Thomas Paine and Chalmers

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The pamphlet “Common Sense” published by Thomas Paine in January 1776 became a best seller in the colonies. He writes about the sufferings and injustice meted out to the colonies by England and the fight for Independence from England. One specific injury named by Paine, is that the colonies are directly involved in European wars, due to their connection to England. As a consequence, enemies of Great Britain, like Spain and France, automatically become enemies of the colonies, which is a further disadvantage or injury to the Colonies. Moreover, being involved in the war and having enemies has a negative impact on America’s trade, “whenever a war breaks out between England and any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin” (102). Furthermore, Paine makes numerous arguments in favor of Independence, because he believes that: “Every thing that is right or reasonable pleads for separation” (102). He believes that a unity of all the colonies will be able to achieve anything, such as the fight to gain Independence from England. He states that America has access to many natural resources, such as timber and iron and is able to manufacture many products. Therefore, an independent America would be a rich country. Paine argues that the “infant state of the colonies” is a further argument for Independence, because the people of the colonies are more united, since there are not too many people. Besides, Independence would give the colonies not only the possibility to be excluded from European wars and quarrels, but it would also give America a voice and a place amongst other nations. On the other hand, Chalmers outlines numerous reasons why the colonies would not win against England. He thinks that the colonies do not have the manpower or the resources to defeat Great Britain. As Chalmers puts it: “We must confess that no power ever engaged such potent antagonists under such peculiar circumstances of infelicity” (108).

In addition, Chalmers claims that an...
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