The Greatest Hits of Thomas Paine

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Jump to: navigation , search. And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age. When man ceases to be, his power and his wants cease with him; and having no longer any participation in the concerns of this world, he has no longer any authority in directing who shall be its governors, or how its government shall be organised, or how administered.

Price March 27, rationalrevolution. In this case, the bequeather gives nothing: the receiver pays nothing. The only matter to him is that the monopoly of natural inheritance, to which there never was a right, begins to cease in his person. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Edit Fossil record.

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Gerard, respecting what the claims of America might be, in case any treaty of peace should be entered on with the enemy. And Edition: current; Page: [ 20 ] from this, with some account of the general disposition of the powers of Europe, the mighty buz of peace took its rise, and several who ought to have known better, were whispering wonderful secrets at almost every tea table. It was a matter very early supposed by those who had any clear judgment, that Spain would not immediately join in the war, but would lie by as a mediatorial power.

If she succeeded therein, the consequence would be a peace; if she failed, she would then be perfectly at liberty to fulfil her engagements with France, etc. Now in order to enable Spain to act this part, it was necessary that the claims of Congress in behalf of America should be made known to their own Plenipotentiary at Paris, Dr.

Franklin, with such instructions, public or private, as might be proper to give thereon. But I observe several members, either so little acquainted with political arrangements, or supposing their constituents to be so, that they treat with Mr. Gerard as if that gentleman was our Minister, instead of the Minister of his Most Christian Majesty, and his name is brought in to a variety of business to which it has no proper reference.

This remark may to some appear rather severe, but it is a necessary one. It is not every member of Congress who acts as if he felt the true importance of his character, or the dignity of the country he acts for. And we seem in some instances to forget, that as France is the great ally of America, so America is the great ally of France. It may now be necessary to mention, that no instructions are yet gone to Dr. Franklin as a line for negotiation, and the reason is because none are agreed on. The reason why they are not agreed on is another point.

But had the gentlemen who are for leaving the fisheries out agreed to have had them put in, instructions might have been sent more than four months ago; and if not exactly convenient, might by this time have been returned and reconsidered. On whose side then does the fault lie?

I profess myself an advocate, out of doors, for clearly, absolutely, and unequivocally ascertaining the right of the Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] States to fish on the Banks of Newfoundland, as one of the first and most necessary articles.

The Life of Thomas Paine by Thomas Clio Rickman

The right and title of the States thereto I have endeavoured to show. The importance of these fisheries I have endeavoured to prove. What reason then can be given why they should be omitted? The seeds of almost every former war have been sown in the injudicious or defective terms of the preceding peace.

Either the conqueror has insisted on too much, and thereby held the conquered, like an over-bent bow, in a continual struggle to snap the cord, or the latter has artfully introduced an equivocal article, to take such advantages under as the turn of future affairs might afford. We have only to consult our own feelings, and each man may from thence learn the spring of all national policy.

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And he, who does not this, may be fortunate enough to effect a temporary measure, but never will, unless by accident, accomplish a lasting one. Perhaps the fittest condition any countries can be in to make a peace, calculated for duration, is when neither is conquered, and both are tired. The first of these suits England and America. I put England first in this case, because she began the war: And as she must be and is convinced of the impossibility of conquering America, and as America has no romantic ideas of extending her conquests to England, the object on the part of England is lost, and on the part of America is so far secure, that, unless she unwisely conquers herself, she is certain of not being conquered; and this being the case, there is no visible object to prevent the opening a negociation.

But how far England is disposed thereto is a matter wholly unknown, and much to be doubted. A movement towards a negociation, and a disposition to enter into it, are very distinct things. The first is often made, as an army affects to retreat, in order to throw an enemy off his guard. To prevent which, the most vigorous preparations ought to be made for war at the very instant of negociating for a peace.

Let America make these preparations, and she may send her terms and claims whenever she pleases, without any apprehension Edition: current; Page: [ 22 ] of appearing or acting out of character. Those preparations relate now more to revenue than to force, and that being wholly and immediately within the compass of our own abilities, requires nothing but our consent to accomplish.

To leave the fisheries wholly out, on any pretence whatever, is to sow the seeds of another war; and I will be content to have the name of an ideot engraven for an epitaph, if it does not produce that effect. The difficulties which are now given will become a soil for those seeds to grow in, and future circumstances will quicken their vegetation. There has not yet been an argument given for omitting the fisheries, but what might have been given as a stronger reason to the contrary.

Thomas Paine

All which has been advanced rests only on supposition, and that failing, leaves them no foundation. They suppose Britain will not hereafter interrupt the right; but the case is, they have no right to that supposition; and it may likewise be parried by saying,—suppose she should? Now the matter, as I conceive it, stands thus——. But to omit it wholly in one treaty, and to leave it unguarrantied in another, and to trust it entirely, as the phrase is, to the chapter of accidents, is too loose, too impolitic a mode of conducting national business.


Is this talking like an American politician, or a seducing emissary? Who authorised Americanus to intimate such an assurance; or how came he to know what the British ministry would or would not hereafter do; or how can he be certain they have told him truth? If it be supposition only, he has, as I before remarked, no right to make it; and if it be more than supposition, it must be the effect of secret correspondence.

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In the first of these cases he is foolish; in the second worse. Does he not see that the fisheries are not expresly and only conditionally guarrantied, and that if in such a situation they be omitted in a treaty with Britain, and she should afterwards interrupt our right, that the Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] States stand single in the question, and have no right on the face of the present treaties to call on their Allies for assistance?

And yet this man is persuading us to say nothing about them. Whereas the law of nations is in theory the law of treaties compounded with customary usage, and in practice just what they can get and keep till it be taken from them. It is a term without any regular defined meaning, and as in some instances we have invented the thing first and given the name afterwards, so in this we have invented the name and the thing is yet to be made. Some gentlemen say leave the fisheries to be settled afterwards in a treaty of commerce.

This is really beginning business at the wrong end. For a treaty of peace cannot precede the settlement of disputes, but proceeds in consequence of all controverted points respecting right and dominion being adjusted and agreed on. There is one kind of treaty of commerce which may follow a treaty of peace, but that respects such articles only and the mode of traficking with them as are produced within, or imported into the known and described dominions of the parties; or to the rules of exchange, or paying or recovering debts, but never to the dominion itself; and comes more properly within the province of a Consul than the superior contracting powers.

With these remarks I shall, for the present, close the subject.

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It is a new one, and I have endeavoured to give it as systematical an investigation as the short time allowed and the other business I have on hand will admit of. How the affair stands in Congress, or how the cast of the House is on the question, I have, for several reasons, not enquired into; neither have I conversed with any gentleman of that Body on the subject.

They have their opinion and I mine; and as I chuse to think my own reasons and write my own thoughts, I feel the more free the less I consult. Who the writer of Americanus is I am not informed. I Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] never said or ever believed it to be Mr. Gouverneur Morris, or replied to it upon that supposition. The manner is not his, neither do I know that the principles are, and as that gentleman has disavowed it, the assurance is sufficient.