Thomas Paine Argument

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In this excerpt from Common Sense, Paine wants to convey the idea that an abusive government and its citizens cannot have a healthy, lasting relationship. He argues that if a power has wronged its people, as Britain has done to the American colonies, then it is neither possible nor wise for the citizens to continue to love, honor, and faithfully serve that power. Paine believes that any attempt to reconcile with Britain would be insincere and futile, as such a relationship could only be based on present convenience and not on genuine respect or trust.

Paine supports his argument by appealing to the “passions and feelings of mankind” and the “touchstone of nature.” He suggests that human nature dictates that people cannot genuinely love or