"'Tis repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all
examples from former ages, to suppose that this Continent can long remain subject to any external power. The most sanguine in Britain doth not think so. The utmost stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this time, compass a plan, short of separation, which can promise the continent even a year's security. Reconciliation is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath deserted the connection, and art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expresses, 'never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.'
A government of our own is our natural right: and when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance."
— Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
"It now behooves us well to consider, whether it were better to enter the harbour of peace with Great Britain, or plunge the ship into all the horrors of war.— Of civil war. As peace and a happy extension of commerce, are objects infinitely better for Great Britain, than war and a diminution of her commerce. It therefore is her interest to grant us every species of indulgence, consistent with our constitutional dependence, should war continue, there can be no doubt of annihilation of our ships, ports and commerce, by Great Britain. . . .If my remarks are founded on truth, it results, that the time hath not found us; that independency is inexpedient, ruinous, and impracticable, and that reconciliation with Great Britain on good terms, is our sole resource. 'Tis this alone, will render us respectable; it is this alone, will render us numerous; it is this only, will make us happy. . . .
Released from foreign war, we would probably be plunged into all the misery of anarchy and intestine war. Can we suppose that the people of the south, would submit to having the seat of Empire at Philadelphia, or New England; or that the people oppressed by a change of government, contrasting their misery with their former happy state, would not invite Britain to reassume the sovereignty."
— James Chalmers, Plain Truth, 1776
Using the excerpts, answer a, b, and c.
- Briefly describe ONE major difference between Paine's and Chalmers's perspectives on the idea of separation from Great Britain.
- Briefly explain ONE event or idea from the 18th century that could be used to support either Paine's or Chalmers's argument.
One of the significant contrasts is that Paine felt that war with Great Britain was essential and required on the grounds... View the full answer