I read this pamphlet (at Gutenberg) by Thomas Paine a while back on a mountain. However short it may be it packs a massive punch and is brimful with powerful rhetoric. It also contains a rather definitive argument against monarchy. Highly recommended.
First, Because it tends to the decrease and reproach of all religion whatever, and is of the utmost danger to society to make it a party in political disputes.
And the very publishing it proves, that either, ye do not believe what ye profess, or have not virtue enough to practise what ye believe.
We fight neither for revenge nor conquest; neither from pride nor passion; we are not insulting the world with our fleets and armies, nor ravaging the globe for plunder.
that either the doctrine cannot be refuted, or, that the party in favour of it are too numerous to be opposed.
No going to law with nations; cannon are the barristers of Crowns; and the sword, not of justice, but of war, decides the suit.
I have frequently amused myself both in public and private companies, with silently remarking, the specious errors of those who speak without reflecting.
To unite the sinews of commerce and defense is sound policy; for when our strength and our riches play into each other’s hand, we need fear no external enemy.
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.
where a republican government, by being formed on more natural principles, would negotiate the mistake.
England consults the good of THIS country, no farther than it answers her OWN purpose.
In no instance hath nature made the satellite larger than its primary planet
there is something very absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.
This is my favorite:
Interested men, who are not to be trusted; weak men, who CANNOT see; prejudiced men, who WILL NOT see; and a certain set of moderate men, who think better of the European world than it deserves;
The first king of England, of the present line (William the Conqueror) was a Frenchman, and half the Peers of England are descendants from the same country; therefore, by the same method of reasoning, England ought to be governed by France.
we forget the narrow limits of three hundred and sixty miles (the extent of England)
But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families; wherefore the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach;
her motive was INTEREST not ATTACHMENT; that she did not protect us from OUR ENEMIES on OUR ACCOUNT, but from HER ENEMIES on HER OWN ACCOUNT, from those who had no quarrel with us on any OTHER ACCOUNT, and who will always be our enemies on the SAME ACCOUNT