear clearer and stronger every day.
First. Because it will come to that one time or other.
Secondly. Because, the longer it is delayed the harder it will be to accomplish.
I have frequently amused myself both in public and private companies, with silently
remarking, the specious errors of those who speak without reflecting. And among the
many which I have heard, the following seems the most general, viz. that had this rupture
happened forty or fifty years hence, instead of NOW, the Continent would have been
more able to have shaken off the dependance. To which I reply, that our military ability,
AT THIS TIME, arises from the experience gained in the last war, and which in forty or
fifty years time, would have been totally extinct. The Continent, would not, by that time,
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