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Born in England in 1737. Moved to Philadelphia 1774. Wrote pamphlets inspirational to the Continental cause 1776-1783. Moved to England in 1791, then to France. Returned to America in 1802. Died 8 June, 1809. Common Sense Thomas Paine. Paine’s Argument for Separating From England.

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common sense thomas paine

Born in England in 1737.

Moved to Philadelphia 1774.

Wrote pamphlets inspirational to the Continental cause 1776-1783.

Moved to England in 1791, then to France.

Returned to America in 1802.

Died 8 June, 1809.

Common SenseThomas Paine

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Paine’s Argument for Separating From England

  • We cannot turn back after blood has been shed.
    • “By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new area for politics is struck, a new method of thinking hath arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the nineteenth of April, i.e., to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacs of the last year, which, though proper then, are suspended and useless now….”
  • America can stand without relying on Great Britain, we have grown up.
    • “I have heard it asserted by some that America hath flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, that the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same affect… We may as well assert. That because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat; or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty… I answer roundly that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power had any thing to with her. The commerce by which she enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.”
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3. America is harmed by England’s wars, and would be better off unattached to European affairs.

    • “France and Spain never were, nor perhaps ever will be our enemies as Americans, but as our being subjects of Great Britain.”
  • 4. England should no longer be considered America’s “mother country.”
  • “This new world hath been the Asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberties from every Part of Europe. Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of a monster…the phrase of parent or mother country applied to England only, as being false, selfish, narrow, and ungenerous.
  • 5. America was set apart as a separate nation by the natural order of things.
  • “In no instance hath nature made the satellite larger than its primary planet, and as England and America, with respect to each Other… it is evident they belong to different systems: England to Europe, and America to itself….”
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6. America was destined by God to be a separate entity.

  • “Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one, over the other, was never the design of Heaven…. The reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open sanctuary to the persecuted in future years….”