Quotations from Common Sense: by Thomas Paine
"Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an Island."
"There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgement is required".
"For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honors of his contemporaries, yet his decedents might be far too unworthy to inherit them."
"I offer nothing more than simple facts, pain arguments, and common sense."
"A long habit of not thinking wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom."
"Society is produced by our wants and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil."
"In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology, there were no kings; the consequences of which were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion."
"Time makes more converts than reason."
"Government by Kings was first introduced into the world by the heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry."
"But where say some is the king of America? I'll tell you friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the royal brute in Britain. ...So far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king, and there ought to be no other."
"O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! Receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind."
"...have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the event of a few months."
"Where there are no distinctions there can be no superiority; perfect equality affords no temptation."
"Youth is the seedtime of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals."
"America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe."
"Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free port. Her trade will always be a protection, and her barrenness of gold and silver secure her from invaders."
"Securing freedom and property to all men, and above all things, the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; with such other matter as it is necessary for a charter to contain."