What are the "material injuries" that Britain has done to the colonies, according to Paine in "Common Sense?"

2 Answers | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What Paine is saying here is that the colonies suffer in a number of ways from being tied to Great Britain.  The most important of these is economic.

Paine argues that the colonies do not need Britain economically.  He says that their "corn" would be able to get "its price" in any country of Europe.  He says that any country would be willing to export to the colonies.  For these reasons, they don't really need England.  At the same time, colonial trade is harmed by being tied to England.  This is because England is always at war with someone.  That prevents the colonies from trading with that country or countries.  If America were not tied to England, they could remain neutral and keep trading.  By being tied to Europe, America's options are limited and America is placed in danger that it would not otherwise be in.

When Paine talks about material injuries, he is speaking about economics.

esveidit's profile pic

esveidit | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

 Was Paine right to say that "Europe and not England is the parent country of America"? Why should that concept be considered a factor for separation?

We’ve answered 315,492 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question